Having something lightweight and warm in your pack really makes the difference between a comfortable day out on the hill and a day that could see you getting cold and damp.
Having used a heavy woollen fleece on all of my recent trips I have started to find it rather big and bulky to lug around all day, even though it has many advantages; such as not melting when a spark from a fire lands on it and being great in damp conditions. However changing this for a modern high tech synthetic turned out to be very rewarding, especially when walking longer distances.
The Páramo Torres Medio Gilet is a 320g (average weight) synthetic insulation piece with a 100g fill of Nikwax Analogy Insulator (a synthetic insulation coated in a DWR*) The Torres Gilet features a windproof outer fabric that is also treated with a DWR which helps shed light rain and the finely woven face fabric helps cut the windchill. Having both the face fabric and fill coated in a DWR helps keep the gilet from staying damp with sweat or from rain for too long.
The Torres Gilet feels great on, its soft and smooth against the skin and with the insulation having ‘down like’ qualities; the Torres is light and fluffy to touch when worn.
Packing down into it’s internal pocket it ends up being similar in size to just under two 1 litre Nalgene bottles next to each other so it will easily be swallowed by your rucksack.
When you stop to have lunch or for a quick rest on the trail you can grab this out your pack and whack it on. You feel the benefit immediately as it keeps your core warm but allows for great freedom of movement that comes only with a gilet. Its not super warm, it’s only 100g of fill so its not suitable for full on colder days but for fast and light in the mountains, forests and on rivers in chilly conditions then its fantastic.
The pockets are warm and soft on the inside so you can keep your hands toasty and with the scooped tail (meaning slightly longer) keeping your back warm it really makes a difference having with you on the trail.
*DWR – durable water repellent finish.