Need a little Paramo guidance

Discussion in 'Clothing & Footwear' started by SafetyThird, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Ultralighter

    After seeing a number of folks on the recent SW meet wearing Paramo gear and staying dry despite the heavy rain, I'm interested in trying one out as a winter option. Given the prices, I'm not looking to buy new so browsing ebay occasionally to see what comes up. What I don't really know is which options from the ranges would work best, I know I don't want a smock, definitely want a full length zip and not something that would be too warm when hiking with a pack. I guess I'm looking for something to replace my rain jacket and a midlayer. The Alta seems like a good option but are there others to look for?

    Thanks.
    Dave Vaughan likes this.
  2. Warrenbond

    Warrenbond Trail Blazer

    Iv bought the paramo buntu a couple a weeks ago from go outdoors £90 its on sale now for €75 .
    It's a wind and showerproof jacket until you buy the buntu fleece which then make it a full waterproof jacket. Ill get the fleece later.
    My thinking is it will be a more versatile set up.
  3. shetland_breeder

    shetland_breeder Trail Blazer

    The Alta is a good jacket, but much too warm for hiking unless it's _really_ cold. And they are heavy. And they are all or nothing - the opposite of the layering approach.

    I've not worn mine for some time now.
    Diddi likes this.
  4. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Worth looking on the Paramo eBay shop as they sometimes have some bargains.
    JKM likes this.
  5. Dave Vaughan

    Dave Vaughan Section Hiker

    Good man ;-)

    I have an Alta 2 which I use from the end of Oct through the winter until the beginning of March normally. It’s what I was wearing on the meetup. As you know I was very warm on both days due to having a fleece on under and not being bothered to take it off.

    I also have a Pasco which has massive vent zips and I use in the months just before and after winter.

    Both systems do not need many layers underneath and perform very well.

    Check the zips on the older Altas and jackets in general.

    As above they are too warm to wear in the summer and a few months either side.
  6. MikeinDorset

    MikeinDorset Trail Blazer

    I have a Helki jacket. I like it and often wear it. Great for winter and great for cool days. It's not as warm as the Alta. Keep an eye on the Paramo seconds ebay store.

    There's a point in the year / conditions where I move to goretex pro instead, and there's been a couple of days where I've even worn the Helki under the goretex shell as a warm midlayer that stops the damp reaching me when it's been *really* wet and cold.
  7. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    I don't understand why a Helki could be considered particularly less warm than an Alta? They're the same Analogy fabric? And unlike the Alta, the Helki has no venting.
    I suppose the Alta is a little longer and has one extra pocket over the chest area...

    The new style arm vents on the Alta 3 are far superior to the old Alta 2 versions. ( I've used both)

    If the Helki had simple pitzips it would be better. As it is, lack of venting limits it's appeal to me.

    The lightweight Quito is a poorer design cut and pocketwise than its female equivalent (which @Fair Weather Camper was using on the meet). I'd like something in the lightweight fabric, but they are all a bit short in the front for me.

    Though, not seen the Velez jacket in the flesh. Could be worth a look @SafetyThird ?
  8. Dave Vaughan

    Dave Vaughan Section Hiker

    I tried the Alta 3 on a few days ago and was not sold on the new arm vents but when I saw Mole this weekend and saw the jacket on him I understood the new design better.

    The Alta 3 has a much nice cut imo and has less excess fabric.

    Same goes for my Cascada trousers, they work amazingly well but I have the originals that look like clown trousers, especially when used with gaiters, the new version is a much nicer cut.
  9. MikeinDorset

    MikeinDorset Trail Blazer

    Just from personal experience, one felt qualitatively warmer than the other.
  10. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Ultralighter

    Thanks for the info. the 2nd's store is probably a bit more than I can afford at the moment, hence I was looking for second hand.

    The Buntu sounds interesting. I was thinking of getting a fleece to replace the Arcteryx Atom LT that I was wearing under my waterproof on the meet and which became soaked while we walked, with vapour condensing within it. Perhaps that would be a way to have the double option and combine when needed.

