/ Going Paramo for winter...which jacket?

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JezH on 06 Oct 2012
Hello, to the Paramo enthusiasts. Maybe you can clear things up for me.
I like both the Velez Adventure Smock and the Aspira. Would the Aspira be too warm for British winter? It looks like it's a high altitude jacket. That would make my decision easier (and cheaper!).
Also, why do they only make a womens one with a zip from stomach to chin? The mens smocks have a much smaller chest zip and I prefer the option to vent off a lot. For this reason I'd probably go for the Aspira jacket, rather than the smock.
Basically I'm thinking either the Velez Adventure Smock or the Aspira jacket with full length zip. Any thoughts/recommendations/suggestions?

Thanks
nastyned - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH: I don't find the Aspira too warm for Winter. Try some on, and see what fits best.
Shearwater - on 06 Oct 2012
How much are you willing to pay? You could drop an email to the nice folk at http://www.cioch-direct.co.uk for a quote on how much it would cost to have one of their standard jackets modified appropriately.

I have one of their Glamaig jackets, and its a really nice piece of work and (unlike Paramo) fits me perfectly. They could easily make a long-zip smock version, for example.
Climbing Pieman on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:
> I like both the Velez Adventure Smock and the Aspira. Would the Aspira be too warm for British winter?
Depends on how warm you run and what you intend to use the jacket for. I use my Aspira smock all year round for hillwalking if and when weather conditions dictate - about 8C and below. It can easily be that cold on average at 3-4000 ft with a wind in Scotland at any time of the year so suits me as that is my main use for it. Rarely have I found it too warm over eight years use.
> Also, why do they only make a womens one with a zip from stomach to chin?
Who knows!
> The mens smocks have a much smaller chest zip and I prefer the option to vent off a lot. For this reason I'd probably go for the Aspira jacket, rather than the smock.
The smock has 27 ways to vent according to Paramo (or they used to advertise that). They are much more flexible in options and give much more venting overall in my opinion than the jacket (I've tried one). Figure out the 27 ways to vent and you will get the picture (I don't have the time to list them all here, and besides I only ever worked out 26 of them :-)!
> Basically I'm thinking either the Velez Adventure Smock or the Aspira jacket with full length zip. Any thoughts/recommendations/suggestions?
Personally Aspira smock if you can justify it as it is far more flexible and better for venting than the jacket, it not probably the Velez smock (I have not tried it so can't really comment) as its a smock and has similar venting capacity I believe, though loses features of the Aspira that I like and want. Or consider Cioch as Shearwater suggests. I have friends who have gone that route to personalise their jackets - they are very good for any alteration especially if you can visit them at their factory.
As always, personal choice. I'm replacing my aspira smock with another one
SimonCRMC - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:
The Aspira smock is excellent and I've been using mine in Scottish winter for years. It's not too hot though you rarely need more than a base layer under it even in a blizzard. As someone else has commented the smock gives you loads of venting options with the side zips on the front.
Simon
Ron Walker - on 06 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

AFAIK there's no difference between the Aspiro or the Velez for warmth apart from the extra length, protection and weight of the Aspiro.
As for the woman's version, my partner uses the men's smock as it's more practical compared to the woman's! We both don't really understand the logic behind the woman's design!
Neil Pratt - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

Couple of new Paramo jackets in the offing - one's due out in Oct, the other around Christmas. Might be worth having a look at them as well?
Gazlynn - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

I really can't fault the Aspira smock for Scottish winter. I run quite cold and depending on the temp I wear a Merino wool baselayer or if really cold an r1 underneath the smock.
I must be one of the lucky ones as my smock fits me great. Plus can I also add that a zip broke after 5 years of winter usage. I sent it back to paramo to fix and they are fixing it free of charge under the lifetime warranty.

Good luck with your choice.

