Paramo has a reputation for top quality kit, and from where we're standing, it's well deserved.
The Alta III waterproof jacket is bursting with technical features, all designed to keep you as comfortable as possible while you're out on the hill.
Paramo use a Nikwax Analogy waterproof fabric system which effectively keeps you dry and also works to wick away any moisture after you work up a sweat. More efficient than your typical breathable membrane, the Nikwax Analogy tech is directional, which means that moisture is directed outwards and away from the body. It is also able to shift liquid water, unlike many other breathable fabrics which can move water vapour only.
Paramo have also integrated a Mesh Pump Liner in strategic places. This thick lining also has directional tech to keep breathability high, and is situated at the shoulder and back panels to provide extra protection from the rain, especially when carrying a heavy pack.
Ventilation is also augmented with zipped vents on each arm, as well as the two-way locking front YKK zip, so you can tailor airflow to your comfort.
As we've come to expect from Paramo, the outer fabric is soft to the touch and just slightly shiny - nothing like the crinkly, plastic-y feel of many waterproof jackets, which to us is a huge bonus.
The hood is fully adjustable, and while not detachable, can be stowed to get it out of the way when not needed.
The cut of the Alta III is fairly classic with the hem sitting a little lower than many highstreet models for added protection against the elements, and the women's model is shaped to follow the lines of the body. We would say that it's worth trying the Alta III on, as it is sized a little small, especially if you like to layer up.
That said, when you get the fit right the freedom of movement in the Alta III is excellent. The construction has been thought through and fabric panels have been strategically placed to allow you to move freely without the jacket riding up or pulling uncomfortably. Perfect for scrambling and hopping over stiles.
Let's talk pockets. The Alta III has a choice of six, so you should never find yourself out of storage space. There are two hand warmer pockets, two external chest pockets (one of which has a handy D-ring attached and detachable hook for hanging something from, e.g. a map case, compass etc.), plus two internal chest pockets, one slightly bigger than the other. All pockets are zipped apart from the chest pocket with D-ring, which has a Velcro closure.
We love a great variety of pockets on our jackets and were particularly happy to find the two internal zipped pockets, as you quite often only have one, or one and a small drop-pocket for your phone on a typical waterproof.
This jacket comes in four attractive colourways, each sporting a two-tone effect with different coloured panels. Choose from Elderberry/Foxglove, Midnight/Indigo (which we tested), Neon Blue/Midnight or Outback Red/Wine.
Now, it has to be said that Paramo is definitely not the cheapest outdoor brand out there, but in our opinion when it comes to this brand, it's worth the investment for something that's going to work, and work well, for years to come.