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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket > Owner Review by Andrea Murland

Patagonia Women’s Micro Puff Jacket
Owner Review by Andrea Murland
November 16, 2014

Tester Information

Name: Andrea Murland
Email: amurland AT shaw DOT ca
Age: 29
Location: Elkford & Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
Gender: Female
Height: 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Weight: 130 lb (59 kg)
Bust / Waist / Hips: 35 in / 31 in / 39 in (89 cm / 79 cm / 99 cm)
Image Courtesy of Patagonia
Manufacturer Pic

I began hiking frequently in 2006 and have since hiked in Western Canada, Australia, and spent 2 months backpacking in the Alps. I spend most weekends either day-hiking or on 2-3 day backpacking trips, with some longer trips when I can manage them. I also snowshoe and ski in the winter, but don’t have a lot of experience with winter in the backcountry yet. Elevation is typically 500-3,000 m (1,600-10,000 ft), in the Canadian Rockies and the Selkirk, Purcell, and Monashee ranges. I try for a light pack, but I don’t consider myself a lightweight backpacker.

Product Information

Manufacturer: Patagonia
Manufacturer's URL: www.patagonia.com
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Model: Women’s Micro Puff Jacket
MSRP: US $159.00
Size: Medium
Sizes Available: XS, S, M, L, XL
Colour: Brown (no longer available)
Colours Available: Curacao (blue), Tailored Grey
Listed Weight: 428 g (15.1 oz), no size specified
Measured Weight: 446 g (15.7 oz), without stuff sack

Description

The Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket is a synthetic-fill insulated jacket which comes with a stuff sack. The insulation is 100 g (3.5 oz) Primaloft Sport. The shell of the jacket is 1.7 oz, 30 denier 100% recycled polysester ripstop treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish. The lining of the jacket and the stuff sack are made from 1.4 oz polyester. The jacket has a very clean outer fabric, with no stitching in the front or back panel. There is some diamond-pattern quilting in the underarm panels, which the manufacture indicates is for an improved fit. The lining of the jacket is stitched horizontally, and I can feel through the jacket that although the outer face fabric isn’t bonded to the insulation, the stitching of the lining does go through the insulation, presumably to keep it from all migrating to the bottom of the jacket.

The jacket has two zippered handwarmer pockets. My jacket has an interior mesh drop pocket on the right side, but the manufacturer’s website indicates that the jacket now comes with an interior zippered pocket. Other features of the jacket include articulated elbows, elastic cuffs, a fabric hang loop, and a drawcord hem. The jacket measures 63 cm (24.8 in) from the top of the collar to the hem, and is even front-to-back. The collar stands 6 cm (2.4 in) high. The plastic zipper is backed with a wind flap right to the top, with a zipper garage at the top to protect my face from the zipper. The zipper pull on the main zipper is metal with a plastic cover, while on the handwarmer pockets the pulls are string with a plastic tab at the end. The stuff sack closes with a simple drawcord.
My Jacket

Field Conditions

This jacket has been a key part of my gear closet since I purchased it in the winter of 2009. It has been snowshoeing, geocaching, hiking, backpacking, ski touring, and been stuffed in my Search & Rescue (SAR) pack. Through the summer months, this jacket has a permanent place in my SAR pack as a warm layer for getting stuck out overnight, and has even been used to keep a rescuee warm for a night. In the spring, fall, and winter, it becomes my go-to jacket for doing anything outside that requires insulation. As a guess, I have worn it on about 60 day trips, and about 12 nights out in the backcountry. I have carried it in temperatures up to about 25 C (77 F) just in case I needed it, but typically only wear it while in temperatures between about 5 C (41 F) and -30 C (-22 F). I have worn this jacket in clear weather and in snow, but I don’t think I’ve worn it in rain unless covered by another waterproof jacket.

Review

Comfort & Fit:
The jacket is a good fit on me. It is comfortable in the arms, bust and waist, but a bit snug in the hips. It has a tendency to ride up a bit towards the waist, especially if I am wearing thick layers on my legs. I can put this jacket on top of a fitted shell and other layers if required, but not over top of a really bulky shell. The sleeves are a perfect length for me, extending about halfway down my hands with my arms extended. The elastic cuffs keep the sleeves in place but are not so snug as to be uncomfortable; I barely notice them. The lining of the jacket is soft and smooth, and is comfortable against bare skin or slides easily over other layers made of any fabric I’ve tried: wool, fleece, silk, polyester, cotton, or nylon.

The jacket stuffs easily into the provided stuff sack, with little effort. The sack doesn’t have any built-in compression. However, since the stuff sack was a separate piece and not integral to the jacket or attached, it disappeared on the side of a mountain during a SAR mission a while ago. Since losing the stuff sack, I have occasionally stuffed the jacket into the mesh drop pocket on the inside, and that works ok.

The drop pocket is big enough to fit quite a bit in, but I am a bit cautious putting too much into it as there is no closure. As well, the handwarmer pocket on that side is in the same place, so the two pockets compete for space. Overall, I don’t use the drop pocket much. I like that this jacket doesn’t look like a “puffy” when I’m wearing it around town, with the smooth outer fabric.

Warmth & Water Resistance:
The Micro Puff is reasonably warm for what I’d expect from a jacket of this type. It’s not warm enough on its own at -30 C (-22 F), but it’s also not a big puffy jacket that I would expect to be. If I am doing something active (snowshoeing or ski touring, for example), it is warm enough for me with just a base layer underneath down to about -25 C (-13 F), but I need another layer to put on when I stop. At about -15 C (5 F), I might be looking to use this as my “stopped moving” layer and switching out to something lighter while I’m active, as I’m too hot. I don’t think the jacket is quite as warm as it was when new, but it still works as I need it to.

For water resistance, the jacket repels snow with ease. I haven’t worn it in the rain as an outer layer. I have no hesitation wearing this jacket as an outer layer in the snow. It also breaks the wind very well.

Care & Durability:
The jacket is still in great shape after five or so winters of use. There are a couple of stains on the outer fabric, but they aren’t too noticeable unless I’m looking for them. There is a very small amount of wear starting on the seams of the sleeves, near the cuffs, but again, unless I was looking for it I wouldn’t have noticed. The hang loop on the inside remains sturdy and the zippers still run smoothly. I have washed the jacket about six times, with a technical garment detergent. I have never had to renew the DWR coating. Although I hang the jacket to dry most of the way, I always finish it off in a warm dryer with a tennis ball to make sure the insulation is dry and not clumped up, and to help the DWR.

Field Use

Summary

The Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket is a synthetic insulated jacket which excels in the winter as a layering piece. You won’t find me too many places in the backcountry without it at any time of the year.

Thumbs Up:
Comfortable fabric
Good insulation for what I’d expect
Repels snow and wind
Great durability

Thumbs Down:
A bit tight in the hips
No attached/integral stuff sack


Read more gear reviews by Andrea Murland

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets > Patagonia Micro Puff Jacket > Owner Review by Andrea Murland



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