UKH

Paramo Questionable Advertising

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 Root1 10 Jul 2020

Just received an email from Paramo, which includes the following:

A garment with failing water repellency will absorb moisture, and could form a ‘fluid bridge’ between pathogens on the surface of the garment and the wearer. This means infections can cross more easily from the surface of the garment to the wearer. Often a Tech Wash is sufficient to restore a garments DWR, and we would usually recommend reproofing after every 3-5 washes. However, during this pandemic we strongly recommend the wearer monitors the performance of the clothing, and reproof it with TX. Direct more frequently than usual.

This is surely pure pseudoscience bollocks, with little evidence to suggest it might be true. It seems like a ploy to frighten people into buying  Nikwax.

Bit disappointed in Paramo doing this.

 Red Rover 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

Just reply saying 'citation needed'. It's a weird email. If there is enough virus about that it's diffusing over your hardshell and into your system then you're probably catching it anyway.

 bouldery bits 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

What a weird piece of marketing???

In reply to Root1:

What a load of tripe.  It doesn't transfer through the skin, so even if it did get through it would be irrelevant.

The only relevance of this would be if someone was Nikwaxing their face mask!

In reply to Neil Williams:

> What a load of tripe.  It doesn't transfer through the skin

Correct, but people touch their skin then their mucous membranes which does transfer the virus.  What they're saying is that you can't trust any wet parts of the jacket not to have the virus, and taking a wetted jacket off carefully avoiding the outside exposed to the virus isn't worth doing.  I believe Paramo is popular with MR teams too, so this may be an additional concern for them working in close proximity with each other or casualties.

Post edited at 16:55
5
In reply to Toerag:

> Correct, but people touch their skin then their mucous membranes which does transfer the virus. 

More likely if they're wearing a jacket they'll touch that then their mucous membranes.

> What they're saying is that you can't trust any wet parts of the jacket not to have the virus, and taking a wetted jacket off carefully avoiding the outside exposed to the virus isn't worth doing. 

Not a great way of saying it...

> I believe Paramo is popular with MR teams too, so this may be an additional concern for them working in close proximity with each other or casualties.

I suppose if the jacket is being used as "PPE" it's relevant, but it is rather niche.

 Root1 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

The new Scientist has been giving regular advice that’s based on the latest research. Of all the advice given not once has it been suggested that clothing should be regularly washed. 

Wear a mask, socially distance, avoid crowds, especially in doors, regular hand washing, but no mention of washing your clothes 

 Welsh Kate 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I suppose if the jacket is being used as "PPE" it's relevant, but it is rather niche.

That's what we are doing - our COVID SOP when unable to maintain social distancing on, for example, a stretcher carry, is to wear full waterproofs, and we then have to take them off on scene straight into a bin bag and thence into the washing machine when we get home, so TechWash / TX Direct / pure soap flake consumption has increased a fair bit.

 d_b 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

I bet they claimed it will keep you dry too.

1
 McHeath 10 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

Worst jacket I ever had was from Paramo. 

2
 Tringa 11 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

> Just received an email from Paramo, which includes the following:

> A garment with failing water repellency will absorb moisture, and could form a ‘fluid bridge’ between pathogens on the surface of the garment and the wearer. This means infections can cross more easily from the surface of the garment to the wearer. Often a Tech Wash is sufficient to restore a garments DWR, and we would usually recommend reproofing after every 3-5 washes. However, during this pandemic we strongly recommend the wearer monitors the performance of the clothing, and reproof it with TX. Direct more frequently than usual.

> This is surely pure pseudoscience bollocks, with little evidence to suggest it might be true. It seems like a ploy to frighten people into buying  Nikwax.

> Bit disappointed in Paramo doing this.

It does seem odd.

I wonder if this really is from Paramo. I have just looked on the Paramo website and can't find anything that refers to the transfer of virus through the surface of a garment. I would have thought if this is an issue then they would have put something on the site.

I also assume that if it was true it would apply to any garment that has absorbed moisture in an area with virus in the air. As said elsewhere here if you are somewhere with enough virus to make the scenario above a problem they you are probably doomed anyway.

