The Patagonia Micro Puff is a lightweight synthetic hoody that weighs 9.3 oz / 264 g with 2.29 oz / 65 g or Patagonia’s PlumaFill – 100% recycled polyester. The hooded Micro Puff (there’s a version without a hood as well) has four pockets. two zippered handwarmer pockets and two interior drop pockets and an elastic hem around the waist, cuffs, and hood.
Its delicate shell is 0.8-oz 10-denier Pertex Quantum (100% nylon) with a DWR finish. It’s designed for three-season conditions or as a midlayer in colder temperatures. Here’s everything you need to know about the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody and why you may want to consider it as your next insulated jacket.
I have used the Patagonia Micro Puff in a variety of conditions – from a winter rafting trip in Grand Canyon to summer backpacking in the Sierra Nevada. I’ve hiked in it, slept in it, climbed in it, and done an overall great job of beating the hell out of it. That said, it’s held up relatively well. More on this below.
- Weight: 9.3 oz / 264 g
- Material: 0.8-oz 10-denier Pertex Quantum with a DWR (100% nylon)
- Fill: PlumaFill 100% recycled polyester
- Fill Weight: 2.29 oz / 65 g
- Center back length: Hip-length
- Hood: Yes
- Pockets: 2 zippered handwarmer, 2 interior drop
- Country of Origin: Vietnam
- Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
- Color: Grey, Red, Black
- MSRP: $299
- PlumaFill insulation maintains heat-trapping loft, even after soaking and wear
- Weighs less than some comparable down garments
- Quilted construction to stabilize/maximize PlumaFill
- Lightweight Pertex Quantum shell is windproof and treated with a durable water repellent finish
- Under-the-helmet hood
- Center-front zipper has a wicking interior stormflap and zipper garage
- Left pocket doubles as a stuff sack with a carabiner loop
- Elasticized hem and cuffs
The Pockets: The Patagonia Micro Puff has four pockets – two zippered handwarmer pockets and two large interior drop pockets on either side of the zipper. The jacket can be stuffed into the left handwarmer pocket which can then be zipped closed while still providing access to a carabiner loop. I don’t know why more insulated jackets don’t have drop pockets like the Micro Puff. They’re awesome. Each of the handwarmer pockets has a small zipper pull as well. I’ve yet to get one of these zippers stuck.
The Weight: The Micro Puff does not use down insulation. Patagonia uses 2.29 oz / 65 g of their PlumaFill which is 100% recycled polyester. All this to say, it’s a synthetic jacket. Typically synthetic jackets are overlooked for being heavier and not as compressible as down jackets, but at just 9.3 oz / 264 g the Micro Puff gives even the lightest down jackets a run for their money.
The Hood: The Micro Puff hood is uncomplicated and functional. There’s no adjustment, it instead has an elastic hem, and it stays on – close to your head – when the jacket is fully zipped. I’ve never had a problem with the wind getting the better of this hood – it stays on no matter the conditions (so long as the jacket is fully zipped). It’s also designed to be worn under a helmet which makes the Micro Puff an excellent choice if you’ll be cycling or climbing in cooler temperatures.
The Weather Resistance: Say what you will about synthetic vs. down insulation, one thing that down can’t do as well as its synthetic counterpart is handle moisture. The Micro Puff insulation is 100% recycled polyester and the nylon shell has a durable water-repellent finish which makes for a decent combination when hoping to repel moisture. The jacket isn’t going to survive any heavy rain, but if it’s drizzling, sprinkling, misting, or some other word that describes a similar amount of light rain, you won’t find yourself rushing to get out your shell (unless you find yourself out in it all day – then you’ll want a shell).
The Warmth: The Micro Puff is a three-season jacket. It does a great job keeping me warm in temperatures down close to freezing, but I would want more than the Micro Puff and a shirt (or sun hoodie) if temperatures dropped
The Price: The Micro Puff isn’t the most expensive insulated jacket available, but it certainly isn’t the cheapest either. With a retail price of just under $300 before having to contend with your local sales tax, it can certainly fall into the category of prohibitively expensive. That said, it can frequently be found discounted from Patagonia directly.
The Fabric: If there’s one thing you can take issue with the Patagonia Micro Puff, it’s the fabric. The shell is lightweight and can easily fall victim to the elements, sticks, embers, angry rodents, or unclipped fingernails if you’re not careful. I have managed to get at least three small holes or tears during my time with this jacket (and I have to say, I am generally fairly careful about these things). That said, it’s nothing a bit of duct tape hasn’t been able to fix. I mean, if you aren’t damaging your gear, are you really using it right?
Who is it for?
Beginner Backpackers: If you’re looking for something to wear exclusively while out backpacking or in the nature, but you don’t plan on getting out too much, then the Micro Puff is probably not the right choice for you. There are plenty of more durable and less expensive options that could be your first backpacking jacket purchase. That said, if you’re going to be wearing this as a more casual jacket as well, then it could be a worthy investment.
Weekend Warriors: The Micro Puff will not disappoint you as a weekend warrior – so long as your weekends don’t primarily consist of you braving snowstorms and below-freezing temperatures. Whether you’re hiking, biking, climbing, or lounging in the mountains, you’ll probably be happy with the Micro Puff’s performance.
Thru-hikers: The Patagonia Micro Puff is hugely popular with the thru-hiking community and it consistently ranks among the highest-rated and most common jackets on the Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail Hiker Surveys. It’s a great option for long-distance hikes where space and weight are factors.
|Patagonia Micro Puff||9.3 oz / 264 g||$299||65g PlumaFill polyester||2 hand / 2 drop||Pertex Quantum (100% nylon)|
|Western Mountaineering Flash||10.25 oz / 291 g||$400||850+ goose down||2 hand||0.9 oz dot-ripstop nylon|
|Arc'teryx Cerium SL Hoody||7.6 oz / 215 g||$359||850 goose down||2 hand||Arato (100% nylon)|
|Feathered Friends Eos||10.6 oz / 300 g||$339||900+ goose down||2 hand||Pertex Quantum (100% nylon)|
|Patagonia Nano Puff||12.8 oz / 363 g||$249||60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco polyester||2 hand / 1 internal chest||100% recycled polyester|
|Enlightened Equipment Torrid||8.4 oz / 238 g||$175||2oz/yd² CLIMASHIELD APEX insulation||2 hand||10D ripstop nylon|
|Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer UL||6.7 oz / 190 g||$375||1,000 goose down||2 hand||5D/7D ripstop nylon|
|Dark Peak NEESH||12 oz / 340 g||$249||850 goose down||2 hand / 2 drop||10D ripstop nylon|
|Eddie Bauer MicroTherm 2.0||13.4 oz / 380 g||$249||800 down||2 hand / 1 chest||20D recycled ripstop polyester|
The Patagonia Micro Puff is a great jacket for three-season backpacking. And I am really stressing the three-season thing here. As soon as you venture into colder temperatures this jacket becomes a midlayer – still a great piece of gear, but not one that’s going to keep you warm all on its own.
Years of use by myself and hundreds of thru-hikers have proven this jacket – or hoody, rather – can stand up to the rigors of the trail and repeated use. Did I mention it has two awesome drop pockets inside? Honestly, I don’t know why all jackets don’t have these.
Questions, comments, or personal experience with the Patagonia Micro Puff? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Check out the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody here.
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