Maximum Puff: Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket Review

by Mac Misseldine
Updated May 06, 2020

patagonia macro puff jacket review

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Patagonia’s Macro Puff Jacket takes everything you love about the Micro Puff to the next level. Packed with more high-loft, water-resistant PlumaFill insulation, the Macro Puff has what it takes to tackle cold and windy weather.

What We Dig

PlumaFill replicates down insulation

Packs twice as much insulation as the Micro Puff jacket

Windproof and water-resistant

Ultralight and packable with a separate stuff sack

What We Don’t

Steep price tag

Water resistant isn’t the same as waterproof

The Specs

Shell and lining: 0.8-oz 10D 100% recycled nylon ripstop with a DWR finish

Pockets: 2 zippered hand-warmers, 1 zippered chest, 2 internal drop-ins

Insulation: 100% Polyester PlumaFill

Manufactured in: Fair Trade Certified™ sewn in Vietnam

Fit: Regular

The Verdict

The new Patagonia Macro Puff jacket builds on the popular chassis of the Micro Puff, delivering a premium synthetic down jacket that can tackle colder temperatures, harsher winds, and even a little precipitation.

It’s lightweight and packable, and the quilted construction keeps the synthetic insulation in place so you don’t have to worry about down shifting or cold spots.

You may drop an extra Benjamin upgrading from the Micro Puff to the Macro Puff, but that’s a small price to pay for double the insulation.

Wear this as an outer layer on dry, cold-weather hikes or an inner layer on frigid, windy ascents, and you’re sure to be a happy camper.

Check The Price — Men’s Check The Price — Women’s


About The Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket

YouTube video

Ready to take a look under the hood?

Let’s take a deep dive into the Macro Puff Jacket to see what it’s made of, what makes it unique, and why Patagonia’s synthetic insulation may actually perform better than genuine down.


The Macro Puff Jacket is constructed with 0.8-oz 10-denier 100% recycled nylon ripstop. It’s ultralight, windproof, and highly durable, and the fabric feels buttery soft against your skin.

The jacket is treated with a DWR finish for optimal water resistance, but don’t expect water to bead off of the fabric like a waterproof rain jacket. It can handle light precipitation, but anything more than a mist or drizzle will require an outer shell.

PlumaFill Synthetic Insulation

PlumaFill is Patagonia’s proprietary synthetic insulation, and it’s one of the best in the industry.

While PlumaFill doesn’t have as much loft as genuine down, it’s just as compressible and warm. In fact, PlumaFill has been proven to match the warmth-to-weight ratio of 900 fp goose down, making it an excellent alternative to pricey down jackets.

PlumaFill is naturally water resistant and dries quickly when wet. Unlike goose down, the polyester fibers can still insulate heat when wet, giving it a slight edge over down jackets.

Key Features

For the Macro Puff Jacket, Patagonia employs an innovative, minimal-stitch quilting construction to maximize and stabilize the PlumaFill’s loft.

To lock out the cold, the Macro Puff Jacket features elasticized cuff closures and an extended hem with a dual-adjust cord-lock system. If you opt for the alpine helmet-compatible hoody, the single-point adjustable hood also has an elasticated binding at the opening to deliver a snug, custom fit.

The two-way center-front zipper provides easy access to your belay loop when climbing, and the zipper garage at the top keeps your chin comfortable when it’s fully zipped up.

You’ll find five pockets on the Macro Puff — two hand-warmers up front, one zippered pocket on the chest, and two internal drop-in pockets.

When it’s time to stash your jacket in your backpack, the Macro Puff conveniently packs into a separate stuff sack. Thanks to the highly compressible PlumaFill insulation, it’s surprisingly compact and portable — perfect for backpackers, climbers and campers.

Community Reviews

The Patagonia Macro Puff Jacket commands a premium price, but is it worth its weigh in cold hard cash? Let’s take a look at what other outdoor enthusiasts have to say about it in early field tests. 

Positive Reviews

“I used the Macro Puff for months, from campsites across Colorado to winter hikes in Minnesota,” writes Adam Ruggiero at Gear Junkie. “Depending on how you layer underneath, this jacket works for chilly autumn nights and bitterly cold arctic blasts alike.”

“As for water resistance, the Macro Puff worked just fine for wet snow and sleet in Denver,” continues Adam Ruggiero. “It won’t bead and shed droplets like a true waterproof garment, but it should work fine to keep you dry as long as you’re not taking it in a rainstorm.”

“Love my new Macro Puff Jacket,” says Catherine G. at Patagonia. “Jacket is warm enough for 2° weather, fits well and looks terrific!”

“With the hood on, Patagonia’s Macro Puff makes it easy to forget about whatever mother nature has in store, allowing you to focus on the task at hand, be it touring, digging a pit or even starting a fire,” writes Mike Hardaker at Mountain Weekly News.

“When I tried it on, it was a lot roomier and warmer than the Micro Puff or Nano-Air,” writes Matthew D at Patagonia. “The Macro is thicker (more insulation) than the Micro Puff, but not too thick where it feels like it couldn’t be a mid-layer. It also has a little bit of a stretch to it when I moved my arms around to test for maneuverability.”

“I see this jacket as a great competitor to the synthetic jacket market and now in the top two in my short list,” continues Matthew D. “I’m switching to synthetic as my down jacket got wet and useless under a gortex shell while hiking El Chalten in rain/snow in November. I’m 5’10” at 190 lbs and the medium felt great.”

Critical Reviews

“Nice jacket, very comfortable, the fit is good, very lightweight,” comments Melissa R. at Patagonia. “However, I was quite disappointed to discover it didn’t keep me very warm. It would seem it is only good for cool weather, definitely not for cold weather.

“In 25 degree weather, which I don’t consider that cold, WITH a Nano Puff, a fleece vest, and the Macro Puff on top, the cold air came right through,” continues Melissa R. “The jacket is definitely lightweight, but I didn’t feel it was keeping me much warmer than a Nano Puff, which is considerably less expensive.”

Community Consensus

While a handful of customers have reported that the Macro Puff Jacket isn’t as warm as they’d like, the naysayers are outnumbered by happy campers who report the jacket performs superbly in the field.

You may still need to don a hardshell outer layer in severe weather, and you’ll definitely need a waterproof shell in rainy conditions, but overall, field tests demonstrate that the Macro Puff is surprisingly resilient in sub-freezing temperatures.

Our Recommendation: Get It

patagonia macro puff hoody

We love the versatility of the Macro Puff Jacket. Where other synthetic insulation jackets often require an outer layer when temperatures drop, field tests show that the Macro Puff Jacket has what it takes to tackle cold, windy weather on its own.

When you encounter rainy or sub-freezing temperatures that require layering the Macro Puff, you’ll find that it serves as a fantastic mid-layer with superior insulation. The PlumaFill won’t quit on you like goose down if it gets wet, and the extra filling means you’ll be significantly warmer than the average synthetic insulation jacket.  

In short, the Macro Puff Jacket’s wide range of comfort means you’ll get far more use out of this beastie than pack-leaders like the Nano Puff, Micro Puff, and North Face ThermoBall.    

Check The Price — Men’s Check The Price — Women’s


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