Please find Paul’s Paramo Parameta G Products Review below. If there is one positive thing the latest national lockdown has provided it is plenty of time to test these products for varied activities in varied conditions! Paul also explains about Paramo’s superb ethical manufacturing history. We really hope you’ll find it useful.
***If you like the sound of the Paramo Neckwarmer please be sure to enter our latest Friendly Friendly Giveaway here***
Over the last few months some Paramo Parameta G products have been a constant companion on my local adventures. This has included a beanie and neckwarmer. I’ve used them for mountain biking, climbing, hillwalking and some very snowy local mountaineering. Here are my findings on this innovative fabric.
This won’t really take long! After all, as well as they perform, it is quite rightly the Parameta G fabric that’s the star of this show. Don’t get me wrong though, these are well designed and beautifully constructed products.
The neckwarmer is a tube of Parameta G fabric that comes in either a small/medium size at 25cm length or L/XL size at 28cm length. They come in a range of nice colours and, as expected, they provide a comfortable and snug fit. They are constructed with flat seams.
The beanie is a classic beanie style hat combining Parameta G outer fabric with a stretch fleece lining. It is designed to fit under a helmet if required. It is long enough to pull over the ears and yet can be rolled up if you want to wear it higher. Again, the beanie is really well made with flat lock seams.
So, they are simple designs and yet a hat and neckwarmer is at its best when it is kept simple. One final thing that is very noticeable on both products is a distinctive grid pattern on the fabric. This is key to what we explain next.
Parameta G Fabric
And so to the fabric. This is really where Paramo products have always stood out from the mainstream. The companies focus has always been on fabrics that offer ‘directionality’. Directionality in fabric means, as the Paramo website explains, ‘the ability of the fabric or the fabric system to move liquid water to where you want it’.
The way it works follows a different and yet related principle to many technical fabrics. Water dissolves in air to form moisture vapour. To remain comfortable we then really want this moist air to be moved from near the skin to the outside of our clothing layers. Many technical fabrics address this by moisture vapour transmission. This might be by shifting the vapour from the inner to outer through the fabric or, as in breathable shell layers, pushing it through a vapour permeable membrane.
Paramo fabrics focus on moving the liquid in liquid form rather than in vapour form. Why? The reason is liquid water occupies so much less space than water vapour. Paramo explain that even fully water saturated air at 20 degrees centigrade contains less than 1/70,000 of the amount of water than the same volume of liquid water. So, in simple terms, it is far more efficient to move water as liquid rather than as vapour.
That’s the principle behind Parameta G. It is a directional polyester fabric which can provide either cooling or insulation when needed. The fabric wicks very effectively by spreading perspiration over a large area and drying out rapidly. At the same time, the obvious raised grid pattern that we mentioned above traps air for insulation when covered with a windproof layer. Conversely, when worn alone it allows air to circulate next to the skin for cooling. Clever.
So, to the nitty gritty of my Paramo parameta G products review. How does the fabrics and products perform? well, it really works! Over the last few months, given the lockdown chaos, our focus has really been local adventures. That’s really been gritstone bouldering, mountain biking and hillwalking combined with some snowy mountaineering when the conditions allowed. The weather has ranged widely. Very occasionally, the sun has poked its head out for a few minutes too.
The neckwarmer has become my almost constant companion for all activities during this time. The beanie has also been widely used for hillwalking and bouldering. Both products perform superbly.
For bouldering in frigid conditions it has been great to keep the neckwarmer well tucked up around the neck and then the neck of a windproof jacket zipped up to protect the neck. This works really well. When you get a bit warm you then just open the jacket zip and the excess heat soon vents.
The hat, with it’s extra layer of fleece, is very cosy. The fleece adds an element of wind resistance and yet it still vents well. We had a very chilly local snowy mountaineering adventure recently and the hat under my helmet was toasty, especially when pulled down over my ears.
For my Paramo Parameta G products review the one test it has been trickier to fully evaluate, in a British winter, is how Parameta copes with cooling in very warm conditions. I’ve certainly generated a fair bit of heat on some mountain bike rides and it’s felt very comfortable. I see no reason it won’t cope well when the temps really rise.
The other key feature that stands out with Parameta is how quickly it dries. After almost all recent adventures I’ve come back with a mountain of wet kit. It really only seems to take a short time in the drying room for the Parameta products to be fully dry. This is a key consideration if you are heading out for multi-day adventures.
Finally, with any fleece type fabric a question I always consider is how durable it will be. This is especially important when rubbing against other layers or, in my case at least, a stubbly chin. So far, after a few months of regular use, the fabrics look as good as new. There is no furring up or snags at all.
Miquelina Fair Trade Certified Production
There is another key feature of these products that’s well worth highlighting. Since 1992 Paramo have worked in partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Bogata, Columbia. The Foundation is Fair Trade Certified and provides opportunities for vulnerable people. In particular, their focus is women at risk of prostitution and drugs. The foundation offers training, employment, homes and childcare. Currently, and this is amazing, over 80% of Paramo’s annual production occurs at Miquelina. Bravo Paramo. Please do read about Paramo’s involvement with the foundation here and Paramo founder Nick Brown talks to Mpora about the foundation here. By the way, we also talked about Nick in our Environmental Superheroes article here.
Before testing these products I was aware of Paramo’s directionality technology, but had little personal experience of it. As my Paramo Parameta G products review shows these products have performed superbly. I’ve become a big fan.
Both products have kept me warm and dry during a range of activities. They also seem to live up to the claims they will be comfortable in hotter conditions. Most of the activities I do are very stop/start and swing from high heat output to static. The ability to change to adjust the insulation level is key. I’ve found the combo of the Parameta G fabric with a windproof outer layer that can be adjusted is unbeatable for so many situations.
The other stand out is that the products are superbly made. Beautifully stitched with no dangly stitch endings. Maybe that’s the Miquelina factor?! The Neckwarmer retails for £20 and the beanie for £22. Full details on Parameta G products and technology are available on the Paramo website here.