Paramo Aspira Smock Waterproof Jacket for Women
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Aspira Smock Waterproof Jacket for Women
Paramo says:"Highest specification waterproof smock for female mountaineers and Outdoor Professionals and for those entering the most extreme environments. Helmet and harness compatible. The Ladies' Aspira Smock has been designed and tested by women."
Features to Note:
- Fixed hood with volume and frontal adjustment (designed to fit over all climbing helmets), and wired visor for maximum protection and visibility. Rolls conveniently away when not in use.
- Upper arm vents provide adjustable upper body ventilation and temperature control.
- Further ventilation via two-way chest zip with poppered internal storm flap.
- Deep chest zip opens to waist level, allowing access to inner garments, waist drawcord and internal pocket. Also facilitates putting on and taking off the smock.
- Uncluttered front panel � ideal for harness use.
- Extra fabric at shoulders and elbows for durability and protection.
- Articulated arms and shoulders for perfect fit and maximum freedom of movement.
- Wide cuffs with velcro and popper fasteners, provide adjustable ventilation, allowing sleeves to be rolled up.
- Concealed waist and hem drawcords give additional airflow control.
- Scooped tail for maximum protection.
- Drip skirt which directs water away from the wearer�s legs onto the ground.
- Removable foam pads provide an additional air gap within the jacket, which allows air to circulate and moisture to be moved away. Particularly useful when heavy rucksacks are worn.
- All essential controls (drawcords & zip pullers) can be operated with a single gloved hand.
- Reflective piping for increased visibility.
- 1 fast access pocket with velcro closure and attachment loop can be used for protecting and securing essential items, e.g. compass or knife.
- 1 large �working� pocket for instantly required items: map, snack bars etc.
- 2 zipped �dry� handwarming pockets located at chest level.
- 1 internal pocket for secure storage.
- Female specific design. .
This is the latest version of the Aspira Smock for Women designed for high mountain use and/or relatively extreme conditions.
So far (December 07), I've only had opportunity to use it on cold, wet (but snow-free) days hill-walking in the Derbyshire peaks. Inevitably there are a few of its features that I've not tested - I've concentrated on its performance as a garment for winter walking.
I liked the overall look of the jacket - sleeve length and overall fit was very good. (I'm 5'8'', average build and was wearing a medium size.) I've tried a few short, simple scrambles in it and found the freedom of movement around the shoulder areas to be good.
As with most of the Paramo gear I've used, I tended to wear the Aspira with just a base layer and was perfectly warm enough. For periods of intense activity, there's a great range of ventilation options - I used the upper arm vents most frequently - and these were easily opened and closed while wearing a backpack. The foam pads down the back did certainly help with ventilation around my rucksack. When I needed to warm up slightly, the waist adjustment was easy to use and worked well.
The hood was very good - there's lots of volume which can be easily adjusted to cope potentially with a range of head gear although I've used it only with a woolly hat! Once the hood is up and fully fastened it really is snug and secure. The wired peak plus the face-guard provided great protection even during a Kinder rain-storm.
There's a sturdy two-way zip which opens right down the front - I certainly didn't detect any water leakage around it.
The range of pockets is good. There's two sited conveniently at the side for warming your hands (accessible when wearing a backpack), 2 differently sized pockets also on the outside (one of which is large enough for a folded os map) and another one on the front which was ideal for my compass. There's even means of attaching the compass to the outside of that pocket which I found really quite useful. There's a good size 'dry' pocket on the inside too.
The Paramo Aspira Smock for women does seem to be a well thought-out product. Small details such as the loop for attaching items to one of the front pockets, the drawcords at both waist and hem, the deep, easy to open, two-way chest zip plus the female specific design make it great to wear. As I've come to expect with Paramo gear, the waterproofness and breathability were both excellent.
It's a premium product at a premium price but the discrete reinforcement at shoulders and elbows plus the 'renewabilty' of the Analogy fabric should provide excellent durability. If you want to walk throughout the autumn/winter and be confident of staying comfortable whatever the weather, then this is a super option.
Have you got a Paramo Aspira Smock Waterproof Jackets for Women?
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