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Patagonia MicroPuff Vest

in Clothing - Insulating - Synthetic (Polarguard, Primaloft, etc.)

Average Rating
4.67 / 5 (15 reviews)

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Stephen Eggleston
( happycamper )

South Bayish
Patagonia MicroPuff Vest on 09/08/2005 15:37:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This lightweight vest(my men's M: 171g/6oz)is another versatile item in the micropuff line. The construction is Patagonia's high quality(and the price is Patagonia's high price!) I like the soft feel of the 1 oz fabric. It seems to have slightly less insulation than the pullover, but I think this increases versatility. It can be worn over a baselayer in windy warm weather, under a windshell or over another midlayer in slightly colder weather. The front hem is slightly short on me; perfect under a pack but not as good otherwise. The button collar is more effort than a zip. The large inside pocket will only carry bulky item as others may fall out(oops I almost lost a $150 item this way!) I tried to stuff the vest into it's pocket but it required too much force in my opinion. All in all very effective clothing.

Edited by happycamper on 09/08/2005 15:42:06 MDT.

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Peter Horan
( PCHoran )

MicroPufff Vest--Great piece on 09/13/2005 09:39:33 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I recently bought the 2005 model MicroPuff Vest. I took it on a weeklong bike camping trip down the california coast as my only insulating layer. It's a total winner. Warm. Light. Compressible. A great part of a layer system.

Dane Burke
( Dane )

Western Washington
Light and Warm on 09/16/2005 11:59:04 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Good vest if you're looking for lightweight high-loft torso insulation and can do without a full zip. The lack of a full zip is actually what persuaded me to get this instead of the Montbell Thermawrap vest (and the fact that this vest has almost twice the loft). The buttons do take a bit more time, but it has never been an issue for me. The vest fits very tightly in it's own pocket...I don't like stuffing high-loft insulation that tightly but I do it anyway. I haven't noticed any ill-effects yet.

My main problem is the fit of the vest....the arm holes aren't tight enough to seal off the gap to better trap warmth, and it seems the vest was designed for someone a bit's far too roomy inside. I bet I could easily fit a Thermawrap vest or jacket under it, with their 0.3" lofts. I have a bit of a narrow build, but that doesn't account for all of the extra space. All other aspects of the fit are perfect for me (I am 6'3 and have a size large). I considered returning it for a medium, but the medium is 1 inch higher at the waist...the length on my large is just right, any shorter would be too short. Maybe someone below 6' would find a better fit with a medium, even if they are usually large.

If you're considering the Montbell vest: think about spending the extra ounce to get a higher loft:weight ratio and almost twice the overall loft. This vest is easy to find on sale, though it is already a good value.

I give it a 4 out of 5. If not for the fit problems it would be a solid 5, and I realize that fit is personal and will vary from person to person, but I think the fit is too roomy to properly fit the average hiker in a way that maximizes warmth. I am still happy I chose this instead of the Montbell, however.

Edited by Dane on 09/16/2005 12:07:47 MDT.

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William Webber
( micwebbpl )
Patagonia Micropuff Vest is the Vest on 10/19/2005 14:31:03 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Ok, Western Mountaineering has a new 3.5 ounce quilted down vest out, but for a wet conditions-friendly vest, the Patagonia Micropuff is tops!

This is minimalism of the best sort - no heavy zipper, no pockets, bullet proof light plastic snaps for partial venting.

You can wear this several ways (provided you size it right to begin with):

1. Over just a baselayer for rest-stops, or at camp as the day cools off;

2. Over a windshirt on windy chilly days at reststops (thus oversizing it is not a bad idea);

3. As your only extra warmth layer when you are overnighting and using a slighly underrated sleeping bag (I like to underrate my sleeping bag then wear my warm clothing to bed if needed);

4. As an EXTRA warmth layer in a sleeping bag, either over your chilly, windy day windshirt or under a warm piece like a Micropuff Jacket (or even under a Precip rainshell).

The only use I didn't mention is for active wear - it's just too hot. I guess if you are really skinny and tend to lose core (but not limb) warmth too quickly, a vest might make sense, but I still think the Micropuff could be too warm; an R2 (fleece) vest might be a more flexible alternative to the because it isn't windblocking and can thus be worn alone, under, or over a windbreaker to vary the temperature range.

