The Páramo Alta II is a classic and well-proven jacket for hillwalking. There are a number of features that set the Alta II apart from other options. Firstly it uses a unique material that is easier to repair than other fabrics and it also controls condensation better. In a Trail test for waterproofness held at the University of Leeds, Páramo garments were the only jackets not to leak. Better still, the Alta II is very long by modern standards, so you just don’t have to put those overtrousers on so readily to stay dry.
Because the jacket is so long you can get your hands in the two base pockets below any rucksack hipbelt you are wearing. There are also two chest pockets that are large enough for maps and guidebooks. There are zipped vents on the sleeve, but this is still a warmer jacket than the others here, which means that while being ideal in winter, it can be a touch too warm in summer. The jacket is also pretty heavy when stashed in a rucksack, although in colder weather this is compensated for by not having to carry so much spare insulation.
It comes in a men’s and a women’s version.
Weight 886g (size L)
Fabric Nikwax Windproof
Lining Nikwax Analogy Pump Liner
Sizes men’s S-XXL; women’s XS-XL
External pockets 4
Wired hood yes
Side vents yes
The extra length and excellent range of well-designed features make the Páramo Alta II ideal for many walkers, but in warm weather it can be a bit too warm and heavy.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine November 2011