The bigger burlier cousin to the Micro Puff, the Patagonia Macro Puff is designed with cold weather activities in mind. Filled with more than twice the insulation of a Micro Puff, the Patagonia Macro Puff adds warmth without sacrificing weight to make this a good midweight insulation piece. Think gusty ski tour transitions, belaying in the fall or early spring and mild winter camping.
Specs at a Glance:
- Shell and lining: 0.8-oz 10-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish
- Insulation: 135-g PlumaFill (body); 90-g PlumaFill (side panels and sleeves)
- Weight: 374 grams for a large
- Country of Origin: Vietnam
Patagonia’s Micro Puff Jacket was and still is a massive hit, and for good reason. A lightweight water resistant outer filled with Patagonia’s proprietary synthetic insulation, called PlumaFill. It’s water resistance and warm when wet performance along with a unique quilting pattern made it a hit. Patagonia saw the need for a warmer version of the Micro Puff to suit colder climates or lower output activities while still bringing some weather resistance and so introduced the Macro Puff.
Micro vs. Macro:
Though similar on first look, the Micro and Macro Puff are quite different. Let’s take a look at some of those differences.
135 grams of Patagonia’s proprietary synthetic PlumaFill insulation fills the inside of the Macro Puff. Plumafill is a synthetic insulation that is designed to mimic the structure of down in a continuous synthetic insulation material. The difference between the Micro and Macro here is that the micro has 65 grams of insulation. All PlumaFill is made of recycled Nylon and should remain relatively warm even when wet from light precipitation or sweat.
Traditional down jackets are either sewn through or box baffled in order to keep their insulation where it should be. As the Plumafill is one continuous sheet of insulation. This removes the need for traditional baffles. The insulation still needs to be held in place and that is why the Macro Puff has it’s own quilting style which gives the Micro and Macro Puff their signature look.
The Micro and Macro Puff are both made with Fair trade certified sewing.
The MacroPuff is made with a slightly heavier 0.8-oz 10-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish. This translates to a slightly tougher outer than the Micro Puff with only a small addition in weight. As this will often be worn outside of a shell, this trade off is well worth it.
The shell in the Macro Puff is strong, but still relatively light weight, Though I bring this jacket with me for ski transitions, I do not ski in the trees with this jacket on the outside. It is still a very supple and thin shell and if caught on a branch, would likely be disastrous. If you are looking for a tougher shelled version of this jacket, take a look at the Patagonia DAS jacket.
Patagonia changed directions on the hood. Where the Micro Puff had a thin lightly insulated hood that was designed to fit under a helmet, the Macro Puff has a hood designed to fit over a helmet. I much prefer the over helmet design as I often use this jacket to stay warm on transitions. Putting it on the moment I stop, and then, taking it off when it’s time to descend. If the hood is under a helmet, I will always have to remove my helmet when transitioning.
The Patagonia Macro Puff has two hand warmer packets. They are, unfortunately, not lined with any fleece or softer material but lined with nylon ripstop. I suspect this is due to Patagonia expecting you will be wearing the jacket in exceptionally cold temps and will likely have gloves on. I would have still liked to have fleece lined pockets.
There is one external chest pocket. It’s great for camera batteries, spare neck tubes or whatever you like. You can fit an iPhone SE2020 inside the pocket but not an iPhone 8 plus. I suspect a GoPro or similar action camera would also fit.
One of my favorite features are the two internal drop-in pockets. They are massive and can easily fit a pair of skins. For your town based forays they each easily fit a wine bottle or your favorite Whiskey. There is one caveat to these drop pockets though. The 10d material is quite tough but it is also fairly supple. The pockets, being somewhat loose, can hang out the zipper and a quick up-zip could catch them and tear them.
The jacket, with care, can also be stuffed into it’s left hand pocket negating the need for the separate stuff sack.
Ventilation is not the name of this jacket’s game, insulation is. Therefore, you get one zipper and one chance at ventilation. The Center-front zipper has a storm flap for warmth and zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort. It is a two way zipper so if you are using this jacket as a belay parka then you can easily access your harness but zipping up from the bottom.
The Macro Puff has small elasticated cuffs that are functional. They do enough to keep anything foreign from getting in. Due to the softer nature of the shell, I wish it had a longer elasticated cuff to keep the shell away from clumsy hands and sharp edges.
Zipper + Hem:
The Macro Puff has a two way YKK zipper. This allows for easier access to your harness when you are climbing. Another new edition to the Macro is a waist hem chord. Should you need to cinch the jacket tight at the bottom, you can. An option that was previously unavailable on the Micro Puff.
Fit and Feel
This is one heck of a comfortable jacket. Light on the shoulders and fairly warm. I am 6’1” and roughly 200 pounds. I do not feel I have the biggest shoulders, yet sometimes, the shoulders on this jacket feel a little tight. That said, the rest of the jacket fits quite well. The jacket is a great length, ending about … inches below my belt. The arms are just long enough that when I reach out with one arm, the jacket still reaches my wrist.
The Macro Puff’s 374 grams is hardly noticeable. There is also a lack of rubbing noise while in motion, thanks no doubt to the suppleness of the material.
The Macro Puff also adds length over the Micro Puff. It may be because of the length, but the jacket does feel and look somewhat boxy.
I’ve really enjoyed wearing the Patagonia Macro Puff. It’s lightweight, weather resistance and added warmth have been an asset in my pack. Despite having tight shoulders, I’ve grown used to it and it is no means a hindrance. I normally wear an XL in jackets but due to this jacket
The jacket has performed well on a few snow laden fall hikes hovering around 0 degrees C and was able to wear it while hiking at a medium pace. I keep it in my winter pack at all times as an emergency jacket and as to keep warm on ski transitions. If I were headed to somewhere I expected temps to drop below -10, I’d bring along a warmer jacket.
It’s DWR treatment has stood up to light blowing snow and some Squamish drizzle. I would not have it as an outer layer in wet snow or medium to heavy rain. You would end up wet, without a doubt. I still keep the jacket in a waterproof sackwhile in my bag despite the DWR treatment. I don’t want to risk having my pack wet out and ending with a wet jacket.
If you are looking for a medium weight synthetic jacket for three season belays or for cold days around town, have a look at the Patagonia Macro Puff.
Pros: Recycled materials, light weight, warm when moist
Cons: Boxy Shape, drop pockets will eventually get caught in main zip, not as warm as equivalent down jackets
Black Sheep Adventure Sports was provided with a sample of the Patagonia Macro Puff for review purposes. This did not influence our opinion of the jacket in any way.