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Paramo Questions, including: are there knockoffs?


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  • #1226075
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    First: from what I understand having never seen or felt a Paramo jacket, is that Paramo is very similar to Pile/Pertex, but Paramo's inner liner can be DWR'ed without hurting its wicking abilities so that it absorbs no water. Does this sound about right?

    Second, are there any companies that make Paramo-like ripoffs (jackets)? I know of Furtech, but I'm looking for others (ordering Paramo overseas, having never seen, felt or sized one, is an expensive gamble).

    Thanks!

    #1410987
    Drowned Lemming
    BPL Member

    @lemming

    Paramo is only broadly similar to Pile/Pertex in that it consists of two layers, a 'pump liner' and an outer shell. However, the 'pump liner' is smooth on the body side.

    In terms of warmth, a Paramo top is about equal to a Rab Vapour Rise – so nowhere near as warm as a Buffalo or Montane Extreme smock. They are however still warm garments and best suited for wet/cold conditions.

    The major difference is that while Pile/Pertex will get soaked in time, Paramo keeps you dry inside.

    The whole gament is proofed, either in a washing machine or by hand.

    There are a few companies using the Nikwax Analogy system, as well as Furtech there is Cioch (www.cioch-direct.co.uk) and Hilltrek (www.hillgear.com), who do made to measure garments.

    #1410997
    barry hitchcock
    Member

    @barryspoons

    used cioch for made to measure for trousers—good fit -good service-good advice

    #1411057
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    I should have been more specific. By "knockoffs" I meant cheaper brands that use similar/clone fabrics.

    I haven't been successful in finding any.

    #1411059
    carlos fernandez rivas
    BPL Member

    @pitagorin

    Locale: Galicia -Spain

    Umm …the three main companies that made similar clothing are

    Paramo

    http://www.paramo.co.uk/en-gb/index.php

    furtech

    http://www.furtech.co.uk/scripts/default.asp

    Buffalo

    http://www.buffalosystems.co.uk/

    in my opinion none could be considered "knock off"

    Montane had almost one jacket similar to the rab too

    #1411081
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    Buffalo's Pile/Pertex actually works in the opposite way as Paramo/Furtech:

    Pile will pull the moisture from your skin into the fabric and draw the moisture through the fabric. Unfortunately, this works both ways and moisture from the outside will be drawn in, although because of the fabric gradient, it pulls moisture from the outside in less than it pulls from the inside out.

    Paramo will push outside moisture away from it. Unfortunately, this works both ways as well: moisture from your skin is pushed away from the fabric-back toward your skin. Movement/diffusion/heat/pressure all help to force the liquid from your skin into the fabric to be channeled out though.

    Furtech actually has 1/3 off the price right now of their jackets. If the site comes back up, I may order an XL Claw.

    #1411111
    barry hitchcock
    Member

    @barryspoons

    pete i am not sure how paramo works but just know it does—-for long discussions on paramo try outdoorsmagic.com—ps i do not find paramo fabric pushs moisture back to skin quite the opposite in fact


    carlos–i think you will find paramo and buffalo work in completely different ways–regards from uk

    #1411141
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    Barry,

    I'll take your word for it.

    I did go to Outdoormagic and learned a ton about Paramo. It seems every discussion, from windshirts and softshells to boots and dog names eventually turns into a Paramo love-it-or-hate-it argument. I love that Paramo designers came on the forums, answered questions and explained the technology. I may even bite the bullet and pay the 20 or 30 pounds ($40 – $60!) shipping to try one on!

    But, Paramo does resist water entry: if you wear it next to your skin rather than over a baselayer, you'll see the initial inner fabric stays somewhat wet. Because Paramo is based on capillary depression, it will try to stop water from entering–from the inside or outside. I believe the reason why it works so well is that most inside moisture is still in a gas form, which moves through the initial liner. Once it starts getting through the fabric and near the outer face, the temperature cools and the vapor condenses. But, because it's already inside the capillaries, it's pushed out.

    Instead of buying a fleece/softshell/hardshell, I may buy a Furtech Claw. The only thing I miss is that the Fleece or Softshell is usually stylish to wear around town.

    #1411212
    Jeremy Cleaveland
    BPL Member

    @jeremy11

    Locale: Exploring San Juan talus

    I got a Paramo Aspira Jacket, Cascada trousers, and a mountain pull-on a year and a half ago (in Colorado!) and they are amazing for colder weather. the breathability is great, and they are waterproof. I have had a little water come through, but that was because they needed to be retreated with Nikwax, and the leakage got wicked out soon enough.
    I have never seen any other brands in real life, but Paramo's are waterproof, and the original.Paramo's on Sunshine Mtn in a blizzard
    Here I am on Sunshine Mtn (14,001) the world's shortest 14er, in October, in a blizzard, and solo with a tiny pack. and I started hiking at 1:30pm. Paramo performed great, and allowed me to keep moving rather than stopping to change my layering.

