The Páramo Cambia Base Layer is reversible, so it’s great value. One surface is for use in cold weather, and is pocked with small indents designed to trap air next to the skin. The other is for warmer conditions and is a dense, silky-smooth surface, which pulls sweat away from the skin. The top is comfortable, looser-fitting and has no issues with riding up at the back or down at the sleeves, even when scrambling. It’s lighter than many here, is very effective when layered and the sleeves are easy to push up. As it is spawned from a British company, this base layer is also designed to cope with the British climate. As a result you’re getting great value, comfort and quality for the price. A crew neck is available too. Generally the Páramo Cambia Base Layer is durable – I’ve used one for years and it shows no signs of excessive wear – but the smoother side of the fabric (worn on the outside in cool weather) is more fragile than the honeycomb side. But as you will have another layer on in cool weather, this isn’t such a problem. This base layer’s reversibility is its big selling point, and while effective, the results aren’t massively dramatic. It would be nice to know which side is which in a clearer way! This is being picky; it still offers very good value. A longer cut might have been nice, and it doesn’t have the odour protection of some here.
Fabric Nikwax Reversible Parameta T (100% polyester)
Colours moss, navy (men’s); black, dawn blue, moss (women’s)
Sizes S-XXL (men’s) XS-XL (women’s)
Weight 175g (men’s size S)
Made in Colombia
Stores in the UK 100
Verdict: The Páramo Cambia Base Layer is a versatile, comfortable base layer, which is perfect for the UK hills and offers benefit in both very hot and very cold weather.
Review by Simon Ingram
First published in Trail magazine October 2009