The debate between down and synthetic always ends in stalemate. Each puffy, lightweight insulation has its own loyal camp and its members are quick to tout the benefits of their chosen faction: down is lighter, warmer, more packable; synthetic is water-resistant and cheaper. Technological advances are continually pushing the limits of each insulation, making the two more and more similar in the process.
Patagonia is known for making big strides in these advancements, and its latest insulating jacket, the Micro Puff Hoody, is a feather in the cap of synthetic insulation. At 9.3 ounces (264g) the Micro Puff is the lightest insulating jacket Patagonia has ever made and has the best warmth-to-weight ratio of any in its current line. That’s because PlumaFill, the synthetic insulation inside the jacket’s rectangular baffles, mimics the structure of down feathers to provide ultralightweight, water-resistant warmth. It’s lighter and it’s more packable. And it still has pockets.
Shell and lining: 0.7-oz 10-denier 100% nylon ripstop Pertex Quantum GL with a DWR (durable waterproof repellent) finish.
Insulation: 65-g PlumaFill 100% polyester