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Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Function on 03/16/2012 11:09:04 MDT Print View

Paramo doesn't need body heat to keep YOU dry but it depends on body heat to keep ITSELF dry. Remind me next time to weigh it when I come home with it sodden. I've always been warm+dry but the garment can't shake dry like say an eVent shell.

I Nikwak it fairly often, that is key to both waterproofness and fastest drying.

Its a pity Paramo doesn't sell to USA there's some major sections of the USA which are cool+damp for months. Whilst there are dealers who will ship to USA, and it actually can end up lower cost than inside the UK, fit is the issue, it will typically not fit well >50% of people. The Vista when it came out, I had to wait I think 6 months til visiting UK, try it on in Ambleside, didn't find it solved the issues with the Quito, tried a few other things on and then back in USA months later bought the items I wanted in a sale, so you're talking about 11 months buying cycle. Most in BPL don't visit UK often enough and it would be scary to buy online having never tried for fit.

Paramo offers the best value for money as the waterproofness is not blunted by age, the cost is comparable to a high-end waterproof but lasts substantially longer.

Jonathan Rozes
(jrozes)

Locale: Pacific Wonderland
Quito fit on 03/16/2012 16:03:40 MDT Print View

I've had a size medium Quito for a couple years now. It's definitely not baggy (I'm 5'11", 175 lbs, 32" waist). It's cut like a cycling jacket - the arms are quite long (cuffs don't ride up when extending arms overhead), but the torso is short (measures 5" below my belt line in front, 7" in back).

My only complaint with the fit is that the armpit area where the sleeve joins the torso is too tight. I can wear it comfortably with a base layer, but anything more results in slight pinching (I measure about 20" vertically around the armpit and top of shoulder).

Fit aside, I've been very happy with its performance. For moving around in the near-continuous cold rain we frequently get here in the Pacific Northwest, I haven't found anything better - yet.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Quito fit on 03/16/2012 16:58:36 MDT Print View

When the Quito came out, I had email exchanges with Paramo HQ, sent my measured dimensions, they said get LARGE. Which I did. Ordered, delivered - to USA. It was very baggy, my nickname for it was the Orange Tent. I emailed back to compare lengths medium/long, the medium was a lot shorter so figured I'd just suffer the bagginess, after a winter I found it annoying, thought about taking scissors+thread to it to take a good few inches out but sold it in the UK, where I then tried a medium, and found it in black, which initially was a special limited edition now its a standard color.

Correct it can become tight in places if you add a mid-layer, but its a far worse problem to jump up a size and have it baggy. I layer OVER mine using the Paramo Torres gilet and sleeves, which is more flexible than mid-layering. I emailed Paramo saying too big a jump between medium/long they said they "followed industry standards" which is odd because I measured the large to be a lot more than the 3" bigger chest delta.

I have a degree of flexibility of baselayer e.g a 250g weight Merino is quite warm, yesterday I was wearing a Paramo Explorer fleece under, but mostly I'm in the thinnest t-shirt baselayer as even the Quito is too warm when active above 50F.

Yes, its SORT OF a cycling cut, the hood moves with the head if you cinch both front+rear cords, good for seeing to the sides, I don't think it can be improved, the sleeves are perfect, just the right amount of room, but the VERY SHORT rear is very much NOT CYCLING.

I, like you, haven't found anything better. The 3 changes I'd make is add a chinguard, a few poppers on the front zip so can vent without letting rain in, and add at least 4" all around. The bi-directional front zip can zip up to spread it for cycling forward position or fully zip for walking/upright but the rear needs to be ideally 6" longer to be ACTUALLY for cycling. I have a Montane Velo cycling jacket, and Novaro cycling jacket and their back lengths are 6" more than the Quito so water doesnt run off onto the cyclist.

Anyhow - I really don't recommend ANYONE buy Paramo on spec, but MUST try for fit. Don't bother listening to Paramo's view of fit, their web page uses "active cut" on practically all items description, they are wrong. I still recommend Paramo, for cool wet conditions, nothing really beats it on performance, its just the fit issues to resolve.

