Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody Review
Cons: Very delicate, shell rips easily
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Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody
$220.73 at REI
|$300 List||$179.95 at Amazon|
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|$299 List||$259.00 at REI|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Super lightweight, windproof, water resistant||Light, easily stowable, very weather resistant||Lightweight, warm, great wind protection, sheds water well, affordable||Very warm, comfortable fit, seals out the weather||Very comfortable, great fit, breathable, impressively warm, great mobility|
|Cons||Very delicate, shell rips easily||Doesn't breathe, expensive||Doesn’t breathe well, fit isn’t very athletic||Heavier than most, not very breathable, pricey||Pricey, not as warm as thicker layers, doesn’t stuff into itself|
|Bottom Line||A great, affordable mid layer for the weight conscious hiker, backpacker, or climber||When it comes to features, this jacket has everything you need and nothing you don't||The best lightweight insulated outer layer is highly wind resistant and impressively warm||A very warm, weather resistant hoody that easily fits over other layers but isn’t too baggy||The ideal active insulated layer combines lightweight mobility and great breathability, yet still wards off the chill during cold weather|
|Rating Categories||Patagonia Micro Puf...||Arc'teryx Nuclei FL||Rab Xenon Hoodie||Arc'teryx Atom AR H...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...|
|Weight and Compressibility (20%)|
|Weather Resistance (20%)|
|Specs||Patagonia Micro Puf...||Arc'teryx Nuclei FL||Rab Xenon Hoodie||Arc'teryx Atom AR H...||Arc'teryx Atom LT H...|
|Measured Weight (size)||8.15 oz (S)||10.5 oz (S)||11.0 oz (S)||15.2 oz (S)||12.2 oz (S)|
|Insulation||65 g PlumaFill (100% polyester)||Coreloft (65g/m²)||60 g Stratus||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|
|Outer Fabric||Nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum GL||Arato (10D nylon ripstop)||Atmos ripstop||Tyono 30 denier nylon||20D Nylon Tyono|
|Stuffs Into Itself?||Yes, clip loop||Yes||Yes, clip loop||No||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||2 zippered hand, 1 zippered internal chest||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.
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.
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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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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