Páramo Halcon Traveller Jacket Review by Rudolf Abraham
The Páramo Halcon Traveller Jacket is, quite simply, the perfect jacket, both for travel and photography – certainly the most frequently used, and best designed, of any I’ve ever worn. Lightweight, quick drying, silent and low-key, it’s roomy enough not to restrict movement, even wearing something like a Torres Gilet under it, but not so big that it flaps around all over the place.
The multiple pockets take everything from passport to maps to notebooks to spare batteries to camera lenses, and the combination of zipped and button fastenings is very well thought out, as is the placement of the pockets. There are two gusseted chest pockets, two gusseted hip pockets (large enough to drop a DSLR camera body in), two zipped chest pockets (large enough to hold a map) and two internal zipped chest pockets behind them; two hand-warmer pockets on the hips, and two internal mesh drop pockets, also on the hips.
The material, Nikwax Cotton+, is extremely comfortable and feels nice and cool even in hot weather. There’s a band of fleece lining on the inside of the collar, which together with the fact that the collar is quite high, goes a surprisingly long way towards mitigating some of the potential discomfort of having camera, camera bag or binocular straps around your neck and shoulders all day.
The front zip works both ways – useful for getting at inner layers – and I particularly like the side flaps which can be opened so as not to restrict movement when kneeling or crouching down to take photos closer to the ground. I only wish I’d had this jacket on the series of long overland trips I did between Turkey and Central Asia a couple of decades or so ago, on which it would have been very much in its element.
I should mention that I have the Halcon Traveller (I think I got mine back in 2014), as opposed to the current Halkon Traveller which replaced it. The two versions are fairly similar as far as I can tell (I haven’t actually tried the Halkon, but I did test and provide feedback on the prototype a few years back), one of the obvious differences being the use of Velcro on flaps of the gusseted external hip and chest pockets instead of buttons. I actually preferred having the buttons, which in my experience outlast the effectiveness of Velcro, and I thought their slightly retro feel went well with low-key look of the original Halcon. Another difference is the addition of an extra pocket on the Halkon, a zipped memory card pocket on the lower left sleeve.
I finally wore out my Halcon Traveller a couple of years ago – the left and right shoulder areas, to be precise, where the material wore through from the shoulder straps of my camera bags (in particular my ThinkTankPhoto Retrospective 30, which has a very chunky and hardwearing pad on the shoulder strap – great for the longevity of the bag, less so for whatever you’re wearing when you carry it). Perhaps a slightly heavier weight material would have helped in these areas? I found that the right hip area also wore a bit thin from rubbing against a camera bag as well.
As with all Páramo gear, the ethics and environmental commitment are outstanding – the water-repellent finish is PFC-free, the company has a long-term partnership with the Miquelina Foundation in Bogotá, Colombia (which provides work opportunities, training and experience as well as homes and childcare for vulnerable members of the local population), and the garmet is fully recyclable through Páramo.
Find out more about the Páramo Halkon Traveller Jacket here.