The Hyper Puff is Patagonia's update of the beloved and now discontinued DAS Parka. Our testers previously dubbed the DAS parka their favorite synthetic belay parka, dragging it into the mountains for defense against just-above-freezing wet conditions, where success is in doubt and type two fun is guaranteed. We were sad to see the DAS Parka go but hopeful at the prospect of a new offering that could be lighter and warmer. Our testers found the former to be true and the latter debatable, but overall we're delighted with the Hyper Puff's stretchy shell material and great fitting hood. The lofty HyperDAS insulation puts a healthy barrier of insulated "dead air space" between the wearer and the cold, cruel world, earning the Hyper Puff this season's Top Pick For Warmth.
Patagonia Hyper Puff Hoody Review
Cons: Heavier than other models, doesn't have a 2-way zipper
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Hyper Puff earns top marks for warmth and weather resistance, making it an excellent belay parka, great for wearing around camp, or anytime you aren't doing aerobic activity. This jacket isn't very breathable, and we wouldn't use it for hiking or skinning unless it was really cold and windy out. While it has an excellent warmth-to-weight ratio, our weight conscious testers prefer lighter entries like the Rab Xenon X or the Arc'teryx Atom LT.
Patagonia's new HyperDAS insulation comes in sheets and expands like an accordion, filling out the horizontal baffles along the Hyper Puff jacket. This is the puffiest synthetic insulated jacket we've ever worn. Friends would pet the jacket and "ooh" and "ahh" upon learning that it wasn't full of goose down. What's with the Puff? Patagonia's new proprietary HyperDAS insulation is formed by accordion-like sheets with incredible rebounding properties. After unpacking this jacket from its stuff sack, it quickly returns to maximum loft. This jacket feels stiffer than the DAS Parka because it's packed with insulation. The HyperPuff is more form-fitting than the old DAS Parka and the Arcteryx Atom AR.
This makes it more thermally efficient because it leaves less uninsulated space between you and cold winter weather. Some of our testers like the fit of the old DAS Parka and the Arcteryx Atom AR, since a bulkier fit, is easier to layer under, and their primary use for this style jacket is as a belay parka that they can throw on over other layers with ease. When purely considering warmth, our testers agree that that the Hyper Puff is at least as warm as its predecessor, and this jacket takes the torch from the DAS Parka, earning our top pick for warmth.
Weight and Compressibility
The Hyper Puff tipped our scales at 17 oz for a men's small. That's 4.2 oz lighter than the DAS Parka and almost the same weight as the 17.2 oz Arcteryx Atom AR, and 6 oz heavier than the Editor's Choice Award-winning Rab Xenon X. It's also an ounce lighter than its down cousin, the Fitzroy Jacket, but not as warm or as compressible. There are a few areas where Patagonia has trimmed the fat from the DAS Parka. The Hyper Puff has one chest pocket and one internal drop-in pocket, where the DAS had two.
We typically keep essential items like lighters, snacks, topos, or a few goo packets in our chest pockets, and our testers felt they could live without the other chest pocket, but lamented the loss of the other drop-in pocket, where it's nice to have the extra room to keep water, climbing shoes, or gloves extra toasty when we're not using them. The Hyper Puff doesn't seem to compress quite as small as the DAS Parka, but Patagonia includes a nice stuff sack with two drawstrings to help pack this jacket away quickly and as small as possible.
The Hyper Puff's outer shell is nylon stretch ripstop Pertex Quantum. The stretch makes this form-fitting jacket much more comfortable for moving around in, be it grabbing a latte, swinging an ice axe, making turns on the ski hill, or even reaching over your head while free climbing.
The elastic on the cuffs are rolled back to about an inch inside the sleeves, making it hard to pull up over your gloves. The Hood is warm and lofty, just like the rest of the jacket, and has an elastic halo to hold it in place and expands to accommodate a helmet, plus a rear drawstring that holds the hood in place enough that we could turn our heads without obscuring our peripheral vision.
The Hyper Puff is the most weather resistant jacket in its category. The durable water repellent treatment causes water to bead up and roll off and kept our testers dry through extended downpours (from a high-pressure shower head). It worked so well that we had to soak the jacket in the sink to see if the insulation remained lofty when wet (it does!). The visor on the hood launches precip forward and away from your face.
This super warm, weather resistant jacket doesn't breath as well as the lighter weight Rab Xenon X or anywhere near as well as our Top the Pick for Breathability, the Patagonia Nano-Air. The inch plus of loft and the water-resistant shell just don't provide much opportunity for venting to move hot air and moisture, but that's no the purpose of this jacket. Its primary mission is to keep you warm when you've stopped moving, especially in conditions where a down jacket would be vulnerable to rain or snowmelt. If you're in the market for a breathable insulated jacket, have a look at the Patagonia Nano-Air, the Outdoor Research Uberlayer, or the Patagonia Nano- Air Light Hybrid.
This jacket is practical, form-fitting, and great at keeping you warm, but that makes it look pretty technical, and our testers weren't too keen on wearing this jacket out on the town. The being said, the baffled design does reflect the trending style we see in down jackets, and the dull matte finish of the shell looks nice and isn't as trash-bag shiny as the DAS Parka. If you're shopping for something to keep you warm during mountain adventures, you probably don't care what your jacket looks like, but if you're trying to stay warm around town, the North Face Thermoball Hoody or the Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody might be more to your liking. The Hyper Puff is available in Black, Fluid Green, and Navy Blue.
The Hyper Puff is a great belay parka. When precip threatens, and it could be anything from wet snowflakes to a cold downpour, this jacket is a good alternative to a down puffy. It packs away easily, has a good warmth-to-weight ratio, and has great mobility for a heavily insulated layer. If your next trip involves unpredictable temps and the chance of a shiver bivvy, this could be the insulated jacket you're looking for. When it comes to all-around performance, check out our favorite, The Rab Xenon X. While not as warm, the much lighter and more packable Xenon X does the trick in most situations.
State of the art synthetic insulation comes at the price of 299 smackaroos. For the weight, the warmth and the assurance of dryness, we think it's worth the steep price. Patagonia has a great warranty, so if you're looking for the warmest synthetic jacket out there, don't be afraid to go for it.
This jacket is very different from the DAS Parka in both look and feel, but performs the same function: It keeps you warm when you have to be stationary, even if it gets wet. For a bigger fit that layers a little easier, have a look at the Arc'teryx Atom AR.
— Matt Bento