The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review

A great midlayer for the weight conscious hiker or climber.
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Price:  $299 List | $299.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Super light weight, windproof, water resistant
Cons:  Very delicate, shell rips easily
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Andy Wellman & Matt Bento  ⋅  Nov 4, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Weight - 20% 10
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 15% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 4
  • Style - 5% 4

Our Verdict

The Patagonia Micro Puff uses an ultralight Pertex Quantum GL shell, and a new synthetic insulator called PlumaFill to jack up the warmth-to-weight ratio, keeping our testers warmer on cool fall days with less weight in their packs. This jacket performs best as a mid-layer for weight-conscious climbers and hikers. Worn as an outer layer, we found that ultralight shell is easily shredded by bushes and rough rock, so be gentle! For this reason, we'd only recommend it as a mid-layer and would avoid much use as an outer layer. It is lighter and warmer than other Patagonia mid-layers, so if the absolute lowest weight is what you are looking for, this is the jacket for you.


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Pros Super light weight, windproof, water resistantLightweight, warm, great wind protection, sheds water well, affordableComfortable, very breathable, light, stylishWarm, good water resistance, comfortable, excellent mobility, stylish, durableWarm, affordable, good wind resistance
Cons Very delicate, shell rips easilyDoesn’t breathe well, fit isn’t very athleticHard to get the proper fit, expensive, poor weather resistance, thinExpensive, annoying hem cinching buckles, not the lightestHeavy, not very breathable
Bottom Line A great midlayer for the weight conscious hiker or climber.The best lightweight insulated outer layer is highly wind resistant and impressively warm.The most iconic active insulated mid-layer offers great breathability.The top overall performer among the active insulating jackets.A synthetic filled version of a down jacket, designed to optimize warmth.
Rating Categories Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Rab Xenon Hoodie Patagonia Nano-Air Hoody Arc'teryx Proton LT Hoody Rab Nimbus
Warmth (25%)
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6
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6
10
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10
Weight (20%)
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9
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6
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6
Comfort (20%)
10
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6
10
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6
10
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8
10
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9
10
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5
Weather Resistance (15%)
10
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7
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8
10
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4
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6
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7
Breathability (15%)
10
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4
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5
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9
10
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4
Style (5%)
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Specs Patagonia Micro... Rab Xenon Hoodie Patagonia Nano-Air... Arc'teryx Proton... Rab Nimbus
Measured Weight (size) 8.15 oz (S) 11.0 oz. (L) 12.5 oz (M) 14.5 oz (L) 17.0 oz. (L)
Manufacturer Stated Weight (size) 9.3 oz. (M) 12.7 oz. (L) 12.2 oz. (M) 13.2 oz. (M) 17.8 oz. (L)
Insulation 65 g PlumaFill (100% polyester) 60g Stratus 60g FullRange insulation Coreloft Compact 80 Cirrus insulation w/ 3M featherless fibre
Outer Fabric Nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum GL Atmos ripstop 100% nylon ripstop Fortius Air 20 (84% nylon, 16% elastane) Pertex Quantum
Stuffs Into Itself? Yes, clip loop Yes, clip loop Yes, clip loop No Yes, barely, clip loop
Hood Option? Only hooded Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 large interior drop-in pockets 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Patagonia Micro Puff sets a new standard in the game of warmth-to-weight ratios. At 8.15 ounces, this jacket is lighter than any other lightweight option we have tested, by quite a lot, while still retaining a ton of warmth. Weight matters, whether you're pushing it hard in the mountains, or just trying to squeeze more stuff into your carry-on, and the Micro Puff shows us the way to a lighter, warmer, more civilized future.

Performance Comparison


Keeping you warm without weighing you down  a size small fits a lanky 5' 10" dude perfectly.
Keeping you warm without weighing you down, a size small fits a lanky 5' 10" dude perfectly.