We also should form an escape committee to get the Hobbits broken free from their prison in Paramo HQ.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Quito fit on 03/16/2012 21:40:53 MDT Print View

Nigel, for both the Velez Adventure Light Smock and Vista Jacket I'll grant you that I found them both too short in the front hem. All my outdoor midlayer shirts stick out underneath them at the front. Therefore I use them as waterproof midlayers, and, like you, layer my Torres Core Gillet and Arms (waterproof synthetic insulation layer) over it when it is cold. However, the tail in the back is just long enough on both of them, and the fit in the rest of the designs is perfect for me (I'm 178 cm/ 72 kg... 5.8 ft./159 lb). The sleeves are long enough (reaching to the middle of the top of my hand) and there is no pinching whatsoever. I find the jackets very comfortable, volume-wise. I'm completely confused where you think they would be for hobbits. They're bigger in volume for medium than most jackets I've recently bought (they're more sized to standards from 15 years ago, when gear was designed to be more voluminous and, in my opinion, more practical). We both do have to keep in mind that everyone is sized differently, so what works for some people doesn't necessarily work for others.

That's for the "light" jackets. My Cascada jacket is completely different. It is very long... reaching all the way to mid-calf, and fits over quite a range of midlayers. I prefer long jackets (really don't like the recent trend toward very short jackets) and use the Cascada almost exclusively in the winter. It is heavy, but since I never take it off I don't have to carry it in my pack, which is the main reason I don't use it in the summer. Again, when it is gets colder than my walking system can handle, I layer my Torres Core Gillet and Arms over it (though the Casacada is voluminous enough to take the insulation underneath. If there was a lighter version of the Cascada, I'd very very happy. Length-wise it is similar to a somewhat short cagoule, though not as wide.

Paramo takes some shifting in thinking to use properly. If you think in traditional layering terms it will probably not work well. It is a little similar to the pertex/pile system (which completely does away with baselayer/midlayer/windlayer), though slightly more flexible, and, unlike pertex/pile, waterproof. Once you get your head around the difference, it works well, for me at least.

Edited by butuki on 03/16/2012 21:42:06 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Cioch Direct will make custom sizes on 03/16/2012 22:25:49 MDT Print View

Cioch Direct will make custom sizes, prices are listed on their website.

I am tall and so have a hard time getting a good fit in any brand jacket, so the custom optin is great.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Re: Quito fit on 03/16/2012 22:52:53 MDT Print View

Miquel you're a little shorter than me plus (this from memory so I might be wrong) the Quito is shorter than the VAL and the Vista. The point on length is the Quito is *NO* cycling cut, its more a walking length for when paired with waterproof trews. So long as everyone knows that then the length is not important. There's a video currently on Paramo's site about Quito for cycling, plus the cyclist is wearing cotton jeans....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=s51N_MAmvyQ

I'd have bought the Vista if it had pitzips and if even longer but pitzips are essential for venting in my book - I have pitzips in my waterproof Marmot Aegis I use in warmer rain.

I also own the Summit Hoodie + Fuera Ascent combo - also both with large pitzips but a much more heavy package.

Its rained 4 days nonstop here and I was wearing Quito outdoors all the time, biking with OMM Kamleika pants or walking with Paramo Velez pants. The really liberating aspect is the comfort, if its cool enough wear it, and don't worry.

Once the lighter fabrics came in, packabability became viable, I measure the weights and volumes of all my outdoors gear. Clearly down wins weight/volume but that's more campwear/cold/clear type situations whilst Paramo is more outdoors/cool/unpredictable type situations. The Quito is a little heavier and a little larger packed than an synthetic insulated water-resistant hooded jacket, i.e. its basically an insulating softshell with good waterproof features thrown if for little weight/volume penalty. Hence when packing for an outdoors trip, if its cool enough, with any possibility of damp, I take Paramo, it just does so much so well in a good weight story.

Once it stops raining here, I'll be doing the Nikwax thang....

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Modifying on 03/17/2012 20:55:04 MDT Print View

The one good part about the fit or features of Nikwax Analogy clothing is that the seams don't have to be taped.

This means it's easy to do alterations like making it trimmer or adding pitzips.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Re: Modifying on 03/17/2012 21:22:33 MDT Print View

Yes know that but it takes some skill, you can make it look bad and ruin any resale value. So... be sure of what you want and how to accomplish. I pondered it quite seriously for a while because I wanted to keep torso and sleeve length but remove sleeve+torso width.

It is somewhat unfair, not sure why it is thus, but larger sizes with more fabric are the same cost as smaller sizes (mediums of the world are subsidizing the larges of the world including paying their fuel to lug them off the runway, but I digress), and in fact many large sizes are more commonly in sales (how many times we see only XS and XL in sales?). However, you can take a Paramo item which is too-much in one dimension, a common one is the circumference of the torso, and unstitch, remove slices from panels and restitch. It's waterproofing is not affected. Part of why I didn't do that with the Quito was the position of the side-vents really needed fabric removed from both front+rear panels, plus the arms too wide so I counted 7 panels affected.

