About 3 years ago, maybe 4, i went out of my way to track down a Paramo Adventure light smock in bottle green. I phoned around and eventually found one at Whalley Lancashire. When i got there i was told that the one in store had actually been sold but the assistant hadn’t realised it at the time.
However, after a bit of pleading i managed to buy it. I was over the moon.
My joy didn’t last long, maybe 6 months, when on a particularly wet day the left sleeve area started to leak, slowly at first until within a couple of hours my left arm base layer was wet through.
I was disappointed especially after the trouble i went to get the thing and at a cost of £180.
What was needed i thought was a reproofing. Which i did using the washing machine and low heat tumble dry method. It didn’t work. The left sleeve still leaked just as badly as if i hadn’t made any effort. Weird.
Now i have since read numerous accounts of Paramo leaking to the point of saturation and folk being highly disgruntled to say the least. And quite right i think.
One of the main points to come out of all this reading was that your washing machine must bear no trace of soap from previous washes and the garment must be cleaned with tech wash etc etc.
So not one to give up i decided to do it all by the book. I bought washing machine cleaner, tech wash, new TX direct and set about carefully cleaning the soap box and the inlet pipe and rinsed it all thoroughly a couple of times. Then i cleaned the jacket with Tech wash and rinsed it twice. Then reproofed it and dried it with low heat tumbling.
Yep you have guessed. The left sleeve still leaked. Why just the left sleeve you may well ask. And the answer is ineffable.
I gave up with Paramo. It was unreliable and also seems to have quite an early wetting out time in comparison to other jackets i possess. It stayed in the wardrobe most months and only came out if it was a bitterly cold day with no rain forecast. I thought it a real shame as i do like the feel of Paramo and enjoy wearing it and praise it’s breathability.
What annoy's me more than anything is that some people absolutely swear by it. So why do some people find it fantastic and others find it poor? I just don’t get it and wish i had an answer because it’s £180 almost wasted.
About Mid November 2013 Sheila and i had been out for a day hike and our overtrousers were very muddy, so when i got home i soaked them in the car cleaning bucket in just warm water and left them there until the next day. After a couple of quick swills under the tap i thought it prudent to re-proof them while they were clean and wet.
I still had plenty of TX direct left and put about 50% more TX direct into the bucket of water than was instructed on the container. Well overtrousers take a bit of a bashing so i thought it would be ok.
I left them soaking for about 1/2 hr and then put them up on the line and let them dry.
The bucket was still half full of the mix and so chucked in a pair of gloves. I then thought “what about that Paramo jacket”, so i chucked that in as well. Giving it a good soaking and leaving it to sit for about 10 minutes, i then just hung it on the line.
Moving on a month or so….
The last couple of days have been very wet as all of you who read this will be aware. The UK being battered at the moment with heavy rain and high winds. Time to get the Paramo out and go for a local walk where it doesn’t matter if i get soaked or not because at worst i would only be an hour away from home. Well it rained and it battered the trees and the noise was quite deafening at times.
I was waiting for that tell tale cold arm as the jacket wetted out and water started to fill up my gloves but it never happened. Water just beaded off, except for one part of the flap which covers the chest pocket zip. I was amazed. I just couldn’t believe it, i kept checking my left sleeve for wet patches and nothing, so i stayed out longer just to see at what point it soaked through. It never did and the rain came down even harder as i walked home.
I didn’t wash the bucket out, i didn’t clean the jacket, i put too much mix into the water, i didn’t tumble dry it and it all seems to have worked.
Paramo is an enigma. I wish i understood it. Anyway lets hope all is ok on its next outing which will be another day hike, i still don’t trust it enough yet for anything longer.