    #1411222
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    Jeremy,

    That's impressive. The only thing I've ever heard "bad" about Paramo is that it runs hot…which just means to me I don't have to wear my fleece in the base/fleece/shell.

    Does anyone know how well the Cascada Pants and Velez Smock or Vasco Jacket hold up in skiing/snowboarding? I assume the extra warmth usually associated with the material would be great on the long lifts.

    Also, any recommendations on the Vasco Jacket vs. the Velez Smock? Recommended size for 6'4", 205 pounds, 43-44chest, 35-36sleeve, 36waist?

    #1411249
    Michael Davis
    Member

    @mad777

    Locale: South Florida

    Peter,

    Unfortunately, I don't own any Paramo clothing, (I am hoping Santa Claus is reading this thread however) but I am facinated by the concept and have been doing my own research and have found the following:

    If you are concerned about over-heating, the Vasco has "Adjustable back venting" as decribed on their website. I don't see this claim on any other of their jackets.

    If you purchase any Paramo stuff, please give us a review!

    #1411260
    barry hitchcock
    Member

    @barryspoons

    pete–re sizing of paramo–may i suggest that you go back and ask for help on outdoorsmagic—lots of people wear paramo in the uk and i am sure would give the benefit of their experience—my size small cascada jacket is very loose fitting and if it ever wears out i will have one made to measure

    #1411576
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    I bit the proverbial international shipping bullet and ordered a Paramo Vasco jacket XL. It looks a bit more fitted–as well as more aesthetically appealing–than the usual Paramo.

    If I keep it, I'll write up a very in-depth report.

    I want to try some Montane jackets badly as well, like the Puma, Jaguar, Dynamo, Trans-activ and Lite-Speed.

    #1411581
    Michael Davis
    Member

    @mad777

    Locale: South Florida

    Congratulations Peter!

    I can't wait to read your report.

    #1411634
    Arapiles .
    BPL Member

    @arapiles

    Locale: Melbourne

    I was living in London for the last year so before I left I bit the bullet and bought a Paramo Velez Adventure Smock and a Paramo Fuera smock. The difference between the Velez and the Velez Adventure is that the Adventure has a fixed hood, which was recommended to me because apparently rain can blow up under the Velez's clip on hood. I really, really like the Velez. It is waterproof – the DWR is still beading so I haven't yet had the outer fabric soaking through, which can happen (although the pump liner still keeps you dry) but I wore it in heavy rain (the UK just had the wettest summer on record) and I stayed dry and comfortable. I like that it's soft, quiet and non-crinkly and that you can wear it like a wind-proof but if you get caught in a shower it's waterproof. It is also noticeably breathable. The epithany came for me when I wore my Mont-Bell Gore-Tex in the Lake District in seriously foul weather (there were major floods across the region that day) and I got soaked but I noticed that a very high percentage of the walkers who came into the pub I retreated to were wearing Paramo. The outers of their jackets were often soaked but they were dry, which was opposite to me. After leaving the UK I spent a month in Japan where I wore the Adventure for summer mountaineering and found the breathability and warmth ideal. The hood is also really good. Drawbacks? I run hot so I find it too hot above about 15 degrees Celcius. I'd like it to be longer, particularly in the front where I suspect it's been cut away for using a harness. I'd also like it to be a bit less fiddly, as there are a lot of zippers, tabs, pulls, internal pockets etc that I personally could live without. Also, I had a quality control issue with mine, with the left wrist tab pulling off the first time I wore it. Because I was about to jump on a plane I couldn't arrange a swap for a new one so the shop I bought it from refunded £10 to my credit card and I then had the tab sewn back on in Japan. Which is also a strength in a way: unlike a membrane, if you tear a Paramo you can just stitch it up – because the liner actively pumps water out it doesn't matter much if the outer fabric has a hole in it, it's not totally compromised.

    Because I really only need a waterproof in Australia when it's cold and wet, the heat issue is no problem. I'm intending to buy an Alta II as the extra length is more practical for Australia and for winter mountaineering in Japan, which will be its other main use.

    Arapiles

    #1412360
    P S
    Member

    @petesull

    I just got in my Paramo Vasco jacket. So far I'm very pleased! If I keep it, I'll wear it around this month in Northern Michigan, where the weather promises to be cold, wet and windy. The beating I give it should be great testing for a review.

