Paramo Enduro Jacket – Performance
Paramo’s Nikwax Analogy kit properly divides opinion. Haters point out that it’s heavy, warm, and traditionally has been cut to fit Robbie Coltrane – or maybe Don Whillans – rather than Leo Houlding. Fans point to the excellent breathability, quietness in use and the brand’s excellent environment credentials.
Rewind a year or so and the original Enduro was a bit of a departure for Paramo. A technical mountaineering shell, it got a neater, more athletic fit and a shorter length to work with a harness. We loved in in sub-zero, deep-winter conditions thanks to the quiet, condensation-free performance and handy venting options.
Our main quibble was that it was simply too short for general use and, for some wearers, was even short enough to pull out of a climbing harness. Cue the new winter 2016/17 version of the jacket which weighs exactly the same as before, but is cut around two to three inches longer.
The rest of the jacket is pretty much unchanged bar a slightly bonkers new colour scheme with a funky, off-set quartered theme.
New All-Round Capabilities
In practice it’s a cracking all-round winter mountain jacket for people who aren’t too bothered about weight or rocking an über technical alpine look. Wear it back to back with a more conventional shell and the first thing you notice in windy and wet conditions, is the uncanny silence, even with the hood up.
Speaking of which, the hood works very well both with and without a climbing helmet. Adjustment takes a little getting used to, with a top, head-hugging cord and front opening tensioners supplemented by a additional rear one that shortens the hood at the rear for non-helmet use.
We like the cut and the good news is that the new, slightly longer cut does work better for more general mountain use which means the Enduro can double up as a mountain walking jacket rather than just a pure climbing one – ironically though, we found the original Enduro excellent as a deep winter mountain biking top…
Some of that was down to its multiple, easy-to-use venting options. There are twin vents on the sleeves with mesh liners plus the handy chest pockets also work as additional vents. In addition you can roll up the sleeves and the peppered storm-flap means the main-zip can be completely or partially undone without billowing open.
The jacket’s still warm, but you can shed heat reasonably easily when heading uphill. Plus if you do get hot and sweaty, the fabric breathes very well indeed.
Downsides? Along with the additional insulation, a bit like wearing an extra baselayer we reckon, the bulk and weight of the Enduro makes it an all-day option rather than a ‘pack and use’ one. One tester had issues with the Velcro closure on the quick access chest pocket icing up in Scottish winter conditions.
Finally, at £370 the new Enduro is a hefty investment even if that’s offset a little by its easy maintenance regime, general robustness and ready repairability.