As part of of The Great Outdoors’ November 2020 review of women’s waterproof jackets, Judy Armstrong reviews the Paramo Women’s Ventura Jacket

If I’m heading for a long, wet day in the hills, I grab a Páramo waterproof jacket. It is simply the most reliable way to stay dry, with Nikwax Analogy dealing with both rain and perspiration. But if I’m carrying a waterproof in case it rains, I take a 3-layer because Páramo jackets are significantly heavier and bulkier in a rucksack.

The Paramo Women’s Ventura Jacket, which has been around since 2014, has a neat cut, dropping to mid-thigh, with a two-way zip. Panels under the arms, across the back and down the sides have a modicum of horizontal stretch that works well when I’m reaching for scrambling or climbing. Zipped venting is minimal, on the upper arms and lined with mesh; I found these less effective than the usual open vents. The lining mixes solid and open mesh panels, aiding moisture movement.

The pockets are superb: sides high enough to clear a hipbelt and climbing harness, three on the chest (inside and out), and an odd, small one on the left arm. The hood is adjustable at back and sides, although I could not reduce the volume to prevent the wired peak flopping over my face (problem solved by wearing a baseball cap underneath to hold the peak up). Peripheral vision is good, and that soft, quiet fabric makes all the difference when it’s wedged against ears.

Other ticks: PFC-free DWR, Fairtrade, recyclable through Páramo. A great jacket for consistently foul weather (assuming use of a cap), although warm/heavy in less severe conditions.

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