Páramo Velez Smock | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Waterproof Jackets

Páramo Velez Smock | Review

We love a classic smock, and this is one of the best: versatile enough for hiking, climbing or biking, yet offering great protection for cold conditions and wet weather

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

Páramo’s Velez Adventure Smock has been around in one guise or another for more than two decades. We know a few hillwalkers who’ve had theirs for almost as long, and they’re still going strong. It uses the tried and tested Nikwax Analogy system to offer complete weather protection and has plenty of functional yet versatile features. These make this smock suitable for biking and even climbing as well as backpacking, hiking and hillwalking. It works best in cold and wet conditions, so is ideal for the tail end of the year here in the UK.

Our team testing the Velez men’s and women’s smocks on the Cumbria Way in the Lake District. Photos: Joe Whitemore

Like a lot of Páramo kit, it’s also robust and reliable, easy to reproof with Nikwax aftercare products, and easily repairable too. Put it this way: if you shred your Gore-Tex waterproof jacket, you’re probably in for a tricky and costly repair. If you puncture a Páramo, there’s no such drama – it’ll keep on trucking. And if the damage is bad enough to need fixing, you can usually do it yourself with a needle and thread.

What Is The Velez Adventure Smock Best Suited To?

This smock is ideal for multi-activity use including backpacking, cycling, climbing and snow sports. It’s designed to offer full protection in cold, wet weather as a robust and reliable outer layer that is waterproof yet also keeps you dry from the inside out. Hoe? By moving moisture vapour and liquid water (sweat) away from the body. The smock’s twin zip design also allows a backpack to be worn without compromising ventilation, so you get optimum comfort and temperature regulation.

Eco Credentials

This smock is made from polyester, and while the fabric isn’t recycled, it is fully PFC-free and fully recyclable. 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.

“This smock is a fully featured bit of kit.”

This garment is also made by the charitable Miquelina Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia as part of Páramo’s longstanding ethical manufacturing partnership. Through the Foundation, the brand has offered vulnerable women training and employment since 1992. This alliance has benefitted thousands of at-risk women in practical ways, helping them to build houses, and providing a kindergarten and canteen for their children. With Páramo’s support, Miquelina holds ISO 9001 accreditation, which assures dedication to quality. In 2017, Miquelina attained guaranteed Fair-Trade status from the World Fair Trade Organisation.

Lastly, the brand runs its own garment recycling scheme, so at the end of its lifetime the smock 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

This smock is a fully featured bit of kit. It has two-way twin front zips with inner, press-stud baffles and upper arm vents, allow venting for maximum temperature control – even on the move. There’s a fully adjustable roll-away ‘halo’ hood with a wired peak, which provides excellent field of vision without sacrificing wind and rain protection. Velcro cuff tabs provide easy adjustment and sleeves are wide enough to be pushed up the arms for added cooling.

Related: Páramo Velez Jacket Reviewed

You also get very practical pockets, with one large ‘dry’ zipped chest pocket and one inner ‘dry’ zipped pocket. A small secure pocket within the chest pocket can also store little essentials (like car keys).

In terms of fit, the smock has fully articulated shoulders and elbows, and a cropped front, ensuring maximum freedom of movement. At the rear a drop tail with hem drawcord protects the lower back. A double-layer lining at the back and shoulders also provides enhanced comfort for technical rucksack use.

When it comes to keeping you dry, it uses the Nikwax Analogy waterproof system. If you’re a regular reader of Outdoors Magic, you won’t need us to tell you about this fabric technology – we’re big fans and have already covered how it works in detail many times before.

However, for those who aren’t versed in Nikwax Analogy, it is different to most other membrane-based systems, such as Gore-Tex. Instead, it uses a water-repellent outer fabric combined with a mesh ‘pump liner’ to keep you dry. Unlike a waterproof-breathable membrane, it is capable of moving liquid water (sweat) away from your body and not just water vapour. Many users swear that it keeps you drier and more comfortable than any other waterproof jacket. Plus, all Nikwax Analogy garments have been tested in the Leeds University Rain Room, so they are guaranteed to withstand at least 4 hours of heavy, continuous rain.


The latest iteration of a classic, the Velez Adventure Smock is well suited to cold, windy and damp conditions, and for that reason, we’re big advocates of the Nikwax Analogy system for hillwalking in the UK. We’ve been out in some pretty rough weather in Páramo jackets and they’ve never let us down. Ok, there are lighter and cooler alternatives out there, but for all-day winter wear on hill, moor and mountain, this is a great choice.

Páramo Velez Adventure Smock

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2023
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