The Páramo Grid Technic is one of our absolute favourite base layers, providing superb performance for a very low weight penalty. It’s extremely dynamic and can be worn all year round for various activities, thanks to the ingenious Parameta G material. It has been made ethically and can be recycled. What’s not to love?
Dynamic and versatile, with excellent thermal properties
High neck with zip
Ethically made and recyclable
Not quite as comfy as merino
Can accumulate body odour over time
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The Páramo Grid Technic base layer promises to deliver the best of both worlds, providing warmth when the mercury drops, but keeping you cool when conditions are warmer, or when you’re being active in the outdoors and getting hot under the collar while hiking, biking, trail running, skiing, paddling or whatever.
How can it do that? Well, it’s made from Parameta G, a funky polyester fabric that not only offers excellent moisture wicking properties, but also boasts a raised grid-pattern design (hence the name). When worn with an outer layer over the top, these little squares (or rather the gaps between them), trap pockets of air, which are then warmed by your body, providing a layer of insulation. But if you wear it on its own, the design lets fresh air in through the gaps in the grid, which effectively cools your skin. Clever.
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The Páramo Grid Technic also features a high neck and a long back to provide extra coverage and avoid skin being exposed to the cold, plus a mid length zip and thumb hoops – both good features on a base layer.
The material is synthetic and therefore not biodegradable, but it is fully recyclable (through Páramo). Plus, as with the vast majority of Páramo garments, this top is made ethically in Colombia with the Miquelina Foundation, a member of the World Fair Trade Organization.
• RRP: £75 (UK) / €100 (EU)
• Gender availability: Male / Female
• Materials: Parameta G (polyester)
• Weight (male large): 238g / 8.4oz
• Sizes: XS–XL
• Colours: Men: Dark grey / Flame / Foxglove / Moss; Women: Pink / Midnight / Foxglove / Moss
• Compatibility: Hiking, biking, trail running, climbing, alpine adventures
In the field
The Parameta G material works really well on the Páramo Grid Technic base layer, and it kept us toasty on chilly morning and evening hikes when we combined it with a midlayer or an outer shell.
In warmer conditions and during higher intensity activities such as trail running and hill hiking, we wore the Grid Technic on its own, and it worked perfectly as a stand-alone long-sleeve top, providing decent levels of warmth (even when wet) and excellent moisture wicking properties.
As far as features go, we loved the high neck on this base layer, which does the essential job of a scarf and kept our throat warm. The athletic cut means it fits closely (no annoying excess material flapping around) and the next-to-skin comfort is good, if not quite as luxurious as merino.
The mid-length zip (which has a really good chin protector to prevent any nasty beard or skin snags), was also a welcome touch, letting cool air in when we needed it. It also has thumb hoops, so the base layer didn’t ride up our arms when we pulled another layer over the top, and our wrists didn’t become exposed between the top and our gloves. We didn’t ever suffer a chilly lower back, either, even when wearing a backpack, as the top is styled to be longer at the rear.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.