The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody is a synthetic light jacket/mid-layer that makes for a great companion to any of your favorite winter or outdoor activities. The lightweight faux-down jacket keeps you warm, is easy to pack, and is great for travel or the trail. It’s expensive, falling right in line with many of the items Patagonia offers, but still comes in as a highly recommended choice.
- Where to buy: Patagonia, EVO, REI
- Best for: Men and women skiers who need a good mid-layer for the slopes. Also great for outdoor activities, such as climbing and hiking, and has what it takes to be worn around town.
- Pros: Lightweight but still warm thanks to quality synthetic insulation. Comfortable and flexible as well. Backed by a brand known for good customer service that prioritizes attention to detail.
- Cons: Expensive. Not the most stylish jacket, unless you’re into the micro puff look.
- Alternatives: Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket, Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie, Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the snow mountains, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I have skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I spent time heavily researching the performance, comfort, and other characteristics of the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody. Below is my detailed review.
The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody is a quality mid-layer that also makes for a good light jacket. It has a particular look to it, which isn’t for everyone, and also comes with a very steep price tag. If you want a lightweight synthetic down jacket, it’s a decent option. Just keep in mind there are other more affordable mids out there that make more sense from a strictly skiing perspective. You get a good brand name here, but you’re definitely paying for it.
Warmth and Weather
For such a lightweight jacket, the Micro Puff Hoody is exceptionally warm. It’s cozy enough to be worn on its own during warmer ski days or when you’re doing other outdoor activities that don’t involve as much snowfall or cold weather. That same insulation makes it a good option for a night out on the town after you’re done skiing for the day. It works if you’re not skiing as well.
The jacket uses 60-gram synthetic insulation that, while not as effective as actual goose down, keeps you warm and comfortable in moderately cold conditions. I wouldn’t rely on that insulation to keep you toasty when conditions get really bad, but it does a well enough job when you’re skiing or taking part in other winter activities. The jacket sits in the middle ground when it comes to warmth, which is why it’s such a good mid-layer.
One nice thing about the synthetic insulation is that it will still keep you warm when you get wet. This jacket does have some decent water-resistant properties, but it’s not going to keep you as dry as other fully designed ski jackets. It does do a good job of keeping out the wind, though. With that in mind, I’d recommend this jacket as an outer layer only when you’re in fairly dry, warmer conditions.
Comfort and Fit
If you’ve ever worn any of the puff-style garments Patagonia offers, you know they are quite comfortable. The Micro Puff Hoody meets that same standard. It’s a comfortable option, no matter where or how you like to ski. The soft material and flexible insulation make it very free-flowing and unrestrictive. This is a jacket that will move with you, no matter what type of situation you wear it in.
The jacket also comes with a regular fit. That’s another common theme across the Patagonia lineup, and something you’ll notice. The Micro Puff runs pretty true to size, though you might want to go a size up if you sit in the middle ground. The sleeves are a little long, which is actually pretty nice because you don’t have to worry about them riding up into your outer layer jacket.
When fully zipped, the collar can be a little stuffy. That’s especially true if you don’t have the hood up. While the fit offers you a level of cold-weather protection when you need it, if you zip the hoody all the way up without putting the hood on, it’s pretty uncomfortable. That’s really the only design flaw I found in terms of comfort or fit.
Construction and Style
The Micro Puff Hoody is well-designed and well-constructed thanks to its high-quality materials. The face fabric is a 22-denier fully recycled polyester that comes with a DWR finish to add an extra layer of waterproofing. Such construction elements go a long way in ensuring the jacket does its job.
The insulation is also water-repellent, which is a nice touch that makes this lightweight jacket still capable of keeping you fairly warm or dry when things get wet. The 60 grams of PrimaLoft Gol Eco synthetic insulation more than does its job. It’s not a lot of insulation, but it still remains effective when wet. It’s both comfortable and packable as well.
This jacket has a particular look that some skiers will love and others will hate. The puff jacket style is a little dated, in my opinion. That has nothing to do with the jacket’s performance, but it looks old school in a way that wouldn’t be my first choice. However, if you like the look or want a high-quality mid, it’s definitely a solid pick.
The Micro Puff comes with a few additional features, but being a small and packable hoody, it doesn’t have a lot. That’s by design. You get two handwarmer pockets on the outside, each with quality zippers, and the internal zippered chest pocket allows you to stuff the jacket inside of it for small imprint packing.
