PARAMO CLOTHING

SCOMAN

Full Member
Dec 31, 2005
2,079
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Perthshire
I'm just back in from a rather damp walk around Loch Leven. Lots of people I saw today were wearing Paramo clothing. I stick with Goretex due to benefits realised through use. I've no experience of it but always regarded it, from observations when others wear it, as just always damp. Anyone sing it's praises above goretex?
 

Paulm

Full Member
May 27, 2008
1,047
111
Hants
I've liked the look and reputation of their gear for a while, but they don't seem to do "grown up" sizes so never been able to try it out !!! :)
 
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Brynglas

Full Member
I am a HUGE fan of Paramo clothing and rate it over Gore Tex type fabrics any day. Not only for the UK climate but wherever I've used it.

I've used Paramo for probabky the past ten years or so, and have used it in all UK weathers, Skiing in he Alps and ski touring/ trekkng in Northern Sweden amd Finland. It's never let me down, kept me both wam and dry throughout a number of multi day trips.

The criticism of Paramo gear for a some time was it's less than athletic cut and overall weight of the garments. Whilst I think that these criticisms were, to an extent, justified; for me, the outstanding performance has far outweighed these issues. Also, in the past couple of years Paramo have developed much lighter and close fitting garments that perform just as well whilst giving a more streamlined silhouette.

I have no hesitation directing anyone towards Paramo gear, excellent kit, extremely well made and their customer service is first class as well.
 

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,129
435
Canada
I am going to keep an eye on this one as I have been poring over Paramo jackets recently.

About the fitting. It is difficult to imagine a cut that will suit both your average border and your average ski tourer :lol:
 
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Limaed

Full Member
Apr 11, 2006
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Perth & Anglesey
I’ve used the Aspira smock and Salopettes for some years as my winter shell (as a MR volunteer). The system works well in really poor weather and the designs are better for ventilating then the ME Kongor MRT suit. The fabric is nicer to wear then Gore-Tex as it offers some insulation so dosnt feel like a cold soggy plastic bag. I do find the cut a bit clunky and sometimes the whole set up is too warm / heavy / bulky but there are other lighter models which are good also like the Endura range. I met one of the reps recently and he said that they feel that they have got the fabrics right now so the next generation of Paramo will be more ergonomic. I find a Kongor Gore-Tex jacket is dead after about 2 years (of hard use) but to be fair the Kongor can be worn in summer too. Unfortunately Mountain Supplies in Perth has closed now so you might have to go to Aviemore or Fort William to have a try on. I think overall because a lot of the Paramo kit is worn next to the skin and the venting is better then Paramo has the edge.
 

Brynglas

Full Member
Well, I'm not a boarder, so I couldn't say. . However, I've skied alpine, and toured both in the alps and Cross Country in my Aspira and Velez Smocks for the past few years and they've performed brilliantly. The Aspira is a bit heavy, but completely bombproof. I got soaked falling through some ice in Sweden a couple of years ago, not to be reeccommended. The Paramo dried me out in less than half an hour.

I bought a new style Velez jacket last year which is much lighter and closer fitting and have used this in Scotland and the Alps so far. The performance is just as good and half the weight. My next purchase js likely to be a pair of the Enduro trousers, but that'll be a few months off.

Paramo isn't trendy gear but it genuinely has never let me down. I much prefer it to traditional shell type layering systems.
I am going to keep an eye on this one as I have been poring over Paramo jackets recently.

About the fitting. It is difficult to imagine a cut that will suit both your average border and your average ski tourer
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Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
1,997
126
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Gloucestershire
I think it is a case of horses for courses. I have tried several items of Paramo clothing and have found most of them wanting. However, the customer service is outstanding. I had the Bentu fleece and shell combination last year and was horribly disappointed, getting both very wet and cold when up in Scotland on every occasion that I used it. I mentioned this to Paramo and, without blinking, they exchanged that combination for a Velez jacket. This last is OK but the cut is very close, it feels overly warm and clammy when using it so I have gone back to a hardshell.

I really want the Paramo system - or any clothing system for that matter - to work for me, keeping out the rain while letting some/most generated moisture out, but I now realise that there is no fabric or garment that will do that, particularly in this temperate climate of ours. If possible, try it out - you might find it works a treat for you; I just wish it did for me.
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,584
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Greensand Ridge
Haven’t looked at their product for some time but my views are well documented:

1. Even when their jackets are correctly washed in Nikwax don’t expect the outer shell to stay dry in anything other than a light shower.
2. They no longer offer what I considered their finest product. Namely the reversible Mountain Pull-On range. Seemingly indestructible and still going strong after 25 years!

