A friend who works for Patagonia has been banging on about this jacket for months, so I was really excited to get the sample jacket. It’s not like I have any shortage of jackets after doing this gig for 12 years now, but new stuff is new stuff. Last year, despondent over the change in style of my old favorite the Ultralight Down Jacket, I combed eBay for the last few old-style jackets and they reside safely in my closet, waiting faithfully for their predecessors to wear out. So, a new mid-warmth puffy was not really something I felt I really need at the moment.
However, apparently I was wrong because the Micro Puff barely left my body for weeks once it arrived. It is good in a range of temperatures, has a nice roomy fit (though truth be told I sized up one size b/c I am tired of the too-slim fit of women’s clothing, so make sure you try on before you buy) and is reasonably water resistant. It’s billed as having the highest warmth-to-weight ratio of any jacket Patagonia has produced, which is interesting given the synthetic fill. I have no reason to doubt that claim, as the jacket is indeed quite warm.
I would make this my go-to instead of the Ultralight Down series, but there is one issue about which buyers should be aware. The Micro Puff rips EXTREMELY easily. The disintegration of mine began when I opted to wear it while stringing holiday lights on my fence. My jacket touched the metal of the chain link – and snagged, adding a festive topper of synthetic jacket fill to my decorations. Later I wore the jacket while training with my admittedly shark-toothed Malinois puppy – riiiiipppp. There are even rips and snags that happened when I didn’t realize it. This is not tough fabric. I would worry about adding a backpack over this jacket as I don’t think the outer fabric would hold up to the abrasion. I wonder if the fabric is so lightweight in order to attain that warmth-to-weight ratio. If so, I think we would all be well served for this to become the second highest warmth-to-weight jacket in Patagonia’s lineup, and have a tougher outer shell.
The streamers of fill poking out all over are a little embarrassing, but the jacket is still serviceable. I keep meaning to patch it with duct tape or some other way, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. However, if you have this same experience I’d advise getting it patched, because the fill does have a devilish way of escaping through any teeny puncture. Despite all this, something about this jacket just does it for me (and for others) because it’s warm, versatile, and comfortable.
Note: I got tired of looking for a picture of this jacket that didn’t have someone’s stupid “Gear of the Year” logo on it, so I chose this one which shows a few men’s versions. Sorry ladies, we STILL don’t get the awesome colors shown here, like orange just the two muted girly green and purple ones. We do get grey and black though.