If you’re looking for a balance of lightweight and breathability – the Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock is one option. Perhaps it isn’t a lightweight option once you consider that it weighs in about 600g, but it’s certainly breathable.
Constructed from Nikwax Analogy Light, this offers the same performance as the rest of the Paramo range. That is, it is much more breathable than the ‘other’ type of waterproofs as they utilise the Directional® fabrics that draw moisture away from the skin to the outside of your garment. So you’ll never have a build up of sweat inside, but I’ve found that the sweat does wick out at the sleeves presumably due to the arm movements. From the Paramo website:
Nikwax Analogy® got its name because of the way it mimics animal fur in providing both insulation and water-shedding which works in all conditions.
In the same way that seals, otters and bears keep warm in very wet conditions, the Nikwax Analogy® Pump Liner pushes liquid outwards to keep you warm and dry inside.
However, marketing blurb is one thing, and it seems that every company selling waterproof gear will extol its virtues. In six years I’ve managed to own 4 Paramo coats, all of which are still serviceable and in very good condition for their age. And for what it’s worth – it really does wick the sweat away.
The Velez Adventure Light Smock was a further step by Paramo into lighter garments as they do tend to be on the warm and heavy side. In fairness, a Paramo jacket will be the rough equivalent of your usual waterproof and a thin fleece, so the weight works out reasonable. The fabric did initially feel extremely flimsy, and when I went shopping for this item, once I felt it I baulked. No way will that survive the rigour of pack straps and countless trips. I did relent, though with much trepidation.
Fortunately, I was quite wrong about the fabric. It’s proven itself to be quite durable and shows very little wear and tear over 18 months heavy use. It’s been on backpacks in Scotland, runs in the rain and mountain bike trips and kept me largely warm and dry. The front pocket is spacious and the zip-vents on the sides help in cooling. Over the course of two utterly woeful summers, it’s never been too warm to wear in the rain.
Overall though, the Analogy Light garments provide an excellent all weather option for spring through to autumn, and are designed to be worn rather than bundled in the pack.
Summary: Lighter version of your usual Paramo Gear at a lighter weight.But if ever we see another, then it’ll probably be too warm for what was once known as the summer.