Salewa Pedroc Hybrid Alpha 2/1 Jacket
A highly breathable and water-repellent, lightweight insulated jacket for men with thermo-regulating Polartec Alpha synthetic insulation – a warm, protective mid or outer layer for speed hiking and active mountain activities.
It features Polartec Alpha active synthetic insulation. This military-grade technology provides air-permeable breathability and warmth only when you need it, effectively regulating your core body temperature in colder conditions. And it also dries quickly should you should you get hit by bad weather.
Versatility is the name of the game: the sleeves zip off super-fast thanks to their innovative YKK QuickBurst zipper technology, transforming the jacket into a gilet so that it can be quickly adapted to changing conditions without having to remove a layer. And the hybrid bodymapped construction combines the active insulation with a windproof polyamide fabric on the front and breathable back and side panels.
Also, a PFC-free durable water repellent (DWR) finish. Packs down small into its integrated compression pouch.
Front zip with internal full-length windproof flap
2 chest pockets with zipper
Elastic binding edged hem
Soft breathable mesh lining
Optimal moisture transport to avoid chill effect
Innovative pattern for enhanced comfort and aesthetic
Ease of movement through stretch inserts
Ergonomic sleeves and shoulders for a good fit
Stows small in integrated compression pouch
bluesign approved fabric
Removable sleeves using YKK QuickburstTechnology
Lining: MESH WARPKNIT 90 SILVER (100%PL)
Main material: PA NYLON WINDBREAKER 38 BS (100%PA)
Main Finishing: DURABLE WATER REPELLENT - PFC FREE
Insulation: POLARTEC ALPHA RECYCLED 50 BS
Insert: Backside / DURASTRETCH BAMBOO LIGHT ECO DWR 174 BS
I have been a fan of Salewa since first hearing about them back when I started this site years ago. I first heard about them at the Outdoor Retailer show as I was wondering the halls lusting over gear. That is essentially how those shows go for me.
Salewa, if you are not familiar, started back in 1935 from a background in saddles. Being experienced in leather, they then focused on bags and soccer balls through the 40’s. Eventually they started to migrate into backpacks, ski poles, crampons and other mountain gear. They continued making mountain gear and eventually launched the footwear division in 2005. In 2007 they added a North American presence in Boulder, Colorado to go with their headquarters in Bolzano, Italy. Today, their focus is on being a functional and technical mountaineering brand.
Salewa provided me with a sample version of the Jacket for me to test. When I first received it the weather here in Seattle was pushing 95 degrees so getting it out took a little patience. Fortunately, or not, the weather here in Seattle does not stay nice and warm for too long and the testing began. I was able to put the Pedroc Hybrid through the paces, using it around town, day hiking in the Cascades, and on some activities in the Snoqualmie Valley. Weather conditions varied quite a bit from some cool crisp mornings to warmer days. Even threw in some standard Seattle rain into the equation as no jacket is complete without some rain testing.
Zip Off Sleeves
I initially had a size small (European medium) to test, and that was a bit too tight for me at 5’11” and 175 pounds. I was able to switch it out for a medium (European large) that was a better option and inline with what the sizing chart recommends.
The Salewa Pedroc Hybrid is an interesting jacket. First it has a European style to it. While we are starting to see some colors make there way over from Europe, this one is a bit more than you typically see from US brands. No complaints though, I like the combination of bright accents to go with the darker blues on the jacket I tested. In fact, wearing the jacket made me feel like a fighter pilot for the Rebellion in Star Wars. Probably not their intension, but it would totally work with the contrast zipper on the shoulders and offset pockets on the chest. It has bit of a futuristic feel to the design. As with all appearance aspects, I will not really review it based on that as it is subjective.
What I really like about this jacket it body mapped construction. The different fabrics are used strategically to get optimal results. Not every piece needs this type of construction, but when you are making something for a fast and light pursuit, I think that body mapping is the best way to get the most out of a piece. The jacket is made from a combination of fabrics that can be broken into two groups. One group is for stretch and breathability. It is a lightweight durastretch softshell material that s in the center of the back and underarms. This helps with temperature regulation and freedom of movement. The second group is a combination of three fabrics. A DWR treated wind-resistant nylon outer, a Polartec Alpha insulating layer, and a wicking mesh inner layer. This combo makes up the bulk of the jacket, providing insulation, weather protection, while still allowing for moisture transfer to keep the user comfortable.
The Pedroc Hybrid has some other features, but the coolest one is the zip-off sleeves. This is unlike any other jacket I have tested or worn. They have a new technology from YKK call Quickburst technology. It allows you to quickly separate the zippers at the front of the shoulders and pull apart the sleeves. Salewa has used a contrasting color at those points to make it super easy. Of course, putting the sleeves back on is not nearly as quick as you must zip them on. Along with the removeable sleeves, there are elastic cuffs and hem on the jacket for proper fit and keeping drafts out. There is also two chest pockets, one which doubles as a storage pocket when you want to store the jacket n your pack or something similar.
