The Warm-but-Packable Mid-Layer


For years, Patagonia’s Nano Puff and R2 fleece have been go-to coats for outdoorsmen in search of a highly compressible mid-layer insulator. The new Nano Puff Hybrid combines the two classics, marrying the warmth of the Nano Puff’s PrimaLoft ONE synthetic insulation and the breathability of the R2’s fleece. The result is a lightweight and surprisingly warm coat that proved to be perfect companion for the varying conditions we faced on a recent five-day trip into California’s Ansel Adams Wilderness. Paired with the stretch of the fleece, the recycled-polyester-shell insulation in the Nano Puff Hybrid’s upper torso and arms make it a great choice for cold-weather climbing or skiing, too. The coat takes up minimal room in a pack and, if need be, can easily be strapped to the outside for easy access during a windy lunch at 11,000 feet. Put it away as you warm up, then bring it out again as the sun descends on a chilly autumn night in the Sierras. And if you tend to hike faster than your traveling companions, wandering off trail to find the evening’s camping spot, Nano Puff’s bright orange, green, and blue colors make a easy-to-spot marker when hung up on a low branch. A day on the ice or hiking through the mountains not your thing? Not to worry: The coat’s stylish slim fit makes it just as well-suited as slick outerwear on an autumn day spent walking around town. [$249;]