Paramo Alta II Waterproof Jackets - Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Alta II Waterproof Jacket
Guarantee: Life of the Jacket
Colours: Colbolt/Navy, Fire/Navy, Mid/Dark Grey, Olive/Navy, Slate/Navy
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL
Paramo says:"The new Alta II jacket is lighter weight with less bulk than its predecessor. Increased ventilation via our unique two way reveresed zip makes the new Alta II an ideal choice for all hill walkers looking to maintain an ideal comfort level without taking 'layers' on or off. A new generation for Alta users - this season's version offers a contemporary look with all the renowned features you have to expect from one of Paramo's best selling jackets."
Features to Note:
- Increased field of vision, fine adjustment and complete weather protection provided by the fully adjustable, wired roll-away hood.
- Maximum freedom of movement and increased comfort in the shoulder and arm area provided by articulated shoulders and sleeves.
- Adjustable venting and temperature control, with no restriction to movement or comfort through our unique upper arm vents.
- Unique ventilation via our two way reversed zip and poppered internal storm flap.
- Increased comfort and protection when load carrying provided by reinforced shoulder construction.
- Easily adjustable cuff design which allows sleeves to be pushed up for cooling.
- Excellent weather protection in all conditions from our unique 2" drip skirt and scoped tail.
- Additional temperature control provided by single-handed waist and hem drawcord pulls. Also helps eliminate rucking when load carrying. Hand warming provided by two 'dry' pockets.
- OS map storage provided by one large external working pocket plus large internal 'dry' map pocket.
Material/Waterproofness/Breathability: The Paramo Alta II uses Nikwax's Analogy technology. The fabric comprises two layers and is both very soft to the touch and lightweight so allowing small volume stowage. In all tests both the waterproofness, windproofness and breakability are excellent. Choice of colours are excellent
Overall Design:T o save weight there are smaller internal poppered storm-flaps and waterproof zips. Adjustable cuffs, arm vents and draw cords at hem and collar provide a high degree of flexibility. There are two waist level pockets and two chest level external pockets and a fifth internal chest pocket. The hood design provides good protection plus excellent flexibility.
Fit: Tester: Male, 5'10", stocky build) Very good length - scooped tail ensures the lumber region is well covered. Sleeve length is generous. Hem has draw cords and sleeves use velcro and zipped vents.
Zips: Main zip goes all the way down the front and is easily opened and shut with gloved hands. Internal poppered storm flaps and external zip proved perfectly waterproof and kept the rain out. Likewise, hip pockets have easily opened zips. No underarm zips but the sleeves to contain ventilation zips which are very effective. One gripe - I found starting the zip off difficult at times since you have to line the two sections up very precisely. This has got easier with practice though.
Pockets: Four external pockets. The two at front waist level are zipped and will take gloved hands. The right-hand chest pocket is also zipped and will accommodate a folded OS map in a plastic case. The left-hand chest pocket is secured with velcro and will take compass, GPS device and or torch. A toggle on the outside of this pocket is there to secure compass, torch or GPS device so they are easily located. There is fifth internal waterproof pocket for documents etc. External pockets are not completely waterproof in storm conditions but the internal pocket is.
Hood: Hood has a wired peak and elasticated drawcords. The hood design provides good protection plus excellent visibility. The elasticated drawcords allow you to draw the hood in tight around your face, yet easily lift it on and off without further adjustment - pure genius.
Cuffs and Collar: Cuff fit is very flexible and are secured with velcro. Cuffs can be secured snuggly around wrist or opened allowing sleeves to be rolled up to the elbow. Collar, face-guard and hood work very well together.
Care and Maintenance: Good level of detail provided on routine care and on re-proofing. This is backed up by a life-time guarantee.
Technical performance (breathability, waterproofness, windproofness) of the Paramo Alto II is superb. Good combination of features for temperature control at cuffs, waist and hem. Easily stowable. The best walking jacket I have tried.
Starting the zip needs practice. Price might be a bit steep for some - but well worth it if you walk regularly.
What do you think?
Have you got/bought Paramo Alta II Waterproof Jackets?
We would love to hear what you thought of it - good, bad or indifferent. Perhaps you simply disagree with our verdict - or feel we've neglected an important feature.
Let us know by clicking this link - What I think of Paramo Alta II Waterproof Jackets - so we can publish your important views below.
• I agree with everything your tester said about this jacket, but I would really value your opinion on its potential for wear and abrasion. You see I have had one of these for 6 months now, and whilst it does everything you say I dont think its very strong. I have allready had an issue with the linning showing abrasion marks from the belt loops on my trousers, so I stopped wearing those trousers, now there ara similar wear marks on the outside where my shoulder bag falls just in the small of my back on the left side, its a huge disappointment because this is by far the best jacket I have owned for comfort and design.
Paul Wilson, Worcester
• Hello. First thank you for a first class web site - so useful.
I am 41 years old and I am lucky enough the live very near to the Snowdonia National Park. I am out walking in the mountains 2 to 3 times every month what ever the weather!
In December of last year I had been having some trouble with my Mountain Equipment Karkakorum 2 jacket which I had only purchased it in Feb 2001. I contacted the people at Ultimate Outdoors in Betws y Coed and they sent it off for testing.
After 2 weeks the results were that the Gore-Tex was faulty.
All the new Gore-Tex jackets have "water proof pit zips" and as a reader of TGO I had read that they don't work very well. This was confirmed by one of the staff in Ultimate Outdoors. I took a full refund of £250 and went into Stuart Cunningham's store where, after a in-depth talk to one of the staff, I purchased a Páramo Alta jacket and a Páramo Explorer pullover. Both of these garments a just unbelievable.
I have been out in some really bad weather over the past 4 weeks and I have been really amazed as to how good the Alta jacket is. I have spent the past 7 years in Gore-Tex but I wouldn't go back to it now.
For all the doubters out there Páramo does work. I have already purchased a Páramo Mountain Cap as well as Páramo Gaiters and they are just as good as the Alta jacket and will be adding to my collection in the near future.
Please keep up the brilliant work at go 4 a walk
All good wishes
• Having read and agreed with all of the discussions about the benefits of
Paramo Waterproofs (zero condensation, infinite re-proofing, rustle free
etc) just thought I'd add one more!
Ten years ago I accidently set fire to the arm of my Alta jacket (don't ask - good malt, freezing weather in Torridon - it happens!).
Fortunately the resulting hole wasn't wide - about (2cm by 10cm). I stitched it up as neatly as I could, and ten years later I'm still wearing it and its never leaked (though the arm is a bit more 'articulated' than Paramo ever envisaged!).
Try filling a Goretex full of stitch holes and see what happens. Only trouble is, I'm fed up with the colour of the jacket and want a new Alta II, but every time I proof it its like new, so I'm loathe to replace it!
Dave Roberts, High Wycombe