For the same reason I don't recommend the Micropuff under a rain shell - even an R2 might be too hot, and a lighter vest better.

On the other hand, if your outdoor activity cycle is such that you often use a down vest, then the Micropuff might be a great, less bulky, more water "safe" alternative to your down vest...or might add a little extra warmth under a full down parka.

I have to admit I sometimes have trouble deciding whether to take the R2 vest or the Micropuff. If it's going to be my sole warmth piece on a dayhike, I'll take the Micropuff, because it will keep wind and light rain off my core, and probably be better if I get stuck out overnight; otherwise I think the R2 is more versatile, although a little less warm (actually, the R2 will hold off a light rain too, I treated it with Nikwax water repellent so most of the rain beads up on it) and heavier.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Patagonia Down Parka - Boy's priced at: $59.99 - $169.00
Patagonia Down Vest - Girl's priced at: $39.00 - $119.00
Patagonia R2 Vest - Men's priced at: $71.94 - $119.00
Patagonia R2 Vest - Women's priced at: $71.40 - $119.00
Stephan Guyenet
( Guyenet )
Almost perfect on 12/03/2005 18:01:52 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This vest is dope in almost every way. It's very light, warm and well constructed. The only problem is the armholes are too large! The fabric they used around the arms and waist is very stretchy so I'm sure they could have made them a bit tighter without hurting anyone. This vest is best for 3-season trekking, so you don't need big armholes to layer it over thick insulation.

Also, as mentioned previously, the vest requires too much force to stuff into its pocket.

Edited by Guyenet on 12/03/2005 18:02:57 MST.

Antonio Abad
( tonyabad )
Performs Better Than Expected on 03/19/2006 01:22:00 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

When I received my Puffball Vest I was somewhat underwhelmed: it looked like Patagonia skimped on the loft and the fit seemed kind of off. The latter objection was due to the combination of my physique (tall and skinny) and the use of elasticized in lieu of drawcord waist and arm bands. I was skeptical.

However, my impression changed after having used it over a series of dayhikes this Winter. This thing keeps me nice and warm! I've worn it in combination with a Coolmax tshirt and Cloudveil Prospector pullover in temperatures down to the upper teens and have been comfortable. I've had no issue with the use of the elasticized hems as they seem to form a nice seal when used with my Prospector. The collar is just the right height and I actually appreciate the button closure instead of a zipper when I'm wearing gloves. In short, I am in disbelief over how warm this little vest keeps me.

I plan on combining this little wonder with a 7 oz. fleece shirt as my insulation for early spring/late fall/mild winter overnighters (lows in the lower 20's), resulting in a versatile, cozy, leightweight synthetic insulation system (fleece shirt, puffball vest, and microfleece beenie).

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nathan matthews
( nathanm )

Bay Area
more comments on weird sizing on 05/03/2006 22:24:10 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

others have done a great job describing this vest. my 2 cents are on using the size medium for tall and skinny folks.

i'm 6'6" and skinny enough i decided to get the medium--figured the vest would be warmer if it didn't billow around me. the circumfrence is right, and i knew it would end up being too short, but the unexpected problem is that the arm holes are too small for me. sleeping in the vest over midweight capillene, i find myself tugging at the arm holes in my sleep and wishing they were a little bigger.

of course, this probably contributes to the vest's warmth. but if i were doing it again, i think i'd risk losing some warmth to gain some comfort.

Bob Bankhead
( wandering_bob )

Oregon, USA
Patagonia Micro-Puff Vest on 06/14/2006 21:27:34 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I spent 45 minutes in the Portland Patagonia store vacillating between the vest and pullover. I settled on the lighter (6 vs. 12 oz), less expensive ($89 vs. $148) vest because I felt it was more versatile. It can be worn over a base layer or wind shirt while hiking under load. I like the snug fit and have no problem with the elastic or sizes of the arm openings. I find it easy to stuff in its own pocket, albeit after a few learning attempts. The 3 inch stand-up collar is a nice addition.

The pullover is much warmer, heavier, and expensive (due to the added sleeves), and is too warm to hike in under load. I don't voluntarily go hiking is sub-freezing snow/sleet storms. However, as an in-camp or at rest break insulating layer, it will blow the vest away.

