By Jason Boyle
Salewa has been around since 1935 when it was formed as Saddler and Leather Wares, which is where SALEWA comes from. They focused on making photobags and other leather goods before moving into making alpine climbing gear. They have continued to innovate with numerous products in the apparel, footwear and equipment lines.
The Salewa Pedroc Jacket “is a highly breathable and water-repellent jacket. Its air-permeable Polatec® Alpha® insulation offers active insulation for training in the mountains.” They claim that the jacket is perfect for “speed hiking and other high octane mountain sports.” The jacket features body mapping technology to help the wearer by matching fabrics such as Polartec Power Grid inserts in the back panels and underarms for moisture management and Polartec Alpha insulation in the shoulders and chest for warmth. The jacket retails for around $130 on various outdoor retailer websites.
The Salewa Pedroc Jacket is fully featured with two zippered handwarmer pockets, long sleeves with thumb holes, smooth sided binding with no seams. My first thought when putting on the jacket was this it felt nice and comfortable against my skin. The sleeves are a bit long for me, but are perfect length with the thumb holes. I also like that the jacket is longer and falls below my waist. The cut of the jacket is athletic. I received an XL and it fits snuggly on my 5’6” 180 pound frame, but is not excessively tight or uncomfortable.The blue color I received is nice, and there is a subtle Salewa eagle logos on the front of the jacket and a small Salewa on the left arm.
When reviewing jackets I like to look for the following characteristics. First is comfort . Do I want to wear the jacket? Does it keep me warm or cool depending on the situation? The second is durability. How does the jacket hold up to daily wear and abuse? If I wear the jacket while backpacking or with a running vest will it show wear in the shoulders? Do any of the seams unravel? My final category is usefulness. What temperatures is the jacket best for? What can I hold in the pockets?
Update January 30, 2018 – Salewa Pedroc Jacket
I have put over 145 miles on this jacket plus casual wear. I wore the jacket while running the night portions of the 130 mile Great Mississippi River Levee run, while walking my dog on the levee near my house, camping in the Honey Island Swamp near Slidell LA, hiking and running at the Woodlands Conservancy in Belle Chasse, LA, and while camping at the Clear Springs Recreation Area in the Homochitto National Forest in Mississippi. Temperatures have been unusually cold in the Southeast with temperatures in the 20s for several of my hikes on the Woodlands trails and even a light covering of snow. I also used the jacket while running in a light rain to with temperatures in the 40s.
My three main criteria when evaluating a jacket are comfort, durability and usefulness. I always start with comfort, because without comfort nothing else really matters. The Salewa Pedroc Jacket is amazingly comfortable. I lived in it for over 40 miles running on the Mississippi River Levee in the 30 degree temperatures at night. The inner lining feels great against the skin and the stretchy fleece panels in the underarms and the middle of the pack let the jacket move with me and facilitated heat transfer during high intensity. The arm cuffs stayed nicely in place even while wearing a pack. The thumb loops are comfortable, but I found I didn’t use them much; in general I don’t really use thumb loops on any clothing.
My second factor is durability. I want to know if the jacket will hold up to the toughest abuse. I wore the jacket under the Cotopaxi Veloz hydration vest and under my Gregory Paragon Backpack for over 100 of the 145 miles, and the jacket still looks new. There are no wear marks on the shoulders at all. I didn’t do a lot of brush bashing but the nylon wind resistant outershell seems to shake off brush easily. The front zipper is very tiny, so I was initially concerned that this could be a weak point. However, it has proven to work well with no issues.
The third criteria is usefulness. I think this is a great layering piece. It is warm enough for winter hikes in the 40s even if it is breezy and comfortable while running in the 30s. It sheds heat well through the fleece inserts but the Polartec Alpha insulation kept me warm in the chest and shoulders. I added an additional shell layer when temperatures dipped into the 20s and stayed comfortable as long as I was moving.
My only nitpick with the jacket is the hand warmer pockets. When I was backpacking on the Richardson Creek Trail in the Homochitto National Forest, we were hiking in a light rain. I wanted to stick my hands in the pockets of the jacket to keep them warm, but I couldn’t. The pockets were covered with my hip belt and shoulder straps. A small nitpick, but worth noting.
Final Update: Salewa Pedroc Jacket April 14, 2018
I have continued to use the Salewa Pedroc jacket at every opportunity. I used it on the following trips: working as a volunteer and hiking the trails at the Holiday Lake 50k in Appomattox, VA; hiking and camping in Jefferson National Forest on the Devil’s Marbleyard trail in VA; hiking the Dahlgren rail trail in Maryland; hiking the battlefields of Yorktown VA; evening walks on the Mississippi River Levee with my dog; and on a two night camping trip to Buccaneer State Park in Mississippi. I experienced light rain while hiking in Virginia and hard spring thunderstorms while camping in Mississippi. Temperatures ranged from the 40s in Virginia to the upper 60s here in the south.
My three main criteria for evaluating jackets are comfort, durability, and usability. As I mentioned in my last update, this jacket is comfortable. It has become my go to jacket this spring anytime I needed a layering piece. I wore it continuously for the weekend where I climbed Devil’s Marbleyard in Virginia. It kept me comfortable in the cool sunny temperatures, as well as in the evening and the next day when low clouds and fog rolled in. The inner fabric continues to feel great against my skin. The heat mapping stretchy fleece in the middle of the back and the sides worked well at dumping heat and were key to staying comfortable in all conditions. The comfort of the Salewa Pedroc jacket is off the chart.
The second criteria is durability. I am very pleased with the durability of the jacket. I have checked every seam and cuff, areas where I usually see wear start, and they all look brand new. I did some brush bashing in Virginia with no negative consequences. Overall, I am very pleased with the durability of the jacket.
My final criteria is usability. Salewa said that the Pedroc is perfect for high intensity activities and I agree. The back and side venting definitely let the heat out while moving. I would suggest that it is also the perfect three season layering piece. I enjoyed wearing it to work on cold mornings just as much as wearing it while hiking or running. It has just enough stretch to fit comfortably snug, but it is still thin enough to fit under a shell without restricting movement. I can see myself wearing the Salewa Pedroc jacket for all my outdoor activities from fall to late spring.
This concludes my final review of the Salewa Pedroc Jacket. Thanks for reading!
Special thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Salewa for providing the jacket for this review.