The women’s specific version of Paramo’s popular jacket made from the company’s lighter weight waterproof fabric, the Ladies Velez Adventure Light is a smock style pullover jacket, designed for multi-activity use, but ideal for long wet days in the saddle. As such, it’ll appeal to tourists, but is also a good option to consider for winter training rides and mountain biking.
Most waterproof jackets are based on the same principle, of an outer shell fabric with a breathable waterproof membrane to allow perspiration to escape. This pattern holds for the vast majority of waterproof fabrics available. Except Paramo. Paramo’s fabrics work by ‘pumping’ moisture (a.k.a sweat) from inside the jacket, whilst simultaneously preventing water from getting in from the outside. The resulting fabric breathes extremely effectively, and is far less prone to generating vast quantities of perspiration when you’re working hard than traditional waterproof fabrics, making a vigorous wet-weather ride much more comfortable.
The lighter weight fabric, the same as used in the Quito, is better suited to high exertion activities such as cycling than the heavier and warmer fabric used in the company’s original Velez and similar jackets. It’s also much more versatile for three season use, running significantly less warm. The soft handle of the fabric (much less ‘crispy’ than most traditional waterproofs), coupled with its superior breathability and moisture transfer make the jacket comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The smock style may not appeal to everyone, but the reduced ventilation offered by this design is not a great problem, when you consider the level of breathability offered by the fabric. Temperature management can be fine tuned by using the two-way side zips (not underarm) for venting.
The integral peaked hood packs down out of the way, securing unobtrusively into the collar, and is sleek enough to fit happily under a helmet if you should feel the need. The sleeves are a good length, with easy and secure adjustment at the cuff. Length in the torso is ideal, and there’s a dropped tail too. There’s a generous zipped pocket at the front, and a zipped poachers style pocket inside the front that doubles as a hand warmer when off the bike. Reflective piping runs right around the front and across the back, for added visibility and safety.
In wear, the jacket was superbly comfortable for long periods, and without the usual stickiness of more traditional waterproof jackets. It’s still a jacket best suited to spring, autumn and winter, but it coped with cooler, wet summer days too without killing me through heat exhaustion.
The only real downside to the Velez Adventure Light (apart from the near £200 price tag) is its weight and lack of packability. It’s definitely one for prolonged wet weather, rather than to pack along ‘just in case’.
Available in a decent range of sizes (XS-XL) and some great colour options.
A superbly comfortable three season waterproof jacket that'll genuinely keep you dry inside and out.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Paramo Velez Adventure Light women's jacket
Size tested: Dolphin, M
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Designed as a multi-activity waterproof jacket for general outdoor use and high intensity activities.
Great option for those who want a single do-it-all jacket, but also specifically good for cycling.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Made from Nikwax Analogy Light fabric.
Fully articulated shoulders and elbows for freedom of movement.
Two-way twin reversed zip design with inner, poppered baffles for temperature control.
Drop tail with drawcord
High collar with central, single-handed adjustment.
Reflective piping front and back.
Velcro cuffs with bite tab.
Roll-away wired peak hood.
Well made with high quality, sturdy components that will last. Almost feels slightly over-engineered.
Great comfort and performance for spring, autumn and winter use, but still runs a bit warm for all but the coolest summer's day.
Well made, and the best thing about Nikwax Analogy fabric is that it remains waterproof even when punctured.
Waterproofing can easily be restored by using Nikwax products, so easy to maintain.
Not the lightest, so this is a jacket best used for all-day wear, rather than an emergency layer to be packed 'just in case'
Extremely comfortable to wear, great breathability and little 'stickiness'.
Soft fabric feels nicer to wear than some crispier waterproof fabrics too.
Pricy but a good investment as it'll last for years.
Especially good value for those who spend long hours in the saddle over the wetter months, or for anyone wanting a general purpose outdoor waterproof.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Great performance, but still runs quite warm for summer use.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Soft fabric, excellent breathability and moisture control, colours.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Definitely.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
A good investment for prolonged wet weather riding and for years of rainy day comfort, whether cycling or walking.
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 1.65m Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.