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Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review

A great, affordable mid layer for the weight conscious hiker, backpacker, or climber
Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody
Credit: Patagonia
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Price:  $299 List | $179.73 at REI
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 15
  • Warmth - 25% 6.0
  • Weight and Compressibility - 20% 10.0
  • Comfort - 20% 6.0
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 7.0
  • Breathability - 15% 4.0

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 take care! 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 lightweight, windproof, water resistantLight, easily stowable, very weather resistantVery warm, comfortable fit, seals out the weatherVery comfortable, great fit, breathable, impressively warm, great mobilityWind resistant, excellent breathability
Cons Very delicate, shell rips easilyDoesn't breathe, expensiveHeavier than most, not very breathable, priceyPricey, not as warm as thicker layers, doesn’t stuff into itselfPoor water resistance, minimal features
Bottom Line A great, affordable mid layer for the weight conscious hiker, backpacker, or climberWhen it comes to features, this jacket has everything you need and nothing you don'tA very warm, weather resistant hoody that easily fits over other layers but isn’t too baggyThe ideal active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility and great breathability, yet still wards off the chill during cold weatherBreathable and lightweight, this jacket is the perfect companion for cold weather high-output activities
Rating Categories Patagonia Micro Puf... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Arc'teryx Atom AR H... Arc'teryx Atom LT H... Rab Xenair Insulated
Warmth (25%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Weight and Compressibility (20%)
10.0
8.0
4.0
7.0
8.0
Comfort (20%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
7.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Breathability (15%)
4.0
5.0
4.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Patagonia Micro Puf... Arc'teryx Nuclei FL Arc'teryx Atom AR H... Arc'teryx Atom LT H... Rab Xenair Insulated
Measured Weight (size) 9.30 oz (M) 11.5 oz (M) 16.75 oz (M) 13.20 oz (M) 11.8 oz (M)
Insulation 65 g PlumaFill (100% polyester) Coreloft (65g/m²) 120 g/m2 Coreloft body, 80 g/m2 underarms, 60 g/m2 hood - with Dope Permair 20 in armpits 60 g/m2 Coreloft Compact w/ Stretch Fleece panels on sides PrimaLoft Gold Active+
Outer Fabric Nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum GL Arato (10D nylon ripstop) Tyono 30 denier nylon 20D Nylon Tyono Pertex Quantum Air
Stuffs Into Itself? Yes, clip loop Yes No No Yes
Hood Option? Only hooded Yes Yes Yes No
Number of Pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 large interior drop-in pockets 2 zippered hand, 2 internal 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest 2 zippered hand, 1 zippered 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


Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated 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.
Credit: 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.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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. The handwarmer pockets up the level of comfort, ensuring you have a cozy place to house your hands.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - there are two handwarmer pockets, as well as an interior chest...
There are two handwarmer pockets, as well as an interior chest pocket, and the two drop-in pockets shown here.
Credit: 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 mid layers in our fleet, which are specifically designed to emphasize their breathability.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - this jacket has an athletic cut that doesn't restrict mobility.
This jacket has an athletic cut that doesn't restrict mobility.
Credit: Matt Bento

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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.

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody insulated jacket - 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.
Credit: 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
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