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Replicating Paramo and Furtech?
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just Justin Whitson
Replicating Paramo and Furtech? on 12/17/2012 12:02:02 MST Print View

I've been trying to figure out what these WPB systems are all about so i can recreate it cheaply, but due to the vague explanations it's been hard to figure out exactly what to do.

But, i think i may finally have "cracked the code". This is what i'm going to try at least: I have a micro-polyester fleece with a pile fur side and it is reversible (i'm going to also add a hood to it). I'm going to shave down some of the pile because i don't think i need that length. The "fur" part will go on the outside. I'm going to wash and rinse it well with some Dr. Bronners soap, also will pre-treat my Washing machine with boiling water/rinse cycle to get rid of any detergent residues.

Then i will soak the M.P.F. in some Grangers Washin Waterproofing product.

I'm taking a light, thin Polartec Powerdry shirt to use as my "pump liner". I believe these are treated to make part of the fibers more hydrophillic. I'm going to soak it in a hot, soapy and weak Oxy clean mix solution to help get rid of some of the chemical finish that may be on there. Rinse very well, and also treat with the Grangers Washin product.

Then i'm going to wear the Polartec Powerdry shirt inside out, but i will experiment with wearing it normally as well.

Has anybody tried similar combinations to re-create this stuff?

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
re: Replicating Paramo and Furtech? on 12/17/2012 14:03:14 MST Print View

I commend your experimentation! You may also want to consider adding a DWR treated nylon shell to your system. (To slow/stop the velocity of raindrops.)

I haven't tried replicating the Nikwax Analogy system (the stuff used in Paramo. As I understand it, Furtech uses a similar system but sources its fabrics elsewhere). Though, I have a Paramao Velez Smock which is great for those cold, wet trips where you don't plan on taking it off.

Good luck!

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
with a windshirt possibly? on 12/17/2012 14:17:41 MST Print View

I wonder if using a pile fleece and a windshirt will do something similar?

Jim Jessop
(StokeyJim) - MLife
Replicating Paramo on 12/17/2012 14:58:08 MST Print View

Cioch in Scotland can make you a made to measure hoodie from the genuine paramo pump-liner for very little. This then makes a lighweight liner for the double layer rain jacket and can double as a thin, very light micro-fleece when it isn't raining.

Put a houdini or other hooded windshirt (pertex or similar) over the top of it when it rains. Sorted!

8.5 oz for the liner, size medium
3.7 oz for the houdini

12.2 oz for a system that gives you an insulation layer, a windshirt and (combined) a rain jacket. Not bad!

Edited to add:

If you commission from Cioch get them to double up the liner on the hood and shoulders (like they do with the liners in their waterproof range)

Edited by StokeyJim on 12/17/2012 15:53:03 MST.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Fleece Windshirt Combo on 12/17/2012 16:38:57 MST Print View


I am a fan of the windshirt grid fleece combo and have worn it many times in freezing rain and wet snow.

I have many wet miles in this combination. I don't know how it compares to the fur concept, but here is what I have found:

1) Grid fleece is very hydrophobic. Even though a small percentage of water penetrates a windshirt, the fleece will still have dead air to provide insulation. So basically you are wet in pooring rain, but there are air pockets to help provide insulation.

2) It seems to me that grid fleece is even drier than standard fleece when worn under a windshirt. The gaps in the grids can't hold water and are basically dead air pockets to hold warmth.

3) Grid fleece is lighter than standard fleece, but standard fleece is probably warmer when dry. I prefer the warmer when wet as that is when you need the warmth the most.

4) A windshirt/grid fleece combination breathes well, sheds water well and dries fast.

So I wonder if the Paramo concept is warmer in cold rain?

Jim Jessop
(StokeyJim) - MLife
Re: fleece windshirt combo on 12/18/2012 13:46:02 MST Print View

The paramo system is warmer than a membrane shell, so many reserve it for the colder months. Yes it would be ideal for cold rain.

What makes it different to a regular 'pile+pertex' system, which keeps you warm when wet, is that the paramo system keeps you dry.

Edited by StokeyJim on 12/18/2012 13:46:56 MST.

just Justin Whitson
Thanks guys on 12/18/2012 15:37:57 MST Print View

Thank you for the tips, suggestions, replies, and/or questions Nick, Brett, Jim, and Steven. I'm definitely going to keep in mind the tips and suggestions that some of you outlined, and i plan on experimenting in different ways to see what works best.

Thanks and i will update when i've experimented some.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
re: Replicating Paramo and Furtech? on 12/18/2012 16:15:19 MST Print View

No worries!