The jacket is made to be lightweight for fast and light hiking. The biggest draw is the use of Polartec Alpha insulation. It was originally developed for the US Special Forces. According to Polartec, “Alpha active insulation is engineered for consistent warmth, while allowing greater breathability during activity. This air exchange technology creates sustained comfort without shedding layers.” Along with the use of Polartec Alpha, all the other fabrics are bluesign approved which I really appreciate as I want to be a good steward of the environment I like to get out and enjoy.
The Salewa Pedroc Hybrid can be slightly hard to size due to it having two sizes, US and European. I initially was set up with the Euro Medium (US Small) which ended up being a bit too tight for my at 5’11” and 175 lbs. when I switched to the Euro Large (US Medium) the jacket fit me much better. I typically am a US Medium so that was no surprise to me. The Pedroc Hybrid is a trim fit jacket. It is cut to move with you and not flap in the wind so to speak. The sleeve is ergonomic, and it has stretch inserts to help with this ease of movement. From right when you put it on, you can tell it is a trim jacket in a good way. It was close fitting all around but not too tight anywhere. The cuffs were perfect, I really like elastic cuffs. The length in both the torso and the sleeves were also good. I also really like European cuts as they tend to fit me better. If I have one grip in the fit, the hem was a bit tight on my waist, but that may have something to do with me as well.
One thing that I am sometimes worried about with body mapped pieces is the transitions between different materials and all the extra seams needed to construct a jacket. With that this one also has the added design feature for the removeable sleeves, and I went into the review wondering how it was all going to feel when wearing it as that is a lot going on. I was pleasantly surprised that they all just worked to the point that I never though about it when wearing the jacket. Weather I have a long sleeve shirt or t-shirt on underneath. The Pedroc was comfortable and neither any of the seams or the zippers on the shoulder were ever an issue.
According to Salewa, the Pedroc Hybrid Alpha is made for speed hiking. While this typically is not my thing, I was able to put it to the test on some quicker hikes as well as some typical ones. First, I really like Polartec Alpha. It does exactly what it says it does, keeps you warm while also venting out excess heat so you don’t overheat too easy. It can still happen, but the mesh inner liner helps wick it away, so you still feel dry. Once you slow down or stop, the active air exchange helps you quickly drop down to a comfortable level. I never felt like I really overwhelmed the jacket like you would a waterproof jacket.
The Pedroc is thinner that many insulated pieces. The idea is that you will be using it while being active and thus it will be able to trap some of the heat from your body to keep you warm. If you are standing around on a cold day, it will only keep you warm for so long and this will be determined by the individual. I am not one of those guys who wear shorts on a snowy day, so it doesn’t take too long for me to get cold in the winter. With that I liked the DWR added to the nylon that was enough for some light Seattle rains I had while testing. By no means is this made to replace your hardshell, but if you get caught in a passing shower or use it on a foggy/misty day, the DWR will be more than enough.
Compressed Into Chest Pocket
If there was one thing that was a bit interesting in usage it was the pockets. I like to have chest pockets, but it was interesting to have them offset. I found that the lower one carried things a bit lower than I preferred on my chest. I would use the higher one for heavier items like my phone and put lightweight and less noticeable items in the lower pocket. It may be just me here, but I like items it be higher on my chest rather that at the bottom of my ribs.
Lastly, and likely most important, was how did the sleeves work? I must say this was by far the quickest and easiest system I have used. The sleeve come off in a snap. No weird contortions, needing to twist or anything like that. The QuickBurst Technology is super easy to use. Start at the contrast areas on the zipper and pull it apart, easy! Putting back together is a bit more work and required taking off the jacket to get the zippers lined up and it zipped back on. But that is to be expected. Also, and very important, the sleeves never separated on me except when I wanted them to. Since the zippers don’t lock as securely in the QuickBurst area, I wondered how it would play out. I had no issues and for the rest of the zipper, it is just like any other, so it worked great.
Overall, I was a big fan of the Pedroc Hybrid Alpha jacket. When I first saw it, I was excited as it was different. I must say that my excitement was justified as they truly have made an interesting jacket. It has a lot of great features for those high effort activities where you need a breathable midlayer. Apart from fast hiking like it was designed for, I can see it as a good piece for other light aerobic pursuits. To go with the performance, the Pedroc also has style which I appreciate. As I said before, it may make you feel like a Rebel Fighter Pilot. Of course, Your Mileage May Vary.
Rockin’ the Jacket
Body Mapped Construction
Active Air Exchange
Tight at the bottom hem
Offset Pockets are Interesting