Paramo's New 2014-15 Kit Scoop!
There was plenty of new stuff on display from Paramo at this year's OTS show including the brand's first cycling-specific jacket (above) as well as a new windproof / fleece mountain combo that can be worn independently, but in combination offers all the waterproof performance of the brand's unique Nikwax Analogy system.
New Mens Ciclo Jacket
The Ciclo, which is due out this autumn, is the first ever bike-specific waterproof jacket from Paramo and is aimed squarely at commuters, tourers and leisure cyclists. That's to to say that existing Paramo jackets can't be worn on a bike, paradoxically we've found the technical Enduro shell makes a really good sub-zero mountain biking top, but this is the first time Paramo's designed a jacket specifically for bikes.
Which makes the fixed over or under helmet-friendly hood a bit of an oddity we reckon, we'd prefer a detachable version so you have a choice, but apparently the brand's research showed that's what cyclists wanted. The jacket uses full Nikwax Analogy fabric, but the pump liner is the lighter and slightly less warm perforated mesh version, which seems like a good call as the full liner is pretty warm.
Cut is neatly bike specific with a long drop tail and shorter front combined with a close-fitting, athletic cut that's not a million miles away from the excellent, slim-fitting Enduro mountaineering shell. The sleeves are nice and long too. And as with that jacket, you get huge vents that run from the sides of the torso right down the inside of the sleeves complete with a double-zip feature so you can tweak venting configurations to suit your preferences.
There are chest pockets for us on the move plus neat hand-warmer pockets for cold weather stops as well, while on the safety front there's plenty of reflective plus a fluoro green version as an alternative to the blue one in the pics. See images below.
At a claimed 683g, it's something you'll be wearing rather than carrying on the bike we reckon and probably best saved for really gnarly winter days, but we've found past Paramo stuff brilliant for extreme winter biking, so it looks like a potentially excellent bit of kit. Price, once it's available in the next month or so, will be £200 and it will initially only be available as a men's jacket.
Cascada Trousers Updated
Also new for autumn 2014 is an updated waterproof Cascada Trouser. The Cascada has been around since the late 15th century or thereabouts, but has been brought into the 21st Century with a styling update. The cut is still 'relaxed', but the new Cascada II has a slimmer, neater cut with added knee articulation for easy movement.
The trousers still have a 3/4-length side zip to give loads of scope for ventilation along with a zip and popper fly, ankle adjustment and hip-pockets. The seat, knees and thighs get extra protection from a double layer of the pump lining. They're out soon and available for both men and women priced at £135.
New Alpine Combo For 2015
We're big fans of the sleek new men's Enduro and women's Ventura shell jackets launched this year and for spring 2015 they're going by a pair of fleece / windproof combos that can be worn together to give a fully waterproof Analogy system or separately as, well, a fleece and a windproof.
The men's Enduro Fleece and Windproof have a similarly sleek cut to the original Enduro jacket and are designed for technical mountain use. The fleece uses a new, lighter-weight fabric that's thinner than previous Paramo fleeces, while the windproof has strategic areas of pump liner coverage, the shoulders for example.
Both are hooded - the fleece hood goes under a helmet, the jacket over the top - and have matching vents in the torso / under-arm area to allow easy ventilation. Incidentally, these vents also match the Enduro waterproof shell, so in really cold conditions you could team the fleece with that too. You also get hand-warming and storage pockets.
The advantage of the two-part system over the single jacket is that you can wear either garment on its own in appropriate conditions or team them up to get the equivalent of a full waterproof shell. Did someone say 'versatile'?
The Enduro fleece weighs 436g while the Windproof is 341g with prices of £145 and £100 if bought individually or £235 purchased as a set. The women's Ventura set is £20 less at £215.
Hiking Combo Too
Also new is a hiking-specific combination called the Bentu complete with a mesh pump liner again inside the hood and shoulder sections of the windproof which will be available as a men's only option for spring 2015.Theres also the men's Bora and women's Zonda fleece / windproof combinations which are part of the existing range of kit.
Last but not least, the gridded, Grid Technic baselayers have been restyled for this autumn. All you really need to know is that the Grid Technic and Grid Classic tops still use the gridded Paramater G fabric with the grids, unusually, on the outside, but the Technic now has a slimmer, more athletic fit with zip-neck and thumb loops, while the Classic is a more relaxed cut with a round neck.
You can find the full current Paramo range along with previews of the new autumn 2014 kit at www.paramo.co.uk