All the warmth and comfort of a down blanket with all the advantages of a synthetic fiber? That’s what the Nanoloft blanket from Rumple is hoping to achieve. My review:
Nanoloft is Rumple’s new synthetic fill fiber that’s designed to mimic the properties of down, while actually being a synthetic. Why would Rumple want to do that? Well, down is far warmer than synthetic and generally comes in at lower weights, while also being impressively compressible and exceptionally comfortable. It’s soft, fluffy, and generally makes and amazing fill material (my personal favorite). However, down does have some issues to consider. For one, when down feathers get wet they tend to flatten out, which makes them unable to trap air and provide warmth. What’s worse, when it does get it takes a very long time to dry back out and often comes out lumpy and sometimes a bit smelly. Synthetic fibers however provide plenty of warmth when wet, dry quickly, and don’t tend to get nearly as smell over time (plus they’re easier to wash). Nanoloft is small, circular fibers that attempt to take on these positive properties of down (warmth, weight, feel), while also keeping the positive properties of synthetics (dry time and warmth when wet). Nanoloft is also cheaper than down as it’s faster and easier to produce. So, how does it perform?
Exceptionally well actually. In my testing, the Nanoloft materials feels very, very similar to down. It’s feathery light and highly compressible, which allowed me to tuck it into the smallest compartments of my backpack while taking up minimal space. It packs down to just about 20-30 percent larger than a down quilt of comparable warmth and weighs just a little bit more as well. When unpacked, it fluffs back up basically immediately and so far hasn’t lost any of it’s loft from being packed and unpacked (although I do store my lofted in a mesh bag to help preserve this when not in use). Packing it up is rather easy as well, as it fits easily inside the included stuff bag, and can be compressed further with a compression sack (about 30 percent smaller).
I’ve loved the feel of the blanket. The materials are smooth, silky, and don’t feel clammy or sticky in times of high moisture or humidity. The fill feels really soft and fluffy, often times rather convincingly similar to down, and trap warmth at a similar level as well. I’ve tested the blanket down to about 45 degrees, even though it’s not expressly meant to be a backpacking item, but found it to be plenty warm enough for mild nights in the backcountry. It’s better used as a casual blanket at camp, by the fire or even on the couch, but certainly has done me well as a lightweight alternative to a sleeping bag in the right conditions. It even sheds rain and dries quickly, meaning if it gets caught in a drizzle it’s not going to be useless afterwards.
It’s also held up great, with the materials holding up well to repeated stuffing, abrasions from shoes and other gear, and has even held up pretty well to cat claws at home. There are no issues with stitching and the design overall is as great looking now as when I first got it several months ago.
Overall, it’s a great little blanket. The synthetic fill is among = best I’ve tested and does do a great job of mimicking down in all the right ways. It’s also a more affordable option for those on a budget, and also works for those will allergies to down or feathers. I do still prefer their down blanket personally as it’s lighter, a little warmer, and just feels absolutely amazing against the skin. However, there is no reason to pass up the NanoLoft Puffy if you want something light and comfortable without the higher cost and wet condition performance issues of down fill.
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I want to extend a huge thanks to Rumple for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help.
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