K
 

Brynglas

Full Member
I think that's a fair comment, however, the outer shell only provides the windproof element. Waterproofing is provided by the pump liner which works fantastically well.
For me, one of the main benefits is that the material is repairable. If it tears, you can sew it without any appreciable loss of performance. Not something that's easily done with Gore-Tex etc. Paramo have also replaced damaged panels for me at a very reasonable cost.
Haven’t looked at their product for some time but my views are well documented:

1. Even when their jackets are correctly washed in Nikwax don’t expect the outer shell to stay dry in anything other than a light shower.
2. They no longer offer what I considered their finest product. Namely the reversible Mountain Pull-On range. Seemingly indestructible and still going strong after 25 years!

K
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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
1,450
65
Northumberland
I am a HUGE fan of Paramo clothing and rate it over Gore Tex type fabrics any day. Not only for the UK climate but wherever I've used it.

I've used Paramo for probabky the past ten years or so, and have used it in all UK weathers, Skiing in he Alps and ski touring/ trekkng in Northern Sweden amd Finland. It's never let me down, kept me both wam and dry throughout a number of multi day trips.

The criticism of Paramo gear for a some time was it's less than athletic cut and overall weight of the garments. Whilst I think that these criticisms were, to an extent, justified; for me, the outstanding performance has far outweighed these issues. Also, in the past couple of years Paramo have developed much lighter and close fitting garments that perform just as well whilst giving a more streamlined silhouette.

I have no hesitation directing anyone towards Paramo gear, excellent kit, extremely well made and their customer service is first class as well.

I like them for that very reason a little more roomy for a bit of movement and for extra clothing when needed without any restrictions
 
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bigbeewee

Member
Dec 18, 2010
22
3
worldwide
I tried the Paramo Alta 3. Did a review below. (My current go to jacket is the Ridgeline Monson elite 11. Which I am about to send of to get some pit vents put in it)


I've run the paramo for a month, out twice a day minimal, standard **** December weather.

Positives:

At 6'4 and 18 stone this is a jacket that fits well in body length and arm length, while still managing to look well tailored and neat.

It's a great looking bit of kit and draws positive comments.

It's got a great hood system.

It's doesn't rustle like a gortex jacket

The arm vents work..more of this later .

It's a warm jacket see also negatives

Good pocket system

Negatives:

It's a warm jacket

Zips are delicate fiddly and prone to catching the fabric

It feels insubstantial/delicate despite its above average weight

It's slippery, it skitters round like a sheet of silk, when you put it down somewhere it always seems to want to slide away. When you have a daysack on you need a chest strap or you keep loosing the straps off your shoulders

The arm vents let water in

Being soft in texture it holds your curves, rather than gortex which feels more rigid, I would describe it like a nylon tent with loose guy lines. It just doesn't feel like its going to protect you/ allow run off

Being soft and slippery you have to firmly secure the wrist Velcro on the sleeves unless you want to be dragging the generous sleeves (sleeves can be rolled up,the arm if required but if the weathers good for that you wouldn't be wearing the jacket

The softness/figure hugging means that water flows down and damps your strides when you have the waist cinched. The only way I can see to solve this problem is always wear waterproof trousers or walk around with it hanging loose, which still doesn't help.

The pockets aren't waterproof

10 minutes in an average rain burst and shoulder areas covered by a very light daysack's straps soaked through.

When it's wet it's wet, unlike gortex which you give a shake and it's virtually dry.

Conclusion.

It's a nice piece of kit, comfy to wear, hot to wear so you wear less under it, but the wet "skin" sits closer on your base layer leading to a converse feeling of cold wet/conduction of heat away and perhaps evaporation cooling

I wont be leopard crawling through brambles in it.

If I was expecting sustained weather I'd break out the Gary gortex and leave the paramo at home.

It is perhaps just my perception that it's not a substantially protective bit of kit and you have to have faith in your kit

I think it's overly/alternatively engineered in an attempt to carve out a niche in a crowded gortex focused market

Too much money for too little function

If I could find a decent gortex with the paramo lines/tailoring/sizing and style I'd leap at it
 
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MikeLA

Full Member
May 17, 2011
1,450
65
Northumberland
Can’t get along with ridgeline been on a coastal walk with family today wearing the pintail and it was cold but I was too hot.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,588
661
Bedfordshire
It is worth mentioning though that one needs to be careful comparing Paramo with Gortex. Paramo is a brand with 18 or 19 outer shell garments (just looking at men's) ranging from full coats through lighter smocks to single layer wind proofs. We also use the word "Paramo" to describe the multi layer construction of their water resistant/waterproof garments. Goretex by contrast makes their membrane and laminates it to a wide variety of fabrics in three different arrangements. This is then sold on and used by dozens, if not hundreds of garment brands/manufacturers. I have three coats that use a Gortex membrane, all three use different construction methods and have about as many differences between them as they do with my Paramo coats...and none of them are much like what most people would be thinking of when imagining a Goretex hardshell rain coat.

