Páramo Torres Overlayering Insulation (Sleeves & Trousers) 2009

“Brrrr! Nice view, but I’m cold and wet, and I need to keep moving to stay warm.” How many times have you said that, having sweated your way up a mountain? When you’re cold and wet it’s hard to enjoy even the best mountain views.
The problem is that most clothing systems are not designed to keep you warm when you reach a summit. Instead, they force to remove your waterproof, soft shell or windproof so that you can add an extra fleece or insulating layer underneath. This is totally impractical, because as soon as you remove that outer layer, you risk losing heat (and getting wet if it’s raining). But now, Páramo may have the answer as they have designed a range of clothing that is designed to be worn over your outer waterproof and windproof layers rather than under them.  The Torres Overlayering Insulation range includes a gilet and a smock, and for this winter there are two additional garments: the Torres Sleeves and Torres Trousers, tested here.
During October’s chilly first snap, I took the Torres Sleeves and Torres Trousers into Langdale in the Lake District. There was a chill in the air, but no rain and no wind, so this was not the toughest test. But on reaching a viewpoint it was the perfect weather to sit down and drink in the view.
I pulled out the Torres Sleeves and put them on. It was a weird experience. There is something odd about wearing what are effectively sleeve warmers! In truth, I wanted to take them off straight away – but I hung on in there. Ten minutes later, after a bite to eat while wandering around looking for a great angle to take a shot of the mountains, I had forgotten I was wearing them. More importantly, I felt warm and comfortable too.
The Torres trousers feel more conventional. They have full-length side zips and can be worn as conventional trousers or overtrousers without removing boots or crampons. Like the sleeves, they have a water-repellent outer with a breathable lining and fast-drying insulation.
Both the trousers and the sleeves are incredibly practical, and they do what they say on the swing tag. They can easily be worn over other layers and more importantly they are perfect for putting on over waterproofs or windproofs. The Torres Trousers, Smock and Gilet are definitely a practical addition to a hill-walker’s kit list. The Torres Sleeves are practical too, but they are so unconventional that I am not sure if they are going to catch on and become best sellers. But if you can tolerate the strange design and the short-term emotional turmoil involved in wearing them for the first time, then they are
actually incredibly practical too.

Torres Sleeves
Price £55
Outer Nikwax Analogy windproof
Insulation polyester
Sizes S-XL
Weight 226g (size L)
Made in China
Stockist details tel. (01892) 786444; www.paramo.co.uk

Torres Trousers
Price
£100
Outer Nikwax Analogy windproof
Insulation polyester
Sizes S-XL
Weight 514g (size L)
Made in China
Stockist details tel. (01892) 786444; www.paramo.co.uk

Verdict

Sleeves
The Páramo Torres Sleeves can be worn over outer layers to provide insulation where it is needed, but their unconventional design takes some getting used to. They’re practical arm insulation for the outdoors for when performance really matters.

Trousers
The Páramo Torres Trousers provide insulation that can be worn over outer layers and are ideal for adding warmth without removing garments.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine December 2009