Hands-on Gear Review

Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody - Women's Review

Top Pick Award
Price:  $299 List | $299.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Light, compressible, durable, cute and stylish features
Cons:  Lacks features, expensive, short arms
Bottom line:  This Top Pick is best for those in search of a light, durable, and compressible jacket that offers sufficient warmth through all four seasons.
Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
Weight (ounces):  8.07 oz
Relative Compression (1 = most compressible, 11 = least compressible):  1
Number of Pockets:  4 (2 zippered hand, 2 internal drop-in)
Manufacturer:   Patagonia

Our Verdict

The uber lightweight and compressible Patagonia Micro Puff is ready to stash away into the smallest nooks and crannies. It earns our Top Pick for Lightweight Adventures because it packs down to the size of a small sandwich and weighs next to nothing. It is our go-to recommendation for long distance trail runs, backpacking missions or just wear around town. Featuring 35-grams of PlumaFill insulation, this insulated coat is warmer than the Patagonia Nano Puff and compresses to a smaller size as well. In addition, it's relatively breathable, making it an excellent option for hiking in the Fall or Spring or running in the winter. Most of our testers liked its unique stitching patterns while others weren't super impressed with the shorter arms and slim fit. While its lightweight, compressible, and breathable, this jacket isn't super warm or weather resistant; layer it with a shell or another insulated model when the weather gets grim. With just a few features, this super lightweight jacket is perfect to stash and pack on any adventure that requires an extra lightweight layer or jacket.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Insulated Jacket for Women Review


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Amber King

Last Updated:
Friday
March 9, 2018

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This Top Pick for Lightweight Adventures is the lightest and most compressible insulated jacket in this review. It's perfect to stash into the tiniest of packs and has a multitude of uses through all four seasons.

Performance Comparison


The Micro Puff is our Top Pick for Lightweight adventures due to its super lightweight nature.
The Micro Puff is our Top Pick for Lightweight adventures due to its super lightweight nature.

Warmth


Featuring 65-grams of PlumaFill insulation, this lightweight insulated jacket is not built for the coldest days and performs best in Fall and Spring temperatures. When the temperatures dipped down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit, we reached for this ultra-light piece as an additional layer, and it sufficed well when layered with the super warm Arc'teryx Proton AR. It served its purpose well for temperatures at freezing and just above.


While the Micro Puff is an insulated jacket that provides warmth for say, a warm winter day or a cold hike, it's not as suited for super cold temperatures like the Columbia Mighty Light Hooded Plus (scoring a nine in this metric).

The baffles are not continuous and the stitching keeps the ample insulation inside. This jacket features 65 grams of Pluma-Fill insulation.
The baffles are not continuous and the stitching keeps the ample insulation inside. This jacket features 65 grams of Pluma-Fill insulation.

If you're in the market for a lightweight jacket option with a little more insulation and better overall warmth our Editors' Choice winner, the Rab Xenon X is a great option, providing an amazing warmth to weight ratio that rivals the Micro Puff.

There are no cinch cords around the hemline of the jacket.
There are no cinch cords around the hemline of the jacket.

Utilizing newly developed PlumaFill insulation, this jacket features a higher than average warmth to weight ratio. The insulation is thin and connected, allowing the opportunity to pack in more warmth in a smaller space. It's comparatively warm and compressible.

Weight & Compression


Scoring a perfect ten in this category, we stashed it into the smallest backpacks and were stoked with its performance! Weighing only 229 grams, this is the lightest and most compressible jacket in this review.


The PlumaFill insulation is quite lofty and compressible while the face fabric isn't bulky but ultra lightweight. When fully compressed, it stuffs down to roughly the size of a medium-sized pencil bag. When comparing the Patagonia Nano Puff and Micro Puff , the Micro Puff is lighter and more compressible. It weighs about 100 grams less than the Nano Puff and stuffs into tinier spaces.

The Micro Puff is extremely compressible with a carabiner clip loop.
The Micro Puff is extremely compressible with a carabiner clip loop.

