One of the most well-established waterproof jackets available, the Páramo Alta II has a broad fan base of users thanks to its unique features. The material is unlike any other, as it does not just repel water, it actively encourages it to move away from the body due to its animal-fur-like qualities. The fabric also has exceptional control of condensation. The fabric is also soft and rustle-free, making it very comfortable to wear, and quiet (and thus ideal for bird watching for example). The Alta II is also longer than most jackets. The hood has a wired peak and can be rolled into the collar. There are two hip pockets that can be accessed while wearing a rucksack, and on the chest there is a map-sized pocket and also a smaller pocket. But the Páramo Alta II is relatively heavy. It is also quite warm, so other jackets are better in hot weather. You can squeeze water through the fabric, if you fall into a puddle onto the elbow for example – but as it gets pumped out so fast this is a minor niggle, and you won’t get wet during normal hill-walking.
Outer Nikwax windproof
Inner Nikwax Analogy Pump liner
Fabric breathability extremely breathable
Sizes S-XXL (men’s); XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 778g (women’s M)
Made in Colombia
Stores in the UK 117
Verdict: The Páramo Alta II is a superb jacket for walking, particularly in cold weather, but others may be preferable in warm weather.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2009