These are a great replacement for Patagonia’s Nano Puff Pants, which predated the Tough Puffs. And there are differences between the two, most notable being that the Tough Puffs have an elastic band at the ankle that prevents the pants from “hiking up” while wearing waders. Not nearly as bad as a wedgie, we know, but the Nano Puff’s had a tendency to crawl up the calf and it drove one of our fishing partners almost mad, much to our amusement.
In the coldest weather you might need a pair of micro-thin long underwear underneath the Tough Puffs, but we doubt it.
Making a one-two punch, Patagonia also came out with the Tough Puff Hoody, which is a mid-layer piece that hosts a bunch of steelheading-centric features, all built for cold-weather fishing.
The Tough Puff Hoody has a stretchy 100 percent polyester face fabric that’s coated with a water repellent finish, and can be worn as an outer layer when the weather cooperates. Its 100 percent recycled polyester capilene interior lining allows for excellent moisture management, making it highly breathable and allowing you to stay warm even when it’s wet. On rainy or snowy days—when being wet isn’t our jam—the Tough Puff works perfectly under a rain jacket.
This could be a versatile piece in your steelheading arsenal and you’ll likely appreciate, as we did, the Tough Puff’s streamlined wrist cuffs, which allow you to slide the sleeve up your arm with ease. That helps when landing and releasing fish, for sure. If you forget to pull up the sleeve, no worries—the fabric inside the arms has the same water resistant DWR coating as the exterior. It’s not impervious to the rain or a dunking in the river, but it helps. Bonus, the Tuff Puff offers two chest pockets, two hand-warming pockets, and a rubber tab that’s tailor-made for hemostats.