Howies Running Kit Review
Welsh ethical clothing brand Howies' make great kit: we've long been fans of our Howies jeans…
Established in Germany 1935 and now based in Italy, Salewa are a well-respected mountaineering clothing and equipment company who branched out into technical and lightweight products in the 2000’s. The new Mountain Training Alpine Speed range is perfect for trail and mountain running and we’re definitely in agreement with their aims:
Run on rocky and technical terrain… improve performance and endurance, get stronger physically and even mentally. To be better and to have a better life!
We’ve been impressed by the great quality and design of Salewa products, and also by their commitment to corporate responsibility: they are members of the Fair Wear Foundation and many products are bluesign certified. From a transparent supply chain to ‘healthy’ buildings the brand’s ethical credentials are as impressive as those of their manufacturing.
Sim has been testing out some kit from the Speed range – here’s his review of the excellent Pedroc PTC Alpha Jacket.
Pedroc PTC Alpha Jacket £150 275g Men’s M (women’s version also available).
This jacket is designed for travelling fast and light though mountain environments, whether you’re hiking, running or scrambling. It performs well and feels like it’s been designed with careful thought and input from some top athletes. It’s soft and stretchy, light and breathable; it’s comfortable when you’re working hard but has enough insulation to keep you warm when you stop to read a map. It packs small – perfect for stashing in a pack – and is versatile enough to work as a base, mid or outer layer, depending on your requirements and the conditions. Its athletic cut and clever mix of protective windproof and stretchy panels means it works well for a range of activities, whether you’re striding out along a ridge or reaching up for the next handhold on a scramble. With its subtle Salewa branding and choice of colourways it also looks great: perfect for throwing on after a run or to wear around the race village.
The fit is slim and a bit more ‘triangular’ than a standard running fit as it’s designed for mountain athletes. This is great for me: I usually wear a medium and I often find that tops are slightly tight around my shoulders but slightly loose around my waist. The Pedroc, however, fits me perfectly. The body is cut long which adds protection and helps to stop it riding up when you’re running with a pack. The sleeves are long enough to comfortably use the thumb loops and the collar can be zipped right up snugly without feeling restrictive. There are no seams on top of the shoulders which is great because it means it’s comfortable under your rucksack straps. The body stays snug when you lift your arms which is great for climbing and scrambling.
The main shell fabric of the Pedroc is a windproof nylon treated with a DWR finish to make it water-resistant. The water beads up and runs off well and, despite not being a waterproof, it takes a while for water to start to come through, even in fairly heavy rain. As this jacket gets older and is used and washed more you will need to re-proof it to maintain its water-resistance. The fabric is light but nylon is strong so it should be durable.
The shell is insulated with Polartec Alpha which is a recycled polyester synthetic insulation. You can see the Polartec Alpha fabric through the mesh liner – it has an open but strong puffy mesh structure that’s extremely breathable. The insulation is very thin, light and compressible and dries fast. Selewa use a very light recycled polyester mesh backer on the insulation, all helping to keep the weight and pack size of the Pedroc to a minimum.
The secondary fabric is Polartec Power Dry grid brushed fleece. The fleece sections on the upper spine, down the sides, under the arms and on the forearms are stretchy and venting; I often find that my forearms get hot and sweaty in a normal windproof so it’s nice to have more ventilation here and the stretch in the fleece panels helps the jacket fit well and move with you.
The jacket is finished with Polygiene anti-odour treatment, a lockable YKK full zip for brilliantly versatile venting and two zipped hand warmer pockets set high enough that you can access them when you are wearing a bag with a waist band. The hem is elasticated in Salewa branded tape and the fleecy thumb loops are comfortable to use and lovely when it’s cold.
Finally, the Pedroc incorporates recycled content and bluesign-approved fabric: great to see on such a technical jacket.
To sum up: The Pedroc is an excellent jacket; it’s perfect for long days out on the hills and mountain adventures, especially when it’s cold and you’re going to work hard. High spec and great looks finish a jacket I’ll be wearing a lot.