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At first, I wasn't sure if I should review the new Paramo Bora Smock combo; I was worried that it was not light enough to be of interest to BPL readers. Rewind six months and there I was at ISPO 2014 helping myself to Nikwax TX direct from a box by one of the exits. Suddenly, the rep (a nice Polish girl) came up and asked me what I thought I was doing. I said I thought it was a case of help yourself, seeing as they were left by the door unattended. I quickly flashed my press card and her expression softened: 'come with me' she said, and took me round to the Paramo stand. I said hello to everyone and got talking; I have been the happy owner of some Paramo Aspira salopettes and Viento zip offs for over 10 years, so I definitely dig the Paramo thing. We talked about the market demand for light gear, and they said that they were lightening their gear where they could. They brought out their latest offering in that respect, the new Bora Smock combo that weighed 694 g (24,5 oz, size small). It was definitely a step in the right direction as far as weight goes, and separating the two parts of the Nikwax Analogy system was a stroke of genius as far as I was concerned, but I still wasn't sure about putting it in the article. In the end I left it out, and in the event, that turned out to be a fortuitous decision.

Back in the Steiermark with the 'Hike n Fly' season fast approaching, I was fretting over what waterproof to use as part of my kit. I had been thinking of one of the really lightweight jackets under 150 grams, but, having used a GoLite wind shirt for paragliding a few times, I knew from experience that they were likely to be clammy in the height of summer. Normally, I use my trusty Patagonia Zephyr jacket for flying because it's so breathable, although the water repellent treatment is not what it used to be due to the very high UV exposure at altitude. I needed a full waterproof, but I didn't want to wear one whilst flying as the temperature can change so much. That meant carrying one in the harness on top of my windproof, which I didn't want to do either. Suddenly I remembered the Bora Smock, and the proverbial light bulb came on. And, why not review it for BPL? There were a few possible objections: Paramo gear is not exactly ultralight; neither is it imported into the United States. However, whilst Paramo is not imported into the States, the Paramo website states that they are working on configuring the store for sales to the USA. They have also set up a European store where customers on the continent can pay in Euros. If you can't wait that long, there are some online retailers in England who will ship stateside (and knock off the VAT), and Paramo themselves are willing to take orders from the states by email or over the phone it seems. Whilst the Bora Smock combo may not be ultralight, it is quite light as far as Paramo gear goes, although not as light as the Vista Rain Jacket. One should also remember that items like the Bora Smock combo displace more than just a waterproof in the rucksack. In this case, it has to be weighed up against a

fleece, a wind shirt and a full waterproof; so the numbers often even out better than you might think. Then of course there is the longevity. There are some other good reasons why you should be interested in the new Bora Smock combo: for one thing, being a two piece and not having a membrane, it is now customisable in a way no other waterproof jacket can be. As long as you don't sew through both layers (not much danger of that I think), you are pretty much free to do what you like; more on that later. In this article, I wanted to review both fleece and windproof together as a single entity, but in a way that encompasses their individual use should the conditions require it. That flexibility is, to my mind at least, an integral part of the whole.


  • Introduction
  • Paramo Gear
  • Paramo Bora Smock Combo
  • Purchasing Info

# WORDS: 3920
# PHOTOS: 10

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