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Patagonia Nano Puff alternative?
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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 01:26:48 MDT Print View

I wouldn't hike in a fleece and windshirt unless it was below freezing. I wouldn't hike in a Nano Puff as it won't breathe well enough.

I often hike in a base layer and windshirt and add the mid layer fleece (R1 or Power Stretch level) for rest or camp use. If it is colder than that, I would graduate to a 100g fill garment like a First Ascent Igniter or Patagonia Micro Puff.

IMHO, the 60g garments like the Nano Puff and Mont Bell Thermawrap don't cut it. They are too close to duplicating a windshirt, which I am already packing, and I can use the windshirt plus the fleece mid layer in many combinations.

You can add up the weights and volume, but it's not a spreadsheet decision. It has to work on the side of a cold wet mountain.

My large size Nano Puff (that fits like an XL) weighs 12.6oz

Other items for comparison, all mens XL:

Houdini 4.4oz
EMS Power Stretch Hoody 13.8oz
R1 jacket 14.2oz
Marmot Power Stretch vest 7.8oz
MEC Power Dry (like R1) vest 7oz
REI Revelcloud vest 10oz
Military Gen III fleece jacket (like R3) 19.4oz
Generic Polartec 200 jacket 18oz

Going back to my Houdini/R1 combo:

* It weighs 6oz more than the Nano Puff
* I can wear each separately or together
* I can wear the fleece with my rain shell and still have some breathability (try that with a Nano Puff)
* The R1 is excellent for sleep
* Adding a fleece at a rest stop will allow me to continue to shed excess moisture/perspiration where a Nano Puff would trap it.
* Wet weather performance of the R1 is excellent, not only with the ability to retain some insulating quailies when wet, but also the ability to transport perspiration from base layer and out to wind or rain shell.

BTW, I would be using the Power Stretch hoodie more often, with even more coverage at less weight than the R1. I feel that the two fabrics are close as far as warmth.

Bulk issues are mentioned with fleece. The lighter versions are more compressible than the classic 200W stuff. An R1 or Powerstretch jacket will pack in around the other items in the top of my pack, or carried under the lid where I can access it quickly for a rest stop.

Vests make for excellent summer insulation alternatives or even cooler with long sleeve base layer tops. If you want to save weight and volume, vests provide good core warmth at minimal bulk.

Note the REI Revelcloud vest at just 10oz. It is more breathable than the Nano Puff and from everything I can see, it has more loft as well ( the fill weight is not published). If you must go with light/thin lofted insulation, I think this makes a good or better alternative to the Nano Puff when used with a wind shell and long sleeve base layer.

Ultimately, I think these thin shelled/lofted garments are a failure in cold wet, high humidity environments. They won't transfer moisture and can't be worn while active. Layering a shell and light fleece mid layer can be far more versatile and even warmer at the cost of a few more additionsl ounces and a bit more bulk.

I think the stumbling block comes in thinking of the lighter lofted garments as "demi" versions of the classic belay jackets, which they are not as they aren't used in the same conditions, notably sub freezing and dryer.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 04:58:14 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 12:50:28 MDT.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 06:30:26 MDT Print View

If you're going to sweat, sweat into fleece -- it's more breathable and retains insulation better when wet. If not (strolling, camping, being pulled by dogs, whatever), go puffy.

Possible exception for the new Primaloft Alpha filling, which is designed for breathability rather than maximum warmth per weight. Not sure about that, it's too new.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 08:38:18 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 12:50:59 MDT.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 05/12/2013 09:11:41 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:18:30 MDT.

Fitz Travels
Agree on 05/12/2013 09:38:01 MDT Print View

I totally agree wirh Rog. I have the Revelcloud vest and IME, there is just no way i could wear a primaloft jacket while moving. My Montbell Thermawrap, on the otherhand, has proven to be a great jacket while hiking, and when used in conjunction with annArctyrex caedigan fleece (13oz), i was comfortable while moving down to 10F.

My primaloft vest proved to be too warm for most situations while moving and not warm enough standing still. I have basically used it while sleeping in extreme cold more then as an actual garment. I personally would not suggest ANY primaloft insulation for any jacket meant to be worn on the move.

