The Gear I Grab: Patagonia Puffy Jacket

The Patagonia puffy jacket, worn by doctors and ski bums alike, is a mountain town essential. The warmth to weight ratio is unmatched and the myriad of colors means there is a jacket for every occasion. I have grown to love my jacket and I bring one with me everywhere I go.

I have several memories of when my Patagonia jackets have been beyond helpful, but the most notable was when my jacket quite literally saved my buns.

A few years ago, we were in Zions National Park and had a permit to hike the narrows from top to bottom. This is a strenuous but beautiful 18 mile hike through a breathtaking cannon. You end up wading in the water for most of the hike. We needed to move fast so I couldn’t bring anything but the essentials. I tossed my water bottle, first aid kit, survival supplies kit (mylar blanket, some rope, a leatherman multitool, and a fire starting kit), and enough high calorie snacks for the day into my dry bag. Taking one last look around I spotted my Patagonia micro puff jacket in the passenger seat of my truck. I decide I won’t need it because the sun is out and the temperature is high. I only made it about 20 feet from the truck when I turned back and stuffed the jacket into my bag. After all, it weighs almost nothing and packs down smaller than a nalgene water bottle.

We had a beautiful hike through the narrow. The water wasn’t too cold and there were only a handful of places where the water was more than 6 feet deep. That being said we were all exhausted by mile 12. Imagine walking on moss covered bowling balls for 8 hours and you’d know how we felt. We soldiered on and finished the hike. At the end of the canyon you must take the shuttle bus back to the main parking lot in Zions. We were soaked to the bone and ready to fall asleep standing up. For some reason the air conditioning was on in the bus and we all started to shiver. I remembered my jacket and stripped off my wet shirt. Nothing felt as comforting or as warm as the jacket felt then. I promptly fell asleep for the rest of the bus ride while my poor companions suffered through the cold. I still feel a little bad for my comfort amidst their discomfort but I am almost positive every one of those guys went out and bought Patagonia puffy jackets as soon as they could.

My wife’s favorite jacket on the left and my favorite on the right

The Patagonia Nano, Micro, and Macro Puff jackets all use wind and rip resistant polyester shells with goose down fill. This configuration ensures maximum warmth with a minimum weight. The jackets are almost perfect but there are a few cons to consider. The first being durability. The jackets are made out of light weight material which means they won’t be as tough as your Carhartt jacket. This is a drawback but Patagonia’s Iron Clad Agreement means you can send your jacket for free repair for the life of the garment. I have personally torn one of my jackets and sent it in for repair. I can’t even tell where the repair was done and they even replaced the zipper because it was worn. This repairability sets the Patagonia puffy jackets apart from almost all others on the market. Patagonia also makes sure their garments are all Fair Trade Sewn and Certified. They are committed to their workers and the environment.

These luxuries of repair and guilt free purchase have one main drawback, price. These jackets cost anywhere from $150-300 USD. Fortunately there are a couple of ways to save money if you shop around. I usually check Facebook marketplace and any other used clothing app to find Patagonia gear I want. You can also buy gear second hand on Patagonia.com. Any damage can be repaired for free and their equipment is built to last. I have bought all of my puffy jackets but one second hand and have no regrets. 

The Patagonia Down Sweater is a ski day essential

So If you are in the market for a new mid layer or an everyday jacket to wear to the office consider buying a Patagonia puffy jacket. I love mine and I’m sure you’ll love it too. Here is a link to my favorite jacket.

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