I’ve been knocking around in my own Velez Adventure Lite Smock for a year or three and, despite having a sizeable collection of jackets (it goes with the job…) I’ve yet to be talked out of it.

There’s nothing quite like Páramo gear. No, it’s not particularly light; yes, it’s bulky. No, it’s not notably fashionable; yes, its low dangling cords can be pinged into your face by a giggling three-year-old. Little, however, comes close in terms of breathability and comfort (Polartec Neoshell, the closest I’ve found, doesn’t dip into this price range). The VALS is the only smock-style top submitted and is priced at the top end of this feature’s scale. Some manufacturers price their products at one level, then sell them at half that, undermining public perception of the brand. Not Páramo. Don’t be put off: the price reflects quality and performance; you get what you pay for.

Nikwax fabrics are weighty but, though running warmer than most, they’re also exceptionally breathable and therefore all-day comfortable. The Velez’s hood cinches in nicely, though movement could be improved a tad. The front pouch will hold everything except the kitchen sink. I’m never tempted to use the inner pocket, located within the top’s side venting zips, though the way to go with that is to thread your pack belt through the pocket so it doesn’t obstruct it; if the two-way side zips were three-way you could leave it that way all day.