Capsule Review: Paramo Velez Smock

Posted: 09/12/2012 in Review, Uncategorized

I’ve owned one of these for years, and it’s done me good while walking about the place. But what about running? Surely it’s too big and heavy, no? But it’s lovely, so I figured I ought to at least give it a go and see…

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Paramo make this bit of attire, so what do they say about it?

  • Less prone to abrasion or damage through reversed zips.
  • Increased field of vision provided by a fully adjustable, wired and roll-away/ detachable, low profile hood.
  • Maximum freedom of movement and increased comfort provided by articulated shoulders and sleeves.
  • Access to inner layers and additional venting, even when wearing harness, with our front twin zip design.
  • Single-handed, on-the-move cuff adjustment provided by BiteTab’ closure.
  • Easy access storage from a large external ‘dry’ chest pocket.
  • Handwarming and OS map storage provided by an internal ‘dry’ pocket.
  • Excellent weather protection from our unique 2″ drip skirt and pronounced scooped tail.
  • Additional temperature control provided by single-handed hem drawcord pulls. Also helps eliminate rucking when load carrying.
  • Increased visibility in low-light conditions with the addition of reflective piping front and rear.
  • The Velez Smock benefits from a closer, contoured fit.

Wow, that’s quite a list, eh? I can safely ignore the “closer, contoured fit” comment, as when I bought it I was an XXL, whereas now I’m a healthier L. All of which means it comes under the heading of “baggy”. Not badly, there was a proper gale of a wind blowing up the coast and it didn’t flap around. I’ve got a theoretically-correct-fitting waterproof that suffers worse in the wind.

It’s not light though. Or is it, let’s consider that for a moment. My current jacket of choice is a Ronhill trail jacket that packs into it’s own pocket. It weighs nothing at all so far as I can tell. The Velez is made of sterner stuff, and it doesn’t stuff into a tiny, tiny space. You know you’re wearing it – though also in a good way – the aforementioned wind just didn’t touch me, nor did the chill.

The thing that was really worrying me was overheating, it’s a full-on jacket that I’ve worn while walking in sub-zero snowy countryside, and it’s always been toasty. But you know what, I was pleasantly warm, didn’t feel sweaty and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. A quick six miles including a few hills left me feeling sightly sweatier than if I’d not had a waterproof, but nothing dreadful.

The side zips are about perfect, slide ’em up and you can tug it over your head, if you need extra venting there’s a double zip on both sides so you can slide ’em down without the bottom flapping (and no-one wants a flappy bottom, let’s be honest). The front pocket had my head torch, a hat and a pair of gloves in it, with room to spare – that OS map-size thing is true too, done that before.

I’ve always had the feeling that the Nikwax Analogy fabric does work better than other materials – the whole magic of temperature control seems to work better in this than in any of my other waterproofs. Also, they describe it as being “like an animal”, and, well, that sounds pretty hardcore right?

In short, I think it’ll see more use during the colder weather, and I’m dying to get out in it in some proper rain – check out the hood. It’s now on my list for The Wall in case weather looks bad – that was the main reason for testing it out – not sure the Ronhill light top will make do with the hilltops along Hadrian’s legacy…

Would be nice to try one that was the right size – can only feel that would make it even better… 🙂 Also, the hood is detachable, can’t figure out if it is also roll-away or if that’s an either/or thing? When it’s not pouring down I tend to keep the hood in the front pocket, it would be nice if I could stow it in place.

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