I read on Andy Howell’s blog that Paramo are going to discontinue the 3rd Element jacket. The reason given is that it has been difficult to convince people to buy such a strange garment. However, as Alan Sloman points out, commenting on Andy’s post, it has been quite difficult to find the 3rd Element in the shops. I bought mine online.
If you are wavering, you really ought to snap one up before they are gone. They are probably the most adaptable and flexible jacket ever produced. The good thing about Paramo is that they last for ever.
I seem to be a bit of a curse on Paramo jackets. Whenever I suggest that a jacket is good, e.g. the Viento, the Vasco, the 3rd Element, Paramo seem to get rid of them. Will the curse work on the Velez Adventure Light?
Andy makes another interesting point saying:
“Perhaps, the problem with the Third Element was that there just aren’t that many of us about. Sometimes I think that 80% of regular backpackers in the UK know each other, if not in person then through the internet. Maybe there just aren’t that many of us!”
It makes me wonder whether backpacking is more of a micro minority pastime than a minority pastime. Sure a lot of people walk in the hills, but the vast majority appear to be day walkers. I don’t decry day walkers; I was a day walker for many years until I started backpacking again five years ago. It was interesting when I was in the Lakes recently, I’m not sure that any of the walkers that I met were backpackers. I was the only one who was visibly carrying a tent.
Part of me is glad that most walkers don’t want to wild camp in the hills as it might get quite crowded. I’ve always been surprised recently at the lack of wild campers when I’ve been up in the Lakes. On the other hand, people are missing out on the sublime pleasure of wild camping. It also suggests that the market for lightweight backpacking gear could be considerably smaller than we might think.
Left to right: Viento, 3rd Element, Vasco