Patagonia Nano Puff Vest

, September 22, 2014

Patagonia Nano Puff VestPatagonia’s Nano Puff Vest is striking. Indeed, as I was somewhat taken aback about just how brilliant the blue was on this range, selecting it ahead of the only marginally sombre alternative colours, jet-black and mango.

To be clear, this is a good thing. Bright colours are in at the moment and it’s good to see Patagonia offering products to compete with brands such as The North Face who are trying to toe that difficult line between the outdoors and high-street fashion.

Where Patagonia set themselves apart, however, is in their ethos. Access their website, and you’ll note the tab marked environmentalism. The brand are devoted to engineering their products ethically, using the raw materials and processes that cause the least harm to the environment. Indeed, it doesn’t take long to sense a real passion for the cause. Hidden away amongst the small print at the bottom of the page is the corporate responsibility policy. For the uninitiated, such policies are becoming increasingly common and set out the ways in powerful corporate entities can use their status, their resources and their personnel to give something back.  Patagonia’s is as comprehensive as I’ve seen, with the list of FAQs particularly impressive.

This is, in itself, sufficient to endow the brand with an impressive set of ethical credentials. However, the website goes further. The Footprint Chronicles track the development of some of Patagonia’s products from beginning to end, tracing their impact upon the environment. There are also a number of essays on show, each examining a different issue that affects our planets natural resources. To conclude things poetically, those very same words that were used to describe my gillet’s colour scheme – striking and brilliant – can be recycled here to describe Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability.

Both fashionable and sustainable, the Nano Puff Vest appears, thus far, to be the embodiment of Magnetic Junction’s ethos. However, one fundamental question remains unanswered; how does it stack up technically. The answer is: pretty well.

It’s light – at 244g you’ll struggle to find anything lighter for the money. It’s waterproof – the recycled polyester shell is equipped with Deluge water repellent technology. And it’s warm, thanks to 60-g PrimaLoft One insulation. There are also a couple of neat touches, most notably the fact that the internal chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack.

There are of course, the usual draw backs. It is expensive, at £110, but equally, it must be remembered that this is a Patagonia product and it’s priced competitively when considering similar examples on the market. The regular fit is also a marginally disappointing, I would have preferred something slightly more tapered. However, this was not the intention for the Nano Puff Vest – it is intended to be worn when emerging from one’s tent into the chill of the morning air.

To finish then, the Nano Puff Vest is definitely worth consideration. On the technical side of things, its perhaps difficult to argue that it vastly outperforms offerings from The North Face. However, in terms commitment to the outdoors and those colours, Patagonia and the Nano Puff Vest are unparalleled.

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