Warmth


Despite being so light that it blew away during a gentle breeze, the Micro Puff still packs plenty of heat, more so than its heavier Patagonia cousins. Patagonia bravely compares its new PlumaFill insulation to goose down, and while not quite as lofty as nature's top insulator, the PlumaFill gets pretty close while still retaining the warm-when-wet features of synthetic insulation. Consider us impressed.

Weight and Compressibility


Weight is the Micro Puff's strong suit. The PlumaFill insulation is arranged in long strands that shift around less than synthetic insulators, requiring less stitching and materials to hold it in place, and preventing cold spots. Our men's small test piece weighs in at 8.15 ounces, making it the lightest jacket in the review, almost 4 ounces lighter than the next closest competitor. Regarding compressibility, this model stuffs into its right handwarmer pocket and features a clip-in loop, just like one would expect for such a thin jacket. It packs down small, but also tight, and can be a real challenge to pack away. The challenge of getting it fully stuffed meant that our testers found less value in this feature than we would hope for.

The Micro Puff packs away neatly into its left hand warmer pocket. At 8.15oz  our tester hardly noticed it clipped to his harness.
The Micro Puff packs away neatly into its left hand warmer pocket. At 8.15oz, our tester hardly noticed it clipped to his harness.

Weather Resistance


Patagonia's DWR treatment continues to impress our testers. The same treatment that keeps us dry when used on other jackets works just as well on the Micro. When the treatment is fresh, and the jacket is clean and free of oils, water runs right off the Micro Puff. Getting the insulation wet enough to investigate the lofty-when-wet claims involved holding the poor jacket underwater in the sink and squeezing. The thin Pertex shell offers great protection against the wind, especially when the hood is up and zipped tight.

While savage winds threatened to blow our tester off the boulder  the Micro Puff still managed to keep him warm.
While savage winds threatened to blow our tester off the boulder, the Micro Puff still managed to keep him warm.

Breathability


Our testers were quick to take this jacket off as soon as it was time for heavy breathing. The water-resistant, windproof Pertex shell doesn't let much air in, or out, and we felt like we were in a sauna during steep approaches and on difficult pitches. For a more breathable option, check out one of the large selection of active, stretchy mid-layers designed specifically to emphasize their breathability.

This jacket has an athletic cut that doesn't restrict mobility.
This jacket has an athletic cut that doesn't restrict mobility.

Style


Currently available in black, Forge Grey, Paintbrush Red, and Viking blue, the Micro Puff looks like a shiny, colorful trash bag. Flashy, with a quilted pattern, this contender is at home in the backcountry, but we wouldn't be surprised to see one of these things over a nice flannel to complete the dirtbag-chic look out at the bar.

Minimalist zipper pulls  no hood or hem cinch  and no chest pocket help to make this jacket lighter.
Minimalist zipper pulls, no hood or hem cinch, and no chest pocket help to make this jacket lighter.

Value


The Micro Puff ranks up there as one of the most expensive insulated jackets you can buy, and since you are most certainly getting less material, does not present the best insulation to dollar value. In fact, we think that the other Patagonia insulated jackets, which are also fairly pricey, tend to deliver a bit more, especially when it comes to durability. Unless you want the absolute lightest insulated layer, we would probably look elsewhere.

Our testers found this jacket to be extremely delicate. It easily rips against rocks and branches.
Our testers found this jacket to be extremely delicate. It easily rips against rocks and branches.

Conclusion


While not quite as lofty as down, the Micro Puff is a big step forward in synthetic insulation. Feather-light and warmer than its predecessors, this a good choice for weight-conscious hikers and backpackers who are out in cold, wet conditions found in the spring and fall. Climbers and hikers beware; this model will not hold up super well while you're jamming and shimmying your way up granite cracks and chimneys. We're psyched to see what Patagonia does next with PlumaFill insulation, hopefully, a lighter jacket that is also more durable.


Andy Wellman & Matt Bento