Waterproof Jacket

In need of a new jacket. Must withstand being out in the sunny northwest where it never rains. Sorry, where it never stops raining. Heard some great things about the Buffalo range? Not sure whether they are fully waterproof though? Thoughts/suggestions please. 

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  • No Buffalo pile pertex clothing isn't waterproof. If you are walking or running up steep hills getting hot then it dries out from the inside due to your body heat and sort of finds an equilibrium where it's wet on the outside and dry inside. Once you stop and aren't generating the necessary heat though the water comes in and you'll get wet. I use pile pertex in the mountains quite a bit, but I'll always carry a light waterproof as well, incase I'm forced to stop for any reason.

    For work I get on really well with my Paramo jacket. It's always kept me dry regardless of how bad the weather is, and I'm in sunny North Wales so it's been well tested. It's really soft, flexible and comfy to wear. It looks like it should be really easily damaged, but doesn't seem to be at all. And because it doesn't have a membrane in it, you can just sew it if it is damaged, (as long as you sew each layer separately). They're not cheap new, but I picked up a cheap second hand one from ebay and reproofed it with the proper Nikwax TX-Direct wash in proofer that the manufacturer uses. So even if the worst did happen and it gets wrecked, it hasn't cost too much.

    • PRO

      Thanks for that Chris, what Paramo have you got.

      • I have a Paramo Alta jacket (in fact I have 2, one for work and one for on the hill), but I would think that the Cascada would be just as good. The Aspira might be a bit overkill for work, but I think any of them would work fine. I think they bought out one aimed at bushcrafters (Halycon or something like that) which would probably be ideal.

        You do need to wash them regularly in Nikwax Tech wash (NOT washing powder because it strips the proofing off) and I re-proof mine about once a year. When they get really dirty and tech wash doesn't clean it well enough you can use your normal detergent, then wash in tech wash to clean the detergent out, and re-proof.

        You can find good 2nd hand ones on ebay and Paramo themselves also sell their seconds on ebay. When I worked in a climbing shop we found that Paramo could be a bit like Marmite, love it or hate it, so going 2nd hand at first might not be a bad option, especially if you can't find somewhere local to see it in the flesh before you buy. If you go 2nd hand though, wash in tech wash and proof with nikwax, because you never know if the previous owner might have washed it wrong and it need re-proofing.

        • I just bought a Paramo second hand and can vouch for its quality and wearability.
  • So after many years in the business, with fifteen of them in Ireland, I am  the authority on rain.  I walk a lot & for leisure I use Goretex - I have 5 Goretex jackets !  But I simply can't justify or risk a £300 jacket at work.

    I once took a punt on a second hand Aigle Goretex & it proved to be the best jacket that I have ever worn.  But now it's on it's last legs.  I bought a US Army issue new, so called Goretex, parka on ebay & it leaked.  In theory you can renew the water repellentcy  with waxes etc.  In my experience it never gets back to how it was new.  The garment remains waterproof but feels cold/damp & they take ages to dry.

    Flexothane waterproofs are pretty good but beware to get the better, heavy duty ones.  I have just bought a black Hi Viz from Amazon. It's excellent value for money & you don't look like a canary :)

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