Review: Paramo Torres Overlayering Core and Sleeves

Paramo Torres Overlayering Core and Sleeves

“I honestly can’t tell you of any fault or major gripe I have with the Paramo Torres core and sleeves. They’ve surprised me no end and proven to be extremely versatile.”

Now, I’ll be the first to admit than when the Paramo Torres Overlayering Core and Sleeves landed on my doormat a few months back I did have a wee chuckle to myself. Quite simply they looked a bit daft. The core jacket itself isn’t something the fashion concious amongst us would be too pleased to be dressed in for starters.

Alas, never – never – judge a book by it’s cover so the saying goes.

If gear could take on a life of it’s own and throw eggs in my face, I’ve no doubt that these intriguing garments would’ve have done exactly that after I first inspected them with some considerable indifference.

Quite simply, what you have here are highly water resistant insulating layers that you can easily take on or off in a few seconds when needs be when you’re out on the hills and moors – the idea being you dress in the core and sleeves when it’s impractical to change into mid-layers when on the move.

I’ve got to be honest and say I’ve never found such situations to be a major problem. You just deal with it don’t you? So, the idea behind this clothing system did raise a smile on my face and I didn’t take it at all very seriously.

However, as is often the case once you’re out in the field and trying kit out that’s when it all becomes clear in terms of use and performance.

The Paramo Torres core and sleeves have been out with me on every trip since the end of last October and have proven to be an absolute revelation!

Not only have they proven easy to pull on and take off, but they really have saved me the hassle over the past winter of having to change my mid-layers. More often than not I actually kept the core and sleeves on for most of the day! They keep the wind out well and more importantly give you instant warmth when on the go or at rest stops.

Often I’ll be standing about for hours waiting for that ‘special view’ when filming, and this new Paramo system has taken the hassle of reaching into my rucksack and rummaging around for a down jacket or fleece. Even in heavy prolonged spells of rain the core and sleeves have exceeded all expectations and stayed dry.

The core jacket itself contains approximately 133g of synthetic fill which in itself has been treated to be water-repellent. Paramo claim the fill is ‘down-like’ which it is to a degree, even when compressed for hours at a time it lofts in seconds. The outer shell is windproof and breathable too along with being highly water-resistant. So the combination of silky smooth light fabrics and fill, all adds up to garments that are low bulk with a great warmth to weight ratio.

Not only a water resistant outer but even the synthetic fill is adverse to moisture too.

Now don’t get me wrong, the garments don’t pack as small as any down equivalent but as we all know down is susceptible to underperforming in damp conditions where as synthetic fills aren’t – so given this factor and a favourable price Paramo I think may well be onto something here.

The core jacket also contains a large helmet friendly and adjustable hood, deep warming pockets on the outside and a large map friendly zipped pocket on the inner. Cuffs at the wrist and around your shoulder where the sleeves overlap are elasticated to keep out any chilly winds and consequently trap the heat you’re generating or trying to retain within. The main opening is a two way zip with a large storm flap for protection and you also get a close fitting hem at the waist.

Incidentally, the jacket doesn’t sit too high up your back either so even if you bend over and inadvertently reveal your ‘builder’s arse’ you’re still protected from the elements.

The sleeves themselves can be a little tricky to slip on in high winds though. You only have a thin stip of fabric between the two arms and this can twist about a fair bit so when you finally slide your arms through you may feel a slight crook in the neck. With a little care it shouldn’t be too problematic.

The sleeves also have have cord at the shoulders, so you can cinch them in tight if needs be though I’ve never bothered to.

Not once has this combination of garments become sodden either which is testament to Paramo’s excellent Nikwax Analogies. They’ve always proven to be quick drying so don’t worry too much about wearing them in inclement weather for hours on end (can’t say that about down jackets in general eh?). I’m not too sure how climbers will feel about the core and sleeves but they are ideal for them on long days out climbing. But as for us backpackers and day hikers it’s an excellent concept and one I do hope does extremely well.

Feeling a little warm at camp? No problem, just slip the sleeves off.

Trap that heat! Where you need cinching, you’ll find it. Waist, back of the hood and around your face.

Backpackers love versatile kit, no? Well the core and sleeves is certainly versatile.

That’s handy! (sarcasm). Zips are easily dealt with when wearing gloves.

PROS

  • – Great warmth to weight ratio for a synthetic
  • – Practically waterproof; highly water-resistant outer shell and water repellent synthetic fill and quick drying
  • – Fantastic concept with great versatility
  • – Ideal garments for any activity which may involve periods of sustained low temperatures
  • – Can be machine washed and treated with Nikwax TX Direct Wash-In®
  • – Easily slips on over other garments you might be wearing such as waterproof jackets

CONS

  • – Despite the silky smooth outer fabric/shell it can rustle a little when on the move
  • – Some may dislike the elasticated cuffs and prefer velcro closed ones instead
  • – Doesn’t pack down as small as down insulated clothing. But at least the Torres core and sleeves are not compromised by damp or wet conditions.
  • – Non-detachable hood. I don’t find this an issue in winter but some may prefer the option of removal

TORRES CORE RRP £115
Paramo’s average weight 514g.
On my scales for a size large, 533g.

TORRES SLEEVES RRP £60
Paramo’s average weight 226g.
On my scales for a size large, 252g.

I honestly can’t tell you of any fault or major gripe I have with the Paramo Torres core and sleeves. They’ve surprised me no end and proven to be extremely versatile. Be it for rest stops and some quick warmth, or lounging around at camp or nestling by crags with my video camera waiting patiently for the scenes to evolve in front of me. I’ve even worn them to bed at night at camp to boost the rating of the odd sleeping bag. Walking along I may stop by a wall and pull off the sleeves to cool down a little and place them in a side pocket or mesh panel on my pack. The versatility is top drawer.

I suppose you could use them in the summer months with nothing more than just a simple shirt or baselayer on underneath, but then you’d have to justify the bulk in warmer climes in truth.

In a word the core and sleeves are brilliant. I feel quite ashamed now looking back at how I baulked at the concept of these products. Lesson learnt. Never judge a book by it’s cover.

No messing – just drop ya pack, pull on the core and sleeves whatever the weather. Instant warmth.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s