Regular readers of the site will know that we are big fans of Paramo gear, as it is often well designed and built with a single minded purpose. If I was embarking on a true adventure they would be my first port of call. We contacted Paramo with regards to this test and they kindly furnished us with one of their Summit Hoodies which features their patented NikWax technology and is designed to be used in extreme environments specifically under Paramo’s Fuero Ascent Jacket or as an independent outer layer. Interestingly this is the only fleece on test that is treated with a water repellent outer coating.
- Water Repellent
- Under Arm Ventilation
- Elasticated Cuffs
- 3 Pockets
- Hidden Hood Adjustment
- Designed For Wearing With Harness and Helmet
Páramo (named after a region of the Andes) was set up by the founder and owner of Nikwax, Nick Brown in 1984 after he saw a need for a new high performing fabric. After large manufacturers rejected the idea he instead choose to manufacture his own clothing and in 1992 production began in a socially responsible factory in Bogotá, Colombia. Páramo now manufacture high performing garments covering the full range of outdoor activities.
One thing you are always guaranteed with Paramo is quality and performance. This mid-layer has been designed from the ground up to be a performing mountain climbing beast of a jacket. Every details has performance in mind and if there is one thing this jacket has it’s details. 2 Way zips, under arm vents, adjustable hood, map pockets, harness friendly chest pockets the list goes on and on. Paramo have also managed to make a hoodie with all these features still look good, I personally am so thankful they avoided the urge to stick a high visability strip or something on it. As it is you could wear it in the town then 2 hours later be free climbing then back in the pub later still looking respectable.
The patented Paramo fabrics are a quite complicated business but essentially all you really need to know about this top is that the outside is water repellent whilst the inside surface draws moisture away from the body. I can testify that in the short term this fleece provides good resistance to showers and stops you getting soaked before you can get your outer layer out of your pack. The Summit Hoodie is also good at keeping you cool when hiking especially with the huge under arm vents providing extra cooling when needed. On the subject of these zips I did find them a little irritating when worn under an outer shell as they seem to be perfectly placed to rub against your arms but after a bit of sleeve adjustment this wasn’t a huge problem and is probably a little unfair as I don’t have the outer shell this jacket was designed for (amazon wish list!).
I would like to mention the washing instructions that come with any garment that utilizes advanced waterproof technology. This jacket must be washed at low temperature and ideally with an additive to maintain the waterproofing. This is fine at home if you don’t mind doing separate washes but on the road I suspect many would ignore these instructions and the performance would suffer as a result but it should be said that the jacket performs so well that washing really isn’t needed all that regularly as the jacket seems to stay fresh for much longer than any of the competitors.
The Good and the Bad of Summit Hoodie
- Water Repellant
- High Performing Fabric
- Excellent Design
- Not As Warm As The Fluffy Fleeces
- Itchy Zips
Whilst this fleece is one of the most expensive on test you can see exactly where the money has gone, it’s all the details. For a serious adventure you would be hard pushed to find a mid-layer that could give you more features and performance than this item. You could argue that for general travel it may be over kill and that is a fair point. Do you need a helmet adjustable hood on a cold night in Berlin? probably not but if you are a technical clothing addict like myself then why not!
For details of where to buy please visit Paramo