Paramo 3rd Element – first impressions

I have to thank Andy Howell for letting me know about the demise of the 3rd Element,which I found from a linked article by Robin Evans and Richard from Stayin Alive blog for the website Paramo Extras.  I got mine on-line for £143.00 and my wife got one by default.  Let me explain, I ordered a medium after checking the sizing chart on their website. I am not  a particularly big chap but I have broad shoulders and the jacket when it came the next day was tight in this area, but fitted my wife fine, with a bit of room to spare.  So I ordered a large in red and grey, my wife has hers in taupe, so we don’t look like Mr and Mrs Paramo 🙂

Unfortunately, the jacket would not arrive for my trip to Kinder/ Bleaklow, which given the weather, would have been useful. – Trip report shortly.

Whilst, a number of people know this jacket and also the advantages of the Paramo system, I am posting up details for readers of this blog, particularly non UK readers who may not know this brand.

The first thing that I noticed as a first time purchaser of Paramo is how soft and warm the fabric is and how unlike the jacket is compared to waterproofs I have purchased before.

Paramo 3rd element jacket

For those who are interested on the way the Paramo system works see  http://www.directionalfabrics.com/fabric_info.htm

The fit was much better than the first jacket I got. The length is quite short at the front, which I don’t mind, but others may. The back has a drop tail to stop draughts.

Drop tail

The 3rd element is pretty different compared to other Paramo jackets and in fact any others I know, in that it is a system. You can have it as a full jacket, a gilet or somewhat weirdly wear the hood and sleeves on their own. (I am not sure I would use this last option).  Photos below demonstrate this.

As a gilet option

As the hood and sleeve option

To convert to a gilet, is simple, by undoing two popper studs and unzipping the arms and then undoing a popper at the back, as the following photos show.  The hood and sleeves can be stored in a horizontal pocket running the full width of the jacket near the tail.

Zip and popper system

The hood is excellent and is adjusted by the use of two toggles to pull the hood downwards and two toggles to tighten around your face. There is a wired peak  which is good and I am sure will work well in the field.

Paramo 3rd element hood

The jacket has a full length zip, so ventilation is not a problem and there are popper studs as well, which combined should keep the rain out.

The jacket has two zipped chest pockets which are covered by velcro attached flaps. There is also a zipped inside pocket.

chest pocket detail

Inner pocket

I look forward to testing this out in the field

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12 Responses to Paramo 3rd Element – first impressions

  1. blogpackinglight says:

    I think you’ll like it. Has to be the most flexible jacket ever made.

  2. -maria- says:

    Looks versatile indeed. What a pity they discontinued it. The funny looking hood & sleeves option would have been handy when carrying a baby in front of you in a baby wrap carrier. Any extra layers between you and the baby felt quite incomfortable and the wrap covered most of your back as well. I’ve been carrying all our three kids a lot, but now even the youngest one is too big to carried in the front. Otherwise I don’t find the hood & sleeves option very usable 🙂

  3. Blogger Zed says:

    You’ll stand out in photos now.

  4. Martin Rye says:

    I love it. Took it with me this weekend and it is very good. I do find it warm in the summer but this time of year it is perfect. Had mine a while now and cant fault it.

  5. David A says:

    If you are hiking with just the gilet on and it starts to rain, you can put the hood/arms on without taking off your backpack (if you stow hood/arms in pack sie pocket). Brilliant Jacket!!!

  6. Elsie says:

    Mark, I wonder if you (or perhaps your wife) could comment some more on the fit? I usually take a women’s size 12 or 14 (depending on the cut – I am 5′ 8″ with fairly long arms and back). Could you hazard a guess whether a medium would be likely to fit me? Thanks!

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