Can a piece of outdoor clothing be waterproof without a membrane?
A question Nick Brown asked himself in the 1980s.
Páramo, a leading British outdoor clothing company do things a little differently. They take an alternate step away from a classic membrane garment such as a British rain mac and use a system pioneered by none other than the father of Nikwax, Nick Brown. During the 1980s Brown became convinced that there was a fundamental flaw in the way waterproof fabrics commonly used in outdoor clothing worked, in the humid and cool, but not cold, environment in Britain. This is because the fabrics rely on a temperature and humidity gradient in order to breathe. These ideas lead to the development of Nikwax Analogy fabrics. Páramo Directional Clothing was founded as a company in 1992 to make clothing based on the Nikwax Analogy technologies.
If it's good enough for an otter, it's good enough for me
The Nikwax Analogy Waterproof System
The Nikwax Analogy Pump liner is actually based on the action of a mammal’s fur such as an otter – pushing water away from the surface of your skin to protect you from rain, Condensation and sweat, while maintaining efficient insulation. You have a two layer system with an outer layer of closely woven polyester which is treated with Nikwax, it provides windproofing and durable water-repellency. The second layer is your pump liner, which draws water away from you such as sweat and condensation. Best combined with a moisture wicking base layer, this system is wonderfully comfortable, quiet and easy to move in. Available on all waterproof garments from Páramo.
A company for people
Páramo have stood out greatly amongst other brands in the industry as a really ethical company. All of their technical products are made in alliance with the Miquelina Foundation, a member of the World Fair Trade Organization. Miquelina offers venerable women refuge from the streets of Bogotá, Columbia, women at risk of homelessness and illegal drug use. Offering these women good training, experience, shelter and child support has helped them build better lives. Páramo’s relationship with Miquelina is now 22 years strong.
Want to read about more of our ethical brands?
A company for the environment
Páramo, along with sister company Nikwax have scorned the use of PFCs (perflourinated compounds) in their products. Every Páramo product is now guaranteed PFC free. Furthermore, Páramo work very closely with World Land Trust, an organisation devoted to protecting the world’s threatened eco-systems, not just today, but forever. Páramo, since 2007 have donated to WLT’s Carbon Balanced Programme which ensures the companies carbon emissions are offset. Not just this but Páramo also make a matching donation to World Lands Trust’s most urgent appeals. The WLT Action Fund provides the means to make land purchases where ecosystems are under imminent threat.
This post was written by Oli, our beardy gear boffin. Oli is a big fan of Unspoilt wilderness and roaring campfires. He is happiest out on the hill or in the woods, wildcamping with his two very large dogs. Here he is melting snow with a spoon in his mouth.