I never thought when I was learning to ski at age 6 where my skis would take me.
How many memories my gear and clothes would hold?
I remember my Dad helping me into a garage-sale jacket and putting mittens on my tiny, frozen hands.
There’s the short, tailored sweater with yellow and blue stripes that I wore as a teenager—a tool to attract boys.
When I started winter climbing, I gave up fashion for the function of baggy wool: a brown, plaid button-down, army trousers, and Dachstein mitts.
Back then we all wore wool because it kept us insulated from the cold even when it was wet.
The problem was the smell of sweaty, wet wool is distinctive. And, inevitably, before the end of a long day, an ice storm would blow in and I’d be caked—further insulated with a thick layer of snow and ice!
After college new fabrics became available. To save money, I made my own waterproof anorak but splurged on a Patagonia fleece.
Living out of my Subaru, I didn’t have many clothes. I wore this fleece day and night for eight years. I loved it because it didn’t stink when it got wet. It was also softer, and dried faster than wool.
Over the years I have tested many different insulating jackets.
Always, the challenge is to find a material that insulates by trapping heat but also breathes. A material that “breathes” means that it allows moisture vapor to move away from your body and your next-to-skin, wicking, base layer.
For a decade, Patagonia worked to answer the problem that when down gets wet it looses its heat-trapping loft, but synthetics are never as warm and compressible.
The Micro Puff is the answer. It’s a synthetic jacket made with a unique patterning construction that works to prevent down-like filaments from shifting.
The result is the best warmth to weight ration of any jacket Patagonia has ever created. That is saying a lot!
The Micro Puff is not a belay jacket.
The Micro Puff is designed to be part of a layering system, which Patagonia developed in the 1970’s:
- Next-to-skin wicking layer
- Insulating layer
- Wind, water resistant/proof shell
We couldn’t be more proud to have Patagonia as the title sponsor for Chicks Climbing and Skiing.
We look forward to new adventures in jackets of higher performing materials partnered with a company whose mission includes “using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.”
Try out Patagonia’s revolutionary layering system at our clinics.