Mid-layer, insulated jackets are pretty basic apparel, and creating a good one isn’t that hard. Make it lightweight and warm, give it a few pockets and hoodie, make it packable, and you are done. The hardest part of choosing one, in fact, is simply deciding whether you prefer down or synthetic. That didn’t stop Patagonia from coming up with the Micro Puff Hoody, however.
Patagonia knows a thing or two about ultra-light jackets, with their Nano Puff and Nano Air jackets already considered some of the lightest, most packable midlayers in the outdoor world. The Micro Puff may look a lot like standard puff mid-layer fare, but it manages to stick out from the crowd. Patagonia touts it as the culmination of a decade of research. Filled with their PlumaFill synthetic insulation, and using a special patented construction technique they’ve never used before, the Micro Puff is Patagonia’s lightest jacket yet, weighing in at only 9.3 oz, packing down to an ultra-portable size in it’s pocket; the weight is almost unnoticeable when fit into your pack or clipped onto the outside.
Though it’s not a shell, the polyester outer lining is water-resistant, having been coated with DWR, and the jacket is exceptional at keeping heat trapped in even when wet. The special construction technique previously mentioned is an offset stitching pattern, that reduces the number of quilt points on the jacket and more evenly traps heat throughout the jacket. It’s also got all the standard puffy jacket features, such as handwarmer pockets, a hood designed for wearing with a climbing helmet, and elasticized hem and cuffs.
All in all, the Micro Puff is a very light, versatile mid-layer that will barely take up any room in your pack, but keep your warm as fall and winter start to descend upon us.