Following on from our news story about Paramo's new athletic-fitting Men's Enduro and Women's Ventura jackets and trousers last week, we've just had the chance of a close look and a try-on of the new for this autumn jackets and some other new Paramo kit.
New Athletic Fit
As we told you last week, the new Enduro and Ventura differ markedly from previous Paramo mountain jackets in having a markedly more athletic fit as well as new Nikwax Analogy stretch panels. The kit is designed for technical mountain use with helmets and harnesses and cut accordingly.
How athletic is it? A quick try on of the Enduro Jacket - see pics left - suggests that the men's version is indeed pretty sleekly cut. It's not overly tight, but it is markedly shaped with wider shoulders and chest narrowing down to a slim waist and hip fit, making it a marked departure from older designs like the Aspira Jacket and Smock.
The sleeves are cut long in a similar vein to Rab and the latest ME jackets for climbing use and pockets and the sleeve-vents are cut to work with a harness. The hood is wired and shaped to fit with a helmet and goggles without interference. Other stuff includes mesh-lined venting pockets, locking vent-zips and harder-wearing stretch panels in key areas including the shoulders.
One thing we did notice was that while there's a pronounced drop-tail, the front of the jacket is cut pretty short, almost like an older American design. That'll be fine worth with the matching pants and good with a harness with reduced bulk and minimal impact on leg lift, but also means a less adapatable design for more general mountain use with redcued crotch protection if you're not wearing shell legwear.
It'd be nice to see a more all-round technical mountain jacket with a similarly sleek cut, but slightly more length.
Interestingly, the women's Ventura Jacket is cut slightly longer and has other points of difference including an off-set main zip to clear the point of the chin and reduce zip-latering in that area. Bear in mind that the jacket in the pics is actually a size too large for our model, so will be slimmer fitting in the correct size.
The matching legwear looks good too with dapper colour contrasting linings, a high back for added insulation, loops for braces, stretch panels in strategic areas and 3/4-length zips for comprehensive venting.
Weights are relatively high at 815g for the men's jacket and 802g for the women's version and 637g and 614g for the trousers. Prices Ladies’ Ventura Jacket:: £330; Ladies’ Ventura Trousers: £220 and Men’s Enduro Jacket: £350; Men’s Enduro Trousers: £220.
New Windproof+Fleece=Waterproof Combos
Also new this autumn 2013 is a new take on an existing Paramo idea, the Men's Bora and Women's Zonda fleece and jacket combos, which when combined with the windproof worn over the fleece give a Nikwax Analogy-type waterproof system aimed at hill walkers.
The outer windproof layer uses the shell layer from Paramo's Nikwax Analogy Light fabric to save weight - the men's is 197g and women's 172 grammes - and can be worn alone as a windproof complete with full body venting zips and hood.
Meanwhile, the respective wind-resistant Bora and Zonda fleeces - 400g and 330g - can either be worn alone as a light insulation layer or combined with the windproof to form a full waterproof system, making for a really versatile choice - bear in mind though that the jacket peak isn't stiffened, if that's an issue for you.
They're out right now and you can either buy as a set and make a small saving on the price of the separate garments - the Men's Bora is £165 as a set or £100 for the fleece and £80 for the wind-shell bought individually. Women's figures are £155 for both or £90 and £75.
Last but not least, the new Paramo Enduro jacket landed one of the show's covetted Novel Awards for innovative design.
More information at www.paramo.co.uk.