Gaz
alasdair19 on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH: the aspira is excellent. I like the design those mini pockets on the chest are helpful. Not too warm either I run hot but usually walk in with a wind proof. I would never use it at altitude because its relatively heavy.
Hannes on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH: I find my Aspira perfect for UK winter, it's warm enough with just a base layer underneath but still ventable enough for alpine summer.

You actually get more vents in the smock than the jacket not to mention the massive kangaroo pocket. It is surprisingly durable as well, mine looks like new despite having been pretty abused in the mountains.

Be aware that the sizing of the aspiras are pretty baggy.

As for it being a high altitude jacket, well last time I went a weekend to Wales in February I had far more severe weather than I experienced in a month in Tien Shan
Solaris - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

I went from a jacket to a smock and agree with everyone else on this thread: they are more flexible.

I used to use one in the alps in summer but on balance I think there are lighter, cooler and more flexible systems.
stevesmith - on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

My Aspira smock has been brilliant in wet and cold weather in the Lakes and Scotland, winter and summer. If you're worried about overheating, wear fewer layers underneath. Great pockets for maps, specs, compass, gloves...

Look for deals - mine was reduced at Mountain Factor http://www.themountainfactor.com prob due to its vile colour (but who cares)
JezH on 07 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH: That's pretty unanimous then. Thanks guys.
slove - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:Scottish winter and I'm exclusively Aspira, jacket and salopettes, a brilliant combination. Generally if I judge what Iím wearing underneath it means not having to change any layering all day Ė just adjust hat and gloves and venting; though I do have a Torres Gilet that I put on over the top if Iím getting cold from not moving. I love the way the sleeves are wide enough to roll up over the elbows if you are getting too warm. In extreme you can open the zip and tuck it round the sides for even more venting Ė canít imagine more than that. And all this without even breaking stride.
I do have a velez adventure light smock as well, for summer use. But I donít like it half as much in the mountains (better for cycling) Ė the reason being the pockets. The Jackets just seem to have much better pockets Ė especially for map and compass. The Aspira smock may have more pockets than the Velez, but Iím not keen on the layout of the central pouch, which does not seem half as useful.
Siward on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:
I use an Aspira jacket for Scottish winter. I cannot see the advantage of a smock; the jacket is much more versatile IMHO. If you run incredibly hot, as some seem to do, then maybe Paramo is not for you, but otherwise for any medium to cold to freezing conditions it should be fine, either wear with just a base layer or mid layers too if properly cold.
jonnie3430 - on 09 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

I have the Aspira for winter and loved it, until I was given a Quito for summer. I think I may be climbing in my Quito and seeing how I get on because it is much nicer than the Aspira and a lot lighter...
mmmmcake - on 10 Oct 2012
Hi Jez,

I have an Aspira that is a great jacket but i prefer to layer up as i find it more flexible. Medium, yellow and silver.
Could be pursuaded to part with it for £70 if you fancy?

Milesy - on 10 Oct 2012
Your local rambling organisation should be able to advise on Paramo ;)
JezH on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to mmmmcake: I've sent you a message.
mmmmcake - on 10 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH: Hi. I Dont seem to have received a message. text me on 07551947853.
ads.ukclimbing.com
loz01 - on 14 Oct 2012
In reply to JezH:

I'll buck the trend and say I prefer the Velez smock. The Aspira is too warm to wear on the walk in ( a problem if its raining) and is pretty heavy to carry. Also too warm for climbing on those rare days when there is no wind. I got rid of mine and now use the velez with a decent mid layer ( old style rab softshell which is quite thin). I find this system much more versatile.

Cheers, Loz
loz01 - on 14 Oct 2012
In reply to loz01:

Whichever you decide on go for a smock if its for climbing. The jackets I had was too long at the front and I found mine rode up above harness whilst climbing so you end up with a big baggy area at your chest and you cant see your feet. Like trying to climb with a huge belly. Mind you this was 10 years ago so maybe new jackets are different?

Cheers, Loz

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