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Paramo or Goretex?

It is the age old question when thinking of buying a new jacket, do you go for Paramo or a membrane jacket. As with most garments there are advantages and disadvantages to both and it really depends on your needs and the activities you will be using it for. Below it will be discussed the benefits and draw backs of both types of jackets and hopefully help in the making of your decision.

Paramo was established in 1992 and has been extremely successful in producing a very unique garment. Paramo works very differently to membrane jackets, mainly due to the fact that there is no membrane. It uses a unique pump liner which actively moves water away from you creating a very breathable, comfortable jacket, in fact one of the most breathable jackets on the market. Whereas a membrane jacket to breathe efficiently needs a heat gradient, it needs you to be warm and the outside temperature to be cold. If this gradient doesn't exist for example on a humid day then your membrane jacket will not breath as efficiently, this limitation does not exist with a Paramo jacket the pump liner will move water whatever the temperature gradient.

With Paramo not having a membrane it also means that in the unfortunate event that you damage your jacket all is not lost. The tag line is you can put a hundred pin pricks into a Paramo garment and it will still be just as waterproof, this is due to the pump liner and its ability to move water. Above are just some of the advantages of a Paramo jacket, the main down side is that compared to a membrane jacket it will be generally heavier and bulkier, due to the use of the unique pump liner

Membrane jackets can come in a variety of different fabrics like Goretex, Event and Sympatex but most manufactures have there own version covering a wide price point with variations of breathability. The choices of styles, colours and brands that are available in membrane jackets is vast. You would be hard pushed not to find a garment you like within a certain price point that meets your criteria. With the amount of choice on the market it can sometimes be difficult to determine the one that fits your needs the best or why there is such a wide range of prices. One point to look for when buying a membrane jacket is to look at the waterproof taping inside the jacket. Although the fabric itself is breathable the taping is not, so if the taping is wide and the jacket has a lot of seams the breathable surface area is significantly reduced therefore reducing the jackets breathability.

Membrane jackets unlike Paramo generally will pack down small and can easily fit into the top of your rucksack without adding a huge amount of extra weight. Membrane jackets tend to be more actively cut enabling large range of movement when you need it the most, meaning they are great for activities like climbing, cycling or anything where range of movement is essential.

As you can see both Paramo and membrane jackets will provide you with extremely good protection from the elements whatever the activity you are enjoying. The systems are both very different and it will depend on what you want from your jacket as to which you will lean towards. In store we have a wide range of both products and can talk you through some of the points that we haven't had time to mention above.