Haglöfs Paze Jacket & Tights

I’m a great believer in performance for all. By that I mean that top that top-end gear with the best fabrics, kit designed for athletes and racers that should still be considered by you and I for general use because it’s usually been pared down to the bare essentials and it’s made as light as possible. But not light like a lot of cut-corner underdeveloped backpacking-specific crap, this is lightweight gear for people with a mission.
So don’t be intimidated by fancy names and advertising images. Yes you can race in it, but it’s not mandatory to get the best out of it.

Haglöfs are one of the brands that have a sub-range that’s fits in what what I’m talking about, the Intense range. The Oz Paclite pullover has been as big a hit with pro-racers as it has with folk who have never even ran for the bus, but the range has more than that in there and I’ve got some of the winter-weight kit in test, the Paze jacket and tights.

The jacket has a close, but not tight fit with long arms and body, it’s feature-rich and the mix of fabrics was definitely chosen with someone moving forwards at speed in mind.
The front of the body and the tops of the arms are cut from Polartec PowerShield, a light non-membrane softshell fabric, while the back and underarms are a softer Dryskin Stretch, which is very similar to Powerstretch.
I’m getting increasingly used to this patchwork idea, when it’s logical and performs as planned you don’t think about it. The fabric choice is good, there’s wind and water resistance in the direction of travel, light insulation and breathability behind and under your pack. Of course if you don’t have a pack, the Paze jacket has two big stretch mesh pockets which have proved handy on the bike. The pockets and have a reflective edge binding and there’s also reflective chest detailing. Also on the chest there’s also single zipped pocket and that’s your lot, it’s very clean on the front.
The collar has a soft inner face and a drawcord, the hem also had drawcord adjustment, and all drawcords are the fetching and soon to be greatly missed budgie green.
The arms end in a very well shaped, almost semi-glove affair. There’s a thumbloop and the cuff stretches well past your knuckles, there’s a great feeling of protection here and you’ll get away with wearing just liner gloves for longer when the temperature drops.

The tights below have the same front/back fabric split as the jacket and are even cleaner on the outside, the only features being a tiny zipped pocket at the left hip and zipped gussets (with reflective detailing) at the ankles for cinching in/pulling on and off over big feet. The ankles have silicon grippers to keep the legs from riding up and the elasticated waist has an internal drawcord.

I’ve worn the Paze kit a few times now as conditions have allowed, Intense gear it may be, but definitely for the cooler weather. I was very impressed by a day in the pissing wet on the bike where I was wearing the tights with no shell pants. I stayed warm and comfortable, and I was dry when I took them off. The fabric choice looks like it’s spot-on.
The tights are pretty tight though, and I expected the PowerShield fabric to present some resistance to a knee movement, both when cycling and doing high step-ups, but it was okay and use had been issue-free so far.
I think both of these will suit general winter use, but the tights look like a good replacement for standard Powerstretch leggings for regular hill days, so I can see me out in the snow in these with gaiters and er, “boots”.
I’ve only used these at low level and on the bike so far, so I’ll revisit them after they’ve been on some winter mountains and the like.

41 thoughts on “Haglöfs Paze Jacket & Tights”

  1. Hmm, ‘winter Kazoos’…??? Or is the cut somewhat less forgiving on the not-totally-beanpole figure? ;O)

  2. Aye, these are spray-on tight.
    The Powershield front has less stretch that the powerstrechy back, so they don’t relax much over time while you’re wearing them. Probably a good thing from a peformance perspective though.
    I must be frightening to look at in these, but on a minging day I’m happy to be on the inside looking out :o)

  3. Matt “Winter Kazoo’s” i’ll be wearing my normal ones with a pair of lj’s if required. The pants look good but my old powerstretch are still going strong after years of use, and pazes are pretty pricey, after a quick google. Powershield is a great fabric though, Haglofs really are on the ball with fabric selection across their range though. Pete do you know what DWR Haglofs use as it is shit hot. Is it available to the public or manufacturers only. If you can steal some chuck some my way :)

  4. There’s a story with the DWR.
    They changed to a new Hydrocarbon treatment on a lot of the fabrics as it’s more environmentally friendly. There was supposed to be a slight trade-off in longevity, which is pretty cool to stand up and be counted like that while putting your prices up.

    I’ve found the DWR to be outstanding like you say.
    You can never replace it properly though once it goes, I dodn’t care what Grangers and Nikwax say, a new wash-in treatment lasts for what, minutes in heavy rain?

  5. Thats why i am reluctant to wash my kazoo’s as you have answered my question regarding their DWR. Have you ever tried stormwaterproofing in comparison to grangers/nikwax. I used a free footwear sample and found it pretty good, but not used the clothing ones.

  6. The last thing I reproofed was a rucksack!

    I’m doing some retro days this wintetr with kit I dug out at my folks house. It’s all needing washed and proofed, I’ll need to try some different stuff when I do that.

