Expert Review: Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody
This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the jacket, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2021.
The Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody is a great choice for someone looking for a lightweight yet warm jacket who spends most of their time in a dry climate or looking to layer under a shell.
About the jacket I own
- Model: Patagonia Macro Puff Hoody 2021
- Size: XS
- Fit: Runs large
- Height: 5’7”
- Weight: 130lbs
- Experience: 23 years of snowboarding
- When I bought this: September 2021
- Days tested: 50+
- Where I’ve used it: Hiking, splitboarding, climbing, backpacking, around town
- Conditions I’ve used it in: Resort days, spring skiing, backcountry days, climbing
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was on the hunt for a very lightweight jacket, and I wanted synthetic instead of down so that if it did get wet, it would still be warm. I was looking for a jacket to wear as an outer layer during the spring and fall, and under a shell in the winter.
Why I chose this gear
I chose this jacket because it was the lightest weight synthetic jacket that I could find, and I really liked the fit. It was extremely comfortable and the hood was pretty big as well. I looked at a few other jackets but they were all down, and I opted for synthetic so as to maintain warmth even if it got wet. I looked at the Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer and the Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket.
What I love about it
- Fit: As soon as I put this jacket on in the store, I really liked the fit. I tend to like more fitted jackets, so I went with the XS. The size small fit, but it was a bit boxier without adding much length, so I went with the more fitted one. I have long arms and it still fit me in the arms in that size.
- Range of Motion: This jacket is really comfortable and doesn’t inhibit my motion even though I bought it to be quite fitted. I have skinned up mountains in it and rock climbed on cold days in it, and I can reach above my head or off to the side with ease. For me, it’s the perfect combo of fitted yet loose.
- Design: I’m not sure how Patagonia did it, but the design is great. It does not fit me long, yet I can raise my hands above my head and it does not get too short. It feels like it is designed to play in and it holds up to all the sports I put it through.
- Style: I would say in most brands I more often wear a small than an XS, but with this particular jacket, the small fit boxier while the XS was more form-fitting. I did not feel like the size up added as much length as it did width, so I stuck with the smaller size. If it would have added length without as much width, I would have gone a size up.
- Quality of Materials: I really like the material used on the Macro Puff. It is a 0.8-oz, 10-denier, 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR. It feels fairly thin, but I’d say it is tougher than it looks. I love that it is soft enough to not make any sound when the fabric rubs together like a lot of puffys do. The DWR coating makes it so that it can handle light rain or snow without getting too wet, and being synthetic if it does happen to get wet, it still maintains most of its warmth.
- Durability: I think I have worn this jacket almost every day of fall, winter, and spring and I haven’t had a single problem with it. I didn’t expect it to be as tough as it is. The zippers are still in perfect condition and I have no tears or marks on the fabric. I have even worn it as an outer layer snowboarding multiple times and it still looks new.
- Pockets: The pockets are both good and bad in my opinion. I love the chest pocket, as it is really hard to notice it is even there. This is also the pocket I can stuff the whole jacket into, so I don’t need a stuff sack. The two hand pockets are nicely positioned and have plenty of room. I think I’d rather them have a thin fleece or softer lining instead of the same nylon ripstop as the rest of the jacket, but I guess that could add weight as well. The inner pockets are really roomy and can hold a lot, but they are a little flimsy; so I don’t tend to fill them with anything heavy.
- Warmth: I find this jacket to be quite warm for its weight. It has heavier insulation in the torso area and a little less in the arms which cuts down on the weight as well. I don’t think it would withstand freezing temperatures for the day, but for average winter days or days in the spring and fall, this jacket keeps me toasty.
- Weight: This jacket is less than one pound, and is quite warm for being so light. It packs down into its own pocket very small, and it has become a standard piece that I take splitboarding and backpacking. I think its weight is a huge feature and reason to buy this jacket.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Waterproofing: This jacket has a high-quality DWR coating, but it isn’t meant to be out in the elements for any length of time. It can repel light rain, but that’s about it. That being said, I did get caught in a wet snowstorm in it, without a shell, and by the time I got to the bottom the jacket itself was wetted out, but my next layer underneath was still not wet and I was still warm. For what it is designed as, I think it does a decent job in the weather.
- Breathability: I wouldn’t say this is the most breathable jacket. It only has one zipper in the front. It has no pit zips and no breathable fabric anywhere. I have skinned uphill a few times in it, but I generally get too hot unless it is a really cold day.
- Features: I wouldn’t say this jacket has any outstanding features, it doesn’t have RECCO, any thumb holes, audio holes, or extra things like that. I really love the hood, it feels larger than most hoods, and overall I would say the jacket is really cozy.
Favorite moment with this gear
I took this with me on my first splitboard outing of the season and it was such a perfect day! We went a little later in the day and caught the beginning of the sunset from the top of the mountain before heading down around dusk. It was a dry, early winter day, and this jacket combined with an icebreaker zip-up underneath kept me warm and I never ended up putting my shell on.
Value for the money vs. other options
As much as I love this jacket, I do wonder why it is so expensive. It is more expensive than almost every other jacket in its class, and only minimally less than the Arc’teryx Cerium Hoody. I would be hesitant to pay full price for this jacket, but I watch prices a lot and look for good sales. The moral of the story is I love that I bought this jacket and I’m stoked I got it on sale!
Offering a great warmth-to-weight ratio and a stylish fit, the Macro Puff Hoody is an awesome jacket for fall, spring, and dry winters. It is extremely durable and resilient and is really comfortable for all-day use. It’s a great choice for a synthetic and lightweight jacket. Anyone from an advanced backpacker or splitboarder, to somebody walking around town all winter would love this jacket.