One more thing. Before I purchased my Paramo, I experimented with different systems, including the Marmot DriClime windshirt, which the manufacturer describes as having a special...

"plaited bi-component tricot knit made of two distinct surfaces of 100% polyester yarns. The surface closest to the skin has a looped surface, which decreases the surface area next to the skin. The outer layer has a special filament yarn with an open capillary structure, which powerfully pulls moisture away from the body and allows it to spread out and evaporate. We call this 3 dimensional wicking."
(less detailed but official source)

It was a perfectly adequate soft shell type garment but could in no way handle sustained rain the way the Paramo stuff can.

My gut feeling is that the directionally wicking layer in the driclime is either too thin (and whatever they are using as a shell fabric seemed to wet out fairly easy, which didn't help things) or that the capillary gradient* created by the DriClime's construction is considerably less than the capillary gradient created by the Nikwax Analogy fabric construction.

Just a data point!

Best of luck!

* - May not actually be a thing but I am trying to describe the propensity of the fabric to "pump" the water in one direction.

edit: to fix html tags

Edited by nixie on 12/18/2012 16:16:28 MST.

just Justin Whitson
Not sure on 12/18/2012 16:44:12 MST Print View

Hi Nick, I'm not sure, but maybe the Driclime was wicking and spreading the moisture too much? From my limited understanding so far of the Paramo and Furtech stuff is that the pump liner doesn't wick and spread so much as channel more directly through the moisture to the next layer.

They seem to do this by a combination of the differing bi-component fabric and making the fibers very hydrophic (they seem to apply a complete fiber coating of good DWR).

A lot of the super wick and dry quick stuff either spreads the moisture out by fiber structure/design and/or by a chemical treatment that makes that side more hydrophillic than polyester or nylon would normally be.

That's why i'm going to treat the Powerdry shirt first, and then get a very good hydrophic coating on it, and try reversing the fabric so it may channel it out better without spreading it across the fabric so much. I really don't know if this will work or not though.

If not, i will contact Cioch as per Jim's suggestion. But first i like to use what i already have, and i have all this stuff minus the Granger's washin treatment which is only like 12 dollars.

Thanks for the further suggestions and points.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 12/18/2012 16:46:34 MST.

Nick C.
(nixie) - F
re: Replicating Paramo and Furtech? on 12/18/2012 17:22:36 MST Print View

Quite possible.

At any rate, hopefully you find a system that works for you! I think Paramo is great stuff for those cold, wet, dreary, dismal, and all around dreich winter days.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
replicating on 12/20/2012 09:44:07 MST Print View

I have a wind jacket that I have treated with Nixwax Tech wash in and an R2 I am going to use it on also and will see how they preform.

just Justin Whitson
Quick correction on 12/21/2012 23:38:41 MST Print View

In my O.P. i mentioned washing out any possible chemical hydrophillic type coating on Polartec Powerdry material. Did a little more research and as far as i can tell, they don't use any chemical stuff on most Powerdry fabric and rely on the bi-component fabric structure to pull moisture off the skin.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Replicating Paramo on 03/30/2013 20:07:23 MDT Print View

Jim - I took your suggestion and contacted Cioch for a custom hoody. It was a relatively painless process, the order only took about two weeks to work out with Neil and finish the manufacture of the hoody. About another week and a half in mail time. The cost was very reasonable, less than $90 including shipping. The construction quality is excellent and the fabric weight appears less than a 100 weight fleece. The hoody weights in at 9.4oz and I plan to combine if with a Houdini for another 3.9oz for a combined weight of just over 13oz. This is less than half of the 2lb Paramo Cascadia that I have and much more versatile since each piece can be used separately.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Replicating Paramo on 04/01/2013 14:46:36 MDT Print View

Hi Ron,

Thanks for sharing that! That's more reasonable than I thought it would be. I think i may go that route as well. I never did experiment that much with trying to recreate this system, just some in home shower trials, which were not ideal.

But under 90 dollars including shipping is not too bad. While i'm getting a Houdini as well, i think i may use it more with my Brooks LSD II jacket because of the greater venting it has (at least while it's warmer). Might be able to use it through latish fall to early spring with that combo?

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
My experiences on 04/08/2013 12:36:03 MDT Print View

I like it over the winter but it never really rained for long periods of time. The shell kept me dry when it did rain but it would also get soaked. The outer layer of the R2 would get wet also but it would not go all the way through. It might in longer, more sustained rains. The thing now is it is getting warm fast so I probably won't be able to wear the R2