Patagonia Micro Puff Pullover Initial Review
After last weekend's 14er trip Marni and I knew we were lacking in one more layer, especially in the torso. At the top of Gray's in the windy, early morning weather we climbed into our warm down sleeping bags as base layers, fleece and windshirts were no longer cutting it. Now I'm not really opposed to our warm down bags but they do have some disadvantages. They are heavy (3lbs each), they don't pack small (I had to carry both in my bigger pack), and they are hard to move around in (shoulders uncovered while eating breakfast). In short, they are overkill for a day hike and with bivy's packed for an emergency we could certainly survive a night without them. Anticipating this problem I had already taken advantage of Sierra Trading Post's closeout on Patagonia Micro Puff pullovers at 50% off and ordered 2 on Friday. While they didn't arrive before our Saturday hike, today they were waiting for me when I stopped home during my lunch time ride.
In the extremely light package I found 2 pullovers, one men's small in black and one men's medium in orange/red. While the orange wasn't my first color choice (only color in medium on closeout) it actually looks quite nice in person. Both pullovers are extremely light compared to other jackets and clothing we have around the house but I haven't got to weigh them yet. They should be in the 11-13 oz range depending on size and matching stuff sacks are included as well. The sizing appears to be a standard cut while I might prefer slightly trimmer. At 5'11" and 155lbs the small fits me well in the torso girth but the rest of the dimensions are too small, notably the sleeves and torso length. The medium fits me well in the rest of the dimensions and with enough room in the torso to layer underneath. A simple drawstring and cordlock at the lower hem allow for tightening up at the waist although I don't see myself using that feature much. The wrist cuffs are half elastic and have enough give to allow me to easily take the pullover on and off even with my watch. Marni, who the small was purchased for, is 5'6 and athletic. I'm not dumb enough to list her weight on a public blog :) The small fits her somewhat similarly to how the medium fits me albeit with maybe a touch more sleeve length. Luckily she seems to dress colder than me and it will give her room to layer without being overly baggy.
How warm are they? Far too warm to wear around the house at the moment so it will have to get colder or we will have to gain a lot of elevation to give the Polargard Delta a true test. Marni and I broiled during the short picture taking session. Of course that didn't stop me from wearing mine on my trip to the bank with the AC cranked up all the way. The DWR finish seems to work well as it was raining decently hard at that time and I left the driver's side window open. Water beaded up easily and no where did the jacket wet out during the 15 or 20 minutes I was "outside". The outer fabric is thin and I'm not going to play hockey in it but it feels sufficiently durable for it's intended use. The inner layer felt fine against my skin and not noticably clammy despite sweating slightly and wearing a short sleeve t-shirt underneath. For a light insulating torso layer I think it will give a lot of warmth and since it will come along on most trips anyway it will allow me to move to a lighter, warmer rating sleeping bag as well.
Last winter I would have really appreciated this piece on the bitterly cold days with nothing but bulky fleece to insulate me. I'm not really wishing for summer to end yet but before we know it I have a feeling this item will make it into my every day bag. I'm excited to see how the synthetic insulation fairs against the cold rain and snow of beard freezing biking miles. For now I will be content to take it along on the rest of the 14er trips this summer and for those pre-dawn race starts at high altitude where it's definitely cold standing around.
If you want to try one yourself and are a S,M or 2XL then check out the MicroPuff Closeout quick. That's all for now!