In retrospect, I have about convinced myself that it's going to be below freezing at night at 11,000 feet on the JMT, even in August, and I sleep cold, especially my shoulders and upper arms. I suspect I'll sneak back to the store while my wife is out of town and add the pullover to my kit. Because of the NPS-mandated bear cannister in the Sierras, bulk is an issue and I simply won't have room in the pack for both the vest and the pullover. Jacks R Better has the right idea with separate down-filled arm coverings.

I thought about waiting for the promised BMW hooded Cucoon Pullover, but I've read a few too many comments about the "delicate" or "fragile" nature of the Cucoon. I'm also not impressed with the unreliable production system. As a retired QC Manager, that concerns me. Patagonia's quality and reputation for delivering the promised functionality is on par with that of Western Mountaineering.

Besides, he who dies with the most gear, wins! Right?

Wandering Bob

Edited by wandering_bob on 06/19/2006 09:32:24 MDT.

Greg Vaillancourt
( GSV45 )

The old stripped down version on 11/04/2006 09:43:30 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've had mine for a little over a year and this is a great piece of gear. I wear it only when backpacking/hiking/snowshoeing to extend it's life.

It has been great to wear on rest stops. The lack of pockets is never an issue.The snap closure on the neck should prove to be plenty durable. I have a Patagucci pullover that is 11 years old that has the same snaps and they still work fine.

The fit and armholes are fine for me.

The new 2006 version has pockets and a full length zipper. BAH! I fart in Patagonia's general direction!

Edited by GSV45 on 11/04/2006 09:46:38 MST.

Christopher Plesko
( Pivvay )

Rocky Mountains
Great summer insulation piece! on 11/11/2006 18:43:53 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've had the Micropuff vest for a few months now and feel comfortable in giving a review. The vest is a total winner. I bought it for a summer insulation safety piece since it's synthetic and my bag is down. Weight in a men's small is 5.8oz. It stuffs into its own pocket but I don't use that so I am going to cut it out to save a touch more weight. I am 5'11" and 155lbs and the small fits well.

I've slept in it multiple times and once in combination with the Micropuff Pullover for a very warm combination and boost to my summer sleeping bag in fall cold weather. I've also worn it standing around in cold weather and riding my bike when first waking up on cold mornings before my body gets up to temp. The stand up collar is awesome and the DWR works well against short showers.

I totally would recommend it, especially when they are on sale for half off! Patagonia and other places have them on sale often and I picked mine up for $45.

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Johnny Gish
( jtgish )

Coppell, Texas
Cut is rather large on 12/01/2006 13:48:10 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I agree with all the great qualities others have mentioned about the Micropuff Pullover, but one thing to know is the cut is rather large. I wear a size Large in all other Patagonia gear but when I got the MP in Large it swallowed me. I know they leave room for layering but not this pullover seems as though it was cut for pregnant women.

eric levine
( ericl )

Northern Colorado
Good light vest 4.5 stars really on 04/07/2007 15:26:31 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

As already said, the cut is a little large, and I opted for the small, which just fits me.

I believe this vest is or will not be available, with a zipped version replacing it.

I find this vest good to very good. Very nice to hike in, though not nearly as warm as say a good down sweater (which you could not hike in).

The elastic still works for me, in my 2nd season now using it.

Thatcher Drew
( node1 )
fabulous garmet on 04/18/2007 06:07:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The 2xl fit is perfect. We carry this garmet for regular use and for safety. It kept us warm in a quick 20 degree cold snap with only a hat, shell and base layer. Hmmm. come to think of it we had the jacket version for this (which we also love).

Edited by node1 on 04/18/2007 06:12:01 MDT.

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Jonathan Ryan
( Jkrew81 - M )

White Mtns
Perfect LW 4 Season Insulation on 04/18/2007 14:03:34 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This item never leaves my pack. For 3 season use it is my "stop and pull on" goto. For winter climbing is goes on under my shell when the going gets tough above treeline. Recently I pre-ordered a UL 60 Cocoon hood to help extend the range of use I get from this item.

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Craig Shelley
( craig_shelley )

Rocky Mountains
One of my favorite clothing items on 07/18/2007 21:26:30 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This is one of my favorite pieces of clothing. It goes into my pack often. I only wear it when I'm hiking in very cold temperatures but when I stop, it often comes out to keep me warm. It is light. It dries quickly. There are very few pieces of clothing that I take with me more.

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