Dave

Post edited at 07:12
 Tringa 11 Jul 2020
In reply to McHeath:

Paramo garments seem to be Marmite. As someone who has a very old Paramo jacket which has kept be completely dry for years I'm intrigued how/why some have a bad experience with Paramo.

Dave

In reply to Tringa:

Paramo kit isn't actually waterproof, the idea is that it wicks the water out quicker than it gets in, so it can wet out if it properly tips it down, but it can also dry you out once the rain stops which Gore Tex won't if any got in (e.g. down your neck).  I think people not understanding that is part of the issue.

 Siward 11 Jul 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Aye, they're just not using it properly.

My preference for backpacking- when one can't easily dry out and it may turn horrid- is a Paramo Smock such as the Velez, with a cheapo lightweight waterproof in the pack which is 100% waterproof, breathability being irrelevant in such weather.

2
In reply to Root1:

Nikwax and Paramo should have partnered with Trump to create a DWR infused with his proprietary intra-pulmonary disinfectant formula.

 Tringa 11 Jul 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Paramo kit isn't actually waterproof, the idea is that it wicks the water out quicker than it gets in, so it can wet out if it properly tips it down, but it can also dry you out once the rain stops which Gore Tex won't if any got in (e.g. down your neck).  I think people not understanding that is part of the issue.


True. I've had water dripping from the bottom of my jacket in a downpour, but I'm still dry on the inside. It works for me but I know from here and elsewhere some people seems to have had a bad experience.

Dave

 d_b 11 Jul 2020
In reply to Siward:

> Aye, they're just not using it properly.

I agree. Wearing one outside when it is raining is a serious mistake.

1
 Emily_pipes 11 Jul 2020
In reply to d_b:

Aye, I had some Paramo Cascada trousers that didn't keep me that dry, but I was more concerned by the seams splitting wide open after three months of pretty light use. I'd done some fairly un-technical hillwalks, not scrambling nor climbing and not even really winter, as it was a rainy November/December. I sent them back to Paramo, who would not refund and who wanted £40 to repair them. That was half of what I paid for them. When I said that new trousers should not fall apart like that, they said that I could not prove that I hadn't "misused" them.  I obviously couldn't prove a negative. I took the trousers back, unrepaired.

 Andy Hardy 11 Jul 2020
In reply to McHeath:

> Worst jacket I ever had was from Paramo. 

Worst one I ever had was a neoprene proofed one from Berghaus a "Thor" if memory serves.

I've had 3 paramos, the first I had for 14 years, worked brilliant,  which I traded in for a lighter one. That leaked like a sieve, but the shop (Basecamp Stockport) swapped it no quibbles, and the replacement has been fine.

 DaveHK 12 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

Paramo's marketing has always been bit iffy. Particularly the claim that it's waterproof.

Post edited at 05:35
1
 Phil1919 12 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

I've always found mine has been waterproof, albeit needing treating every now and again.

 Ridge 12 Jul 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Paramo kit isn't actually waterproof, the idea is that it wicks the water out quicker than it gets in, so it can wet out if it properly tips it down, but it can also dry you out once the rain stops which Gore Tex won't if any got in (e.g. down your neck).  I think people not understanding that is part of the issue.

I'm starting to think Paramo keep switching materials or have real quality control issues. I have a Paramo Cascada jacket thats about 20 years old, (the zip went on the original and they sent me a new one, which was nice). That is still a brilliant jacket, even though it looks like something an OAP would wear when pulling a tartan shopping trolley.

I also have a Velez smock thats maybe 10 years old. I'm quite disappointed in that, water pours in through the side and neck zips. I wear it a lot, and it's a tough jacket, but no way  is it anything like as good as the old Cascada. Both are made in Columbia.

I've since bought some of their gaiters in the last couple of years, (made in Vietnam), and they seem good, but I don't expect gaiters to be waterproof when wading through streams.

I wouldn't risk buying another jacket, unless it was heavily discounted.

 DaveHK 12 Jul 2020
In reply to Ridge:

> I'm starting to think Paramo keep switching materials or have real quality control issues. 

I think it's either that or individual physiology/usage or a combo of all of them.  

