Could this be the ideal backpacking shirt? At the end of last week I received an email from Paramo featuring the New Katmai shirt, which I thought looked interesting. I have the old Katmai shirt, which is made out of a silky material. Although I like it, it is only really suitable for hot weather and the material had a tendency to smell. This ruled it out for backpacking for me.
The new Katmai shirt (surely it would have been better to give it a different name) is made out of a thicker, more coarsely woven material, confusingly still called Parameta A, but very different. The outside surface has a waffle weave pattern, while the inside has some raised dots.
It looks like it should be reasonably cool in hot weather but warm in cooler weather as a base layer. It seems quite a dense weave, so wind resistance might be better than the Parameta S material used in their heavier weight mid layers. It has a SPF of 50 and an anti-bacterial finish. I’ll be interested to see how the latter performs. It’s supposed to be stretchy, but it’s hardly noticeable.
The shirt itself is recognisably “Paramo” with two good-sized patch pockets with velcro closures. One has a hidden zipped pocket inside. There is also an additional large zipped chest pocket behind the right hand patch pocket.
The cuffs are typical Paramo velcro ones. No buttons to fiddle around with. The sleeves are quite generous both in length and width, so rolling them up presents no problems and they are not tight around the upper arm.
The overall cut is quite generous. The straight hem means that it looks OK untucked. The buttons are the usual Paramo clear ones. Personally, I would have preferred popper closures as buttons have a habit of coming loose. I also think they look smarter. The colour is dark grey. I think Paramo would have been wiser to make it a mid or light grey, as it would blend with a wider range of colours. The other colour available is a moss green. Weight is 293g, lighter than the advertised 316g. They don’t seem to be widely available at the moment. I bought mine from The Mountain Factor for £46.50 (free P&P), which is usefully cheaper than the list price of £52.