The Salewa Sella PTX Responsive is made from an intriguing new material. Chris Townsend puts this waterproof jacket through its paces on the hill. 

A new jacket from Salewa, the Salewa Sella PTX is made from an unusual material. Salewa says “Responsive technology uses minerals embedded into polyester fibres to recycle the body’s infrared energy. Fabrics using Responsive technology intercept far-infrared radiation (FIR) energy produced by the body, and gradually transmits it back into the body over time, increasing muscle microcirculation and oxygenation. Studies conducted by the University of Turin show that this improves performance and recovery; subjects gained on average 5.5% higher blood oxygen capacity (VO2) and 18% lower blood lactate”. Does this actually make any difference when using this jacket for hillwalking? Not that I can tell. I haven’t felt any different. Maybe in extreme sports it’s noticeable. These claims aside the fabric feels pleasant, breathability is okay, and the jacket design is good.

The hood has an unusual feature that I like. It is helmet compatible but instead of a drawcord to reduce the volume, which always results in bunched fabric, it has a zipped panel that folds away neatly. The hood only has a rear drawcord for adjustment but can be closed round the head well. It gives good protection without impeding vision.

The Salewa Sella PTX Responsive has three big chest pockets that will all hold maps and two stretch mesh inner ones that are good for keeping gloves and hats warm. There’s also a little pocket by the cuff of one sleeve that I can’t see much use for. Unusually the Sella also has a stretch snow powder skirt. This can be zipped out when not needed.

The Salewa Sella PTX Responstive is a good jacket, regardless of whether the properties of the fabric make any real-world difference. It is a bit more expensive than jackets at a similar weight that perform much the same.

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Overview

  • Overall: 3-5 out of 5

Pros: hood, pockets

Cons: cost

  • Weight: 570g (L)
  • Materials: PFC-free Powertex Responsive Bi-Chromatic Eco
  • Hood: wired peak, rear adjustment
  • Front closure: waterproof zip with inner storm flap
  • Length: 74cm
  • Underarm/ side zips: two-way waterproof
  • Pockets: 3 chest, 1 sleeve, 2 stretch inner
  • Hem: drawcord, extended back
  • Cuffs: Velcro
  • Sizes: men S-XXL, women XS-XL
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