If you do much walking in horrible weather (there’s plenty to go around in Scotland), then one of my sincerest recommendations is Paramo gear. This is a totally unique style of outdoor clothing that is extremely well suited to climates like we have in the UK. Rather than ‘breathing’ like traditional so-called waterproofs, the construction of the material actively ‘pumps’ water away from the body. This means it dries very quickly and is extremely breathable. The material is also waterproof by default, so you need no extra waterproofs at all: you’re already wearing one. It’s also soft, comfortable and easily repairable. Unlike traditional waterproofs, a tear in the fabric is not a problem. Simply sow it back up, and the garment remains waterproof, since this comes from the actual weave of the fabric and not a ‘shell’ membrane as with something like Gore-Tex.
In the winter I wear their Cascada trousers. These are the total, utter dogs bollocks in cool/cold weather hillwalking trousers. They’re also perfect for tramping across wet, wind swept expanses of the highlands looking for micro trout. They come in around a cool Â£100, which is pretty damn expensive for a pair of trousers. However, these things are a genuine investment as they will last for years and years.
When I’m walking in winter I tend to chuck out sweat like chicken in a foxhole. This means the lovely full-length zips are opened up for ventilation. It’s then a great feeling, upon a water break, to zip them back up and feel the immediate warmth and protection of seriously good gear. Perhaps my favourite thing, however, is that I don’t have to carry any extra waterproof trousers at all. No faffing around, no time-wasting, no-hassle. Lovely stuff. HIGHLY recommended, I really do love these things.
As an example of their longevity, I have been using mine solidly for three winter seasons. They have a multitude of cuts and gashes, all of which have been hand-sown better. The most impressive injury was three enormous gashes on the backside (interesting story there.. try to avoid bum-sliding down steep, rocky hillsides). I emailed Paramo, and had a large patch in two days, complimentary of course. A little careful sowing and they’re good as new (sort of..). Whatever, try that with Gore-Schmex.
The only downside of this clothing, and it might be relevant for fisherfolk, is that the material is warm. By this I mean that wearing one of their jackets is a bit like wearing a traditional waterproof plus a thin fleece. At certain times of the year this is great, but walking a long way in warmish wet weather is going to be sticky. Having said that, ANY clothing system is going to be sticky in that kind of situation. The great thing about Paramo, though, is that when you stop to grab a brew or fish a loch you are automatically warmer, and the windproofing is superb. I think their Cascada or Alta jackets would probably be the perfect hill loch fishing jackets. Decent colours available too.
A final point worth mentioning: many mountain rescue teams in Scotland use Paramo gear by choice, and they should know.
Oh, and the clothes are ethically made and come with a lifetime guarantee.
I’ll stop now…
Loads of reviews at Outdoorsmagic.
Buy yours from Stewart R Cunningham.