Both have their own stow-away systems. The Micro Puff stuffs into its left pocket, zips up, and has a durable carabiner-loop. This makes it perfect to clip to a harness or backpack. If you don't want to clip it on, it fits nicely into a small rocket-pack or even running back, making it our top pick for lightweight missions. Take it with you long-distance running, day hiking, backpacking, or multi-pitch climbing.

This jackets compresses into the pocket with its own stow-away system.
This jackets compresses into the pocket with its own stow-away system.

Weather Resistance


Featuring a 0.7oz 10-D100% nylon Pertex Quantum face fabric and 65-grams of insulation, this jacket provides sufficient weather resistance for an insulated jacket but does not perform above and beyond other competitors.


During our water testers, water was repelled for roughly one minute before soaking and wetting the fabric, making it relatively water resistant but far less water resistant than our Editors' Choice, the Rab Xenon X, that did an amazing job repelling water. That said, it did better than other contenders mobile face fabric like the OR Women's Ascendant Hoody because of its nylon ripstop shell. The DWR water-resistant finish did a great job to wick the water but isn't sufficient to protect in a full-blown rainstorm. That said, with its lightweight design and slippery face fabric, it's advantageous to layer it under a rain shell when mother nature howls and brings down the precipitation hammer.

While water resistance is about average in comparison to the rest, it lost major points in the area of wind resistance. Despite the ripstop fabric, the wind ripped right through this insulated jacket when the gales blew hard. The insulation isn't thick enough, and the 0.7oz denier ripstop is almost too lightweight. In fact, the Patagonia Nano Puff features thicker face fabrics, providing better wind resistance.

If you want a super wind-resistant piece, check out jackets with thicker face fabrics and heavier insulation like our Best Buy award winner, the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush. Or be sure to look at a jacket with a continuous face fabric with loftier insulation and an additional protective liner like the Rab Xenon X or Arc'teryx Proton AR.

Comfort & Coziness


Aside from a nice and lightweight fit, this jacket is pretty bare bones, scoring only a five out of ten for comfort and coziness. While many of our testers enjoyed the lofty insulation that was somewhat snuggly in cold warm, it just isn't as lofty and cozy as the Rab Xenon X or Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plus. The lack of features is a trade-off for its lightweight and compressible design.


Featuring two handwarmer pockets (no furry lining) and two non-zippered pockets (large enough to sneak snacks into the movie theatre) in the interior of the jacket, we felt this jacket had sufficient storage.

This jacket features large interior pockets  but no breast pocket.
This jacket features large interior pockets, but no breast pocket.

Aside from that, there are little to no features, such as no pull string around the hem or any sort of hood adjustments. The hood is somewhat helmet compatible, but our testers thought it pulled the jacket into weird directions while on and the fabric wasn't as mobile as the Patagonia Nano Air, making it a little less comfortable to wear for technical purposes.

While a helmet can be worn with this jacket  it's not very helmet compatible as there is not a lot of stretch to the fabric.
While a helmet can be worn with this jacket, it's not very helmet compatible as there is not a lot of stretch to the fabric.

If you want a jacket stacked with comfort and cozy features, be sure to check out the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush. It has the nicest comforts of any jacket in this review including lined pockets and a fur-lined hood. Or if you want a more technical jacket with comfort features, don't miss the super soft and mobile Patagonia Nano Air.

Breathability


The air flows nicely through this jacket, earning it a low score in weather protection but a great score in breathability (seven out of ten). While running, hiking, and climbing, our testers thought it did a good job moving moisture from the interior of the jacket out.


While it doesn't have any breathable features like a fabric insert under the arms, like that found in our Top Pick for Alpine Adventures, the Arc'teryx Atom LT, it can still be used for all sorts of aerobic missions. We took it winter running on a cold afternoon, and we were able to keep it on (with a midlayer) in temperatures that hovered around 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The jacket wasn't soaked with sweat after these tests, making it decent aerobic wear option.

We took each jacket running during early winter mornings and evenings to truly test breathability of the fabric.
We took each jacket running during early winter mornings and evenings to truly test breathability of the fabric.

