Cards on the table, this is a jacket that doesn’t fit neatly into the same box as other ‘lightweight waterproof shell jackets’. The Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock runs heavier and a bit warmer than many other waterproofs designed for use in less chilly conditions thanks to its unique structure and the complexity of the Nikwax Analogy Light fabric which functions very differently from traditional membrane-driven waterproof fabrics. The result is a jacket that works best when worn all-day, rather than stuffed in a bag ‘just in case’. On long, persistently soggy hikes this is the jacket I want to be wearing thanks to the brilliant breathability and active moisture transport of the fabric. It keeps the wearer genuinely dry, with no fear of sweat build-up. The side zips on the smock-style jacket double as extra ventilation too, for when the effort ramps up. It’s also perfectly suitable for year-round use, with the right layering underneath.

Lara Dunn Highly Recommends

For £250, you’re getting a jacket that you can count on for many many years to come, making it well worth the investment.
  • Highly breathable
  • Tough
  • Ethical and green
  • Easy to care for
  • Heavy
  • Warm and bulky
Quick specs
Price: £250
Weight: 595g (size L)
Materials: Nikwax Analogy Light fabric with PFC free DWR
Hood: Stiffly wired with comprehensive volume adjustment
Front closure: (zip, studs, storm flap?)
Underarm/side zips: Torso side zips and press studs
Pockets: 2 – one internal, one external  
Hem: Drawcord adjuster
Cuffs: Velcro
Sizes: XS-XL
Women’s/Men’s version: Women’s (Men’s direct equivalent available)

The fit of the Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock is on the roomy side, but not over-baggy (I wouldn’t size down), although the cuffs (which fasten with Velcro) take a bit of cinching in. The hood features a heavy-duty wire in the peak, and plenty of adjustment, again lending the jacket to prolonged bad weather use. The large front kangaroo pocket is mirrored by one inside that has a zip at either end.

Aside from its excellent breathability and the comfort offered by the soft, silky (non-crinkly) fabric, this jacket also flies the flag for genuine sustainability. Not only is the fabric durable and tough anyway, but it’s actively designed to be washed and maintained to optimal levels of performance using the products of companion company Nikwax. Regular washing and re-proofing means that this jacket could very easily last decades. Paramo also uses guaranteed Fair Trade manufacture in Colombia and their products are fully recyclable through Paramo, with a financial incentive – money off future purchases- to send back their products. 

For £250, the Paramo Velez Adventure Light Smock is a jacket that you can count on for many many years to come, making it well worth the investment.

Reviewed and tested by Lara Dunn in 2024

Lara wore this jacket during wet autumn and winter conditions on a variety of walks – with and without a pack – in the Malvern Hills, Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains. She usually takes a high street size 14, sometimes 16 and is 5’5” tall.