Páramo Torres Medio Gilet | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Down and Insulated Jackets

Páramo Torres Medio Gilet | Review

No-nonsense gilet, designed to deliver a fast and effective boost of core warmth whenever things turn chilly

Why We Chose It: Tried and tested, practical, eco-friendly

Páramo’s Torres insulated garments have been a staple of the brand’s clothing range for a number of years now. They represent a typically practical approach to staying warm on the hills and mountains. How? Because unlike many other insulated layers, most of which are designed to go underneath a rain shell, all the Torres garments are designed as overlayers. That means, if you’re feeling cold, you simply get them out of your pack and put them on over all your other layers, including your waterproof. This is a) less faff than having to get partially undressed on the hillside in order to put on a down jacket and b) preserves the warmth that is already trapped in the layers you’re already wearing. Not rocket science, but commendably sensible.

OM editor Will, who’s 5 foot 10, wearing a size M. Photos: Chris Johnson

The Torres Medio Gilet contains 100gsm synthetic fill wrapped in a windproof and water-resistant polyester shell. It weighs in at just over 300g and packs into its own pocket, yet delivers a noticeable boost of core warmth when you put it on.

What Is The Torres Medio Gilet Best Suited To?

Put simply, it’s a packable layer that works well for general, year-round hillwalking. But it would be equally effective if used for other outdoor activities – in fact, anything where you might need an extra insulating layer to boost core warmth.

Eco Credentials

Páramo has long been regarded as an industry leader in the sustainability field, and though other brands are now slowly catching up, the British brand continues to show the way.

This gilet’s synthetic fill contains 55% recycled polyester, while the face fabric is made entirely from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. Páramo are also one of the few outdoor brands never to have used environmentally persistent perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in their water-repellent treatments, since the Nikwax finish is water-based and free of harmful chemistry.

“We’re big fans of the Torres Medio gilet for UK hillwalking.”

Lastly, the brand runs its own garment recycling scheme, so at the end of its lifetime the gilet can be returned and given new life by Páramo. This is made far easier by the all-polyester construction, since it is often the use of mixed materials in garments (particularly if they incorporate some sort of waterproof-breathable membrane) that can make them difficult or impossible to recycle. None of that to worry about here. 

Construction and Performance

The fill inside this gilet is Nikwax Analogy Insulator, a 100gsm polyester fibre fill that is compressible, easy to look after and offers warmth even when wet. The outer fabric is Nikwax Windproof material, a tightly-woven polyester. Together, this makes for a garment that can be compressed in a pack without damage and washed in a home washing machine. So, it’s arguably far easier to look after than delicate down. At just over 300g, it’s a lightweight insulating piece and packs down small too, stuffing away into its own left-hand pocket. You also get a high, insulated collar, one internal zipped pocket and two insulated zipped handwarming pockets.

The 100gsm fill provides decent warmth for its weight, especially for a synthetic piece, though in very cold conditions you’d obviously need something a bit beefier than a gilet – and ideally with arms too. Like the heavier and warmer Torres Alturo jacket, for instance. But as a handy extra layer for variable conditions in the hills, this gilet is a useful and relatively inexpensive addition to your pack.

The fact that the insulation is synthetic also gives it the edge over natural down garments in damp or wet weather. All Torres garments have been tested in the Leeds University Rain Room – the same system Páramo use to test their Nikwax Analogy waterproof jackets – so they are guaranteed to withstand at least 4 hours of heavy, continuous rain. By comparison, after that period of time, many down vests would be little more than a soggy, clumpy mess.


The overlayering concept is one that makes a lot of sense if you’re out in cold, windy and damp conditions, and for that reason, we’re big fans of the Torres Medio gilet for UK hillwalking. It takes up little room in a pack and is relatively lightweight too, but has proved itself to be a reliable performer in mixed conditions. We actually like the Torres jackets even more, not least because you also get arms and a hood, though they obviously come with added weight and bulk. If that’s a primary consideration and you’re thinking about buying a lightweight down vest or gilet, it’s well worth looking closely at the Torres Medio Gilet instead as a more weatherproof and practical alternative.

A word on the fit: OM editor Will tested this in a medium, his usual size, and he says he found the fit spot on. He’s 5 foot 10 and of an average build.

Páramo Torres Medio

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