The newly updated jacket from Paramo, the Alta III or 3.
Now with FREE Next day Delivery.
This is a long waited upgrade to the now legendary Alta 2. The Alta 2 has had a few tweaks on over the years, but this really brings the Alta up to date.
The basic design layout is almost the same. The pocket structure remains almost the same, (one outer Velcro, one large external zipped, two external hand pockets). There's a new small internal zipped mesh pocket (and the large internal remains also). However, the hand pockets are placed lower than older Alta 2’s, (the newer Alta Two’s have the pocket moved lower). This makes them unusable when using a harness or back-pack waist belt. This is a shame really, as while arguably it gives the jacket a more urban aesthetic, it is at the end of the day a through and through British hill walking and mountain jacket! But the upper pockets are a great layout, one of the best we have seen.
The hood is a top end Paramo hood, so really adjustable, moves with the head, (when well adjusted), and is quiet to ware compared with hard-shell hoods. It will fit a helmet under, but larger helmet on larger heads will be tight, (see our video review for more details).
There are all the draw cords you would expect, well located with hard wearing elastic. This aids the venting of the jacket or allows closing up for colder conditions.
The cuff design has gone back to the original Alta, its simplified and works very well. Andy preferred this to the end design Alta 2’s.
The arm vents are a fairly big change. They remain roughly in the same place, but now open up into the pump liner only. However, they do open up to the entire upper jacket, allowing air circulation throughout. Its too early days to say if this is an advantage or not.
The jacket is generally slimmed down; the bagginess of the Alta 2 is removed in the Alta Three. This has resulted in about a 200g weight reduction, (in size large compared to an older Alta 2). In our testing, this didn’t restrict movement, but on larger set people than Andy, it might be, (we would always recommend trying in a shop). It’s also a cooler jacket than the Alta 2, but that’s largely an advantage and extends its range into warmer times.
The pump liner has the addition of the new Honey Comb pump in back-pack contact areas, (which is strategically placed around the internal jacket). The stops potential water ingress due to weight-loading form worn equipment.
The Analogy fabric remains, in our opinion, the best outer ware for the UK. Its water proof and breathability is the best. It excels at breathability, as it moves liquid water away from the body, as oppose to conventional shells only allowing water vapour though. It’s the kind of fabric you want to ware all day, (unlike most hard shells).
All in all, it’s a great upgrade and should prove to be an outstanding hill and mountain jacket. See our video review at the Trailblazer Outdoors You Tube channel. Andy took an Alta Three to the Alps to give it a good test. It proved an excellent jacket on some interesting experiences.