    Maybe treatment’s are getting better.

  7. I suppose you could always stick some of those elusive soft shell shorts over the top to look less frightening/get some pockets.

    Does seem nice but the kindly store buyers seem to have seen fit to deliver us from temptation :)

  8. Ah, is the market a Paze-free zone?
    That’s a travesty if the stores haven’t got this stuff in.

    I’ll wear a long coat, it’ll be fine…

  9. Retro kit…interesting! Dad dug something out of the hut that’s a bit retro! (or at least old school). Still works too if I mind right. It’s kit but not the wearing kind, I’ll see if I can get photies.

  10. Yes I saw those and planned to hunt some down to have a look. The likely sources of EB/the climbers shop/outdoors warehouse didn’t come through though.

    Indeed I had a recent walk ‘accidentally’ end in Keswick and the various folk there seemed more interested in stocking such practical things as LIM Down Hoods – clearly a big market in high altitude expeditions!

    Not totally vanished – from web searches Tiso seemingly doing the jacket and pete bland sports the tights.

  11. ange it’ll be more retro that anything I’ve got, I was still wearing military surplus in the hills until more recently than I care admit in print!
    I also had a 70cm ice axe.
    Oh, it’s nearly time for those kind of discussions again.

    Martin, aye, Tiso have the green/charcoal version in Glasgow. They’ve got the Barrier Hood in too, so they they get more points than most on the board.
    I’ll need to get around some shops and see what folk are stocking this winter, I’m a little out of sync!

  12. Chris, I have seen camo fleece, not today thanks… :o)

    Holycow, yes indeed, I’m oversimplifying there.
    The membrane is a bit like a string vest inbetween the inner and outerfaces, lets some wind through and all the sweat out.
    I suppose I immediately think of the old Windbloc or Windstopper as proper membrane fabrics and anything that’s air permeable to a degree as “something else”.
    I shall clarify such things in future!

  13. Hmmm, gear lust is a terrible thing.

    So how do you think the jacket is for running, as it strikes me that without a hood cycling and running seem to be it’s best areas?

    I always find it a tricky thing in cold conditions to get the amount of clothing spot on for running particularly regarding an outer layer. You start cold without but once you’re up and going you can get away with it providing your working hard enough, unless there’s a biting wind and other elements thrown in.

    But then what kind of outerlayer is best when it gets a bit rubbish, a windshirt (my normal option), a softshell or even a shell like the new OMM ones? I think the mixed material in patches of the Paze sounds like a good solution, might give it a bigger temp range and better weather beating properties than a windshirt. I’ll be interested to hear your further thoughts

  14. The big Tiso in Rose St had a reasonable amount of Haglofs stuff in it recently. I wouldn’t swear to it but I’m fairly sure the “tights” of which you speak were in there. The top definitely was.

  15. Benjamin, I think it’ll be good for running if it is properly cold. But like say it’s such a difficult area.
    I ran in the Oz the past two winters and that was fine over a base layer, I ran in the original Kamleika smock and got roasted, but it’s hard to get consistency of conditions to see what the truth of it all is.
    The Paze kit should work over a lot of different activities and conditions, even warmer days if I’m just walking.
    Ach, we’ll see. Not this weekend though, I’m meeting Inov-8 on Saturday and it’s gale-force winds on Sunday. My return to the 900m contour will be next week then!

    Kev, I haven’t been in that shop for ages. I worked in Edinburgh for a long time and I used to enjoy their confusing layout on an almost daily basis.
    Then I would go to the Greggs along a wee bit.
    Was it Outside Now that used to be across from it? A wee independant, jeez that’ll probably be ten years ago though.

  16. Aye, that Tiso can be an assault on the senses. I was in there about 3 years ago and it was an Alladins Cave of shiny stuff. Loads of big names. Just stunning. I think their regular buyer must have been off on the long term sick and they’d got somebody in who wisnae afraid to stick their neck oot. Didnae last long tho’.

    I think it was Outside Now across the way. I bought an ME Ultrafleece Mountain Jacket oot o’ there. They charged me a tenner extra on the rrp as they didnae have the size I wanted and had to order it. It was my first and last purchase :o)

  17. An extra tenner, cheeky bastards.

    Tiso over our way has been better the past wee while, there’s some variety crept in, for a few years it was wall to wall TNF and Berghaus.
    The footwear selection is still crap, baselayers are generally H/H or Icebreaker and constantly walks the line between supermarket and enthusiast destination.

    I really miss the old days, Highrange Sports, the Scout Shop, Nevisport in its youth…

  18. The Zap II’s had the thigh pockets, the’re genius. Still some in the shops the last time I was in the Lakes and in Tiso too, no more after that though.
    The pockets were removed for next year because retailers said they “gaped” on the hangers and made the pants look bad.
    Save us from the UK outdoor retailers. Please.

