Pack, wallet lighter with nifty new Nano

It won’t be in stores until this summer, but at $199, the Nano Puff Hoody from Patagonia is worth putting on your gear radar right now.

I have been wearing an early-release version of the lightweight hooded jacket for two months. The windproof and water-resistant piece is great for cool spring days. Or, it functions as a cozy layer itself under a shell jacket in winter temps.

For wilderness pursuits, I like the jacket’s packability. The Nano Puff, which employs PrimaLoft One insulation, stuffs into its own chest pocket for transport. It sits in a backpack as a 14-ounce bundle the size of a cantaloupe, ready and waiting to be used in the wilderness when the temps drop.

I use jackets like this almost year-round. They are light enough to not burden your pack. In the mountains, they are great for sleeping in or wearing on cool spring or fall mornings.

Patagonia uses a light recycled polyester for the face fabric. A DWR finish lets water bead and run off the face, though don’t expect to wear the jacket without a shell in the rain.

Zippered hand-warmer pockets and an internal zippered chest pocket are featured. The quilted pattern keeps insulation in place and promotes “durability and longevity,” as the company puts it.

I hope they’re right. I want to keep my Nano Puff for the long haul.

On the Web: www.gearjunkie.com.

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