I have been using Paramo since 2003, starting with their original Alta (a long-ish full coat). I now have a couple of gens of their Velez Light Smock, a Torres Light Smock, a Fuera Windproof Smock, their Velez Light trousers, an old Mountain Vent Pull-on and a button down shirt that is no longer made and whose name I can't recall. I have not worn any of them out and assuming that I remember to clean/proof I have no worries about using them anywhere.

I do agree that the rain-proofs are warm, which is annoying if you want something to shrug off a summer downpour. They can also be a little on the bulky side, depending on the model, since they are all essentially a combination of a very thin fleece and a shell. The lighter versions do indeed have very light shell fabric and I would not want to go bush busting in it if I had a choice, but the standard weight is a lot tougher than it looks at first glance. I have yet to tear any of them. As mentioned, it is also home-repairable, as well as factory mendable. No seam tape to come loose and leak, no membrane to get punctured.

Paramo, apparently in response to people complaining their clothes were not athletic enough, now have at least two ways of tailoring their side-seams, and despite not being fat I don't find the newer, "athletic" stuff fits me properly. Their sizing means that I am hovering at the top end of Medium, so Med Alta fits with loads of room, but medium Velez smock is close while large fits too but is a more roomy than I would like.

The prices of Paramo have gone up a lot since I bought my Alta. It was £199 in 2003 and I picked up my Velez smocks for £100 and £150 on sale around 2011-13. If I didn't have any of their gear right now, I would be straight out and buy one of the coats and a lighter jacket. I might not bother with the windproof since I much prefer full zip jackets over smocks, but the Bentu does not fit me right. As a system where I can layer and switch different components from mid to outer I am very happy.

Edit to note that higher end Goretex have gone up a lot too with some of the really high end being twice the price of Paramo.

If one searches around the internet there are many MANY threads of conversation going back over a decade comparing Paramo with membrane fabrics. Some people complain about leaks under pack straps, many say they have no leaks. Most comment on them being warm. The overwhelming consensus is that in really wet weather, as found in the hills and mountains of Britain, Paramo works very well, generally better than membranes. It also lasts many years longer at the same level of performance. That has all been in line with my experience.

The only failure of Paramo that I have witnessed was because a friend of mine, a habitual pipe smoker, failed to clean his Cascada coat thoroughly. It was wetting out badly on the front, despite Nikwax wash and TX treatment. I took it and scrubbed with a nail brush and near neat detergent in the bath tub, the tar run-off turned the water black. Thorough washing, rinsing and re-proofing and it is back up to a more than acceptable level of water proofness.

Chris
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,238
537
Lancashire
I have up on paramo decades ago after getting fed up with the Alta sleeve design. Bear in mind I got my paramo shortly after they came out. Well, cascada had been out for some time but the Alta was fairly new and the aspira was literally the first delivery at my then local outdoor shop.

If anyone remembers paramo was the new kid on the block and nobody really believed it worked. It was still able to be called a waterproof (doesn't meet current criteria due to standard test not working with the analogy type of fabrics). They also differentiated in several other ways such as insisting on never using Hook and loop closures anywhere on the grounds they stop working in the cold of Scottish winters with ice freezing on the loops.

I was able to buy Alta jacket, Alta trousers, some hiking trousers, 200 weight fleece, compass and a few other items for just shy of £200 that was my birthday present money (21st or 18th iirc). I had the alternative of a mid plus goretex jacket for the same money.

Anyway I was almost the only one I saw on the hills wearing paramo for at least 5 years. Then I finally had enough of the loose fit on the press stuff sleeves. So what you could roll them up to vent on warmer days. I never wore it on warmer days preferring a paramo mountain pull on under a buffalo wind shirt which was cooler. IMHO the larger sleeves without velcro were a major design mistake. If I wanted to look like a 1700 dandy with the baggy sleeves....

Well I've been out of using paramo for decades now but every so often take a look again at them. My views vary with each look.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,238
537
Lancashire
Fit - I call them fat, dog walker jackets. I'm 196cm tall and 90kg in weight. Average length torso and arms for my size/weight. So why am I a medium on the torso, long in the body and xl in the arms? In all other shell layer brands I'm large or xl period. Arms, torso and girth are all matched in the one size garment.

Made to measure? Why should I have to do that to get analogy clothing when other brands make reasonable sizes?

Fabric - not a waterproof? Effectively it is, well it's a softshell that's a good as waterproofs in most cases. Don't kneel in a puddle or snow the pressure will force water through. Same with sitting down in snow or wet grass. Put a sit mat down first.

Comfort - yes, very because it's a softshell.

