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Down and Insulated Jackets

Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket | Review

We liked the Patagonia Nano Puff, we loved the Micro Puff… how did we fare with the brand new Patagonia Macro Puff?

Why We Chose The Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket: Lightweight, extremely warm, great features.

We first got a look at this synthetic insulated jacket from Patagonia at the huge ISPO winter gear trade show in Munich at the end of 2018 and, although it was just a glance, our team were all very impressed. Now, ahead of its release for AW19, we’ve been able to have a good stomp around with it in the fjords of Norway and windswept mountains of Wales, and we have to say, we’re still definitely impressed.

We liked Patagonia’s previous synthetic insulated jacket, the Micro Puff, ‘the lightest, most compressible synthetic jacket Patagonia have ever made’. We also liked the similar Nano Puff. Now with this, the Macro, we have the bigger, burlier, warmer version.

And we can 100% confirm it’s warm. Really warm, and you wouldn’t believe it given how light it feels.

“This became the jacket I turned to when the temperatures were at their coldest.”

Like the Micro Puff it uses Patagonia’s PlumaFill fibres that are housed in offset baffles to keep the amount of stitching that’s required low. However, while the Micro uses a 65g/m2 rated fill, the Macro can boast 135g/m2. In regards to overall weight, the Hooded Micro weighs 264g while the Macro comes in at 420g.

It’s not just the higher overall density of the fill that makes the Macro heavier than the Micro, it’s the cut of the jacket as well. It’s much longer, coming down to cover the handwarmer pockets on your trousers and dropping down to cover your backside, and you can cinch it in using the drawcords in the handwarmer pockets.

There are warmer synthetic jackets out there, but we actually can’t think of any that strike the warmth-weight-packability balance as well as this. Over the last couple of years, brands have been getting nearer and nearer to fully mimicking down with their synthetic developments, and now it feels like this has brought us closer than ever.

The Macro Puff is stuffed full of 135g/m2 of Patagonia's PlumaFill insulation. Photo: Chris Johnson
A two way zippers makes harness access easy. Photo: Chris Johnson
A helmet compatible hood completes the Macro Puff Jacket. A hoodless version is also available. Photo: Chris Johnson

Of course, there’s the wet weather advantage over down that synthetics can boast.

We were hit by some very drizzly weather during the testing of this jacket and it still kept us warm. It’s not by any means a substitute for your waterproof jacket, but if you ever find yourself caught out, this’ll do a much better job for you than a down jacket, even those with hydrophobic treatments.

As we’ve all come to expect with Patagonia, they’ve taken steps to make sure the Macro is produced in an ethically and environmentally-friendly way. The PlumaFill might not be recycled but the outer nylon is, there’s also fairtrade sewing throughout. It’s a shame the water repellent treatment still contains PFCs though. Patagonia are forward thinking when it comes to the environment, but it’s strange they haven’t joined brands like Vaude in eradicating these nasty chemicals from their products.

As a jacket for climbers and alpine mountaineers, this should be up to scratch for most people, not just because of that lightweight warmth but thanks to the smaller details as well. These include a two-way zip that means you can throw it on and still have use of your harness, and also pockets that can be accessed if you’re wearing the harness over your jacket. There are also cuffs that are stretchy enough to let you pull it over already gloved hands, inner pockets for storing your gloves or perhaps your climbing skins, and finally to top it all off (quite literally) there’s that hood that can cinch right in via a toggle on the back for a very, very snug fit. Oh, and if you’d prefer a hoodless version, that option will be available also.

The slightly longer cut is appreciated when you’re wearing a hipbelt or harness. Photo: Chris Johnson

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic Editor

“We had a number of different jacket to use from during our Outdoor 100 testers’ week in Wales, and this became the one I turned to when the temperatures were at their coldest. There was icy wind and stinging rain and this provide some great respite from it all.

“It is remarkable how warm this is actually when you consider how light it feels. It’s also impressive how lofty it gets – it’s as snug as my favourite down jacket, for sure.

“As with the Micro Puff, the baffle design is an interesting one, and I can see what Patagonia are getting at in terms of keeping the stitching low. During my period of testing, the seams have all stood up well, with none looking like they’ve snagged or frayed.

“That brings me onto the main outer shell fabric. As with the Micro Puff, it’s a thin 15D nylon, and it does feel very thin. I haven’t had any problems with it through my use, but it does seem a little vulnerable – something to look after carefully.

“As for the trim, I really liked the longer cut to it. I’ve got to send this review sample back to Patagonia (these are in short supply due to popular demand apparently!) and this has made me realise there’s a gap in my gear closet that needs filling with a longer insulated jacket! Compared to the Micro and Nano, I’d say there’s also a bit more volume to this, which is no bad thing. Patagonia, send me another one when you’ve got more in, will ya?”

Packs down into its own pocket. Photo: Chris Johnson
A concealed zip on the chest. Photo: Chris Johnson

Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 2019/20

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