Cioch is probably the way to go, but a reason I did not is I'm still ignorant myself of what constitutes a good fit, I can only tell if something I'm wearing is of a need for more/less of something but not exactly how that would be accomplished, you're talking Saville Row made-to-measure skills. I guess in the modern era with computers it knows about shoulder rotations and other methods to not have flap but have enough room as you move your body. Clever Cioch?

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Paramo drying time on 03/22/2012 09:49:35 MDT Print View

FYI, I hand-wash all my outdoors clothing to max their life, including technical cleaning of waterproof gear, and I hang them on a hanger over the bath to drip-dry overnight then next day in sun / near a window to finish drying.

For baselayers, after an overnight dripping over bath they are usually still damp, usually where gravity was working which is sleeve-end and the torso end. Merino is usually still damp all-over even with the thinnest 150g and I can sometimes til squeeze water out of the ends.

We had 5 days continual rain last week and I wore my Paramo Quito every day, it didn't let me down, going indoors I shook it dry then either used body heat and wear it, or hung it over a chair in house, and it would dry quickly, wearing in about 20mins, over a chair in an hour-ish.

Yesterday in a break in the rain, I immerse the Quito in sink with some Nikwax Techwash and rinsed it til water clear, then hung it overnight. I left it sodden dripping wet, quite heavy.

This morning it was bone dry even though its two layers, plenty of places for damp still be hiding with no body heat or breeze against a wall over a bath to aid drying.

Goes to show the fabric is miraculous stuff, it dries quicker than a thin baselayer and its actually 2 layers.

Why does it dry so quick? My guess is it is the capillary action producing its own "breeze", the comparative wetness, the water is being pushed away and bringing in drier air, and this just keeps circulating.

When you wear one of this fabric type in rain for hours there is a bit of bubbling, a mild froth visible on the outer material as the water/vapor is pushing outwards.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Cioch Direct (nikwax Abnalogy custom) on 01/16/2013 14:47:23 MST Print View

Cioch is now removing the VAT for orders outside the EU. The listed prices are including VAT.

This at least helps cover the shipping for those of us in the US!

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
avoiding VAT has been easy for years on 01/16/2013 15:13:07 MST Print View

Plenty of UK online stores ship international. For higher-end kit it is often cheaper outside EU than inside.

With Paramo barely fitting anyone apart from an actor in the Hobbit, Cioch looks attractive. Most people find to get sleeves long enough you get a roomy tent over the torso.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: avoiding VAT has been easy for years on 01/16/2013 15:48:01 MST Print View

Nigel,

I bought a Paramo Valez adventure Light Smock and Cascada trousers recently and found the fit perfect and I ain't no Hobbit :-)

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
Depends on the garment on 01/16/2013 16:29:45 MST Print View

Velez, I have to go large to get the arm length. In Quito I can stick to medium but then its very short front+back. I got a Cascada medium its baggy all over including long sleeves.

I'm saying give Cioch a good consideration, or if Paramo be very sure of your fit to order remotely.

This is my Paramo collection: Quito, Velez, Cascada, Summit Hoodie, Fuera Ascent, Fuera Peak, Fuera smock, Velez trews, Fuera trews, Explorer, Trekker Hoodie, various Cambia, Torre gilet, Torres sleeves, Torres trousers. Everything is medium.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Depends on the garment on 01/16/2013 17:01:29 MST Print View

You are better stocked than some shops Nigel ;-)

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
New womens styles at Paramo on 02/13/2013 18:04:26 MST Print View

There are some new womens jackets at Paramo that look at lot more up to date style wise, and from the video and description it looks like the fit is a lot better too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g5Xj0zpaNc&feature=player_embedded

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
old on 02/13/2013 18:26:53 MST Print View

That video is of a jacket been out a while, I'm going to guess a year.

There are newer ones out including a newer longer jacket.

Now I'd say having owned both the "light" and the "normal" weight breathable material, the lighter one is LESS breathable, its less of a "wear all day" type as a result. I don't know why but my guess is the thinness requires a strength which requires a denser weave = smaller micro holes.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: old on 02/13/2013 22:50:49 MST Print View

i will be in London in a couple weeks. And live in the Pacific NW. So, i will run by the Paramo shop and check it out. After reading the Wikipedia page and hearing the comments here about fit, I am pretty skeptical about this stuff, though. And it sounds like the staff at Paramo might not be much help. I would love a fellow engineer/scientist to give a technical critique of this technology. The Paramo website is full of meaningless mumbo jumbo.

