Mountaineering & Expeditions

Páramo Velez Jacket Review

Páramo do things different than most companies. All other companies in fact. This quietly unconventional manufacturer of outdoor apparel make gear like no one else that works like nothing else. It’s an approach that has won them endless awards and the approval of mountain leaders worldwide. Walk up a Munro in Scotland and you’ll count half a dozen people in Páramo jackets – they’re the ones looking warm and dry.

What makes them so different? Well, it’s largely the material they use in jackets. Eschewing the normal two or three layer membrane jacket, Páramo uses Nikwax’s Directional Fabric Technology (Nikwax is a sister company). Directionality is defined by Páramo as “the ability of the fabric system to move liquid water to where you want it”. The aim is to remain warm and waterproof while sweating, or in winter having sweated significantly and then not getting cold afterwards.

“This quietly unconventional manufacturer of outdoor apparel make gear like no one else that works like nothing else.”

Páramo claim that traditional membranes which use body heat to evaporate any excess water cool us down too quickly. Their point is that breathability is not enough, you actively need to move the water away regulate your temperature. The Directional system moves liquid water (sweat) away from us as quickly as possible, while keeping all the insulating properties. The idea is that it mimics the action of animal fur, pushing water outwards while protecting insulation. And it works particularly well in cold conditions, where you’ll be doing intensive exercise for shorter periods and then, potentially remaining still – for example ice climbing or winter mountaineering.

The outer is water repellent, but doesn’t use any harmful PFCs. So, that’s the technology, but what about the jacket? The new Velez jacket is described as a multi-activity jacket, perfect for Alpine days out.

It’s a generous fitting garment with long arms (good for climbing and cycling). The ‘Dual Phase’ chest pockets work as torso vents as well as giving access to secure internal handwarmer pockets. Arm vents channel cool air through the jacket when needed. The newly-designed ‘Halo’ hood is excellent, moves well with the head and can be adjusted with a single gloved hand.

There’s also a wired peak – essential in our opinion. Overall, the Velez was one of the most versatile jackets we tested for the Outdoor 100, and excellent for everything from serious climbing and mountaineering to casual hikes in cold conditions.

Páramo Velez Jacket Stats:

The 100 Best Outdoor Products for Winter 2016 View them all

Shot on location in Chamonix

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 Winter 2016

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