Why We Chose It: Eco friendly, breathable, good cut
In the UK, you tend to see a lot of walkers out in an excellent jacket by Páramo called the Alta III, a thick wet weather option that, while highly protective and breathable, pushes the scales at a heavy 805g. The jacket in focus here, the Velez, it would appear, was created by Páramo as a slightly lighter alternative, one that offers almost all of the same qualities as the Alta but at a lighter 600g. And we love it. In fact, this is the second year that’s it’s made it into our Outdoor 100, chosen this time on account of its nice new colourway and subtle design updates.
Who Is The Páramo Velez Best Suited To?
The best thing about Páramo is its Nikwax Analogy fabric and the breathable rain protection it provides. You know that clammy feeling you get in a jacket with a membrane like Gore-tex? You don’t get that with Páramo and that’s why it’s perfect for any wet weather hikes in mild temperatures and/or during strenuous activity.
“You can get a few layers underneath comfortably but it doesn’t have a baggy or loose look to it either.”
Imagine you’re hiking up Ben Lawers, it’s a long old slog and the rain keeps stopping and starting. With a membrane jacket, you’re not going to want to keep it on due to the sweat but you’re also not going to want to take it off because of the rain. With Páramo you can power on through without discomfort from inside or out.
Mountain bikers will also appreciate this breathability and also the cut as well, which is short on the waist and slightly dropped on the back.
Details on the Velez include a two-way main zip, zipped vents on the arms and venting hand pockets too (the one on the right also has a mini zipped pocket for valuables inside it). Then there’s the hood which is adjustable, can be worn over a helmet and has wire-moulded peak. The hem can also be adjusted via a toggle and the cuffs have Velcro tabs.
As well as new reflective details and the added valuables pocket, one of the other main updates to the Velez includes the addition of a new lighter fabric in certain parts of the jacket (including the arms and base of the torso). This, from what we can see, brings the same level of durability and moisture resistance as the previous fabric, but with a bit more breathability.
All the fabrics and the manufacturing are fair trade certified, by the way, and the jacket can be recycled at the end of its life too.