Paramo's take on the insulated overlayering belay jacket concept put to the test.
Paramo Torres Smock -
Features: Insulated 'overlayering garment'
filled with moisture-repellent synthetic 135g polyester-based fill,
fully-adjustable fixed food with wired peak, beard
guard at top of two-way zip, storm flap, drop tail, short front cut for
harness use, hem drawcord with single-handed operation, simple Lycra
cuffs, zipped breast pocket, internal mesh storage pockets, insulated
hand-warming kangaroo pocket, Nikwax Analogy Insulator filling, Nikwax
The Torres Smock is Paramo's take on the belay jacket concept. The idea
is that it can be thrown on quickly over all your other clothing for
stops, camps and on belays giving near instant warmth and without
worrying about wet underlayers.
Primaloft is the brand leader in the synthetic insulation market, but
Paramo's own, polyester-based Analogy Insulator filling works in a
similar way. It's water repellent, which makes it great for UK use as
it retains decent insulation levels even when damp and, obviously
Paramo says you can use wash-in Nikwax TX-10 water repellent to
increase water resistance further and it's certainly something we'd
We're big fans of the belay jacket concept for walking as well as
climbing and the Torres Smock is well adapted to either. It's cut big
and wide and that, together with a slippery inside lining, makes it
dead easy to pull on over your other layers, including a shell. That
said, it's not massively bulky in the pack, just about acceptable we'd
The smock is cut short at the front to work with harnesses, which is
good if you're a climber, but for more general use, slightly more
length would be welcome. Likewise, the hood's been designed to work
with a climbing helmet and happily accommodates the editorial Half
Dome, but there's also enough adjustment for bare and hatted heads.
At 800 grammes the Torres isn't light, but the pay-off is that it feels
comfortably warm, even thrown straight over wet outer layers, insulated
kangaroo hand-warmer pockets help there too, keeping hands happy.
There's also a small chest pocket and two internal mesh ones nestling
close to your core - ideal to stop your Mars Bars from sub-zero
When things aren't frozen solid, the synthetic insulation copes with as
well as anything else we've tried. There's no need to worry about
pulling it on in the rain or over a soaking shell layer for that matter
- like other synthetics, it still retains a decent thermal insulation
level even when damp, which is why it's a wiser choice for all-round UK
use than down.
Stock wet weather performance is good, but you can also proof it with
Nikwax TX-10 for even better results. We'll give it a go and report
What else? The hood and neck snug up nicely, hem adjuster is easy to
use and the cuffs with their non-adjustable Lycra closure, are tight
enough not to let the wind in, even on our narrowish wrists.
Effective and warm over-sized synthetic belay jacket that's great for
instant insulation at stops, when it can be thrown over all your other
layers, but can also be worn actively in really cold conditions. Copes
well with dampness and is just about light enough and compact enough to
cart around with you. For walkers, a slightly longer cut would be nice,
but for climbing use, the current version works fine, though some may
prefer a jacket rather than a smock design.
you're looking for a generously cut, damp-conditions friendly belay top
that will work for walking and climbing and is large enough to fit over
Paramo shell clothing, though it works fine with other brands as well.
to pull on, instant warmth, still works well even when
damp, nice insulated handwarmer pocket.
boxy cut won't suit everyone, doesn't pack as small as lighter
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