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Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody Review

An excellent jacket for 3-season use in dry weather and for outdoor recreation
Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody
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Price:  $399 List | $399.00 at Backcountry
Pros:  Lightweight, functional, cozy
Cons:  Expensive, not warm enough for stand-alone winter use, not waterproof
Manufacturer:   Patagonia
By Jeff Dobronyi ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 10, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 15
  • Warmth - 25% 4
  • Weather Resistance - 20% 3
  • Comfort - 20% 8
  • Style - 20% 7
  • Features - 10% 7
  • Durability - 5% 4

Our Verdict

Lightweight and sleek, the Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody is an excellent choice for those who spend their winters in mild and dry climates. It doesn't pack nearly as much insulation as the other jackets in this review and provides no protection from precipitation, which severely limits its capabilities as a primary winter jacket. On the other hand, it is a great jacket for the fall and spring, or as a warm layer during physical activity in cold weather. It is also a great mid-layer for cold-weather activities like skiing.

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Pros Lightweight, functional, cozyWarm, long hem, comfortable hood, great featuresDurable, warm, super comfortableComfortable, heavily featured, stylishAffordable, weather resistant, comfortable
Cons Expensive, not warm enough for stand-alone winter use, not waterproofBulky, faux fur hood is polarizingLimited wet weather protection due to non-sealed seamsNot very warm, marginally weather resistantUnremarkable style, not as warm as other jackets, not fully waterproof
Bottom Line An excellent jacket for 3-season use in dry weather and for outdoor recreationA warm, stylish, and budget-conscious jacket for those in the coldest regionsThis jacket offers comfort, warmth and durability at an attractive priceA solid, inexpensive, all-around winter parka with just minor fit issues and limited wet weather performanceA good all-around winter parka at a great value
Rating Categories Patagonia Macro Puf... McMurdo Down Parka Marmot Fordham Gotham III Jacket Columbia Boundary B...
Warmth (25%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Weather Resistance (20%)
3.0
6.0
4.0
6.0
7.0
Comfort (20%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Style (20%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Features (10%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Durability (5%)
4.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Specs Patagonia Macro Puf... McMurdo Down Parka Marmot Fordham Gotham III Jacket Columbia Boundary B...
Down Fill Power Synthetic Plumafill 550 700 550 Synthetic
Total Weight (pounds) 0.96 lb 3.55 lb 2.75 lb 3.10 lb 2.86 lb
Pockets 2 zippered handwarmer, 1 external zippered chest, 2 internal drop-in 2 chest height, zippered handwarmers, 2 exterior top-entry Velcro flap pockets, 1 sleeve, 1 interior media pocket, and 2 side-entry waist handwarmers 2 zippered handwarmer, 1 flap chest pocket, 1 zippered internal media 6 (2 zippered hand, 2 patch chest, 1 patch arm, [internal] 1 zippered media) 2 handwarmer, 2 external chest (buttoned), 1 internal chest (zipper)
Hood Yes Yes (removable) Yes (removable) Yes Yes, removable
Hood Adjustments One rear drawcord Rear drawcord Adjustable drawcords Adjustable 2 side drawstrings
Baffle Type Discontinuous quilting Sewn-through under an outer shell fabric Sewn-through Sewn-through inner layer Discontinuous quilting
Main Fabric 0.8 oz 10-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop with DWR finish DryVent 2L 100% nylon MemBrain 2L 100% polyester DryVent 2L 100% nylon 100% Polyester with Omni-Tech

Our Analysis and Test Results

The brand new Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody is an insulated jacket that provides enough warmth for cool nights in the spring and fall, but not enough warmth or weather resistance to be a go-to winter jacket for most users. It fits very comfortably and is well designed for warmth and style, but we can't recommend it as a primary winter jacket.

Performance Comparison


The Macro Puff can't compare to the warmth, weather resistance, or durability of the other jackets in this review, nor does it try. If we were testing it as a synthetic puffy jacket for cool weather and outdoor recreation, it would likely be at the top of the pack.

The Patagonia Macro Puffy Hoody in action on the summit of South...
The Patagonia Macro Puffy Hoody in action on the summit of South Sister, Oregon.
Photo: Andy Wellman

Warmth


The Macro Puff Hoody features Patagonia's proprietary Plumafill synthetic insulation, which attempts to imitate the structure of down insulation while preserving the primary benefit of synthetic insulation: the ability to preserve loft (and thus warmth) when wet. This jacket features heavier insulation around the torso and lighter insulation in the arms, which limits the overall weight of the jacket while maximizing warmth.

