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Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review

A great, affordable midlayer for the weight conscious hiker, backpacker, or climber
Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody
Photo: Patagonia
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Price:  $299 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Super lightweight, windproof, water resistant
Cons:  Very delicate, shell rips easily
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Andy Wellman & Matt Bento  ⋅  May 12, 2021
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 13
  • Warmth - 25% 6
  • Weight and Compressibility - 20% 10
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 7
  • Breathability - 15% 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 midlayer 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 take care! For this reason, we'd only recommend it as a midlayer and would avoid much use as an outer layer. It is lighter and warmer than other Patagonia midlayers, so if the absolute lowest weight is what you are looking for, this is the jacket for you.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
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$299.00 at Backcountry$329.00 at Backcountry$194.95 at Backcountry
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$299 List
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Pros Super lightweight, windproof, water resistantLight, easily stowable, very weather resistantLightweight, wind and water resistant, quite warm, durable face fabricLightweight, warm, great wind protection, sheds water well, affordableVery warm, comfortable fit, seals out the weather
Cons Very delicate, shell rips easilyDoesn't breathe, expensiveExpensive, no hem drawcords, hood is slightly tight with a helmet onDoesn’t breathe well, fit isn’t very athleticHeavier than most, not very breathable, pricey
Bottom Line A great, affordable midlayer for the weight conscious hiker, backpacker, or climberWhen it comes to features, this jacket has everything you need and nothing you don'tA versatile and lightweight insulated jacket that offers superior weather resistance, and remains impressively warmThe best lightweight insulated outer layer is highly wind resistant and impressively warmA very warm, weather resistant hoody that easily fits over other layers but isn’t too baggy
Rating Categories Patagonia Micro Puf... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Patagonia DAS Light... Rab Xenon Hoodie Arc'teryx Atom AR H...
Warmth (25%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
9.0
Weight And Compressibility (20%)
10.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Breathability (15%)
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Patagonia Micro Puf... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Patagonia DAS Light... Rab Xenon Hoodie Arc'teryx Atom AR H...
Measured Weight (size) 8.15 oz (S) 10.5 oz (S) 11.0 oz (S) 11.0 oz (S) 15.2 oz (S)
Insulation 65 g PlumaFill (100% polyester) Coreloft (65g/m²) 65 g PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester 60 g Stratus 120 g/m2 Coreloft body, 80 g/m2 underarms, 60 g/m2 hood - with Dope Permair 20 in armpits
Outer Fabric Nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum GL Arato (10D nylon ripstop) 10-D 100% nylon ripstop Pertex Endurance Atmos ripstop Tyono 30 denier nylon
Stuffs Into Itself? Yes, clip loop Yes Yes Yes, clip loop No
Hood Option? Only hooded Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 large interior drop-in pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 internal 1 chest zippered, 2 handwarmer zippered 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest

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 and still retains 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...
Keeping you warm without weighing you down, a size small fits a lanky 5' 10" dude perfectly.
Photo: Matt Bento

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; while not quite as lofty as nature's top insulator, the PlumaFill gets pretty close and still retains the warm-when-wet features of synthetic insulation. Consider us impressed.

This jacket offers the same warmth as the Nano Puff, but at a much...
This jacket offers the same warmth as the Nano Puff, but at a much lighter weight and a higher price.
Photo: Jason Peters

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 four 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.

This is one of the absolute lightest insulated puffies we've tested.
This is one of the absolute lightest insulated puffies we've tested.
Photo: Matt Bento

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 pocket. At 8.15...
The Micro Puff packs away neatly into its left pocket. At 8.15 ounces, we hardly noticed it clipped to our harness.
Photo: Matt Bento

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 excellent protection against the wind, especially when the hood is up and zipped tight.

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

Comfort


The face and liner fabric on the Micro Puff has a soft feel and isn't crinkly like the DAS parka. We wouldn't hesitate to leave it on when crawling into a sleeping bag. Some folks might miss the pockets, as there is only an internal chest pocket and no handwarmer pockets, but their absence makes the jacket lighter and more comfortable when worn as a midlayer.

To keep the weight down, there are no handwarmer pockets, just an...
To keep the weight down, there are no handwarmer pockets, just an interior chest pocket and the two drop-in pockets shown here.
Photo: Jason Peters

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 the large selection of active, stretchy midlayers in our fleet, which are specifically designed 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.
Photo: Matt Bento

Minimalist zipper pulls, no hood or hem cinch, and no chest pocket...
Minimalist zipper pulls, no hood or hem cinch, and no chest pocket help make this jacket lighter.
Photo: Matt Bento

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

Conclusion


While not quite as lofty as down, the Patagonia Micro Puff is a big step forward in synthetic insulation. Featherlight 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