Waterproof Clothing

Over the years I've had some pretty dubious waterproof garments for wandering up mountains.  

Some of these really weren't waterproof at all.

Some of these were very waterproof.  They mostly didn’t let the rain in, but they also ensured that they didn’t let water (aka sweat) out, so in anything warmer than near-arctic conditions you were pretty much sure of getting wet.  Incidentally, one bonus was that it was possible to put a pint of beer into each of the two big pockets of one of those coats and it would stay there until it was drunk or until the wearer fell over.  Probably better not to dwell on the research that went into that discovery.

Once funds allowed I swapped from the ‘beer-coat’ and it's like to decent Gore-Tex based waterproofs.  These have done a very good job over the years in keeping me mostly dry and usually warm too.  Over that time I’ve usually bought Berghaus kit and generally been very happy with it, certainly when it was new.

Over the last few years I’ve become aware of an increasingly large number of walkers and photographers wearing Paramo/Nikwax kit, and had rather assumed that this was just another (high-end) flavour of the same sort of kit.  The need to replace my own all weather gear led to me doing a bit of deeper investigation.  

I am certainly interested in the reviews that talked about the Paramo 'directional' approach of attempting to push (or indeed pull) liquid away from the wearer.  I'm also interested in the environmental impact that Paramo (and Greenpeace) talk about - and particularly in trying to move away from the use of PFCs (fluorinated compounds) in outdoor clothing.

So on the basis that you can only do desk-based research for so long, I have just bought a set of Paramo Enduro garments - and I’ll report back on how I get on with them over the next few months, although I don’t think I’m going to try and repeat the beer test.

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