The synthetic-fill Micro Puff impressed us last year with its high warmth- to-weight ratio, and this year Patagonia added a waterproof nylon shell to the Storm version, making it impervious to the elements. “It kept me warm and dry while I hiked in sopping conditions above treeline,” says one tester who used it to fend off a wintry mix on a 30°F day in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Caveat: price.
The jacket’s polyester fibers are strung together in filaments that don’t shift around like blown-in insulation, minimizing cold spots and maximizing warmth, even when wet. Downside: The waterproof shell means the Storm has below-average breathability. The fully adjustable hood expands to fit over a helmet, while an oversized cut allows for layering underneath.
“I loved the waterproof, zippered external pockets that sit just above my harness,” says one tester. “They’re large enough to stash my hat and bulkier gloves, and the mesh backing also provides ventilation.”
Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
Sizes: Men’s XS-XXL, Women’s XXS-XL
See more of the best Insulation for Winter 2018
See the entire Winter Gear Guide