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British Antarctic Survey and Páramo: perfect partners

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has a long and distinguished history of carrying out research and surveys in the Antarctic and its surrounding regions, undertaking the majority of British research on the frozen continent, which it shares with scientists from over thirty countries.

Páramo’s partnership with BAS stretches back to 2008, when we began supplying their scientists with our Aspira Smocks, Aspira Salopettes and Pajaro Jackets. More recently we have supplied BAS with our Grid Baselayers and Torres Activo Jackets, selected by BAS for their unique Parameta® G and Nikwax® Analogy® Insulator fabrics.

Photographer and scientist Ben Osborne has spent over three years in the Antarctic with BAS, National Geographic and the BBC and has this to say about his Páramo clothing:

“As a member of staff, I had to wear one of the ship’s bulky and uncomfortable ‘float-coats’ for the short boat trip ashore. Thinking ahead, I was already wearing a set of Páramo cold weather clothing underneath. Crucially, a pair of Aspira Salopettes provided waterproof protection and warmth from my midriff down to my ankles (wearing salopettes instead of trousers minimises the risk of cold gaps between the upper and lower body). The Aspiras are phenomenally robust and coped perfectly with a lot of scrambling over rocky terrain while photographing penguins. An Aspira Smock completed the outer layer and is hugely comfortable with great articulation. It is also extremely tough with excellent ventilation control and an amazingly useful chest pocket. The hood, too, is brilliant!

With a super functional top layer I didn’t need more than a grid base layer to maintain a comfortable temperature while exploring with my f-stop camera bag. However, I always kept an emergency Torres Gilet in the camera bag. This additional insulation layer packs very small, is light and is excellent at maintaining core temperature when activity levels drop.”

Nikwax Analogy Pump Liner mimics the action of mammal fur – pushing liquid water outwards, away from the skin. BAS scientists rely on this feature to keep them dry from their own perspiration as they work hard in extreme environments. In these conditions it is vital that perspiration is moved as far away from the skin as possible, especially whilst the wearer is static. The Pump Liner is combined with a directional microfiber outer to deflect wind and rain. The end result is a comfortable, flexible, reliable and ultra-breathable garment that keeps the weather out without recourse to laminates, membranes or taped seams.

Rigorously tested in the Leeds University Rain Room to resist at least 4 hours of heavy rain, Páramo Analogy garments keep BAS scientists drier, warmer and more comfortable as they conduct their research in the polar wilds and, furthermore, the waterproofing is renewable indefinitely with water-based Nikwax aftercare products.

Crucially for BAS scientists, who spend up to 6 months at a time in the Antarctic, Nikwax Analogy garments are also easily repairable in the field and are not compromised by puncture (you could stick pins all over a Páramo waterproof, take them out and it will still keep the rain out). As a result, many of our jackets that have done time in the most inhospitable of conditions are still performing equally well after many years of hard use.

This longevity is critical for BAS, as they need to ensure that they concentrate their financial resources on cutting edge, and essential, environmental research. Páramo’s garment endurance is not lost on our other Contract partners either – charitable organisations such as Mountain Rescue and The Rivers Trust also rely on this value for money.

Once a year, BAS return their kit to Páramo for a ‘head office’ service that includes washing, reproofing, repairing and, in some cases, recycling (as Nikwax Analogy is designed specifically NOT to become obsolete).

Our contract partners and, indeed, the thousands of individuals who choose Páramo, benefit from superior high performance garments that are both durable and renewable – in other words, they will last a lifetime if cared for properly. 

British Antarctic Survey

Rivers Trust

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