Paramo Torres Smock Tested

Paramo's take on the insulated overlayering belay jacket concept put to the test.

Posted: 7 December 2009
by Jon

Paramo Torres Smock - Review

Paramo Torres Smock

Price: £100

Weight: 800 grammes (medium)

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 Windproof outer.

What's It For?

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.

The Techy Bits

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 repels water.

Paramo Torres Smock

Paramo says you can use wash-in Nikwax TX-10 water repellent to increase water resistance further and it's certainly something we'd consider doing.

How It Performed

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 say.

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.

Paramo Torres Smock

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 solidification.

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.

Paramo Torres Smock

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 back.

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.

Buy if 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.

 Easy to pull on, instant warmth, still works well even when damp, nice insulated handwarmer pocket.

  Slightly short, boxy cut won't suit everyone, doesn't pack as small as lighter equivalents.



Paramo web site

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Discuss this story

I like this jacket but its inner lining is falling apart and its not had that much use- has anyone else had issues with this?

Posted: 08/12/2009 at 09:00

return it to paramo. it has a lifetime warranty.

Posted: 08/12/2009 at 13:46

Details of Paramo  Lifetime Guarantee and how to return garments

Posted: 08/12/2009 at 14:06

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