Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody - Women's Review
Cons: Lacks features, expensive, not entirely wind resistant
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Patagonia Micro-Puff Hoody 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.
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 and is an excellent option for those in search of a warm, yet lightweight jacket, best for cool to warm temperatures.
Weight & Compression
It excels in this category 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 ounces, 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.
It stuffs into its left pocket, zips up, and has a durable carabiner-loop, which 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, nice for lightweight missions. Take it with you while long-distance running, day hiking, backpacking, or multi-pitch climbing.
Featuring a 0.7 ounce 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 of wicking 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.
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.
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. The outer fabric is also crinkly and isn't soft or super stretchy.
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.
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 a decent aerobic wear option.
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.
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).
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.
It's funny how lightweight gear (ultimately made with fewer, but higher quality materials) is always more expensive. The retail price tag is high and a bit of a hard pill to swallow, given the stitching fly-aways and rips that we observed in its construction. Fortunately, the synthetic insulation stays intact (even with a hole) and doesn't lose its insulative properties (like you would with a down coat.
The Patagonia Micro Puff insulated jacket is the lightest and one of the 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.
— Amber King