    #1468445
    Andy Davison
    Spectator

    @furtech

    Hi folks
    There seems to be some confusion about the wicking properties of FurTech / Paramo type garments. Initially the lining has effective DWR and is hydrophobic but by rubbing sweat into the fabric the fabric can have a sentiment change and become hydrophilic. Because of its structure it wicks moisture like a denier gradient base layer.
    Outers also have a sentiment change, especially in cold rain, when you may see them wetting out. Because water likes to stick to water this can actually help remove moisture from the fabric layers. Unlike any thin membrane shell, which then traps condensation inside.
    Sentiment change isn't the only factor in the design of these fabrics. For more on how they work please see http://furtech.typepad.com/furtech/

    #1839755
    Tjaard Breeuwer
    BPL Member

    @tjaard

    Locale: Minnesota, USA

    I have a Cioch Direct Glamaigh and can only echo the previous comments:

    It is as breathable as uncoated windshell,but the liner makes it as warm as a windshell with light fleece underneath. So I can't wear it in warmer weather, depending on activity level.

    It is completely waterproof (I have not tried pants yet, kneeling might be different)

    The one thing you have to feel to believe is the supple hand(using the lighter options), this makes it much more pleasant to wear. If you get a design without too many zippers etc it will feel like a cashmere sweater: unlike down there is weight draping over you, but it moves freely with you.

    It is easy to care for just throw it in the washing machine with Nikwax and you're good to go. Also you can just sew any repairs or alterations.

    #1840454
    Emma White
    Member

    @whiteev

    I have the Paramo Velez smock and it is defiantly the best jacket for snow, warm but I never seem to sweat in it! Defiantly warmer than the Rab Vapour Rise IMO (I have both). Too warm when it rains in summer/spring though. When on a cold windy mountain and in the snow it is in its element! Also really like the kangaroo pocket. It is pretty heafty though!

    #1840529
    Brett Peugh
    BPL Member

    @bpeugh

    Locale: Midwest

    Is there a style of these jackets that might let it be extended into warmer climates?

    #1840540
    Nigel Healy
    Member

    @nigelhealy

    Locale: San Francisco bay area

    Yes the Quito. The 2 main reasons it extends to warmer climates are

    – there is less layers of fabric. The Velez has at the front the chest pocket and the through-hand holder, the Quito has none of these and just two "useless" mesh internal pockets

    – the Velez has side vents from belt line up to sturnum height. The Quito has just above belt line through which you can access some useful hand warmers, right up and over as far as the elbow.

    The Quito though is not a heavy backpacking type top because it is a jacket, not a smock, the Velez you can feed a pack's hipbelt through the side vents rest the hipbelt on your hipbones (none of that sagging sliding over fabric) and be aware the lighter materials (Velez Adventure Light, Quito, Vista) have less-tough external fabric so more ruffing off heavy pack. More your daysack and very light backpacking type.

    I own the Quito, I sold my Velez specifically to extend Paramo goodness into warmer climates.

    However don't over-exaggerate the extending into warmer climates I think I increased the temperature from like 10C to 13C/55F where I had to give up on Paramo. What I tend to do now is use the Quito and a windproof. The windproof for warmer, swap to the Quito for colder and add the windproover over the Quito for even colder. Hence so long as its below 55F for most/all of my trip, I'm ok with Quito. That still though largely restricts Paramo to winter.

    #1840561
    wander lust
    BPL Member

    @sol

    I can only wear a rainjacket with a membrain when it is around 50 f (10 C).

    I have owned a Quito and it has to be colder than 40 F (4C) or really windy for me before I would consider Paramo.

    I warm up fast though.

    There are pitzips, but they don't help you if the entire garmet is too warm for summer.

    Note, that the thinner Paramo can get overhelmed with heavy rain way easier and faster than the heavy and warm stuff. Has happened to me.

    I would only use the heavier Paramo stuff or Furtech in winter.

    Paramo is meant to be worn all the time actually, which makes it a light option in cold weather.

    #1840649
    Brett Peugh
    BPL Member

    @bpeugh

    Locale: Midwest

    Thanks. I am just trying to find a waterproof jacket that is long term durable and waterproof.

    #1840651
    wander lust
    BPL Member

    @sol

    I suppose you should be happy with the thicker paramo stuff in winter for a long time and have to find something else for warmer weather.

    Most ul rain jackets probably won't last that long.
    Some people seem to be really happy with Arcteryx and Patagonia shells in terms of durability.

    I bet you that you have to go for a heavy membrane jacket if you want something bombproof.

    #1841121
    Brett Peugh
    BPL Member

    @bpeugh

    Locale: Midwest

    Yeah, I think I am going to have to look at more alternative stuff for warmer temps to find a membrane that will last more than a few years or will last from day to day usage about a year.

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