Author Topic: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?  (Read 970 times)

WILDWALKINGUK

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I have been using and testing Paramo clothing over the last year, including the Scottish National Trail, Skye Trail and 5 days wild camping in the snow. I was using Paramo's Cascada II trousers, Bentu fleece, Bentu windproof and Torres Alturo insulated jacket. I found it perfect for me in most conditions I encountered during the year, just finding the trousers too warm in the summer.
I love it all and it's worked really well for me, but I am a fairly sweaty person when I walk. So I'm usually soaked with sweat or condensation when wearing lined hardshell-type waterproofs. I've had a few people message me who don't get on very well with Paramo clothing. I'd like to know how you feel about it? 


https://wildwalkinguk.com/2021/01/31/paramo-clothing-review/

ayjay

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #1 on: 08:07:55, 01/02/21 »
I have a Pajaro jacket, it's not the most waterproof thing I've ever worn, especially with a rucksack on.

geordie33

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #2 on: 08:42:14, 01/02/21 »
Like you I run hot and find Cascada too warm.I bought a pair of the lighter Velez trousers. Driving rain goes straight through then. Not bad for showers but rip easily and not worth the cost.Lightest waterproof trousers I have are Craghopper Stefans. They keep the rain out and I can wear them in all but summer season

windyrigg

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #3 on: 09:12:32, 01/02/21 »
I've had a Paramo jacket for 15 yrs and have never been wet in it, occasionally just slightly damp . It used to get hard 'work' use (8hr bird surveys on Scottish hills in winter) but if its washed and treated it still looks and performs like new. I guess if it's not washed and treated now and again, water proofing will fall off. I would agree that wearing a rucksack on top will be an issue for waterproofing, that would require more regular wash & treat - but no worse than any other waterproof jacket. I find it too warm for summer use, and it is a bit heavy for throwing in the bag for 'just in case'. I think Paramo jackets can get overloaded with sweat from hard exercise, but I don't find them any worse than Goretex, and they last longer. Where wildlife is concerned, Paramo kit is relatively quiet, with some other jackets it's a bit like walking around in a crisp packet.  I've never used the trousers.

Islandplodder

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #4 on: 10:46:22, 01/02/21 »
I have quite a lot of Paramo gear including a jacket and both cascada and velez trousers. I have never got wet in them, and I live in NW Scotland where it knows how to rain.  However, I agree with Windyrigg, you have to look after it and wash and reproof it now and again, but as long as you do that it seems to last for ever.  It is a bit heavy for the summer, I agree, but then we don't get so much summer up here. It does seem a marmite brand, people either really get on with it or really don't.

kinkyboots

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #5 on: 12:32:05, 01/02/21 »
I also have a fair bit of Paramo gear, some bought second hand some bought new in various sales at vastly reduced prices - Fuera smock, Cascada jacket, Cascada trousers (original version), Alta II jacket and Torres Medio Gilet. I will say that I have never paid anywhere near RRP for any of it as I think it's grossly overpriced for what it is however Paramo's prices are comparable with other leading brands and a bit like like sheep all manufacturer's will always charge as much as they think they can get away with.

I would agree with the general concensus that the Cascada trousers are for colder/winter only as they're far too warm for summer use. As with most things it's a simple case of selecting the appropriate clothing for the expected weather conditions.

I have not had any problems with any of it from a wear or waterproof point of view and have found it to be extremely fast drying but as others have already said it does require frequent maintenance to keep it working at it's best.

In my experience those who do have waterproofing issues don't or won't wash and reproof it often it enough and some of them don't or won't follow the simple procedure to prepare the washing machine properly before use. To make the Nikwax Tech Wash and TX Direct treatments work as they should this step of the procedure is absolutely essential. All I would say is if you aren't prepared to do this why bother doing it all and you can expect to get wet!

From a wear point of view I would argue that Paramo's garments will outlast all others on the market provided it's regularly maintenanced and it's reasonably easy to repair should a problem arise.

Another aspect to probably take into account for anyone considering buying is that Paramo's later versions appear to be nowhere near as good as their earlier versions and like many companies Paramo appear to be moving towards a slimmer more athletic fit and using lighter fabrics on quite a bit of their range.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #6 on: 16:52:43, 01/02/21 »
Hi there, how do you find the Fuera smock.
Ive got my eyes on one, and for £75 is seems fair money, for a quality bit of kit, but it would be nice to have the opinion from someone who owns one.

I know its not the slightest bit waterproof, just showerproof, but is it a thumbs up or down, before i blow the cash.

pauldawes

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #7 on: 17:25:00, 01/02/21 »
Iíve used a Velez Adventure Light Smock for over 10 years in a wide range of Peak District conditions, including days when itís rained heavily all the time Iíve been out. Always felt comfortable throughout the walk.


I had similar positive experience with the original Cascada trousers...but have found Velez trousers and the more slim fit present Cascada far more apt to let rain in unless they are frequently reproofed. (And by frequently I mean reproofing after a single long day out! Iíd reproof the original Cascadas maybe every  6 months.)
« Last Edit: 17:28:01, 01/02/21 by pauldawes »

pauldawes

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #8 on: 17:27:24, 01/02/21 »
Hi there, how do you find the Fuera smock.
Ive got my eyes on one, and for £75 is seems fair money, for a quality bit of kit, but it would be nice to have the opinion from someone who owns one.

I know its not the slightest bit waterproof, just showerproof, but is it a thumbs up or down, before i blow the cash.


