Cult walking brand Paramo has been hard at work and is looking well, more contemporary.
Yes, you read that right. Paramo has developed a cult following for its unusual but highly effective Analogy waterproof clothing system, but style has never really been on the brand's agenda, well, until now that is with new jacket designs for this autumn and next spring looking distinctly more contemporary.
Heavier Versions Of Mirada And Quito Jackets
You read that right too. For this autumn 2012, Paramo has two new jackets, the Andina and the Pasco based on existing Analogy Light designs the Mirada for women and the men's Quito Jacket. The idea is that while those jackets are aimed at fast-moving types like bikers, runners and folk who love the feel of wind in their armpits, the new versions are made of standard-weight Analogy to suit users who want a more robust, if slightly heavier jacket but with the shorter, closer cut.
That's particularly true of the Andina, which is based on the rather lovely women's Mirada Jacket with it's contoured, closer-fitting lines and neatly positioned pockets. It really is mostly about increased durability, weighht savings are reasonable too however: the Pasco weighs in at 657g, while the original Quito is 500g and the figures for the Andina and the Mirada are 634g and 491g.
Both the new jackets are out this October priced at £220. Full specs on the Paramo web site: Andina / Pasco.
New Funkier Walking Jackets
The Mirada was arguably the first of a new generation of more modern Paramo jackets and the same approach has been taken with the jackets which Paramo says are 'the next generation Cascada'. That was a pretty fusty old thing with dated styling, but the new men's Helki Jacket and women's Tula Jacket are a different beast.
Men's Helki Jacket
The Helki is the men's version and it looks, well, ace actually. At first sight, we thought it was an insulated jacket, it has that clean, seamless sort of look, but it's made from Analogy with clean, unfussy lines and cut much shorter than the Cascada. It's lighter too.
It has colour-contrasting zips - red on blue in this case - a single chest pocket and two hand-warmer pockets inside which are the hidden adjusters for the waist cord. Inside, there's a new mesh-based pump liner on the back area - the Andina and Mirada have this too - which improves performance in the area without added weight and finally, the hood is an uprated one, with a laminated and wired, stiffer peak.
Above all though, it looks great. If you're a current Paramo user, that probably won't bother you, but if you've always been put off by the fusty styling and loose cut, it could be a game changer.
Women's Tula Jacket
If you're expecting a slightly tweaked Helki, you'd be wrong. The Tula Jacket has been properly styled to appeal to more fashion-aware, younger women. Just look at the pictures. It's cut much longer than the men's jacket with a distinctive, fashiony flare to the hip area.
It's till Analogy and it still has all the functional touches you'd expect, it's just that it looks great as well. It possibly won't appeal to the traditional Paramo user, but that's not really the point - it's aimed at those who right now wouldn't buy the brand on the basis of its aesthetics.
We reckon it's a great call and hopefully it will pay off. Both jackets should be in the shops just before Christmas with a price tag of £230.
Base Layers Tweaked
Last but not least, Paramo's cold weather Grid range gets an addition for winter in the shape of Grid long johns - Paramo's design is worn microgrid side out, which means it's warm when covered with a shell layer, but loses heat fast when exposed to air flow. There are also new Grid colours, er, black, but also 'flame', a rich red and 'cobalt', a blue.
Finally, the reversible Cambria base layers get a new fabric for next year. They're still reversible for better cooling or insulation depending on your preference, but the new fabric is - and we quote - 'a little more robust than the original Cambria material'', which sounds good to us.
Great to see Paramo moving forwards and potentially widening their appeal. You can find more Paramo information at www.paramo.co.uk.