There has been a sum total of one piece of outdoor apparel which Jodie (seen modelling above on a cold day at the beach) has been willing to shell out my hard-earned money on, and the Velez Adventure Smock is it.
She’s very picky, you see, and a jacket has to be really quite special to make it to her Narnia-like wardrobe full-time, because to allow a jacket in is to deny a dress or something slinky the coveted space.
When I presented the Velez to her for a long-term test, she was non-plussed and doubted that it was as waterproof as I was claiming. She didn’t understand the twin belly-zips and didn’t want to pull things over her head to get them on. But it grew on her the more she wore it.
Slinging it on at 6am on a wet and windy wednesday to walk the hound it became a firm friend. She was won over by the mind-bending waterproofing of Paramo’s Analogy materials (put something wet on underneath the Velez and it’ll suck the water out to dry you off – wierd!) and more importantly, the girlieness of the fit. She enjoyed wearing it and got used to the belly-zips – more importantly, she found the cosy pockets which are hidden inside them – and didn’t mind pulling it over her hair because the hood was warm, close-fitting and comfortable.
The finish of the Velez is great. Paramo have used decent quality zips and poppers, and the bungee closures at neck and waist are easy to use one-handed when being pulled along by a rabid pooch.
For adventure racers (or mere mortals with maps) there’s an OS-sized map pocket on the front with a rainproof flap,
The Analogy materials used in the Velez comprise of a soft, satin-like inner fabric which feels pleasant against bare skin and smooth over base-layers. The outer layer is a soft-shell which makes a gentle swishing sound as you move around. Together they’re quite warm – far more so than a simple waterproof jacket, but less so than an insulated coat. Jodie thought it’d be fine for spring or autumn, and by virtue of the large belly-zips and long neck-zip you get plenty of ventilation when the temperature climbs. It’s a little too warm for a hot sunny day though.
At £190 this is a serious piece of gear. But for your investment you get Paramo’s lifetime guarantee, and because their fabrics don’t rely on plastic membranes for waterproofing, you can stick pins in them and not get wet.
A final quote from Jodie “It’s worth it because I don’t think you’d need another coat”. How’s that for praise?
SUMMARY: The Velez Adventure Smock is a good-looking, incredibly waterproof and well-fitting jacket which we think would be perfect for hill-walking, days out or general wear. Build-quality is excellent and with a lifetime guarantee it’s a real investment piece. It’s the only piece of gear which Jodie has been happy to spend my money on so far.
Price: £190 rrp – from £150 online
From: Google Shopping
More info: Paramo
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