Paramo's Quito jacket offers comfort and protection for wet weather tourists, commuters and those looking for a multi-purpose jacket.
Strictly speaking this isn’t a dedicated cycling jacket. Designed as a multi-activity jacket, the Quito does, nonetheless, offer a very useful package for the cyclist, especially those looking for all day comfort and performance. It’s the sort of jacket you’ll put on when it’s lashing it down outside and not take off until you reach safe harbour at the end of the riding day.
With its dipped tail, longer length sleeves and reflective accents, the Quito already sets itself up well with the cyclist in mind. Add in fabric that’s soft to the touch, rather than stiff and crunchy like some waterproofs and you’re looking at a nifty piece of kit.
The major benefit of Paramo’s fabric technology is its breathability. Instead of keeping the rain outside whilst acting as a portable sauna on the inside like most waterproof fabric systems, this one genuinely draws moisture (a.k.a sweat) away from the skin and delivers it to the outside world. The result is that while you still sweat when working hard, you stay dryer and more comfortable, and less chilled, for longer. It certainly delivered a much more comfortable ride in persistently rainy conditions, even when outside temperatures weren’t that low. For long duration wet spells while touring it would be ideal.
The hood is well shaped, adjustable and features a wire stiffened peak to keep run-off away from the face. This fits well under a helmet, although conditions would have to be pretty cold to warrant use in this way. When not in use it rolls away and secures with a Velcro tab. The full length zip and extremely long underarm ventilation zips mean there’s plenty of options for temperature control, and the jacket, although on the warm side, would be ideal for use in all but the hottest part of the year.
If we had a niggle, it’s the lack of an exterior zipped pocket. There’s an internal one at chest height, but the side vent opens into a side pouch pocket without zip. It’s a small niggle in what is otherwise a competent and comfortable jacket. What’s more, as a multi-activity jacket, rather than a cycle specific one, it’s a good buy for those who like to do other outdoor activities such as walking and scrambling.
Not cheap, but it’ll last for years, especially if you look after it with Nikwax’s cleaning and waterproofing products.
Superbly comfortable in use, without the 'stickiness' generated by some waterproof jackets, this is well suited to all day wear, especially for foul weather touring and commuting. Warm enough for winter, and versatile enough for off the bike use too.
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Paramo Quito jacket
Size tested: S
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?
A multi-activity full zip waterproof jacket aimed at energetic users. Unisex fit.
The manufacturer term it as 'lightweight' and 'close-fitting' 'for high energy activities and warmer temperatures.'
In comparison with some of Paramo's other products it is lighter, but still not as light as some jackets on the market. Close fitting it isn't, but not baggy enough to be a problem on the bike either. Sizing is on the generous side, with a small being roughly equivalent to a large women's 12 or small 14.
The shape and features mean it is a great choice for multi-activity use.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Paramo use their own fabric technology Nikwax Analogy. This actively draws moisture away from the body to the outer face of the fabric, using different a different approach from Gore Tex type membrane fabrics, whilst preventing water from getting in from the outside.
Where traditional style waterproof fabrics can become less effective with age, and breathability and waterproofing becomes compromised, Paramo's fabric stays pliant, breathable and the waterproofing can easily be 'topped up' with application of Nikwax products.
Also worth bearing in mind is that puncture of the outer shell fabric does not result in a lack of functionality. The jacket should not leak even with a puncture.
The Paramo Nikwax Analogy Light fabric breathes well, reducing the sweat build up that's common in most waterproof shells. In addition, the huge ventilation zips under the arms mean that fine tuning body temperature is easy. This all goes to make it a comfortable jacket to wear all day, not just for the odd shower or short wet ride.
The hardwearing fabric is designed to have its waterproofing qualities refreshed fro time to time with Nikwax products, so it's easy to keep the jacket going forever.
Excellent for prolonged wear on cold wet days, might be a little warm for some in warmer wet weather, although vents are excellent.
At £195 it's not the cheapest jacket, but given that it'll still be going strong in years to come and is versatile enough for other outdoor activities too, it works out to being good value.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
In prolonged rain, the jacket performed really well, protecting perfectly from the weather, and also allowing for excellent internal comfort though the breathability of the fabric and the ventilation under the arms.
It's also well designed to be a 'do it all' jacket for riding, walking or other outdoor sports.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The close fitting well shaped hood, with wire stiffened peak, that will go under a helmet if the weather's really foul.
Decent length sleeves.
Shaped dropped tail.
Excellent long ventilation zips under the arms.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Lack of zipped exterior pocket.
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?
This is a great all-rounder, perfect for when the weather has settled in and you've just got to get out and ride. Or walk, or scramble, or run.....
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.