Expert Review: Patagonia Micro Puff Women's Jacket
This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in November of 2020.
The Patagonia Women’s MicroPuff jacket is an exceptionally lightweight yet warm synthetic jacket that works as a great midlayer for skiing on cold days or as a great jacket to use for hiking in the winter.
About the jacket I own
- Model: Patagonia Women’s Micro Puff Jacket
- Size: XS
- Fit: True to size
- Height: 5’3”
- Weight: 115lbs
- Experience: 25+ years of skiing, 20+ years of backpacking
- When I bought this: November 2020
- Days tested: 40
- Where I’ve used it: Resort skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing in Utah and Colorado
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Powder days at resorts, cold and blizzard days at resorts, cold winter hikes/snowshoes with some light rain and snow
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a lightweight jacket to wear under my ski shell. I had previously been using the Patagonia women’s down sweater—which I still think is a great option for freezing days in which I will not be doing much physical activity. But I wanted something with synthetic insulation (synthetic insulation retains heat better when it's wet) instead of down for days that I was going to be hiking around at the resort and riding chairlifts.
Why I chose this gear
One of the reasons I chose the Patagonia Micropuff is because it was exceptionally lightweight. It is about 8oz, whereas the Patagonia Down Sweater is about 12oz. When I first tried it on, I was impressed with how it felt as if I wasn’t even wearing a jacket because it was so lightweight and breathable. I was almost a bit skeptical that it would keep me warm because of the weight and breathability, but I did some research after trying it on and determined that, at the time, it was one of the best warmth-to-weight ratio jackets on the market.
I didn’t really try on a lot of other jackets. I already owned a Patagonia NanoPuff at the time of purchasing this, which is a similar though less high-tech version of the Micropuff. Both have synthetic insulation and a similar fit, but the NanoPuff feels a bit heavier and isn’t as warm. The reason I was looking for an upgrade from the NanoPuff is only because the one I had was pretty worn down and a bit older. I still think the NanoPuff is an awesome jacket, but felt like the MicroPuff was a bit nicer, lighter, and warmer.
What I love about it
- Fit: The Patagonia Micropuff fits me really well. I am usually an XS in jackets, but sometimes I need a S in Patagonia jackets, though they nailed it with this one. The sleeves are the perfect length and it is form-fitting without feeling too tight. I can put a baselayer under it (which is all I have ever really needed to wear underneath because it is so warm). It’s also easy to wear my ski shell over it—which is ideal since the MicroPuff is not waterproof.
- Range of Motion: As previously mentioned, it is so light and breathable that it hardly feels like I am wearing anything. I have complete range of motion while wearing this jacket—which can be hard to find in a warm jacket because they usually are so bulky.
- Design: The design of this jacket is pretty straightforward: it is form-fitting, has two external pockets that are easy to access, and an internal pocket that is big enough to store goggles or a hat. The zippers are easy to use with gloves on because they have big pulls.
- Style: This jacket is form-fitting, which contributes to its ability to be so warm. Insulated jackets that are a bit closer-fitting are more efficient at trapping body heat.
- Quality of Materials: The face fabric is an ultralight, windproof, recycled ripstop nylon that looks nice. I have worn this jacket to nice dinners and parties because it looks somewhat fancy. The insulation material is a PlumaFill insulation; it is a light yet insulating form of synthetic insulation. The face fabric and the insulation material are both high-quality, which is reflected in the price, but in my opinion makes the jacket worth the investment.
- Pockets: This jacket has two pockets on the outside and one on the inside. The two on the outside are high enough that they can be accessed even if I am wearing a climbing harness. I don’t really climb in this jacket because I think the face fabric is a bit too delicate and would easily rip; but it’s nice that if I did want to use it for that, I could still access my pockets. Both outer pockets have zippers. The internal pocket is large enough to store goggles or a hat or spare gloves, though it does not have a zipper.
- Breathability: The Micropuff is extremely breathable due to its lightweight shell fabric and insulation. For the warmth it provides, it is easily the most breathable jacket I have ever worn.
- Warmth: The Patagonia Micropuff is incredibly warm. It is a synthetically insulated jacket, meaning it keeps me warm even if it has gotten wet from sweat or snow/rain. I am happy to have found a jacket that is so light and non-bulky yet provides so much warmth. I will say that on freezing-cold days I still wear my Patagonia down sweater under my ski shell because it is a bit heftier and warmer than the MicroPuff. But it is also a lot bulkier and not as breathable. For it’s weight, the Micropuff is incredibly warm.
- Weight: As I mentioned before, the weight of this jacket was a huge selling point for me. It weighs about 8oz, which is lighter than any other jacket I have.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Durability: Though the outer material is a ripstop nylon, so it should generally be pretty rip resistant, it is also super lightweight and thin. Because it's so light and thin, it is more delicate. I have accidentally ripped the face fabric on the arm twice, though both rips were small and I was able to put repair tape over them. After these rips, I have been more careful about taking it anywhere that it might come in contact with trees or abrasive surfaces. The nice thing is that when I made these small rips, I was able to take my jacket into the Patagonia store and an employee applied the repair tape for free. Patagonia has an “Ironclad Guarantee” on all of their products stating that they will repair or replace any damage or warranty issues with their gear.
- Waterproofing: The outer material contains a durable water repellent which can handle light rain/snow. Anything more severe than these conditions and the jacket will start to feel wet.
- Features: The Micro Puff, similar to most other Patagonia jackets, can pack down into its own pocket, making it easy to toss in a backpack as a backup layer.
Favorite moment with this gear
There was one snowy, cold day in the 2020/2021 ski season at Solitude Ski Resort in Utah where my partner and I hiked a bit towards an area called Honeycomb Chutes. It’s an area that's not open all the time, so it's worth the hike up if it is. Normally on extremely cold days, I have a hard time balancing staying warm on the chairlifts and not overheating when I move around. This day was one of my first with the MicroPuff, and I remember being shocked that I didn’t get too sweaty on the hike up. It was an awesome run down, and we ended up doing it a few more times that day. I stayed warm all day despite the constant back and forth of exercise and sitting on the cold chairlift, which is more than I can say for my ski partner!
Value for the money vs. other options
The Micro Puff is $279, which is definitely not cheap in my opinion. The Patagonia down sweater I mentioned earlier is around $229; and though it is less technical, it is a bit warmer. The Patagonia NanoPuff, which is also a synthetic insulated, lightweight jacket from Patagonia is also around $229. Though the Micro Puff is more expensive, I personally think it is worth it just because it is lighter, more breathable, and really warm (compared to other synthetic jackets). If warmth is the main priority, I would go with the Patagonia down sweater.
The Patagonia MicroPuff, though a bit on the pricey side for a synthetic insulated jacket, is totally worth the investment if one values comfort and warmth-to-weight ratio in a jacket. When I am wearing the MicroPuff, it barely feels like I am wearing a jacket, yet it keeps me so warm even given the fact that I am someone who often feels cold.