Despite the fact that the last 10 days have been scorchingly hot during the day, my calendar assures me that it is indeed Autumn and that I am due to be caught unaware by the weather at some point soon. So I’ve been carrying the Paramo Fuera Ascent which is a very lightweight windproof jacket that will keep those unexpected chills at the top of climbs at bay.
And in fact I have needed it on a couple of occasions whilst walking in the local woods because in the shade and with a breeze blowing through there’s been a distinct nip in the air.
The Fuera is composed of a single layer of softly rustling and very densely woven fabric. It’s not an insulating layer, but what it does is cut out the chill from cold air passing over you. And it does that very well indeed.
It’s designed to be worn as an outer layer in the changing seasons, and I’ve been combining it with simple T-shirts during walks. It is a breathable fabric, so will let your sweat out, but the jacket is designed with massive underarm vents to help stop you sweating so much in the first place. These work very well indeed. I managed a couple of miles’ brisk yomp today in mid-20s temperatures with the jacket on, but fully unzipped, and never felt too clammy.
Like all Paramo outer layers, the Fuera is waterproof to some degree – although on the Fuera will only see off a light shower and is sold as a windproof and not waterproof layer – and treated with Nikwax which is a renewable treatment. I can also vouch that the material is so densely woven that it fairs very well in brambles and doesn’t end up getting snagged and pulled all over.
Design wise, the jacket is quite simple but purposeful. There are two large pockets to keep hands out of the wind, or stash wallets, and the zippers on these are chunky and firm. The wrist cuffs are a basic Velcro affair which is easy to do up and undo whilst wearing gloves. Nothing too fancy here helps keep the weight down.
The waist is fitted with an elastic drawstring and a slightly elongated rear to avoid those cold draughts up the back when you bend over. It’s not long enough for cycling though.
And the hood is generously proportioned to take a climbing helmet with ease. It has a wired peak and is adjustable via another elastic drawstring. It keeps wind out very well, but still allows you to move around freely.
Paramo sell the Fuera Ascent as a jacket for “Hill and Hike” and “Multi activities”. I think that’s pretty much spot on. It’s the sort of jacket you could stuff into a backpack pocket and rely on when you need it. Those times when you’re caught out and need a modern-day cagoule.
SUMMARY: Really light, easily packable and pretty good-looking. This is a jacket for those days when you need adaptability. Stick it on over a fleece to seal in warmth, or over a T-shirt to keep off the wind and drizzle. Quite pricey, but with brilliant warranty and very good build quality.