Paramo Viento Waterproof Jacket
Product Review & Walking Gear Test
Viento Waterproof Jacket
Features to Note:
- Fixed, wired hood with poppered pocket for storage
- Adjustable cuffs - closed by Velcro and a 'pull' of material.
- Hem shock cord
- 2 external pockets with zips, storm guard and poppers.
- One external pocket has a small pocket within it, closed with a Velcro fastening.
- Map Pocket with zip
- Zipped and poppered arm vents.
- Large Zipped and poppered hip-to waist vents
- Removable stiffeners in the back (for load carrying).
Material/Waterproofness/Breathability: JThe Paramo Viento waterproof jacket is constructed from Nikwax's Analogy Fabric which consists 100% Polyester microfibre with a Parameter P lining, waterproofed with Nikwax TX.1Oi (Nikwax biological analogy system). The jacket was tested in October and November, mainly in the North Pennines and Lake District. Conditions were cold, wet, windy and generally miserable. The jacket was superbly breathable, windproof and waterproof. The tester carried a very heavy load of food, wood and coal to a bothy on one occasion.
The jacket was extremely waterproof and windproof. This was possibly the most waterproof jacket the tester had ever used. It coped easily with six hours of driving rain on and around Great Gable in conditions which would have defeated the majority of jackets. The jacket needs to be kept fairly clean, and periodically treated to retain the waterproofing The jacket performed remarkably well in terms of breathability. There was no significant condensation. The jacket was easily ventilated via various methods mentioned below.
Overall Design: The jacket has a front zipped opening with an internal poppered storm flap. The hood is is stiffened and fits tightly around the face when fully zipped up. It can or stowed in a poppered pocket. Volume control of the hood is via a rear shock-cord Temperature control is via the from zip and hem shock-cords. Cuffs are adjusted by Velcro fastenings. There is an internal shock-cord at waist level. The jacket has vents at arm and waist level and can also be vented by loosening cuffs and opening pockets. The jacket is designed for back-packing and carrying heavy loads and, whilst load-carrying the tester found that everything was easily adjustable. It was difficult to assess the effect of the stiffeners in the back, however.
Fit: Tester: Male 5' 6", average build. Good length in body and sleeves.
Zips: The tester had some initial trouble coping with the front zip and habitually removed gloves to use the arm vents. On one occasion, an arm vent was mistaken for a pocket, with some risk to losing a glove. However, the zips appear to be robust and reliable.
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: The hood is generous and has a volume adjuster controlled by shock-cord, covers the chin and or can be stored in a pocket. The volume adjuster is very easy to use. The hood fits tightly to the face when fully closed by a shock-cord and gives good, all-round vision. It has a neb to protect the face. The hood is fully wired for stiffness.
Cuffs and Collar: The cuffs are adjustable via Velcro fastenings and an easy-to use tightener. The collar isn't adjustable, but fitted well.
Care and Maintenance: The jacket has detailed instructions about how to wash it and which products to avoid contact with. The instructions were good.
With its high level of ventilation, breathability and waterproofness, the Paramo Viento jacket is intended to be worn most of the time. It's advertised use is primarily for backpacking, and the tester found that it was ideally suited to this, particularly because it is light to carry and easy to adjust whilst carrying a large pack. It can also be used for general day-walking at high or low levels, probably all-year round. The tester was generally very impressed. It looks good, too. The tester is in love with this jacket!
A few zip problems at first. The tester soon learned to check that what he thought was a pocket, was actually a pocket. It's not cheap, but then it is very high quality.
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