A stalwart midweight puffy jacket gets an upgrade this season, including a design with ‘strands’ of synthetic insulation for warmth inside.
Patagonia calls it the “lightest, most-packable insulated jacket the company has ever created.” Available today, a new version of the Micro Puff Hoody offers a wear-anywhere top that gives direct competition to midweight goose down.
GearJunkie got an exclusive first look review. We’ve spent the summer seeking some elevation for chilly weather to test a jacket Patagonia touts offers a “previously unattained balance of warmth, weight and compressibility.”
Note: As the temps drop, we will continue to test the Patagonia jacket and update this article. For now, I have initial and top-level feedback on its comfort, construction, and warmth.
Review: Patagonia New Micro Puff Hoody (PlumaFill)
A new insulation type for Patagonia, at a glance PlumaFill seems like much of the competition. Meaning the fluffy stuff inside is a white, feather-like matrix designed to trap heat.
PlumaFill replicates the structure and function of down. But it comes in strands, not loose fibers. This allows for less stitching on the jacket and does not require traditional baffles to hold the insulation in place.
Pull on the Micro Puff Hoody and you indeed feel immediate warmth. The insulation is made of polyester. Its ultra-fine filaments trap body heat and give warm-when-wet performance like most of its synthetic cousins.
Beyond the fancy faux-feathers, the jacket is a basic, if comfy build. A main zipper, two hand pockets, and two interiors pockets — plus a head-hugging hood — are the main features on the utilitarian piece.
There are no Velcro cuffs nor a drawstring at the waist. The hood does not adjust, but instead it fits tight and moves comfortably as you turn to look left and right, up and down.
Face Fabric, Patent-Pending Design
We love the face fabric choice. Patagonia goes with a light nylon ripstop called Pertex Quantum GL. The fabric is a longtime GearJunkie favorite, with its shiny exterior and thin, durable weave.
The material blocks wind. A DWR (durable water repellent) finish keeps light precipitation at bay, though this is not a shell; use it as a midlayer with a hard-shell on top if bad weather is in the forecast.
More unique to this model, Patagonia uses an offset, discontinuous stitching pattern to prevent cold spots and “reduce the number of quilt points.”
Designers used “fewer, yet larger” pattern pieces when constructing the coat. The result is heat can move more freely within the jacket, offering consistent warmth, Patagonia notes.
The end product is a patent-pending design that achieves larger lofted areas and cuts the overall weight of the jacket.
It is small and light for its warmth. A callout feature, the jacket stuffs into its own pocket when not in use, much like a high-end down piece. Put it in a backpack (or clip it on a harness) and you’re toting just an extra 9 ounces for the puffy warmth.
The Micro Puff Hoody comes in a few colors and a men’s and women’s model. (The women’s weighs a scant 8 ounces.)
It is available in Patagonia stores and on Patagonia.com starting today for $299. We’ll continue to review the jacket as autumn takes over and the wind howls toward winter, putting the new kind of synthetic puffy to the test.