The square quilted pattern isn’t just for style, it actually helps to keep the hoody better insulated and adds a layer of durability by making it more tear-resistant. The drawcord around the bottom is also nice when you want to batten down the hatches and enjoy the ride.
The other feature worth mentioning here is the excellent return and repair policy that comes with every Patagonia garment. That means if you ever tear a hole or experience a defect, the brand will help you repair or replace things right away. I have first-hand experience with the program and can tell you it’s a great form of customer service that’s true to the policy.
Price and Value
While this hoody is well built and makes for an effective mid-layer or jacket under the right conditions, it costs as much as some full-on ski jackets. With that in mind, I only give the Micro Puff Hoody a good value rating rather than a great one. If you can afford it, you’re going to be pleased with all the jacket has to offer. If you’re on the fence or it’s out of your price range, there are plenty of other mid-layer options that are just as effective and cost much less.
What I Like
I greatly enjoy the hoody’s lightweight design. It’s comfortable against your body and a breeze to work into your layering when you ski. A good mid-layer should blend in, be comfortable, and provide a reliable layer of warmth. The Micro Puff meets all of those marks, which is why it serves as an excellent mid-layer both in terms of practicality and comfort.
I also like the jacket’s lightweight design and packability. For non-skiing situations, that can be quite useful. If you’re on a backpacking trip where space and weight considerations come into play, this jacket will barely be noticeable. It will pack into just about any space you have available. The fact that it can sink down into its own pocket makes it a good option for traveling as well.
The ability of the synthetic insulation to stay effective when wet is another nice feature that I appreciate. You aren’t going to want to go swimming with this on, but if you happen to get caught in an unexpected storm, you can rest assured that you won’t be completely out of luck. As I mentioned earlier, Patagonia’s excellent brand reputation and customer service are great as well.
What I Don’t Like
The cost. I don’t think I would personally ever spend the money for this jacket. It’s just too small and I feel like there are better alternatives around. You could easily get a couple of excellent mid-layers for what this hoody costs. Better yet, another piece of skiing equipment that you really want or need. The cost does come with a reliable brand name that translates into high-quality materials and durability, but it’s still not quite worth it, in my opinion.
I also don’t like the look of micro puff style jackets and hoodies. They have a particular appearance that, to me, screams more yuppie than skier. I know that might sound a little snobbish, but it’s just my opinion. This hoody looks more like something you would wear to the mall in the winter than on the ski slopes.
If you want to look for other options that offer similar comfort, durability, and warmth to the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody, check out these excellent alternatives.
- Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – This is another option from Patagonia that offers a lot of similar traits to the Micro Puff Hoody, but is a little more affordable and a lighter weight. The downside is, you don’t get a hood. However, it still makes for another good mid-layer and has the same synthetic insulation that will keep you warm when you’re skiing or doing other winter activities.
- Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie – This hoody has a similar look and design to the Micro Puff, and it’s made by another well-known brand in Mountain Hardwear. It also comes with synthetic insulation and is a little more affordable, though it’s still on the expensive side. This is another packable jacket that’s a good option for all sorts of activities and adventures.
- Arc’Teryx Cerium LT Down Hoodie – If you want an even more premium option than the Micro Puff, the Cerium LT is another top-of-the-line model. This is an awesome jacket that works well in the backcountry and beyond. It’s unique blend of down and synthetic insulation also keeps you warm and dry. The downside? It’s even more expensive than the Patagonia Micro Puff.
How much does the Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody weigh?
The women’s small version of the jacket weighs in at 284 grams. The other sizes and fits are all right around 8 ounces.
Is this jacket waterproof?
I would say that this jacket is more water-resistant than waterproof. It offers decent protection from light moisture thanks to a DWR coating, but I wouldn’t wear it when conditions are really wet.
How do you wash a puff jacket?
You want to wash the jacket in cold water and then tumble dry low. If you use dryer balls or tennis balls in the dryer, it will help retain the jacket’s puffiness.
The Patagonia Micro Puff Hoody is a solid piece of equipment, but it’s not necessarily a skiing-focused item that I would heavily recommend. If you’re looking for a mid-layer that can be used in other situations and packs down light and small, it does the job well. If you’re on any sort of budget or want to save some money, there are plenty of other mid-layers and hoodies out there that are much more reasonably priced.