Edited by fitztravels on 05/12/2013 09:56:08 MDT.

dave p
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
NP on 05/12/2013 10:20:45 MDT Print View

The np has many fans.For me i dont need it while on the move and when im stopped it isnt warm enough-i run cold.My np is tight in the shoulders and arms and feels clammy.I will grab a downsweater or my big puffy instead.I wish it worked for me like it has for so many others because its so light and packable.To each their own.

Edited by hipass on 05/12/2013 10:27:20 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Shelled insulation on 05/12/2013 11:16:45 MDT Print View

I agree on wearing shelled insulation on the move. It would be too warm in most cases.

Example of using my windshirt and fleece mid layer combination in practice on the trail with a light base layer tee:

* Windshirt with base layer with cold wind or light/sporadic precip

* Windshirt and base layer when topping out on an exposed ridge or downhill walking when exertion has lowered and it is too cool for the base layer alone.

*Fleece mid layer with base layer for additional warmth with good moisture transfer and breathability. As above with situations with less exertion, like level and downhill walking.

*Windshirt and fleece together for rest stops and camp.

*Fleece plus rain gear for wet rest stops and cold precip or precip with lower exertion, as with the windshirt. Wet rest stops will often find me damp from exertion with rain gear. Adding a fleece layer will allow me to continue to dry out without getting chilled (hypothermic) where a thin shelled insulated item just traps the moisture and may get my main insulation item wet as well.

*Windshirt, fleece and rain gear all together for colder rest stop or camp.

*Fleece for sleep to extend the range of my sleeping bag or quilt.

*Wearing the fleece mid layer alone while my base lyer dries from washing or wet with perspiration.

The real crux of my argument concerns how a thin insulated item fits into a coordinated UL clothing system, particularly where a windshirt is included. With the windshirt, you are already halfway there. Adding yet another pair of shells and some light fill doesn't make sense to me, especially when those shells don't breathe well and the combination isn't all that warm. The Nano Puff ends up being a single purpose item that is only useful in a limited temperature range at rest.

The argument is very similar to the issues with soft shell jackets: additional weight with limited protection from cold or rain. If you have a windshirt, an insulation layer and a rain shell, there's little need for a soft shell.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Shelled insulation on 05/12/2013 12:03:26 MDT Print View

> Adding yet another pair of shells and some light fill doesn't make sense to me,
> especially when those shells don't breathe well and the combination isn't all that warm.

Except that those pairs of shells and light fill is warmer than windshirt + fleece, and lighter than a fleece. You're taking multiuse to an extreme - trying to apply multiuse for multiuse's sake, not for any practical reason.

To get the same warmth as a Nano Puff, you need to get a 200 weight fleece, which weighs more and packs much larger. This isn't even to mention that when when I need a 100 weight fleece on the move, for camp, I need a down jacket with about 2-3oz of fill (~2x as warm as a Nano, ~3x as warm as fleece + shell). For 200 weight fleece on the move, I'm needing something like a 7oz down fill jacket for camp - VERY cold conditions.

Fleece for camp insulation never makes sense to me, sorry. The only reason I bring fleece, is when I need it for warmth when moving. It's that simple. Your points just don't make sense.

That said, for my dry climate in CO, I prefer down jackets. I use my Nano Puff clone as a 'belay' jacket for backcountry skiing - something that I can use to add a bit of warmth if a storm moves in, and something that won't collapse if I've built up moisture in my baselayer/softshell. If I lived in a wetter environment, where my baselayer and windshirt might be damp throughout the entire day from light rain, humidity or mist, I'd use my Nano Puff clone in summer, as well.

Edited by lindahlb on 05/12/2013 12:52:22 MDT.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 05/12/2013 12:28:41 MDT Print View


Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 20:19:22 MDT.

Brian Lindahl
(lindahlb) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 12:48:25 MDT Print View

Softshell jackets work a little better than windshirts in 3 situations for me:

1) They breath a bit better than windshirts. I like them a bit more for cold weather activities like Rog mentions, when they'll stay on most of the time, and the packability/weight/quickdry of a windshirt isn't much of a benefit. I find I end up adding/removing a softshell less than I do a windshirt, because of the breathability. (5 CFM for the best windshirts, 10-15 CFM for most softshells).

2) When you're going to be dealing with a rock abrasion, when climbing, they work better than a windshirt. Again, like #1, the benefit here is small enough, that I'll choose the softshell only if it's cold enough that I'm going to be wearing it most of the time.