In reply to Root1:

Sounds exactly like the standard level of advice in a well known popular outdoor store chain up here that used to employ people who actually did outdoor stuff, but now employ anyone who wants a job and have no outdoor experience.

 Baz P 12 Jul 2020
In reply to Emily_pipes:

Consumer law says that that during the first six months it’s the manufacturer that has to disprove an inherent fault. You should have had a full refund or repair and a refund of postage  

 Root1 13 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

Paramo's Reply:

Hi Jeff, 

Thanks for getting in touch. 

I'm sorry to hear that you're disappointed with the content of our recent newsletter. The copy concerning cleaning of garments in a Covid-19 context was originally written as advice for Mountain Rescue Teams in the UK and Ireland after repeated calls for guidance on what they could do when they come into contact with casualties. It was genuinely not being used as a sales tool for Nikwax. However, I can absolutely see why you thought that was the case. 

As part of Nikwax's research and development into re-using medical/surgical PPE to extend its lifetime, they have conducted a number of different fabric tests, including on their own, Nikwax Analogy. They specifically tested Nikwax Analogy fabrics to establish their resistance to feline coronavirus - which has been used as a proxy for Covid-19 by the NHS and other testing organisations. It was demonstrated that when the fabric is made water repellent, it prevented the coronavirus solution from making contact with the fibres of the fabric, even after a period of 48 hours. As Páramo garments don't have membranes, if both fabrics in the system wet out, there is the potential for microorganisms to reach the wearer. It was with this information that Nikwax was able to develop their PPE Wash and Proof products which have been rolled out to a number of NHS Trusts already. The same advice is applicable for membrane garments as well. 

If you're interested, I have attached a paper regarding the Textiles for Protection Against Microorganisms, which goes into some detail about what we're trying to get across, albeit in a more palatable way. 

I hope this goes some way to explain a little more. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any further questions, I'd be happy to help.

Kind regards,


Tom Snee
Head of Sales
Páramo Ltd. Unit F, Durgates Ind. Estate,
Wadhurst, East Sussex, TN5 6DF
 

 DaveHK 13 Jul 2020
In reply to Root1:

> I'm sorry to hear that you're disappointed with the content of our recent newsletter.

Ah! The Patel Apology Gambit.

 Ridge 13 Jul 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

Seemed a reasonable response to me, although why they thought it necessary to send it in an email to a customer seems a bit iffy.

1
 apwebber 13 Jul 2020
In reply to d_b:

It is strange that people have such different experiences with Paramo. There must be a problem with the product somewhere because I don't think it's possible to use it 'the wrong way'... it's a jacket, it's fairly simple. In my experience they're great. I've had my Alta II for over ten years and it still keeps me bone dry. On a wild camping trip in Wales in November it rained constantly for three days and I was completely dry, and that was when it was about 7 years old.

 d_b 13 Jul 2020
In reply to apwebber:

I had one for a bit about 15 years ago. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it leaked like a sieve. I suspected that it was down to whether or not it was lying flat or creased under the rucsac straps. Never got to the bottom of it though.

I also found it far too hot. Really unpleasant in anything other than real winter conditions so I sold it and went back to my old triple point.

 apwebber 13 Jul 2020
In reply to d_b:

Yeah you definitely have to consider them as more of an insulation layer than other rain jackets. I would typically wear only a base layer under mine. I think they're generally good for UK conditions except when it's very hot. But it's unlikely to be very hot and raining at the same time?

Post edited at 22:30
 d_b 14 Jul 2020
In reply to apwebber:

I found it had to be particularly cold before it was comfortable. I could see it being good for Scottish winter but I wouldn't want one if it was above freezing.

 Root1 14 Jul 2020
In reply to apwebber:

> It is strange that people have such different experiences with Paramo. There must be a problem with the product somewhere because I don't think it's possible to use it 'the wrong way'... it's a jacket, it's fairly simple. In my experience they're great. I've had my Alta II for over ten years and it still keeps me bone dry. On a wild camping trip in Wales in November it rained constantly for three days and I was completely dry, and that was when it was about 7 years old.

Same here. I know the more modern jackets are prone to wetting out as they use a different system that involves fewer chemicals during manufacture. I have modern and 20yr old versions and both are brilliant watertight.


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