Q. I am looking to buy a waterproof jacket for walking. I do not want to spend much more than £150. I want it to be guaranteed waterproof as I do a lot of walking in rainy scotland highlands. Can anyone suggest a suitable garment?
Richard Howard, Bolton
A. Hi there.
I recently bought a TOG 24 Rip Stop Gortex Jacket in Red after my Berghaus one just gave up with a broken zip.
I must recommend this as a good buy as it was at the start of an extensive period spent in Cumbria taking groups ( I am a Mountain Leader).
I have just reproofed it after six weeks of getting wet and wetter and washed many times. Tog 24 reproofing bottles have really done themselves proud.
After all the wear I have out of this jacket I can recommend the TOG 24 Jacket to everybody with a genuine need for a high performance addition to their equipment.
Enjoy your Walks
A. 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 Paramo Alta jacket and a Paramo 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 Paramo does work. I have already purchased a Paramo Mountain Cap as well as Paramo 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 go4awalk
All good wishes
NB. We have sent a copy of the email to Mountain Equipment and invited them to comment (nothing yet!)
A. Hi, I have a Paramo Alta Jacket. It is very warm and I find it too much for all but the most severe conditions. The jacket is durable and excellent value, mine has been in use for three years. It is still in good condition having been worn in the hills and shopping. The weather protection is excellent and the zipper seals in with a gutter in the flap and a second flap poppers over.
I have just invested in a Paramo Fuera Jacket and Tiaga Fleece combination. I find this far more flexible than the Alta and when combined with a Katmai shirt and Trail reversable top the result is all day comfort in all conditions.
A. I have had very good results with Paramo gear. The Mountain shirts are reversible for hot or cold weather - it really works. I have a Paramo Cascada jacket, which is excellent. It is windproof, waterproof and very breathable. Very different to coated synthetics - totally different proofing system, which can be re-proofed in the washing machine. Has a lifetime guarantee, too.
A. I do lots of walking in Scotland, in all weathers. I do not believe there is any such thing as a jacket that keeps you dry...
There are lots of waterproof jackets and lots of breathable jackets yet all have their limitations which have to be taken into consideration with the limitations of the person using the equipment.
Goretex is great when the exterior is newly reproofed and the ambient conditions are snow and extreme cold - heavy rain tends to clog the outer material preventing the breathability hence you get wet from the inside.
This is particularly true if you are prone to heavy persperation or are exercising heavily. I personally believe Goretex is overpriced and is not the best - some of my colleagues would argue.
I also have a Paramo Jacket. I find this far too warm in summer yet not quite warm enough in winter. It, however, in my opinion, is the best at keeping out solid torrential rain over a long period.
The manufacturers claims of indefinite reproofing also appear to be true - to date. (My friends jacket is 7 years old and still waterproof by reproofing annually.) Paramo 'wicking' qualities seem best for removing inner moisture - either through sweat or inadvertently letting rain in. (Lets face it we all wait till we are wet before putting waterproofs on.)
My own personal all season solution is a buffalo pile / windproof top which allows lots of ventillation and warmth against the coldest Scottish conditions.
If the rain becomes heavy, an inexpensive, breathable jacket - I use a Regatta extreme - put on top gives all the protection required. The Buffalo wicking properties and the 'cheap' waterproof outer provide the best price performance, I think.
It is certainly the only combination that covers all Scottish conditions and meets the questioner's aim of costing less than £150.
Bud Campbell, Livingstone
A. I have a Paramo Alta Jacket, both waterproof and windproof.
Michael J Stevens