Páramo Velez Adventure Light Smock Review

Now at the start I may have been a little cynical as you can see above. It’s easy to knock anything that has a cult following, and Páramo does have its zealot disciples which does its cause no good at all.
I was coming to it fresh and landed lucky with this brand new Velez. The minutae of its design and performance will be looked at elsewhere hopefully, because all I wanted was to pull it on and see what happened.
I’ve worn it with synthetic base layers. merino baselayers, light midlayers, packs and bumbags. I’ve even worn it to work over a cotton t-shirt.
What is apparent is that you have to find your own window of operation for Páramo. All this advice “It’s too hot”, “Just wear a short sleeved base layer under it in winter”, “I still get wet…” is meaningless. You have to use it and see what happens after a couple of trips, and then adjust to suit. Yes it’s warm on the move, but it doesn’t have as much insulation as people think, so in strong wind and at rest stops I cool quickly. Not a problem though once you know.
The fabric is indeed as good as they say, especially with a synthetic baselayer. You stay dry, although the inner fabric does get a moist quality too it, a tea towel that’s just been steam ironed?
It’s autumn/winter only for me though, I found the limits of beaing able to wear it a couple of times in brighter weather. And as an all-day winter piece it’s probably peerless. If it fits you.

And there’s the high kerb that many scrape their bumper on when parking at Páramo’s front door. I needed a Large to get the neck to cuff length, but I probably  would’ve got away with a Medium torso. I’ve tried on a few other models now and the various Velez models are the best fit on me.
I really think this notional average sizing is holding Páramo back from selling kit to folk my shape, “rangy” I believe it’s called. Montane had the same problem but seem to have sorted it out with adjustments to the proportions the past few seasons. It seems to be a general UK sizing thing though, is sizing shifting outwards to accommodate a rise in the nations girth? It’s been said on here before, do me a jacket in Haglöfs dimensions in Páramo fabric and we’ve got a winner. I’ll be very interested to see Páramo’s new two piece alpine fleece and single-skin shell combo coming out next year. That sounds like it might be right on the money.

Whatever, the Velez Adventure is a fine bit of kit that I would be happy to wear facing this coming winter . The hood is the best I’ve seen on a Páramo jacket. The comfort is fantastic, arm movement is good and I love the front pouch pocket. Wee niggles were limited to the cuffs, I’d tweak the adjustment there, the internal pocket accessed through the zips is too low I think, I’d have it right at the top of the zips, and there’s the daft flap inside the hood for making the hood into a collar. Scissors applied there I should think.

But as you can see below, on a completly different day from above, I’m a much happier boy for my experience.

Yes, yes, I took the photies in the garden. Every time I’ve been on a hill with the Velez it was pissing down and I never got any decent shots. It’s going away to get reviewed elsewhere and I ran out of time. Arse.

23 thoughts on “Páramo Velez Adventure Light Smock Review”

  1. That wasn’t so bad now, was it? :o)

    Re the sizing: I’m a medium but need the large to get the sleeve length. It’s not a ball-breaker but there’s a bit of excess material that I could do without.

    I’ve got an old Aspira smock (medium) that has internal adjustment cords just under my ribs and they cinch it in no bother at all. That makes for a perfect fit, for me at least.

    That’s a good, well-balanced review you’ve done there tho’. I can see me linking to that a fair bit.

  2. thanks for the review ptc, it sounds like you got on with it quite well …. is this the start of a long relationship ;o)

    how did it cope with being worn under a pack?

  3. Kev. I tried not to dwell on the fit thing as it’s a personal issue. It works well and that’s the main point.
    That’s the good thing about doing test and review, you do learn new things without having to make a leap of faith, or having resort to defending it later.
    I’ve come to appreciate that more and more.

    Moggy. Under a pack is still the poorest performing area as it’s under weight pressure. It stays comfy though.
    I think I’m getting the regular version in when this ones goe back tomorrow, so I’m keeping in in the family as it were :o)

    Martin. It has areas that are starting to wet out, so it can’t be far way from needing a treatment. But I think fresh out of the box it’d be fine for a long trip. How it would smell is another matter, Paramo like to keep a hold of your odours.

  4. I have had nothing but rave reviews from others on Paramo. Robin at Blogpacking as an example. Alan Sloman as well. The look and weight have allways put me of. Not now. Lot to consider with this.

  5. Petesy does Páramo – hold the front page!!!

    So anyway “rangy”, are you saying their sizing is aimed more at folk my shape, “slob” I believe it’s called.

  6. Martin, I’ve bought 5 Velez’s over the years and never had any bother wearing them from new. The proofing seems to go at the cuffs first and then the bits under the pack straps. I’ve never had a catastrophic failure that I’ve seen reported elsewhere.

    I only re-proof once a year although, and I think I said this to Duncan, I have had to do it twice when it failed to “take” the first time.

  7. Hmmm, I seem to have inadvertantly avoided controversy writing up the Velez!

    Sorry about the photies by the way. Here, I’ll see if I’ve got any better ones in my pocket…

  8. Thanks Kev. I think it is the so good in a storm performance that folks tell off that makes me think of buying one. Pete is that my winning ticket for that backpack you just found there;)

  9. I used to be a Paramo sceptic and occasionally fondled that lovely soft fabric and thought, waterproof, pah! Used to go down to a shop in the Peaks and ask the guy in there every month or so how it worked and got this explanation about bear skin. After a while he clocked us though, oh how we laughed!

    Eventually the zealots brainwashed me, spent some of my hard earned on a Velez and never looked back. I’m lucky(?) enough that I run on the cold side of average, so it’s a 3-season jacket for me, it’s just summer I have no solution for, so just crack open a beer or two and fire up the barbecue instead and wait for the leaves to start falling.

    I still have my old Mk1 ME Changabang and this comes out in the depths of winter and the Velez becomes a mid-layer. Always stay toasty and dry but interestingly when unpeeling at the end of the day, there’s always plenty of moisture trapped between the Velez and the Gore-tex. Never quite worked out if this is lack of breathability in the Gore-tex or just the outer being so cold that the vapour condenses here?

  10. Gore-Tex needs heat to work, so the more layers you put under it, the worse it works.
    That oringinal Changabang was cracking jacket, came in orange too!

    I’ve got something else here to follow up this line of alternative clothing enquiry. I’m fed with seeing clean gear on here, so I’ll cover it later!

  11. I have an idea !
    You come over to Cathkin Braes with all the clean gear.
    I will stand in a muddy puddle with my ne whardrocks on and throw mud at you till all the gear is dirty then we can go for a few pints and discuss said adventure !
    Job done for both of us

  12. I also found my my new wonderful Adventure Smock quick to cool at stops but didn’t have a solution with me. At 5-10c I only had my long-sleeve running top under the smock on the Cotswold Way. If the wind is up what do you pull out of the rucksack for stops?

  13. I found my Rab Photon Hoody and Haglofs Barrier Hood were the best fit over the Velez for rest stops. An insulated smock was too difficult to pull over the bulky Velez.
    It’s away for test elsewhere, so I don’t know how the Velez would have coped with sub zero temps on the move.

  14. PTC – you say here: “I’ll be very interested to see Páramo’s new two piece alpine fleece and single-skin shell combo coming out next year”. Did that happen – and if so what is the combo?

    I have the same sizing issue as you so i’m interested in an alternative!

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