Question: Whilst slogging up Snowdon in big wind and horizontal rain I got wet. No great surprise but i thought that Paramo gear was waterproof. The water balled and ran off to begin with but the material eventually wetted out and my base layer, then me, got wet. What went wrong? Thanks.
The name is Gear, Richard 'Alternative Waterproof Clothing Systems'
Gear, which is a bit of a mouthfull to say the least, so let's just
stick to Richard. As far as Paramo goes, the way it works means it has
various strengths and weakness compared to more conventional waterproof
In fact by some lab tests, Paramo isn't strictly
waterproof as it lets in water under pressure - if for example, you
lean hard against a wet wall with your elbow or shoulder, the pressure
can force water through the outer fabric and the pump liner making you
Having said that, in my experience, Paramo is effectively waterproof,
however it does need regular maintenance to continue to work. That
means washing with Nikwax Tec Wash followed by reproofing with proofing
using TX Direct wash-in waterproofing.
If the fabric gets dirty or the DWR starts to wear out, the jacket will
lose some of its water repellancy. Paramo recommends washing like this
every 4-8 weeks of regular wear and reproofing every 6-12 months.
It sounds like your jacket may need at least washing and possibly
reproofing as well. There is a further measure you can take, which may
help if your jacket has a lot of ingrained dirt. Because Tech-Wash is
pure soap based, it doesn't clean as well as general washing
detergents, to remove ingrained dirt, wash using your normal detergent
then rewash in Tech-Wash before reproofing.
Normally you shouldn't use ordinary washing powders and liquid because
they compromise the water repellancy of the garment, but washing it in
Nikwax afterwards will remove any trace residue. Once treated by either
method, water should bead and run off the outer face of the garment.
You can find care instructions at www.paramo.co.uk.
Normal waterproofs remain waterproof even if the DWR has failed, but
Paramo is more sensitive because of the way it works so don't skimp on