New this winter, Paramo's new men's Enduro Jacket is arguably the best mountain shell from the brand ever with a brilliant combination of UK-friendly fabric performance with a neater, closer technical cut and well thought-out features.
Paramo's unique Nikwax Analogy fabric is a longtime favourite of ours for UK winter use. It combines a proofed windproof outer with a liner fabric that's designed to move moisture outwards. The result, no matter how it works, is a fabric combination that's effectively waterproof, breathes very well, is durable, rustle free and resists condensation.
It can allow water in under localised pressure, but to counter-act this, the latest versions have a new gridded, waffle-liner under shoulders and pack areas.
Analogy's not perfect, it's heavier and warmer than conventional waterproof fabrics, but in the UK's damp, cold conditions, it works very, very well.
Performance So Far
We've found previous Paramo mountain jackets like the Aspira to be a little oversized and shapeless when it comes to cut. For the Enduro, Paramo went back to the drawing board and came back with a shorter, neater style of jacket with a close, technical fit. Oh, and with colour contrast zips too for a more contemporary look.
It really is light years away from earlier Paramo kit, with a drop-tail and shorter front for easy harness use when climbing and a redesigned and very effective, multi-adjustable, helmet hood with a wired peak and big, easy-to-use adjusters.
That hood is protective with or without a helmet, which it happily swallows, and that extra insulation value of the drop-liner comes in very handy when temperatures drop.
The short front means it's best used either with the matching Enduro trousers, more about those soon, or a weather-resistant soft shell alternative, both combinations that work well. The fabric is as impressive as ever in cold, damp, UK conditions, though the drop-liner's added insulation means it may be too warm if you run hot or for higher intensity stuff.
That said, Paramo has provided a whole bunch of venting options including short pit-zips, which are surprisingly effective, venting pockets, rollable sleeves and press-studded storm-flap which means you can get decent cooling if you need it.
And to be fair, we managed to ride a mountain bike in the Enduro, albeit in cold conditions, without excessive overheating.
Other stuff includes easily adjustable hem and cuffs, lots of pockets - they look a little odd thanks to an asymmetric cut across the chest, but you get used to it - and Paramo's signature plastic clip loop on one chest pocket to which you can fix anything from compass to whistle.
So far we've used the Enduro for winter walking, scrambling and biking and it's been outstanding. We've found it waterproof, windproof and comfortable to use and with judicious use of the vents, we've mostly avoided overheating too.
On the downside, by modern shell standards 790g for the medium is relatively heavy, though you do get some extra insulation for that grammage, plus the price is at the top end of the shell jacket market.
We reckon the Enduro is Paramo's best ever shell jacket. It has excellent, soft, protective but highly breathable fabric and a range of well-thought through features which work effectively on the hill.
The departure though is the new, far closer cut. It may not agree with some traditional Paramo users, but if you've always liked the idea of the fabric but baulked at the formless cut of previous shells from the brand, it's a real game-changer and well worth a look particularly for UK winter use.
And last but not least, it even looks good.
- Pros: Great fabric performance, minimal condensation, good technical cut, varied venting arrangements, decent hood.
- Cons: Slightly short, slightly warm, slightly weighty.
- Price: £350.00
- Year: 2014
- Weight: 790
[score overall='4.5' performance='4.5' reliability='5.0' value='4.0']