This Top Pick 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.
The Micro Puff is our Top Pick for Lightweight adventures due to its super lightweight nature.
For its weight, this jacket is surprisingly warm. 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 ultralight piece as an additional layer, and it sufficed well when layered. It serves its purpose well for temperatures at freezing and just above.
We wore this jacket while traveling to Iceland and the Faroe Islands. This past summer was one of the coldest, and this jacket was a perfect choice for just that. When we got dumped on with rain, the PlumaFill insulation retained warmth; we chose it for our backpacking and running adventures, in addition to sailing out on the North Sea!
Some caveats are that the material is ultra-thin and breathable, losing some of its warmth. Also, it doesn't have any cinch cords to help lock in heat. That said, 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. Overall, an excellent option for those in search of a warm, yet lightweight jacket, best for cool to warm temperatures.
Layering the MicroPuff while traveling to Iceland this summer made it a great option for cold weather wear...even when pretending to be a mermaid on an Iceberg.
Weight & Compression
Excelling in this category, it's our Top Pick for Lightweight adventures simply because of its ridiculously low weight and ability to compress into a tiny little package. We wore this strapped to the outside of our running pack, stuffed it into our fastpack, and wore it wrapped around our waist. Weighing only 8.07 oz, it 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.
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 while long-distance running, day hiking, backpacking, or multi-pitch climbing.
Here we layer the Patagonia MicroPuff as a mid-layer during the descent of Crestone Peaks, a fourteen-thousand-foot mountain in Colorado. During this run-hike, we also were able to strap it to the outside of our pack, and stuff it inside. Perfect for lightweight missions!
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 tests, water repelled for roughly one minute before soaking and wetting the fabric, making it relatively water resistant. 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.
Here we tackle a fast-packing adventure in a remote area of Iceland called the Hornstrandir Nature Preserve. In this shot, we stuff the pack inside our fast-packing set-up. Weather here is unpredictable and we encountered all sorts of precipitation!
The wind rips right through the fabric. Given its baffled design and breathable insulative properties, without a solid shell, you will find yourself shivering in a super cold gale! However, if you layer it appropriately with a base layer and/or a wind shell, you'll see a fantastic system that performs in all sorts of weather. We also love that the insulation maintains warmth when wet.
Comfort & Coziness
Aside from a nice and lightweight fit, this jacket is pretty bare bones. While many of our testers enjoyed the lofty insulation that provides a huge cozy factor, this jacket does not deliver. The lack of features is a trade-off for its lightweight and compressible design. However, we do love the lightweight nature of this coat and that in itself offers great comfort for all-day wear.
Featuring two handwarmer pockets (no furry lining) and two non-zippered pockets (large enough to sneak snacks into the movie theater) in the interior of the jacket, we feel this jacket had sufficient storage.
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 hood adjustments. The hood is somewhat helmet compatible, but our testers thought it pulled the jacket into weird directions. Also, the outer fabric is crinkly and isn't soft or super stretchy.
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.
The air flows nicely through this jacket, earning it a low score in weather protection but a great score in breathability. The baffled design offers an enhanced porosity of the material and the insulation inside isn't super thick. As a result, it vents quite well, especially when you simply unzip the zipper. This was a Top Pick for running, hiking, and climbing in Spring, Summer, and Fall. In the Winter, it functions as an amazing mid-layer for its affinity to breathe.
While it doesn't have any breathable features like a fabric insert under the arms, 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.
Style & Fit
Many of our ladies testers love the flattering baffle stitching that adds a feminine flair to this otherwise techy-looking jacket.
When wearing it out and about, it got numerous positive comments on the street and comes in many cute color options. The lines and patterns are both flattering and feminine.
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).
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. 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.
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.
Hanging out on the towering seacliffs of the remote Faroe Islands...a perfect place to don the Patagonia Micro Puff.
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). Fortunately, the synthetic insulation stays intact (even with a hole) and doesn't lose its insulative properties (like you would with a down coat.
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.
The Patagonia Micro Puff insulated jacket is the lightest, most compressible jacket tested in this review. While it's not the warmest, we are surprised by its performance and preferred it for long lightweight missions through all four seasons; it's a great go-to for lightweight missions.
Take this jacket climbing, hiking, and more. We especially love it for lightweight adventures.