I'll start like I started my last review; with a disclaimer, that this Paramo Mountain Vent Pull On base layer was sent to me by GO Outdoors to review. I have no vested interest in GO Outdoors, Paramo or the base layer itself other than to share my views and opinions; good, bad or otherwise.
I received email notification that my order was placed on the Friday and I had the top in my hands on the Tuesday. Not to shabby at all for standard delivery. 2 working days. Once in my hands I was impressed with the workmanship. Very good quality, no loose threads or ragged edges. I had only ever seen Paramo shells before as they are popular with a lot of winter walkers in Scotland, so I knew of them but hadn’t realised that they also do a line of base layers. It was never a brand that was on my radar until now.
Having unwrapped the base layer and released it from it’s plastic prison and parcel taped hell. I was impressed the initial feel of the garment. It has a soft smooth almost shiny pile on the outside and nice short fleece velour style pile on the inside. It’s made from Paramo’s own proprierty fabric Parameta S, it’s a reversible fabric, the fleece side against the skin to retain your heat or turn it inside out and wear the smooth side against your body to cool you down.
Probably like all reviewers I’m a bit pedantic and anal so after having a good feel and heft of the top I had a look round at the stitching and general workmanship. To that end it was a very clean top; no missed hems, loose stitches or anything that would catch the eye. Very well put together indeed. I did notice on this first look and nice deep chest zip and push button studs on the cuffs a bit like a dress shirt. It also has a secure chest pocket with a zip closure. It’s only really big enough to hold your mobile phone, spare camera battery, keys and things of that ilk. An extra pocket is always handy though.
I had noticed on the GO Outdoors and on Paramo’s own website had different weights for the base layer. 389 grams and 354 grams respectively so out came my electronic scales; lo and behold, a different weight. 361 grams for the size medium which seems to me to be good and light for a base/mid layer.
After all that there was nothing left to do; off came the t-shirt, well it is marketed as a next to the skin base layer, and on went the top. I felt good and comfortable on. I like the cut of the cloth however I did and still do think the sleeves are a little short for a size medium. I’m not the tallest or smallest. The length of my arm from wrist to shoulder is approximately 52 cm and the cuff sits nicely on my wrist. I have no problem with sleeve riding up due to the articulated shoulders and elbows but I’m not so sure of some one with longer arms will get on as well. One thing I didn’t like is where the vents were on the arms. The zips run down the from of the sleeves over your biceps and every time I bent my arms I could fell them, as obviously the zips are stiffer than then fabric. I think that could get annoying if walking with poles and constantly moving your arms. That or it’s because the top was just new.
It does have something I really like in a base layer or fleece a really high collar. Nothing worse than draft down the back of your neck because there’s a big gaping gap between yir bunnet and your collar. No such trouble with this top. I also liked the scooped tail at the back no worries about exposing your back to the elements.
Having given the top what is now becoming the standard once over and initial indoor test of rolling around the floor, carrying on and playing games with the toddler. Lounging on the couch, drinking beer, watching the football. Hard strenuous but unscientific tests. Well I’ve done that twice now so we can call that the Tookie-start-off-standardTM. I found the base layer more than adequate if a little too warm but the house is warm and chasing around a toddler can be very exhausting. It was time to get the top out into it’s natural a habit, outside.
The only problem I have had with the outdoor testing as been the mildness of the winter here in Scotland. Compared to the last 2 years it has been positively tropical. Not much snow and not much cold if any. Ho Hum but I just have to get on with it. I’ve had the top on at nearly every opportunity, even for trips to the shop not just the wilds of Ayrshire and Lanarkshire.
I’ve worn it as a base layer, as a mid layer and also under a hard shell. However not how Paramo envisaged it being used; As the following quote from their website states, ‘the Paramo Mountain Vent Pull-On has been designed to work 'systemically' with the Paramo Aspira and Alta Directional Waterproof Jackets providing excellent temperature control and breathability. When combined with your jacket, the two garments become a powerful unit which can be quickly adjusted to meet the rigours of terrain and weather.’ Yeah don’t think they want it being paired with a North Face HyVent Alpha hard shell. Oops, but in saying that the top was fine, great in fact. I had no issue it with as a base layer under the shell. Not to hot and not to cold. Which is good as I run warm and usually find as soon as the waterproof layer goes on I start to over heat.
My only real complaint and it is probably just a personal one, is the vents on the sleeves. I just found them annoying as I noticed them when I lift my arms. Maybe I’m just used to venting options being under my arms. It’s not a major thing and something others my not even bother about. It’s a good quality top and does what Paramo states, ‘next to skin’ garments for mountain activities. Offering exceptional comfort and function. I’ll continue to wear it and hope it gets colder so I can test it properly.