Micro Puff® is the lightest and most compact padded jacket ever made by Patagonia. This even reflects the slogan that accompanies the release of new items on the market: “Take nothing with you”.
Weight and compactness
In terms of weight and volume when folded, Micro Puff really represents literally “nothing.” The weight of the model with a hood is 264 grams, the weight of a model without a hood is 235 grams. And this is a jacket with insulation! Both options fold compactly into your own pocket and in this form are similar in size to a wallet, so finding a place for it is not difficult.
PlumaFill – Synthetic Down
The whole secret is in the innovative synthetic insulation PlumaFill (65 g 100% polyester). The word “innovative” is not for beauty here – Patagonia developed this technology for the whole 10 years, through multiple experiments, tests and refinements, in order to get synthetic down as a result.
By its properties, by the sensations during wear and even by its appearance, the PlumaFill insulation is as close to down as possible: light, warm, compactly compressed, and then straightened. But at the same time, unlike down, PlumaFill retains heat in a wet state and does not lose its properties after prolonged wetting or rough handling. The insulation perfectly withstood 288 hours of Killer Washes (ed.: Literally translates as “killer washing”; laboratory technology for testing in a special washing machine to determine the resistance of materials to washing).
The operation of the insulation is supported and complemented by the design of the jacket and external material.
The outer jacket material is also very lightweight – it is a windproof Ripstop Pertex Quantum® nylon with a water-repellent finish. Yes, “Pertex” will protect the insulation from snow, but not from gross damage, like a piercing with an ice drill or the nose of an anchor hook, this must be understood.
A stitch passes over the entire surface of the jacket, which fixes the distribution and position of the insulation, and also prevents excess “down” from crawling out. Moreover, the stitch on the body and on the sleeves goes in different directions to echo, and not interfere with movements.
Also from a pleasant and convenient: two pockets for hands with zippers (one of them, with an inner loop, folds a jacket), two large internal patch pockets, elastic cuffs and an elastic bottom of the jacket.
The technology of down recreated from synthetics and the promising presentation of Micro Puff intrigued us. And although out of 10 years of work on Micro Puff, field trials were carried out for 4, we, without waiting for the jacket to appear in Russia, decided to test it ourselves in real conditions, form our own opinion about the declared advantages and identify the disadvantages. In August, they took the brand new Micro Puff Hoody from the Patagonia company store in Chamonix to test it during the climb to Petit Drew, while at the same time they looked at the jacket in the evenings at campsites and base camps on other routes.
Gear of the year
According to the respected Outside publication, the Patagonia Micro Puff hooded jacket was included in the list of the best equipment of 2018.
In recent years, Outside writes, brands have been constantly working to create durable moisture-proof insulation, and at the peak of popularity, there was mainly down with a water-repellent treatment or a mixture based on down. In 2018, several jackets with new synthetic heaters appeared on the equipment market at once, which in their properties came close to down, but at the same time, they can work in any weather. Micro Puff is the best of them.
This ultra-light jacket is filled with the new PlumaFill insulation, created on the basis of hydrophobic polyester fibres that mimic the structure and appearance of the down: a short soft “core” from which a thin “antennae” emerges. PlumaFill is placed between two layers of 10 den nylon fabric and sewn with a stitch with a thoughtful “pattern” that fixes the position of the insulation and prevents the formation of cold zones.
In terms of price/weight/warmth/sensation, Outside compares the Micro Puff with the downy best-selling Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie 800 FP and gives victory to synthetics.
Patagonia Micro Puff in numbers
- It took 10 years to develop a Micro Puff jacket.
- 120 hours spent creating the first prototype jacket
- 7 years, the first prototype was improved and brought to the ideal
- 21 sportsmen tested the jacket in the field
- 4 years of total field test duration
- 93% so many people out of the total number of those who tested the jacket felt that they were dealing with a product from down