Ive had my pair of Paramo Cascada trousers for about two years now. Convinced by a hillwalking friend of mine from Scotland who is a Paramo devotee, I bought them because I was frustrated with the various waterproof overtrousers Id had in the past, both because some manufacturers seem to take a very loose view of what constitutes waterproof and also because the need to carry the trousers separately, putting them on when it starting raining and taking them off again when it stopped and got too hot, especially when wearing muddy boots, was an irritation.
The Paramo Cascadas are different in that they are meant to be your only pair of outdoor trousers, doing away with the need for a separate rainwear pair. Ive used them regularly on trips to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Scotland in the last two years, including a weeks canoeing in the wilderness of Rogen in north-west Sweden, hiking beneath the midnight sun in northern Finland, whale watching in the Lofoten islands in Norway, bothying and hillwalking on Scotlands west coast, and dog sledding on the Kings Trail in Swedish Lapland.
The beauty of the Paramo Cascadas is, as the list of trips above illustrates, that they are suitable for both summer and winter use. They are warm enough to use as trousers over a base layer in milder winter conditions, such as for dog sledding in the Swedish spring winter in March and April or a late season bothy trip in Scotland, but are also perfect for a weeks canoeing and wild camping in the Scandinavian summertime. They have long zips down each side making ventilation a breeze (pun entirely deliberate). They are comfortable, durable, and being made from Nikwax Analogy fabric, can be re-proofed indefinitely with Nikwax, making them a sound environmental choice as well.
The Paramo Cascadas are not 100% waterproof (but then nothing is, really, except a plastic bag!), especially with the long zips I dont think they are designed to be but they can take a good amount of rain and dry very quickly, are comfortable and warm even after a good soaking and are now the only pair of waterproof trousers I ever use.
One small criticism Id have is that in hot conditions they are too warm I was up in the far north of Finland last year at midsummer, and took my Paramo Cascadas because temperatures at this time would normally be in the mid-teens. Unusually, it was almost 30 degrees most of the time and the Paramo Cascadas were uncomfortably warm even with full ventilation. Also using a standard knot for the lace-up waist results in the knot getting tight miss out the crossover bit at the start of the knot and do a bow only and youll be fine!
At around 110 (though I was lucky enough to buy mine at a discount for around 70) they are not cheap, but not overpriced either compared to other high-quality outdoor gear. If you maintain them through an appropriate cleaning and re-proofing regime, they should last a very long time, so are a good investment. Or do as a canoeing friend of mine does with all his outdoor gear and buy a pair secondhand on e-bay!
Overall, if like me you find having separate raintrousers a nuisance and want a versatile and durable pair of outdoor trousers which also keep the rain at bay, the Paramo Cascadas are ideal.
News photo credit; Nature Travels