Paramo Cascada Waterproof Jackets - Product Review / Walking Gear Test
Cascada Waterproof Jacket
Guarantee: Life of the Jacket
Colours: Forest/Navy, Tarn/Vanilla, Navy/Ash (Men and Women)
Features to Note:
- Fully adjustable, wired, roll-away hood
- Articulated shoulders and sleeves
- Double layer shoulder construction
- Flexible cuff design
- Dry' Hip pockets
- 2" drip skirt and scooped tail
- Waist and hem drawcord pulls
- Single chest pocket
- Tailored fit for female form (shoulder, arm, waist, hip)
Material/Waterproofness/Breathability: The Paramo Cascada waterproof jacket is constructed using Nikwax's Analogy technology. Fabric comprises two layers and is both very soft to the touch and lightweight so allowing small volume storage. So far, we've tested the jacket during Peak District gales, hail-storms on Dartmoor and torrential rain in the Lakes!! Under all these conditions, both waterproofness and breathability have been excellent. The jacket is warm - have often used it without a fleece even during the 2002 UK winter. Worn whilst walking through scrub , the outer layer was punctured without any apparent reduction in performance.
Overall Design: A front opening which has very generous, double folding storm-flaps over the zip. Together with the adjustable cuffs plus waist-cords at both waist and hem, this provides a high degree of temperature control. Good selection of pockets which all have warm-feeling lining. The hood design provides good protection plus excellent visibility. The softness of the fabric does mean that the garment can appears to 'hang' a little. For the same reason, sleeves do on occasion turn inside out if you remove the garment quickly.
Fit: Tester: female, 5'7", average build) Very good length - scooped tail ensures this is maintained all round. Sleeve length is generous. Waist adjustment is actually at the waist and because it's under the storm-flaps and on top of the zip, it can be easily accessed without unzipping the jacket and when wearing a back-pack. Hood (see below) has 2-way adjustment.
Zips: Main zip goes all the way down the front and is easily opened and shut with gloved hands. Has very generous double-sided storm flaps which do keep the rain out. Likewise, hip pockets have easily opened zips with good, functional storm flaps. No underarm zips.
Pockets: Three good sized pockets - all warm-lined. Two external pockets at front hip level. At front, right-hand side there is a pocket underneath the storm-flap which can easily take a folded OS map. All are readily accessible when wearing a belted backpack.
Hood: Hood has wired front, is fully adjustable and can be rolled away. It's possible to adjust the fit in two dimensions - around your face and back from your face. This does help in ensuring great visibility no matter what other head-gear you're wearing. Very good face-guard which is integral with the collar. It's possible to easily zip this right up, leaving no gaps so providing excellent protection.
Cuffs and Collar: Cuff fit is very flexible. Cuffs can be secured snuggly around wrist or opened allowing sleeves to be rolled up the arm. 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 Cascada is excellent. Good combination of features for temperature control at cuffs, waist and hem. Easily stowable but maybe too warm if you only walk in the summer.
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What do you think?
Have you got/bought Paramo Cascada Waterproof Jackets?
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• A friend of mine worked in an outdoor clothing shop in Cheddar and she recommended Paramo clothing, I bought a Paramo Cascada jacket off an auction site, the jacket is very comfortable,breathable,windproof and waterproof - what it isn't though is thorn proof or bramble proof,the material seems to snag easily and very often pulls a thread and on occasions rip a small hole (without realising it)- which for the price you pay is very disappointing. If you do have to go through some brambles, I suggest you take the jacket off so you won't damage it or wear a different coat. I'm glad I didn't pay the full price, it's a nice jacket but you have to be careful where you use it!
Chris , Bristol
• I got one of these (and the matching trousers) issued by my work, and was really chuffed as I know it's meant to be excellent gear, and certainly isn't cheap. My first test of it in anger (while it was still new and 'beading') was going up Mt Snowdon in heavy, heavy rain, and strong wind. And it completely failed.
About 1/3 the way up I felt a damp patch on my lower back and by the top by lower back, bum, legs, and socks were soaking.
What happened? I think the layer-based construction of Paramo gear works well on free-walking people, but in this case (and pretty much every case I'd imagine me being in) I was wearing a rucksack, and it seems like where the lower part of the rucksack contacted my back it compressed the jacket's layers and stopped them working as they should - ie, being waterproof! I was seriously disappointed, and it seemed to me like a huge and unforgivable design flaw. If I'd have paid for it myself I'd have been straight back for a refund.
OK it was fairly extreme conditions, but I've worn my Gore Tex jacket (now eight years old!) in similar situations dozens of times and it's never let me down.
The plus points of the Cascada jacket are it is quiet and comfortable to wear... but that's about it. It's also far too warm for my taste, and has a kind of loose, dowdy look to it.
I expected so much from this jacket, but when something like that happens you can't help but lose all confidence in it.
PS The trousers worked fine . . . just don't strap a rucksack to them!