Caius, formerly from the Exeter Shop takes Páramo’s elite smock and puts it to solid use.
Extend your comfort zone – that’s the Paramo mantra.
Paramo’s Analogy waterproof fabric works very differently from membrane-style waterproof such as Gore-Tex or eVent. The analogy fabric consists of two layers that work together to keep you dry and comfortable. The outer fabric is a wind and water-resistant nylon that sheds the majority of rain away from you. Underneath the outer shell is a pump liner, this is a cleverly designed fabric that moves liquid moisture by capillary action, in one direction. From the inside to the outside of the jacket, that’s the directionality Paramo talk about.
I’ve been using a Paramo Hybrid Evolution Smock for the past year, as well as the Cascada II waterproof trousers. Here are some of my thoughts.
Fit and Feel
The Velez Hybrid Evolution Smock is shorter in the body and more fitted than some of the other jackets in the Paramo range, the sleeves and shoulder pieces allow fantastic articulation with almost no lifting of the bottom hem of the jacket. I’ve used the smock on a couple of wet climbing trips and it sits nicely underneath a harness. While the analogy fabric is breathable, the addition of two vertical zips to the front allows you to open sides up and dump heat quickly. This is particularly useful when covering steep ground, poppers keep the front panel in place while the zips are open.
The Smock is equipped with a helmet-compatible hood, this means the hood will stretch over a climbing helmet. They can also be pulled in tighter using the adjusters when you are not wearing a helmet. The front panel comes up very high which means you are nice and protected in really foul weather, when it’s not raining I unzip both front zips by about 6 inches and tuck the top flap of fabric down the front of the smock so it is out of the way.
In addition to the two large ventilation zips on the front panel of the jacket, there is smaller forward-facing ventilation zips on each arm. The ventilation on this jacket is fantastic and can be adjusted easily on the go depending on how warm you are feeling.
The Hybrid Evolution Smock has two pockets on the front. A ‘Joey’ pocket accessed from the top is easily big enough to fit an OS map while a fleece-lined handwarmer pocket with zips on either side is a nice addition on a cold day.
Use and Abuse
My Paramo kit has been well used in the rain, fog, and snow. Up mountains, across bleak moorland, and along the coastal path. Paramo fabrics are much softer and less noisy than hardshell jackets, I find them comfortable to wear all day and it’s one of the reasons I chose a Paramo. I enjoy wearing Paramo’s trousers too, they’re relatively warm so I use them as winter walking trousers and tend not to bother with waterproof trousers in the spring and summer.
Overall I’m very pleased with how my Paramo has performed. I like the fit of the smock and it suits the kind of activities I tend to do. There’s a great range of Paramo waterproofs available to suit different tastes in fit and style.