Gear Review: Merrell Micro-Lite Puffer Jacket
A puffer jacket is practically synonymous with paddling here in Southern California. This may come as a bit of a surprise to folks outside the region who have been hypnotically predisposed to believe it is always warm and sunny. Yes, we do receive an ample amount of sunshine. Warm weather on the other hand is not as readily found along the coast as you might believe. Even in the height of summer it is rare not to need a jacket in the evening. Especially once the sun goes down.
I recently picked up a Micro-Lite Puffer from Merrell. This was my first puffer jacket since I can remember growing up back in the Midwest. Most modern puffers are a far cry from the puffy, oversized apparel from the 70s and 80s, and the Merrell puffer is no exception. In fact, it may well be exceptional when compared to other puffers on the market.
Technical features include:
- Down proof micro ripstop
- Durable Water Resistant (DWR) finish
- 3M Thinsulate 700f Featherless insulation
- 2-way reverse coil center front and pocket zips
- Split V center front zipper. This is particularly handy when answering nature’s call!
- Lycra bound cuffs
As someone who is active outdoors both on and off the water, I place a high value in acquiring gear that can serve multiple purposes. It keeps conserve closet space and is a heck of a lot easier on the bank account. Lightweight, packable items, or at least ones which can be compacted, are also highly prized. They should also be easy to maintain. After all, there is little value in having a great piece of gear if it requires significant maintenance after use. Similarly, if it is so delicate that you are hesitant to get out there and use it to its maximum potential, then it isn’t worth having.
A longtime fan of Merrell’s footwear, I naturally turned to the outdoor brand when looking for a puffer jacket and could not be happier with my selection. The Merrell Micro-Lite Puffer meets all of my criteria for a well designed, technical outdoor jacket. With rare exceptions, most paddle events in California begin in the morning when there is still a chill in the coastal air. My outrigger club’s OC-1 practices are also held in the predawn hours. On these days, I typically place my puffer within reach of my bedside and roll out of bed at the alarm and pull it on in a continuous motion as my feet touch the floor.
Look for the signature orange Merrell tag inside the front pocket to identify the puffer’s packable space. This puffer jacket has quickly become my go to for taking off the morning and evening chill. Light and bright, you’ll forget you are even wearing it.
Learn more about Merrell’s multi-purpose outdoor wear at merrell.com