IMHO paramo needs a few design changes to be right. Sort the fit out on at least a couple of models so more can fit them. You don't need baggy fit to work. Lighter fabric system please. How about a buffalo windshirt style garment in analogy that's able to be cinched in like the buffalo mountain shirt double P style of garments? Best windshirt ever the buffalo one IMHO.
 

Klenchblaize

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Nov 25, 2005
2,584
123
61
Greensand Ridge
It is worth mentioning though that one needs to be careful comparing Paramo with Gortex. Paramo is a brand with 18 or 19 outer shell garments (just looking at men's) ranging from full coats through lighter smocks to single layer wind proofs. We also use the word "Paramo" to describe the multi layer construction of their water resistant/waterproof garments. Goretex by contrast makes their membrane and laminates it to a wide variety of fabrics in three different arrangements. This is then sold on and used by dozens, if not hundreds of garment brands/manufacturers. I have three coats that use a Gortex membrane, all three use different construction methods and have about as many differences between them as they do with my Paramo coats...and none of them are much like what most people would be thinking of when imagining a Goretex hardshell rain coat.

I have been using Paramo since 2003, starting with their original Alta (a long-ish full coat). I now have a couple of gens of their Velez Light Smock, a Torres Light Smock, a Fuera Windproof Smock, their Velez Light trousers, an old Mountain Vent Pull-on and a button down shirt that is no longer made and whose name I can't recall. I have not worn any of them out and assuming that I remember to clean/proof I have no worries about using them anywhere.

I do agree that the rain-proofs are warm, which is annoying if you want something to shrug off a summer downpour. They can also be a little on the bulky side, depending on the model, since they are all essentially a combination of a very thin fleece and a shell. The lighter versions do indeed have very light shell fabric and I would not want to go bush busting in it if I had a choice, but the standard weight is a lot tougher than it looks at first glance. I have yet to tear any of them. As mentioned, it is also home-repairable, as well as factory mendable. No seam tape to come loose and leak, no membrane to get punctured.

Paramo, apparently in response to people complaining their clothes were not athletic enough, now have at least two ways of tailoring their side-seams, and despite not being fat I don't find the newer, "athletic" stuff fits me properly. Their sizing means that I am hovering at the top end of Medium, so Med Alta fits with loads of room, but medium Velez smock is close while large fits too but is a more roomy than I would like.

The prices of Paramo have gone up a lot since I bought my Alta. It was £199 in 2003 and I picked up my Velez smocks for £100 and £150 on sale around 2011-13. If I didn't have any of their gear right now, I would be straight out and buy one of the coats and a lighter jacket. I might not bother with the windproof since I much prefer full zip jackets over smocks, but the Bentu does not fit me right. As a system where I can layer and switch different components from mid to outer I am very happy.

Edit to note that higher end Goretex have gone up a lot too with some of the really high end being twice the price of Paramo.

If one searches around the internet there are many MANY threads of conversation going back over a decade comparing Paramo with membrane fabrics. Some people complain about leaks under pack straps, many say they have no leaks. Most comment on them being warm. The overwhelming consensus is that in really wet weather, as found in the hills and mountains of Britain, Paramo works very well, generally better than membranes. It also lasts many years longer at the same level of performance. That has all been in line with my experience.

The only failure of Paramo that I have witnessed was because a friend of mine, a habitual pipe smoker, failed to clean his Cascada coat thoroughly. It was wetting out badly on the front, despite Nikwax wash and TX treatment. I took it and scrubbed with a nail brush and near neat detergent in the bath tub, the tar run-off turned the water black. Thorough washing, rinsing and re-proofing and it is back up to a more than acceptable level of water proofness.

Chris
You mean the reversible "Trail" shirt. I have one in green and only worn once! Size XL.
https://www.hillanddaleoutdoors.co.uk/productDetail.php?productId=72&brand=13
K
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
5,588
661
Bedfordshire
Nope. Think it was the Katmai Shirt, but there have been several generations in design and most particularly fabric. It is made of ParameterA, not reversible. Been very versatile and has been with me as far as New Zealand and Brunei, and closer to home has been a staple for canoe trips in Scotland and Sweden. First time wearing it was a damp day on Loch Morar, over an 11 year old Polartec 200 fleece, it offered some wind protection, and spread the drizzle over a wide area, like the Pertex shell of Buffalo. I stayed comfortable all day while one of the other chaps managed to become borderline hypothermic. It is not in any way a fashionable fit on me, but dang if it doesn't work and has held up well.
 
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Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,129
435
Canada
I wonder if Paramo kit works like Rab Vapour Rise. I have a cheap Alpine coming which I just snagged. Wanted one for a while but it is difficult to get much of a range of Rab here. If it works the same and I end up liking it I sense myself on the rocky road to a Pareto or similar