Patagonia: Micro Puff® Hoody
Test, from seas to mountains, of the synthetic padded jacket of the Californian Brand29 October 2018
Practice, warm and light. Patagonia's Micro Puff® is at the top of the jackets with synthetic padding.
With the first cold, the first snowfall, the choice of the padded jacket becomes difficult.
In a market full of proposals Patagonia presented the Micro Puff® Hoody. I wore it from February to September, in very different environments for characteristics, in a test that I would call "seas and mountains", from 3,600 to 0m asl.
Obviously - and the Patagonia campaign aims a lot on this - the first aspect that strikes, jacket in hand, is the extreme lightness.
To eye and touch, it seems even too light. In backlight it is almost transparent, with the exception of the heart of the jacket: the PlumaFill ™ padding.
Once worn, the shiny outer fabric slides along the sleeves without weight, a feeling of warmth begins to be felt immediately. Pleasant, enveloping. I was still at home in February.
The first snow test begins on the first weekend. Destination: France, Névache. Very hot approaching, but upon arrival at the shelter - after a review - I enjoy a beer outside, with the sun setting behind the Pointe des Cerces. The temperature drops and the Micro Puff® Hoody proves immediately useful. Light, practical and above all warm. The hood is then comfortable and enveloping, so well structured and shaped that you do not need any adjustment with uncomfortable lanyards and tapes, practically unmanageable with gloves.
The following day, accomplices the shadow and the wind, I hold the jacket for almost the whole climb; the characteristics of Pertex Quantum® outer fabric in water-repellent, windproof ripstop nylon, combined with lightness make the use always pleasant and the sweat is not felt.
The test then continued with other scialp releases and a few days of freeride and dust. In these last releases I was able to enjoy the excellent water repellency (with DWR treatment, durable water repellent) and, of course, heat. In the ascents with the skis in the backpack and the high snow, the Micro Puff® Hoody protected me without ever getting wet and then leaving the feeling of damp on my back. Downhill, under a shell in gore-tex, it kept me warm.
In late spring, I then brought my jacket in the wet and cool woods of the Val di Mello for a bit of bouldering. Even here I could appreciate all the technical features already listed.
Then summer came. Family commitments have limited the mountaineering exits this year, but have not limited the use of the jacket!
In August, I am in Croatia on a sailing boat and with me, thanks to its compressibility, the Micro Puff® Hoody. A duvet in August at the beach?!?!
Yes. And I did not regret it. Rather. We traversed the Adriatic up to Ancona. During the day we are accompanied by dolphins. The night from cold and wet. The Micro Puff® Hoody, despite its lightness and transparency, keeps me warm and dry, despite the humidity is really crazy enough to have to get up often to turn the foam mats to not get too wet legs and sit. In the morning, only a few rays of sunshine are enough to dry it. A portento.
Improved thermal insulation. Patagonia says on its website that "the Micro Puff® Hoody offers the highest level of heat in relation to its weight among all our garments". I can not validate the thesis scientifically, but I assure you that this jacket is really a wonder.
Anti-wind. Despite the "lightweight" stitching, the Pertex Quantum® nylon ripstop outer fabric does a great job, along with stretch cuffs and hem.
Lightness. It's the thing that you notice most and immediately. The Micro Puff® Hoody is truly a feather, but filled with PlumaFill (in 100% polyester with 65 g / m²).
Seams. A feature that I found very well done and that is not at all "publicized" is the arrangement of the seams. To keep the padding Patagonia has developed small horizontal stitching to offset. Unlike other padded jackets, in which the seams tend to "jump" under the rubbing of the shoulder straps of the backpack, harnesses, etc. the Micro Puff® Hoody manages to be more durable because of the revolutionary layout of the seams that are, in fact, not continuous and very well made.
To conclude, I can say that the Micro Puff® Hoody turned out to be truly revolutionary.
Well built and with advanced technical solutions (padding and outer fabric) is a jacket not suitable for extreme climates, but perfect for all adventures where there is need of protection from cold, wind and humidity.
Always carry it with you and you will never regret it!