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Patagonia Nano Puff Bivy Pullover

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Patagonia Nano Puff Bivy Pullover synthetic insulated jacket

This is the perfect cross-country skiing/snowshoeing mid layer.


  • Light
  • Pockets
  • Hood
  • Deep chest zip

I had been using the Patagonia regular pullover for quite a few years for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing and have specifically stated to myself and others how I wish they had this with pockets. 

So, I'm down in Dillon, MT, for work and stop in the Patagonia outlet store there and stumble upon one of these in gray at like 99 bucks and practically lose it. It never even occurred to me to want a hood. I have never seen a price like that since. Oh, and sorry, I understand that is the only Patagonia outlet in the world. We are fortunate in many ways to live in Montana. I did buy another copper one at like $140 last year online.   

I have always loved the Nano Puff Pullover as the perfect mid layer above a polyprop long sleeve undershirt, Polartec pullover and then the Nano Puff and final light water resistant anorak with hood. I'm sort of old school and have always used an "anorak" based approach with pullovers and quarter half zip tops going back forty years. I like the look and not having to get full zippers to work with gloves mittens blah blah blah. The half or quarter zip gets rid of the heat just fine.  

The bivy is perfect for backcountry work, addressing all the shortcomings of the regular Nano Puff Pullover with pockets and the hood. The hoodie is great being light and easy to move off and on based upon temps and workout. It functions as a perfect head temp modulator with a light hat, AND the pockets are wonderful for an extra set of gloves or batteries or smartphone, etc and the kangaroo pouch pocket is wonderful for when you stop to undo the mittens and take the outer anorak off and start opening the hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps fortification a few miles from civilization under some trees. AND if you are out at higher temps and want to take a layer off? This is the one as it weighs practically nothing and will wad up and can be stuffed most anywhere.  

OK, What's not to like...well except maybe the full price. But, if you are a true cold weather back country skier or snowshoer, this is something you want in your arsenal of cold weather clothing. Be patient and shop around online including the Patagonia clearance site and you can find them 70 bucks or so off if you are NOT too color picky.  

And if you just want to look good in the bar get the regular Nano Puff Pullover. Although they are a wonderful hiking outer layer.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $99

A staple.


  • Warm, lightweight, compressible
  • Stays warm when wet
  • Easy to wash and dry


  • Zero, zip, nada. None.


Easily one of my favorite pieces of winter gear.  

I don’t wear it to hike unless it’s really cold, but I take it in my pack on winter hikes because I love to throw it on when I take a break on the trail.  

Fit: I‘m on the cusp between medium and large (damn swimmer shoulders) so I chose a large and the fit is perfect.

I love the hood: It is helmet-compatible, allows for full range of motion and visibility. I can layer it on top of a fleece or my Smartwool Corbet 120 Jacket easily.  

I think it’s supposed to be water resistant. I usually throw a rain shell on top if it starts raining, so I’m not sure about that. Not exactly breathable, but it will stop the wind dead in its tracks. Not moisture wicking, but it has a deep half zipper to dump out heat.  

I‘ve had it for years and treated it with as much meanness and neglect as I could: it still looks new.  

The pockets are a dream on this thing! First, the kangaroo pocket will hold just about anything including... an iPad mini. I kid you not. Then the tunnel handwarmer pocket is awesome because if I have to wear it while hiking, my pack belt can be threaded through that pocket. It prevents frozen belt buckles, it’s pretty cool.  

I once didn’t plan properly for weather changes (never made that mistake again, lol) and this was my only warm garment in low 30s, rain and winds to 35 mph gusts. It keeps me warm enough to not go hypothermic during a three-day trip.  

When I don’t need it, it packs in its own pocket and doubles up as a really comfy pillow.  

The second it starts showing wear, I’ll be getting a backup: I love this thing.  

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Good question

Most importantly it is a pullover, I simply prefer the pullover style for comfort and ease of wearing.


  • Lightweight and highly wind resistant
  • Good large pockets and an XXL fits my wide shoulders


  • Like all of the Nano Puff line the stitching is on the wrong side
  • Needs a Napoleon pocket to fit my smart phone

I paid full price in New York while on holiday as my big down parka was simply too warm for a New York winter. Also I thought it might make a suitable LW midlayer for an Alaskan winter trip that has now been cancelled. I keep it in my day pack for ski touring in Australia's High Plains as a "just in case layer."

Upside is the light weight and compactness, the downside is that 60GSM is not warm enough for Australian wet snow and the exterior stitch lines saturate out fast in our soggy conditions. It is good for what it is, but not as good as the original Puffball pullover. I like the hood, but if was adjustable it would be much better as it only fits really well when wearing a thick beanie and I usually ski wearing only a thin skullcap and/or a Nike Dri-Fit running cap.

There is enough room under it to layer over my active layers, which is a real bonus as the Nano Puff Pullover is far too skinny for my shoulders even in XXL. The extra room in the bivvy top means it actually fits me like an XXL.

At the insulation weight it is OK, but a bit too warm as an active midlayer for Australia, but not quite warm enough as static insulation on its own.

As a replacement for the Puffball it is as close as I can get at the moment, but 100GSM would be much better for the conditions in which I use.

As an indication of clothing fit I am 184cm tall with a 117cm chest and I am at the moment a fat 115 kilos with too much tummy.


About 40 years now of walking and ski touring in winter

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Full retail

It keeps you really hot and it keeps you away from wet. But after ONLY two months that I have bought it, the zip didn't work! Moreover the zip created damage in the texture.

This wasn't so funny!

SO I decided to change it with another pullover brands!


  • Keeps you hot
  • Keeps you dry


  • Zip
  • Abrasion resistance

Source: bought it new

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Price Historic Range: $87.73-$219.00
Reviewers Paid: $99.00
Price Historic Range: $108.99-$219.00
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