There’s a reason why Páramo clothing is so damn popular in the UK and it’s because it meets the unique demands of our mountain environment head on. In the burly Scottish Highlands, Lakeland fells and Welsh mountains, the concept of seasons is almost irrelevant when faced with bone chilling winds and relentless precipitation all-year-round. From summer to winter you can be slogging your way to the summit in rain/sun/wind/hail/heat/snow and everything in between which goes a long way to explain why Páramo’s range of protective, moisture managing clothing has won itself such a loyal fan base here in the UK.
The third edition of Páramo’s super popular waterproof jacket – the Alta III – is a beast of a hill jacket. Designed to withstand the combined demands of severe weather and constant exertion (i.e. wet vs sweat), it's a moisture wicking, weatherproof jacket that can be worn all day in the mountains. If you’re fed up of constantly having to stop to add and remove layers in ever changing hill conditions, then the Alta III could well offer the one-stop solution you seek.
The key to the Alta III’s combined superpowers is Nikwax Analogy – a tough, waterproof fabric that offers directional moisture management properties. This basically means it does a really good job when it comes to keeping rain out of the jacket and moving perspiration away from the body. If you’ve yet to experience the powers of Nikwax Analogy then we strongly recommend you give it a try. The fact that Páramo clothing with Nikwax Analogy fabrics are so regularly worn by seasoned outdoor professionals who spend a great deal of time exposed to the elements tells you all you need to know.
Páramo Alta III
Available in men's and women's versions
More info: paramo-clothing.com
Whilst priority has been given to directional breathability and ventilation, the Alta III is not really a full on summer jacket as it’s simply just too bulky and warm to wear in the heat. Almost all of the technical features of this jacket have been specifically designed to meet the demands of an average day’s hillwalking in the UK – i.e. cool and wet. From the two-level waist and hip draw cord that offers additional weather protection to the large, easy access OS-sized map pockets, from the shoulder/back reinforcement for load carrying to the two-way locking front zip that offers internal access without having to remove a pack, the Páramo Alta III is a truly
At 705g, this isn't a lightweight jacket, and its loose and long cut might not appeal to those looking for something that fits with the current 'fast & light' trend. Whilst I wouldn’t normally opt for a mid thigh length jacket, I can see the benefits as it ensures that your backside remains dry when on the move and provides a cosy cushion when stopping for a quick sit down on a cold wet rock.
I was particularly impressed by the Alta III’s hood that encloses your head and face in a soft, secure environment, but by far the greatest aspect of the jacket is its ethical credentials. Recyclable and PFC-free, the Alta III is a minimal impact garment that also makes a positive contribution via Páramo’s manufacturing partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Bogota, Columbia. Working with the Fair Trade Foundation, this partnership offers vulnerable women training and employment, when it would otherwise be hard to come by, and in a safe environment.
At £295, the Alta III will make a fairly hefty impact on your wallet but if you’re looking for a jacket that will enhance your experience in the UK hills and help make a positive contribution elsewhere in the world then it may well be worth the investment.
Photo Gallery: Páramo Alta III Women's Jacket
Nikwax Analogy treated / upper arm vents / mesh reinforcement on shoulders and back / two handwarmer pockets / large external map pocket with removable hook / internal pocket for valuables / fully adjustable hood with wired peak / hood stoves in collar / articulated shoulders and arms / two-way locking front zip with poppered internal storm flap / adjustable cuffs / waist cord adjustment.