    Meanwhile I'll keep an eye on ebay for an Alta.
  11. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Best jacket Paramo ever made was the Vasco (long since discontinued). I liked it so much, I’ve got two. Best winter jacket was the Viento, which I rescued recently from the back of the wardrobe. My biggest beef with the current designs is the colours. I wouldn’t be seen dead in most of them :bla:
  12. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Ultralighter

    I'll add a Vasco to the ebay watch list, thanks.
  13. Dave Vaughan

    Dave Vaughan Section Hiker

    I quite like some of the colours but not all of them ;-)
  14. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Maybe black :rolleyes:
    Dave Vaughan likes this.
  15. Taz38

    Taz38 Section Hiker

    I have the Alta (great), the velez lite (great) and aspira trousers (great). Mostly worn autumn/winter. In summer I run too hot.
    SafetyThird likes this.
  16. Scottk

    Scottk Summit Camper

    I have a velez smock and an aspira smock. It's now getting too war, for them. If I get another, it will be a Quito or something else lightweight. Aspira is a great winter jacket with a long cut and only needs a base layer in most conditions. Mine are both over 10 years old and still going strong-one of the great things about them.
    Got blown into a barbed wire fence this weekend and only got a small nick in the fabric- a waterproof shell would have been torn.
  17. Jamess

    Jamess Ultralighter

    I use the separate paramo fleece and wind/waterproof setup - not current versions so the names are meaningless - as it's more flexible than the single outer plus liner garments.

    Both fleece and outer have big pit vents making them usable for more of the year.

    I use a cheapie precip (again with vents) over the fleece if it's going to be raining cats and dogs all day (recent SW overnighter!)

    That system works for me in most UK conditions.
    MikeinDorset and Dave Vaughan like this.
  18. SafetyThird

    SafetyThird Ultralighter

    Thanks James, that does sound like a very useful system that would work for more of the year than a single piece garment.
  19. Nevis

    Nevis Ultralighter

    A good number of members of my hill walking club have returned Paramo stuff in the last year or so as its failed pretty bad, all seemed to have the same issue....letting in water on the back where your packs sits. A few opted for replacements and had the same issue and returned them again, others just went for a refund and went with something else.
    Dave Vaughan likes this.
  20. Dave Vaughan

    Dave Vaughan Section Hiker

    Thats interesting, were they new models? Maybe the newly designed additional pump layer is not doing its job.
  21. Nevis

    Nevis Ultralighter

    To be honest i don't know. One guy raved about his and a good few went out and bought them off his recommendation, this would be about 18 months ago. I've managed to convince them that for winter the only way is Buffalo :) one of mine is 25 years old and still going strong, my GF wears it and swears by it :)
  22. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    This issue crops up pretty regularly on walking forums. I wrote about it back in 2011 https://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/the-perennial-paramo-debate/

    There are a couple of issues with Paramo (leaving aside whether you’ve cleaned it correctly).

    Firstly, the interface between packstraps and the shell fabric is critical. If the pack straps are absorbent, then moisture will leach through under pressure. On the other hand, if the packstraps are not absorbent, then you should be ok. For instance, I have no problems with my GG Mariposa pack, but my Exped Thunder is a disaster due to the absorbent padding under the straps.

    The second issue is that heavy, persistent, wind driven rain can overwhelm the pump liner. In my experience, when it happens, it tends to happen quickly, usually after about 3-4 hours or so. The vast majority of the time it doesn’t seem to be an issue. For instance, I had some foul weather on the 2015 TGO Challenge but my Velez Adventure Light held up well https://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/tgo-challenge-2015-the-paramo-experience/

    My conclusion is that Paramo is basically a highly water resistant soft shell. If I’m on a multi day hike, I tend to carry a lightweight hard shell as well as Paramo in case the weather is really bad. Others are happy to chance it. Outside summer, I nearly always use Paramo. However, as with all things, it’s as well to be aware of its limitations.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    Diddi, Gadget and el manana like this.
  23. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Thanks @Robin :thumbsup: I took Paramo as equivalent to waterproofs (GTX/eVent), never realised they were just highly water resistant.
    Robin likes this.
  24. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    Sit in a puddle with them and find out :whistling:
    Diddi likes this.
  25. Nevis

    Nevis Ultralighter

    Never knew that, makes interesting reading. Don't Paramo sell them as being waterproof? I always thought they made a big thing about that?

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