  19. Can’t remember what they were called but the windproof ones last winter are great tights, and the summer ones are brilliant. Such a lame excuse for ditching the pockets, even poorer show from Haglofs imo for listening to shops saying it looks bad on the rail, and ruining a great product to look pretty in the shop.

  20. Those tights are going to have to go some, at the price being asked for tights, compared to say Under Armour are you getting that much better a product?? I’ll probably go with my existing tights and mix with OMM Kamleika trousers.

    I don’t care what excuses people claim for the price of gear, it is getting ridiculous!

  21. That would have been the original Zaps I think? They were more softshell-y, definitely more unforgiving on the less=toned shape like me.
    The bottom line is the shops are king, that’s we we have to suffer. The companies can make what they like but unless the store buyers both understand it and order it, it won’t get made.
    We’re at the mercy of single opinions again.
    You can see when the manufacturers reps are excited about a new bit of kit, and that normally means it’s doomed.

    The Kamleika pants are great do-it-all kit, brings me back again to my performance-for-all point, it’s uncompromised race kit that works for everybody.

    Price related waffle elsewhere!

  22. Like it or not they did look bad on the rail and didn’t sell to the public in the stores that put them in! It’s not all down to the retailers – if they take a gamble on something and it doesn’t work then they aren’t going to do it again – if it was your money and your shop would you??

  23. DNF do you mean the price of the Paze tight compared to Under Armour? This one is soft shell with “powerstretch” not a baselayer tight.

  24. …I like blaming the retailers. Not all of them, but my frustration needs to go somewhere :o)

    There’s an element of “catching up”. When someone does a “first” is usually falls on its face. Montane’s Air jacket is a great example, as is the Karrimor relaunch of ’98 in bold single colours.
    We’re now surrounded by slim fitting single pocket shells and bold single colours.

    Hey, as long as the companies are knocking out samples that get us all excited there’s hope.

  25. Pete if you read this before you meet innov 8 just ask if they are nearer to bringing out a more walking orientated shoe. I emailed their product manager a few months ago, and got a great response from him, to be fair. I enquired about a shoe based around the roclite 315, which i use at present, but feel could benefit more walkers with a weatherproof upper and thicker midsole to increase underfoot comfort.

  26. Will do, I know they’ve had some “trad” designs on the board before, so I’ll see what’s doing.
    There’s stuff I’d like to see too, and they’ll be overjoyed to hear all about it :o)

  27. Give the retailers a chance. There’s always going to be an inevitable lag between what the cool kids are doing (that’s you boys here) and what the public is ready for. People are sheep, and follow the herd. This applies not just to store buyers but also, to an infinitely greater extent, to the buying public. We are held captive by the cowardice of the buyers, yes, but to a much greater extent by the conservatism of the public.

    But it’s not all doom and gloom. EB is taking a big punt on Norrona, and pushing them hard (as they deserve). The Haglofs range for this winter is small but excellent, and the Spitz is really being pushed quite hard (adverts near the local tube, and we’ve sold a couple already). Haglofs also sold really well for me over the summer, way better than all the other fast and light gear (kazoos literally went within a month). Perhaps next year a bigger selection of the Intense kit? The year after, winter intense?

    The buyers are not totally dumb. They know the Berghaus bubble has more or less popped (our range for this winter is no bigger than our Haglofs range), and common sense MUST tell them the TNF bubble has to pop sooner rather than later. Blacks, I’m sure, have had problems for precisely this reason – lack of variety. Already our TNF range is marginally smaller than last winter (very marginally, but still).

    There also needs to be a bigger investment by manufacturers in staff. I’m not sure it’s fully realised just how much staff personal tastes drive sales. Scarpa Zens have always had record sales in our store, because I have them, and our manager, and we love them to bits (and indeed they are awesome shoes, so bloody versatile). I could give a million other examples. Icebreaker do a big training do every winter (this winter in the penthouse of New Zealand House) where they lay on lashings of beer and pizza, sell us product at 70/80 percent off, and indoctrinate us on the virtues of merino.

    I am not a particularly big Icebreaker fan, but it works pretty well. Both their product and the indoctrination, I mean. Bribery, ultimately, never fails. And do not underestimate our powers of persuasion. Last winter I lost count of the number of people who came in looking for the biggest, bulkiest ski jacket they could find and walked out with some lightweight shell (soft or hard).

  28. Haglofs Intense range, designed for Intense activities. It should be straight down the line performance, they were. People using tights aren’t bothered about this and that, they want performance, that is the only reason for wearing lycra. A shop says they look bad on a hanger! What numpty looks at lycra tights and says “oh look how they hang, I won’t try them on”

    It’s intense gear, not regular hill walking fare.

    Interesting though that the people I know, who have the tights with pockets all think great idea.

  29. Aye, the pockets are what make the Zap tights.
    They sit flat but can be crammed with all amounts of stuff.

    There was talk of giving the Kamleika pants external pockets at one point. As long as they drain, I like the idea.

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