Páramo waterproof jackets are renowned for their performance and long life. Here at Castleberg Outdoors we often get asked questions such as "what is the best Paramo jacket for cycling/running?" Or "what is the best Paramo jacket for year-round use?" We therefore felt it was only right to create an in-depth article on this quality brand.
“We love Páramo- they are a great brand to work with as they produce high quality technical gear, which lasts, performs well in all conditions, and is ethically produced. The tried and tested combination of Nikwax fabrics- the warmer lining and the outer windproof, provides an incredibly reliable waterproofing system which is why we recommend Páramo waterproofs time and time again to our customers.”
Steven Craig - Owner of Castleberg Outdoors
We will discuss the 5 key reasons why Paramo should be your outdoor jacket brand of choice and which style of jacket you should buy for your requirements.
So why buy a Páramo Jacket? Take a look at our 5 reasons…
Unique Nikwax Directional Fabric
All Páramo waterproof garments utilise technological ‘Directional’ fabrics produced by Nikwax, their sister company. Nikwax fabrics are designed to ‘direct’ water in one direction only- i.e. away from the skin. This allows amazing breathability- water vapour is actively moved from the skin- as well as extremely high levels of waterproofing, as liquid water cannot pass through the fabric in to the garment. As a result, Páramo jackets and trousers are highly waterproof and highly breathable, whilst being quiet (no rustling membranes to deal with) and comfortable to wear whatever the conditions.
‘On the hill’ design
Páramo waterproofs are functional- designed, tested and worn by outdoor professionals and critically refined by the Páramo design team based in the Lake District. Well thought out design features mean that Páramo garments work well together as well as being stand-alone pieces that can be worn all year round.
Chosen by outdoor professionals
Not only are Páramo jackets and trousers great for the outdoor enthusiast, but it is also the kit of choice for a whole range of outdoor professionals.
Páramo gear is selected for its safety and comfort on the hills by a wide variety of organisations including National Search & Rescue Dog Association (SARDA), the Countryside Council of Wales and the National Trust for Scotland. It’s the first choice of some 30 teams within the UK Mountain Rescue Community, who use Páramo throughout the seasons all across the UK.
And professionals working in extreme environments trust the warmth, comfort and reliability of Páramo waterproofs too- from wildlife photographers and documentary makers to extreme adventurers and explorers.
Páramo produce reliable, hardwearing and long lasting kit that you can trust year after year. The Nikwax fabric is more resilient than membrane coated waterproofs- no laminate or coatings to break down– instead your Páramo waterproof is easy to look after and maintain indefinitely using Nikwax fabric care products. Even puncturing the outer garment fabric doesn’t compromise the performance- the Nikwax Directional fabric continues to work regardless.
Aside from this, Páramo guarantee to rectify any manufacturing defect, free of charge, indefinitely. And any damage to your garment by accident or normal ‘wear & tear’ can be repaired by Páramo at a reasonable cost.
Last, but by no means least (in fact, probably first in our books), Páramo provides ethically produced kit with a great social benefit. Páramo’s production facility established in 1992 in Bogotá, Colombia is part of a social program in conjunction with the Miquelina Foundation. This provides employment and skills to vulnerable women who are trying to improve their lives.
Over the years, Páramo’s work with Miquelina has given practical help to thousands of women and children. Factory profits have helped to fund housing projects, a kindergarten and a canteen for local children.
Which Paramo jacket should I choose?
This is a question we get asked a lot, so much so that we thought it would be useful to share some of the questions our loyal customers have asked:
“I’m a hillwalker, and I spend a lot of my free time on Dartmoor, even in winter. What does Páramo offer me, and which Páramo jacket should I choose?”
Jack, 53, Devon.
Jack, we would suggest looking at the hill and mountain range from Páramo. There are some classic jackets you could consider, and also a few new options in the Páramo range that might suit too. The classic Cascada or the Alta II are versatile hillwalking jackets, in durable Nikwax Analogy fabric. Both have very adjustable hoods, good length on the body, and large bellows pockets. The Alta II is also a good option if you’re map reading a lot, as it has a vast chest pocket capable of taking an OS map- it also has upper arm vents making it very versatile as the seasons change.
If you’re thinking of longer walks, or are pretty swift around the hills, we might suggest the Páramo Pasco - a jacket well suited to demanding hikes and longer backpacking trips. Alternatively, if you want clean lines with a neat fit, the Helki jacket offers great freedom of movement with all the reliability you’d expect from Páramo.
A couple of other options to think about too would be the multi-activity Velez smock- a classic active piece with great venting and a large front pocket as well as a fixed roll away hood with great adjustability. Also, if you carry a lot of gear with you, it would be worth considering the amazing Halcon jacket from the award winning Naturally Páramo range- with nine easily accessible pockets!
“I do a lot of fast and light walking, and trail running in the Yorkshire Dales. I need a versatile Páramo jacket that will cross over between all my interests. What do you suggest?”
Well Laura, the Velez Adventure light smock fits the bill perfectly. All of us runners here at Castleberg Outdoors use them- the smock uses Nikwax Analogy Light, with all the weather protection of the standard analogy fabric but is 19% lighter than the Velez Adventure smock. It has a fixed rollaway hood, a drop tail, reflective pining for safety, and a large zipped front pocket with an inner hand-warmer pocket. It is warmer than a shell jacket so perfect for walking or for when the weather closes in, but is also highly breathable so stays comfortable when you up the pace.
“I am a keen bird watcher and a professional wildlife photographer- I work mostly in the Scottish Highlands. Which Páramo jacket would suit my needs best?”
Ian, Páramo have a highly respected and award-winning range of gear- Naturally Páramo- aimed exactly at outdoor professionals like yourself. Naturally Páramo jackets are designed in conjunction with the people who will be using them, so they are practical, well thought out, and user-friendly, as well as being reliable. There are a number of options depending on the type of activity- from the classic Cascada jacket and Alta II jacket, to the more technical Pajaro and Halcon. All have great hoods, plenty of ventilation options and articulation for extra comfort and ease of movement, plus a range of pockets (nine pockets on the Halcon jacket!) There is also the Velez Adventure Light smock for more active pursuits, however if you are inactive for a lot of the time whilst waiting for the right shot then you will probably need something warmer. We would suggest the Pajaro Jacket, or the more luxurious Halcon Jacket as they offer lots of storage options, hand warmer pockets, wired peak for great visibility, and reinforced shoulder construction to give extra comfort when you’re carrying all your photography kit around.
You might also think about the Torres over-layering system for any deep winter outings- Páramo make a fantastic, innovative range of overlayering pieces, including the Torres Overlayering Light Jacket, which gives block insulation over any jacket, and remains warm and effective even when wet. It packs down very small when not needed, yet is generously sized to fit comfortably over your Páramo Waterproof Jacket.
Castleberg Outdoors work closely with Páramo and have a great range of their award winning kit. Visit our Paramo Clothing section for more details, or call the shop to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff on 01729 823 751.