Plumafill insulation provides adequate warmth, even when wet.
Plumafill insulation provides adequate warmth, even when wet.
Photo: Sam Willits

While this jacket is warm enough for warmer winter days and fall and spring use, it's not enough for the near-freezing conditions found across much of the U.S. in the winter. Paired with a sweater or an additional layer, it could work. In the mostly sunny and dry Southwestern U.S., this would be a great winter jacket.

Weather Resistance


Patagonia has treated the thin nylon shell of this jacket with their high-quality water repellent coating, which helps keep a light sprinkle or gentle snowfall from penetrating the jacket. However, any precipitation lasting longer than a few minutes will soak through the shell and into the jacket. This jacket is not designed to be resistant to anything but the lightest inclement weather. If you are expecting a wet winter, or just want a jacket that you can use every day, no matter the weather, then check out the high-scoring Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka.

The thin nylon shell with DWR treatment can repel some wayward...
The thin nylon shell with DWR treatment can repel some wayward precipitation, but it won't keep you dry in a storm.
Photo: Sam Willits

Comfort


The Macro Puff Hoody is a very comfortable jacket, thanks to its well-tailored fit and long hem. This jacket fit our testers well, who commented favorably on their ability to raise their arms, twist from side to side, and bend over without any resistance or discomfort.

The hood feels cozy around the back of the neck, and the 10-denier nylon fabric of the jacket is soft on the skin. This avoids the crinkly and stiff feeling of the Editors' Choice Arc'teryx Camosun Parka, and it feels very similar to the inner layer of the Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka. However, the fabric can sometimes feels too much like a plastic bag, especially if you are on the move and generating heat, sweating at all, or if it gets wet from rain, which is a distinct possibility in this jacket.

The nylon fabric is soft and comfortable, but it feels like a...
The nylon fabric is soft and comfortable, but it feels like a plastic bag when wet.
Photo: Sam Willits

Features


Lightweight and sleek, the Macro Puff Hoody is a bare-bones synthetic puffy that doesn't pack much for features. The two handwarmer pockets and one front chest pocket are spacious, the chest pocket perhaps too much so, as it doesn't keep a smartphone snug against the body and lets it bang around. The two internal stash pockets are slightly baggy, and the fabric can easily get caught in the front zipper. The hood features an adjustable drawcord that keeps the insulation snug around the head, and the hood can easily accommodate a hat, ski helmet, or climbing helmet.

The interior stash pockets are large and useful, but we wish the...
The interior stash pockets are large and useful, but we wish the pocket fabric wasn't quite so baggy.
Photo: Sam Willits

Other jackets in the review have more flash, but the features of the Macro Puff fit the style and intended use of the piece. The Patagonia Tres 3-in-1 Parka has more adaptability to a variety of weather conditions, and the Editors' Choice Camosun has pockets with a soft fabric lining, but none of these would fit in with the minimalistic vibe of the Macro Puff Hoody.

This jacket features a well-designed hood that fits well over a hat...
This jacket features a well-designed hood that fits well over a hat, helmet, or bare head.
Photo: Sam Willits

Style


With a distinctly technical look, the Macro Puff continues on a stylistic theme that has been fundamental to Patagonia's products for decades and embraced by their loyal customer base. The long hem and casual, slightly baggy fit allow this product to look good in most settings, without looking overly tight and purpose-built.

From the streets of Brooklyn to the trails of the Sierra, Patagonia products achieve good style without making too much of a fashion statement, and this jacket is no different. For a more fashion-forward option in the same warmth range, check out the Marmot Fordham, or to make a big splash, take a look at the Patagonia Frozen Range Parka or The North Face Gotham III Jacket.

Durability


We did not have any durability issues in our product testing, but the outer fabric is thin and feels fragile. It would not surprise us to see the jacket rip after getting caught in its own zipper or snagged on a rock or a sharp edge in the office. Synthetic insulation breaks down over time and will lose its insulating properties within a few years with heavy use. Other jackets in this review are much more durable, like the Arc'teryx Camosun Parka and the Best Bang for the Buck, the Marmot Fordham.

Value


This jacket is expensive compared to the other fully-featured winter jackets in this review. For example, the Marmot Fordham is warmer and cheaper. The Macro Puff Hoody is also relatively expensive when considering the expected lifespan of a synthetically insulated jacket. On the other hand, Patagonia has a great warranty and is known to stand by their products by either replacing or repairing damaged or worn products. You'll have to pay a premium to wear the Patagonia brand name.

Conclusion


Despite its shortcomings as a winter jacket, this is a great choice for those who live in the warmest climates of the U.S., or who are looking for a 3-season insulated jacket. Outdoor enthusiasts should strongly consider this jacket as part of a layering system for cold conditions.

Jeff Dobronyi