Thumbs up from me..I think that showerproof rating is fairly cautious on Paramos side, and if you were an appropriate Paramo fleece underneath standard advice is that they are as waterproof as Paramos waterproof range.

kinkyboots

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #9 on: 17:48:58, 01/02/21 »
Hi there, how do you find the Fuera smock.
Ive got my eyes on one, and for £75 is seems fair money, for a quality bit of kit, but it would be nice to have the opinion from someone who owns one.

I know its not the slightest bit waterproof, just showerproof, but is it a thumbs up or down, before i blow the cash.

I find it excellent for it's intended purpose. Just remember it's a showerproof windproof, any more than a shower and the waterproofing will tend to fail pretty quickly although as pauldawes states the waterproofing can be uprated by using an appropriate Paramo fleece under it. The Paramo Taiga fleece was specifically designed for this purpose but is no longer made and I'll be [censored] if I'm paying £150+ for a fleece! NB It does need washing and reproofing on a frequent basis to keep the rainwater beading off it.

Be aware that there are now 3 versions floating about (4 if you count the Paramo Fuera Ascent jacket). The original version (still a few about), the recently updated new Classic version and a lightweight version with an extremely poor hood with no wired visor so I would avoid that one if you can.

The new Classic version https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/paramo-fuera-classic-smock-review/
The lightweight version to avoid https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Paramo-Mens-Fuera-Lightweight-Windproof-walking-cycling-climbing-Smock/401942360093

The version I've been trying to find for a while is the Paramo Fuera Ascent jacket with a full zip front and pit zips but I can't find one anywhere. I much prefer a jacket rather than an over the head smock and for me the pit zips would be an added bonus.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #10 on: 21:05:47, 01/02/21 »
You're asking the wrong question. It's not about how waterproof something is, but how comfortable you'll be.
Walking routes visiting ancient sites in Britain's uplands: http://www.archaeoroutes.co.uk

Thedogsmother

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #11 on: 21:39:07, 01/02/21 »
I have an Alta II jacket. Overall I like it and I have never got wet in it up to now.


Plus points:
It is very quiet and doesn't rustle as I walk.
Maintaining it is really easy.
The inner material is comfortable.
Removable rucksack comfort strips in the back are handy.
Pit zips.


Not so great
The little pool of water that accumulates in the map pocket ( which isn't pump lined) on those really wet days.
The overall weight makes it noticable for sticking in your rucksack or tying around your waist if you get hot. I tend to run hot when hiking.


I do the majority of my walking in autumn and winter as I much prefer these times of year for hiking. Also where I live it rains a lot so most of my walks involve rain.


For ultra long periods in wind and horizontal rain I have a Goretex pro jacket and even though it's amazing performance wise, it is extremely noisy to wear.

weston.front

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #12 on: 19:15:05, 02/02/21 »
Paramo Base Layers are by far the best at wicking water away from my skin of any type I've ever worn.  I used my cycling on a recumbent, regular bike and walking.

Windproof top's - Showerproof +, but not waterproof (but then they are not supposed to be).  They breath very well, hold the wind out and work fabulously with a base layer of the same make.  Because the base layer is always migrating water outwards I'll use this combination on warm showery days and, overall, remain drier than when using GoreTex.  The greater flexibility makes this more comfortable too.

Waterproofs - I have a Velez - this is too warm for me to walk in above 4 Celcius.  Below that temperature it's fabulous and ideal winter backpacking wear. I bought mine primarily for an all year cycle commute jacket for a modest 10 min journey each way.  I can say that it has lasted far better than I thought and remains as comfortable and totally waterproof as it was at the outset.  I reproof it every third wash.  I think of it as jumper that happens also to be waterproof.

Insulation - This winter I got the Torres Alturo when my down jacket was stuck in at the washing company because of COVID.  I find it as warm as my mid-weight ME Frostline Down Jacket but like the 'lack of fear factor' of it not mattering if it gets wet.
Bottom line - in the summer I love the baselayer / windproof / Gilet, but the waterproof stuff is simply too warm for anything active apart from in the winter.
« Last Edit: 20:23:11, 02/02/21 by weston.front »
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snoopdawg

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #13 on: 19:30:43, 02/02/21 »
I had the Velez smock which I found to be too warm after March and before November. I also had the Fuera smock. Sold both the Velez and Fuera as I did not like the style of the sleeves on both jackets which in my opinion are too far long and loose. I also have a nikwax fleece which I use as my main backpacking jacket due to the amount of zips on it. This also had issues with the sleeves which I took to a local seamstress to sort out. I also possess a torres gilet which is the bees knees for winter back up. In relation to your question as i walk warm I usually sweated out the Velez so it was ineffective as a waterproof

Flanners

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Re: Paramo clothing review - is it waterproof enough?
« Reply #14 on: 11:16:22, 03/02/21 »
I am no expert obviously modern fabrics have improved over the last 10-20 years. To me waterproofing is a complete misnomer save for wearing it stationary or sheltering as EVERY (shell) item of hiking clothing I have had eVent, Gore-Tex, Pertex etc the waterproofness is immaterial given that when I walk/hike in Autumn/Winter it has built up body heat into condensation/water within the garment even with venting/pit zips, layering etc which in turn then soaks the clothing I am wearing (baselayer/fleece) which leads to getting cold. No shell has ever been breatheable to the extent claimed to prevent this at times it can be difficult to tell if the fabric is leaking or from actual condensation, this situation is even worse when it is cold and rains and is exacerbated when using a day or back back.
« Last Edit: 11:22:23, 03/02/21 by Flanners »