Dave Roberts Reviews the Paramo Quito Jacket in glorious orange, with an update of how well the jacket is performing FIVE YEARS later.
Having run all winter in a black Paramo Adventure Light Smock, in the dark may I add, I had to get hold of one that made me a bit more visible. While running in black wind-proof trews, smock and balaclava seems like a hoot, the magistrates weren’t overly impressed and I’m sure the tag makes me run a bit heavier on the right leg. I couldn’t get hold of the elusive yellow edition of the Velez smock, so went for the Paramo Quito Jacket instead.
The Paramo Quito Jacket is, for Paramo, a very lightweight offering at 500g and an ideal choice for lightweight backpacking as well as for those of us who like to partake in multiple sports. Paramo tout it as a cycling jacket, which is fine if you don’t want a scooped tail as it is a short jacket. It’s also a warm choice compared to a Gore-Tex or eVent shell, and I’d wear it with the lightest possible base-layer during spring and autumn runs, or for those wet summer walks, where it’s still slightly too warm but better than getting wet! Obviously, being a jacket, you can vent it fully which is useful on runs, but of course not much help if it’s pouring with rain. There are also some huge pit vents, which are effective if so large that I catch my hand in them while running.
When it does rain in the UK summer,it also tends to be rather cool in the hills. I don’t remember ever walking in the hills in the summer, in the rain and thinking that it was warm. With the wind chill and the rain, it tends to be cool and miserable, and so the extra insulation in the Quito is welcome. This spring, it was often too cold to use it with just a base-layer on Snowdon in the early evening, a mistake I managed to repeat a few times!
If you do compare this to a lighter jacket, then you do need to consider what you get for the extra weight. It’s Paramo, so you get a warmer garment, for good or bad, depending on what you want to use it for. There’s also all the features you expect on a walking jacket, from a fully functional and effective hood to the adjustable wrist straps
The jacket is constructed from lightweight Nikwax Analogy Light fabric, and feels flimsy. I wouldn’t risk it with barbed wire, but from my experience with the fabric over the last two years, both shell and trouser, it’s much more durable than you’d expect. The Velez Adventure Light Smock in the same material has been well worn on walks as well as severely abused as a running jacket on almost every run I did last winter, so it’s fair to say has been well tested.
While we really didn’t get along with the Quito Trews, we were a bit worried that these might also lack pockets. But thankfully there’s a couple of inner chest pockets, which is all I ask for! They’re just large enough to keep my mobile, some money, gels and keys as most of my running shorts lack pockets, as do my winter running wind-proof trews. If you really need a large pocket for an OS map, then you’ll be disappointed. You can squeeze a Harvey’s Mountain Map in there though but not a lot more.
Unsurprisingly, I went for the orange jacket – and quite colourful it is, but you’re limited to this choice for a running jacket. Even then it’s only highish-viz. But maybe that’s no bad thing, as a yellow hi-viz jacket may not be the best visual choice for hill walking. I was ‘lucky’ enough to find one in the discontinued orange or Butternut colour, with the equivalent runner’s colour now the brighter Citrus/Rock.
Personally, I think this is as good as it gets for my specific needs. Whilst no single garment is going to excel all year round, for all activities, this comes close enough. I can use it for running in the rain, as well as walking up hills for three seasons out of the year, with my winter gear seeing to the fourth season. As an added bonus, it’s orange, so bound to get the Mud and Routes 5* Seal of Approval!
Here’s what Paramo have to say about it:
Long Long Long term review – How’s the Paramo Quito Five Years Later?
You don’t often find follow ups to reviews, especially not after five years. Howver, the Paramo Quito Jacket is still going strong! It’s my go-to jacket for winter running and is a handy jacket to keep in the pack for warmish weather walks. While the fabric is thin, we can vouch that it is very strong. It survived a night run face plant onto tarmac which put me out of action for a few weeks with only the tiniest of holes, lesser jackets would have been torn wide open. The only thing we don’t like is the pit-zips, which if you pull them down tend to scrape against your hands while running. However, if we pull the zips to the middle, then this isn’t a problem.
So we can still recommend the Paramo Quito jacket for those looking for an all round active jacket, though it is no longer available in vivid orange.