Stories of stuff for the road, coast and mountains…
A letter to Patagonia
In a letter to adventure equipment company, Patagonia, I have a word or two to say about one of their products.
It’s probably not news to you that when you set out on the road in a minivan for nine or so months you can’t take much of anything with you, including clothes. This makes it a challenge to pack a set of clothing that will take you through winter, which is when we set out on our journey, an on into summer. Complicating packing was our need to pack clothing that would double for bushwalks on the coast and in the mountains.
Well, the clothes we finally packed, after much deliberation and toing-and-froing, included a fair selection of stuff we had already bought from your company. The NanoPuff jacket, your partially recycled polyester and nylon zip-up jacket, was one of these. Looking back after our journey, the NanoPuff was one of the most versatile items we packed and it is still the jacket we include on our now-shorter journeys-by-minivan or simply for wearing to town on cool days and nights.
Travelling through winter and spring and on into the start of the southern summer, the Patagonia NanoPuff was one of the most frequently worn, most versatile and least-washed items of clothing I have used.
It seems to be a Patagonia staple that has never disappeared from your catalog. A quilted insulated jacket that keeps you warm in mild conditions and when worn over a pullover or your lightweight Micro-D fleece and, if it’s really cold, your warmest Capilene base layer, its windproof outer and thin padding are more than adequate in the cold conditions we encounter in south-eastern Australia. Importantly, the jacket folds into its own pocket which, with its light weight of 0.4kg, makes it easy to stow into a pack for those cool nights in the mountains or for blowy evenings on the winter coast.
A fine crossover
Multipurpose clothing was a critetia for us when packing for out minivan journey. Windproof, warming without being hot, lightweight and packable made the NanoPuff a fine crossover jacket spanning the wild outdoors to town wear.
You already know that the jacket uses a 100-percent-recycled polyester shell and lining, as well as a 55 percent recycled, 60g PrimaLoft Gold Eco insulation. In addition, the fabrics are Bluesign approved, so the manufacturing process reduces the overall impact on the environment. Adding a social and economic credential to its environmental values, the NanoPuff is Fair Trade Certified to ensure that factory workers have safe working conditions and a liveable wage. This might not be important to some, but these are selling points for us.
My partner and I chose the version of the NanoPuff with the hood, as this increases the jacket’s versatility. It’s surprising how warmer it is when you pull up the hood and cinch it closed, especially for people like me who have little by way of natural insulation on top. The elastic-sealed hood is large enough to go over a helmet. A hoodless version is available, however I usually go for hooded garments for their extra insulation.
Despite its thin insulation the jacket is surprisingly warm. This is due to the wind resistance of the polyester outer and because the quilting stitching does not continue to the interior—its role us to stabilise the insulation. The NanoPuff has a loose, smooth, inner liner fabric.
The fit is comfortable, not too tight and loose enough to layer additional tops in cold weather. Elastic cuffs do a good job of keeping icy blasts from chilling your arms and the two zipper-closed handwarmer pockets allow you to stow smaller items as well as frozen hands.
The NanoPuff has been our go-to jacket through the cold season and into a mild spring and summer while travelling in south-eastern Australia. It has served well in bush campsites as well as in chilly towns. The jacket has earned its place in our road tripping and town-wear kit.
If you get the idea that I think the NanoPuff the most versatile jacket for our part of the world, you are right.