3) They are nice for backcountry skiing and cold weather mountain biking (when you NEED it for the entire descent). A windshirt makes a HUGE amount of noise when descending, and is quite obnoxious. I always choose a softshell for these activities, purely for this reason (and abrasion resistance for mountain biking).

Edited by lindahlb on 05/12/2013 12:55:39 MDT.

Rick M
(rmjapan) - F

Locale: London, UK
Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 05/12/2013 18:58:14 MDT Print View


Edited by rmjapan on 06/19/2015 12:51:39 MDT.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Re: LL Bean on 10/31/2013 11:50:56 MDT Print View

Greg, How does this jacket fit you? with the waist and the length?

Steve Zavoda
(Anotherdyemention) - F

Locale: NE Ohio
Mb and golite on 10/31/2013 12:50:55 MDT Print View

Check out golite.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 11/01/2013 12:33:13 MDT Print View

Rick wrote, "Dale, the more you expound the more I am baffled. You seem to imply a rain shell alone is functionally just as warm as Nano"

I missed this reply and thought I should clarify, although it has been several months.

I don't think that a rain shell is as warm as a Nano Puff. I do think that an R1 or Power Stretch fleece plus a windshirt is as warm as a Nano Puff, breathes better and can be used in several combinations. My premise is is that IF you are carrying a windshirt, the thin insulated jackets like a Nano Puff are a duplication and of limited use and value. As far as "stupid light" goes, I have long been an advocate of 100g insulated garments over the 60g versions.

The gist of it is that if you are going into conditions that may require an insulated garment, AND you also use a windshirt, then the insulated piece should be sufficiently warm; otherwise, the windshirt/mid-layer fleece combination is more useful. I am advocating the use of a 16oz item over a 10oz version.

I own and and have used all this stuff. I hold that while the Nano Puff is popular, there are more useful alternatives. What works for running errands, a chilly summer morning or day hiking in moderate conditions can be different than a versatile 3-season clothing system that balances weight, warmth. breathability, and wet weather performance.

DT Lay
(KiwiMtnClmbr) - F

Locale: Northeast Highlands
EMS Titan Pullover on 11/03/2013 21:39:59 MST Print View

A direct contender as an alternative to the industry standard Nano would be the Eastern Mountain Sports Titan pullover. It doesn't have quite as much insulation but that is mostly as best I can tell because it has a much trimmer cut. It also has a slightly beefier shell, making it a bit more likely for me to actually wear it when combined with it's lower ownership cost. I use the heck out of it as it's not so warm that I sweat instantly, but it's low profile enough for example to slip over a windshirt, midlayer, or light softshell and still fit under something trim like a Pata M10 Jacket.

I'll not weigh in on the rest of the discussion as to the merits or uses of jackets like the Nano or the Titan... not enough time in the day for that!

[Disclaimer: I worked for EMS for a number of years but havn't done so for nearly as long now so I have no real allegiance to speak of one way or the other]

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
MEC on 11/03/2013 21:53:25 MST Print View

MEC uplink 150$ list price for the hooded version ... 60g/m PL1 ... no side panels so its more a "belay" style jacket

note that the vest and hoody have 60g, but the unhooded jackets they are clearing out have only 40g, which is why they are clearing them out, presumably to be replaced with a newer version


Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
Re: Re: LL Bean on 11/04/2013 04:54:55 MST Print View

Joe--It's a boxy cut, kind of like a Patagonia Snap-T-style fleece pullover, if that's any help. I'm 5'4" and have the medium, because that's what was on sale when I bought it. It comes down below my waist and the elastic (not drawcord) on the bottom keeps it relatively snug. But when I tried on a small in the store, which I'd usually wear, I found I preferred the medium for ease of putting on and taking off, since the jacket has no stretch other than the waistband.
I noticed on the LL Bean website, however, that they only have XL and XXL of this right now; seems they are clearing it out in favor of a full-zip version. They seem to do this a lot with their newer designs. I have a pair of softshell pants from them that are amazing for cold weather hiking that they only sold for a year before they disappeared.
Hope that helps.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patagonia Nano Puff alternative? on 11/04/2013 05:25:10 MST Print View

I kind of agree with what Dale said, perhaps with this exception: I rarily need a fleece so even in inactive, above freezing situations, I use a 50 g/m2 synth jacket (so not a pull-over) instead of a fleece it replaced. That works for me. Maybe YMMV. I am looking though at a warmer jacket currently, because I find the 50 g/m2 not warm enough.