That said, this jacket doesn't breathe as well as those with a mobile face-fabric. For example; the OR Ascendant Hoody is our most breathable jacket that was a top choice for super aerobic days. Its continuous mobile face fabric in addition to its fleece-lined interior kept us dry when running, hiking, and backcountry skiing. That said, our Top Pick for Breathability, the Patagonia Nano Air did a great job breathing in addition to providing decent weather protection while ice climbing and cross-country skiing.

Style & Fit


Many of our ladies loved the flattering baffle stitching that adds a feminine flair to this otherwise techy-looking jacket.


Scoring a seven out of ten in this metric, it earns this score because of the numerous positive comments that we got on the street. Also, it was a Top Pick to wear out on the town for its cute color options. The lines are also flattering and feminine.

We liked the cute diamond baffles under the arms in addition to the disarticulated baffles in the front and back.
We liked the cute diamond baffles under the arms in addition to the disarticulated baffles in the front and back.

While many of our short to medium sized testers thought the fit was just right, many of our tallest testers thought the arms were a little short (especially when reaching upwards). If you want a beautiful jacket with a unique feminine flair that fits a longer torso and arms, the Arc'teryx Atom LT is an exceptional technical option. If you prefer a more "around-town" option, the Columbia Mighty Lite Hooded Plush is a fantastic go-to.

A look at the style and fit of the Micro Puff jacket.
A look at the style and fit of the Micro Puff jacket.

This jacket is a little tight through the chest and shoulders. If you have a larger chest or broader shoulders, you might want to size up. The Rab Xenon X is an excellent alternative with better technical performance and cut with more room throughout the shoulders, chest, and stomach area. That said, we'd recommend trying on this piece at a store before buying it. Or order it online with a company that allows returns to ensure the size works for you.

In addition to great performance  many of our testers thought this jacket was stylish as well.
In addition to great performance, many of our testers thought this jacket was stylish as well.

Best Applications


If you are a woman in search of a super compressible, lightweight insulated coat with a decent warmth-weight ratio, this is the BEST option! We love it for any long-distance mission that requires an addition lightweight layer. Think backpacking, trail running, and fast-packing. It packs smaller than a heavier mid-layer and provides more warmth. It's also a great stand-alone option for day hikes during the Spring and Fall, and (like most jackets in this review), a perfect option for layering under a shell.

Value


It's funny how lightweight gear (ultimately made with fewer, but higher quality materials) is always more expensive. The $300 price tag is high and a bit of a hard pill to swallow given the stitching fly-aways that we observed in its construction. That said, even after bush-whacking and beating the crap out of this piece, it proved to be fairly durable, except for a few minor holes. The face fabric is fairly fragile and unfortunately tears easily.

Fly-away insulation on the MicroPuff. While this jacket is warm  the face fabric is fairly fragile and not as durable as other contenders. Be sure to consider the textile of the face fabric when choosing an insulated synthetic jacket.
Fly-away insulation on the MicroPuff. While this jacket is warm, the face fabric is fairly fragile and not as durable as other contenders. Be sure to consider the textile of the face fabric when choosing an insulated synthetic jacket.

All said and done, the price tag is high, though lightweight gear typically is. It fits a niche that no other model in this review ultimately fills. That said, the Rab Xenon X and Patagonia Nano Puff are both technical lightweight and compressible jackets that don't cost as much. However, each weighs a little more and does not compress as small, though are great alternatives. If you're not super stoked on a technical jacket and you're on a budget, the Mighty Light is the way to go. It's a great winter wear jacket, costing only $130, and our Best Buy award winner.

Conclusion


The Patagonia Micro Puff insulated jacket is the lightest and most compressible jacket tested in this review. While it's not the warmest, we were surprised by its performance and preferred it for long lightweight missions through all four seasons. Pack it, stash it, trash it. This durable Top Pick is a great go-to for lightweight missions.

Take this jacket climbing  hiking  and more. We especially love it for lightweight adventures.
Take this jacket climbing, hiking, and more. We especially love it for lightweight adventures.
Amber King

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Most recent review: March 9, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
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