EDIT: I just found this in an old article:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/paramo_clothing.html#.URx0c1dZOSo

Edited by mwgillenwater on 02/13/2013 22:53:17 MST.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
it works on 02/13/2013 23:15:28 MST Print View

It works as a waterproof, but the fit is the problem.

I'd say the fact it is only really sold in UK accurately matches the conditions it suits which is cool and wet, if you're from Pacific NW then its comparable and so good to consider.

As to how it works, its really just a capillary force from the weave of the inner material which tends to push water from the inside to the outside. To keep that working it needs to be clean which is what the Nikwax Techwash does. The capillary force can be defeated by pressure such as from tightness, which is why its baggy, from a heavy backpack with narrow straps but if you a true BPL that's not much of an issue and by wind. The wind is defeated by the outer layer which is a windproof layer. It can "wet out" which lowers its breathability so it is treated by Nikwax TXDirect to encourage run-off.

Overall, because its two layers it is warmer, the inner layer has no / negligible windproofing so its extremely breathable, the outer layer is very breathable. The two combined is more breathable by an order of magnitude than any shell, so its good for wear-all-day-with-chance-of-rain or rain-all-day situations, if its cold enough just wear it and forget. As the waterproofness is based of fabric construction and cleanliness, it will not lose its waterproofness with slight damage or age, so they outlast other waterproofs by decades. Plenty of folks have perfectly ok working gear from 20+ years back.

The biggest drawback is its 2-layer insulation, it needs to be cold enough in balance with your output and high-energy people will find it too warm til below freezing which is obviously then not encounter water, so its more of a bimbling or just-above-freezing type context which is a very common temperature in UK.

I have Cascada for walking low-speed winter coat (e.g. into town) I got used, I got Quito for more biking and faster hiking, and a Summit hoodie + Fuera Ascent for more hiking from a car type as its just more flexible. I tend to use the Quito the most.

The traditional biggest complaint, after too-warm, is its bagginess, but the fabric needs bagginess to maximise waterproofness and you can make use of it like baggy sleeves to roll them up easier. Next the sleeves often too short, a little dumb if you're in mountains and raising hands above head, but its vast breathability and insulation means it will self-forgiving rain getting in the sleeve, you'll just evaporate and breathe it out.

You'll not get a discount at their London store and I'm not sure if they'll sell to you minus the 20% UK Salestax, more typically you get home and get the garments posted to you with a discount from somewhere else. Or you can just pay full price and walk out with it.

The pants are great, the Cascada pants, again just wear when its cold and regardless of rain you're dry and warm.

The overlayer Torres are performance-wise normal stuff but its good value for the build quality, I wear the Torres gilet a lot to boost anything I'm wearing.

Avoid their baselayers, worse of any make I've tried. Cambia is horrid.

Their fleecy reversibles are comfortable next-to-skin type if you like the look of them they're ok. I like the Explorer, I got a broken shoulder recent and an older damaged shoulder and I'm using the chest pocket to act as a sling.

Most people who buy Paramo find the comfort and convenience good and buy more and more, it has a name "Paramoholics" and its fans are widely known to be evangelical fans and so the P***** use to not provoke it being mentioned.

Be absolutely sure on fit before you buy! Notorious for sleeve length and torso length too-short

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Re: it works on 02/13/2013 23:21:53 MST Print View

Nigel,

Many thanks for the thorough (and speedy) advice. Given the fit issues, its is probably worth passing on a chance at a discount to be able to try a range of models and sizes before even thinking about buying anything. More importantly, I am just fascinated to take a close look at this stuff and see if it makes sense to my engineering brain. I get the theory, but there is nothing like seeing it in person.

Nigel Healy
(nigelhealy) - F

Locale: San Francisco bay area
np hope you find it on 02/13/2013 23:35:12 MST Print View

The London Paramo store has a tiny front entrance you have to be stood very close to see it. I was last in there 2 years ago, having queued for hours in USA embassy to hand $ over so I can stay in U.S.of.A. Land of the free for a fee!

I'd suggest if fit works get 2 jackets, one for high-energy one for low energy. You'll spend probably $600 equiv but be good for decades.

Forgot to add, Paramo is good for dunking situations, people falling rivers, its warmth, pump liner and breatability people been dry in not too long after a soaking. That is where my 1st Paramo spend came from I'd been biking against rain for an hour, I was soaked and the soaking was just getting me the shivers, I popped into a passing store, having never heard of Paramo. Shop so sure it would be good said full refund if I didn't like, I then biked for another hour in heavy wind and I was bone dry. The garment had not only kept rain out, had dried a cotton t-shirt under. Magical.

Paramoholic!