Please accept my application to test the Patagonia Micropuff Vest. I have
read the BackpackGearTest.org bylaws v. 0609 including, but not
limited to, Chapter 5. I will abide by the policies set forth.
Name: Peter Spiller
Height: 6' 0" (1.9 m)
Weight: 190 lbs (77.1 kg)
Email address: phspiller@...
City: La Mesa
Date: February 2, 2008
I have been camping and hiking avidly since childhood. In the last
several years my passion for backpacking and kayaking has grown. I am
a Chapter Outing Leader for the Sierra-Club, I have trained in
Wilderness First Aid, and am a staff member for a Wilderness-Basics
course. I enjoy solo backpacking and group trips. I have an
adaptable style that is fueled by my interest in backpacking gear. I
pack as light as possible when the situation dictates, but I am not
against hauling creature comforts. I average 1-hike a week, and
1-backpack a month year-round.
Field Conditions and Test Locations:
During the duration of this test, I plan to use the Patagonia Micro
Puff Vest in the following locations under the following conditions:
I have an overnight camping trip planned in the Anza-Borrego Desert in
San Diego County. The conditions in this Desert in March tend to be
cold in the evening, mild in the daytime with occasional precipitation.
The Averages in Borrego Springs, CA for March:
High: 78 F (26 C)
Low: 49 F (9 C)
Precipitation: .94 in (2.4 cm)
I will go on a 2-night, 3-day snowshoe trip as part of a "Wilderness
Basics class" that I am volunteering as a leader. We will be camping
in the mountains outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA. The weather during
March in Mammoth is fairly severe, with regular snowstorms, daytime
and evening conditions below freezing, and large amounts of snow. Our
campsite will be situated on snow, where will be demonstrating the
fundamentals of snow camping, and snowshoeing.
The Averages in Mammoth for March:
High: 58 F (14 C)
Low: 31 F (-1 C)
Precipitation: 3.82 in (9.7 cm)
I have a two-day camping trip planned in late April that will
encompass both the Wilderness Basics Reunion, and the Pacific Coast
Trail thru hikers gathering. Both of these events will be taking
place in the Laguna Mountain Range, where I will overnight at two
different locations in the Mountains.
The Averages in the Laguna Mountains, CA for April:
High: 60 F (16 C)
Low: 35 F (2 C)
Precipitation: 2.58 in (6.5 cm)
I will be doing at least one overnight camping trip in the month of
May as part of a preparation regime for my daughter and I. We will be
going on her first decent into the Grand Canyon in the spring of 2009.
I will also begin Kayaking more in the month of May, and it will be a
perfect opportunity to test the Micropuff vest in a damp marine
The Averages in the Laguna Mountains, CA for May:
High: 67 F (19 C)
Low: 40 F (4 C)
Precipitation: 1.12 in (2.84 cm)
The Averages in La Jolla, CA for May:
High: 69 F (21 C)
Low: 60 F (18 C)
Precipitation: .20 in (.51 cm)
June will consist of a Labor Day backpack, the location to be
determined, and multiple days of kayaking in the Pacific Ocean.
I will be backpacking extensively during June, as it is the start of
Summer break, and I will not be teaching again until fall.
The Averages in the Laguna Mountains, CA for June:
High: 77 F (25 C)
Low: 48 F (9 C)
Precipitation: .27 in (.69 cm)
The Averages in La Jolla, CA for June:
High: 72 F (22 C)
Low: 63 F (17 C)
Precipitation: .09 in (.23 cm)
If the test runs into July, I will be on a 2-week base camping trip in
the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, visiting areas such as Red's Meadow,
and Yosemite. The end of the month will wrap up with a 5-day section
hike of the southern portion of the John Muir Trail, which will
conclude with an attempt on the summit of Mt Whitney.
In addition to the long term planning for the listed trips, I will be
day hiking weekly, and planning other trips on a shorter-term basis.
The Micro Puff vest will function as an insulating layer for all of
these outdoor activities, as well as an insulating layer for many in
The Averages in the Mammoth Lakes, CA for July:
High: 60 F (16 C)
Low: 53 F (12 C)
Precipitation: 2.58 in (6.55 cm)
The Averages in the Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, CA for July:
High: 97 F (36 C)
Low: 66 F (19 C)
Precipitation: .10 in (.25 cm)
Wearing the jacket in town, I can expect to encounter the following
La Mesa, CA
High: 70 F (21 C)
Low: 49 F (9 C)
Precipitation: 2.98 in (7.57 cm)
High: 73 F (23 C)
Low: 51 F (11 C)
Precipitation: 1.05 in (2.67 cm)
High: 74 F (23 C)
Low: 56 F (12 C)
Precipitation: .33 in (.84 cm)
High: 79 F (26 C)
Low: 56 F (12 C)
Precipitation: .11 in (.28 cm)
High: 84 F (29 C)
Low: 62 F (17 C)
Precipitation: .06 in (.15 cm)
I love to backpack year-round, and I am fortunate enough to live in an
area that features very diverse camping conditions close by during
most every time of year. San Diego County allows me to Kayak in
shorts one day, and sled in a snowstorm the next. I take advantage of
this diversity when camping, hiking and backpacking, and plan my trips
to experience different environments during my regular outings. During
the testing period, I will plan trips that will expose the Patagonia
Micro Puff Vest to as many different conditions as possible to help
evaluate the flexibility and durability of this insulating layer.
The Patagonia Micro Puff Vest will become my primary insulating layer
during aerobic activities in the 4-month testing period. An insulated
vest is ideal for me, as I tend to be warm, and core insulation is
most-often adequate for my comfort. During the testing period, I will
document the performance of the vest through notes and photographs,
and compile this information in the required three reports. In
addition, I will add my personal impressions of how I liked the vest.
According to the Patagonia sizing charts, I am a size Large, and
would prefer the vest in black, or heritage blue if black is not
I will test the Patagonia Micropuff Vest using the following criteria
under a multitude of backpacking conditions:
Fit and Finish:
Does the vest fit as expected?
Does the fit allow for layering?
Is the vest well constructed?
Do all the zippers and pulls function as expected?
Are there any defects in the garment; is the stitching well done,
without any loose threads or uneven seams?
Is the fabric comfortable for long term wearing?
Does the vest allow for freedom of movement, are there any areas of
the vest that bind, chafe, or bunch unexpectedly?.
Does the choice of fabric allow it to breathe?
Will I be able to zip up the vest comfortably around my neck?
Will the vest be comfortable while wearing a backpack?
Is the Patagonia Micropuff Vest durable?
Will it hold up under the field conditions I put it through?
Will Patagonia's claims of a longer lasting DWR finish hold true
under repeated washings and repeated use?
Will repeated washing change any aspects of the vest? Will the
insulation clump or bunch, will the colors fade?
Will the recycled synthetic insulation be durable, and continue to
effectively insulate for long-term use?
Will the exterior fabric snag or rip when hiking and backpacking
through rough terrain?
Will the zippers function smoothly throughout the duration of the test?
Will the Micropuff vest function effectively as a core insulating layer
Will the Micropuff vest pack down small?
Is the Micropuff vest light enough to use while backpacking?
Are the placement of the pockets and zippers effective for use when
wearing a backpack?
Can you access the pockets when wearing gloves?
Is the vest easy to stow and compress in its own pocket?
How well will the vest function as a windproof barrier?
How well will the vest insulate when wet?
I am a newbie, I do not have any tests in progress
I am submitting this application concurrently with an application for
the Big Agnes 3-Wire Bivy
My reviews can be found here:
Thank you Patagonia, and Backpackgeartest.org for considering my