There’s nothing quite as nice as a good wool sweater after a long day on the mountain.  The Pelmo is a wool blend offering from Outdoor Research that’s built along the classic lines of European mountaineering and the fabrics that kept people alive in the mountains decades ago.

Outdoor Research Pelmo Sweater Features:

  • Wicking
  • Quick Drying
  • Brushed-Tricot-Lined Collar
  • Zippered Arm Pocket
  • 1/4-Length Front Zipper
  • 44% polyester, 39% wool, 17% nylon
  • MSRP: $135

Outdoor Research Pelmo Sweater Review

Pelmo is Classic Mountain Style

It’s often pretty tough to improve on a classic, but Outdoor Research managed to do just that with the Pelmo.  The Pelmo’s fabric is a wool blend that’s been cut with polyester and nylon; the wool retains its ability to stay warm when wet while the cotton and nylon take a touch of the scratchiness off of the wool.  The sweater has a nice, regular fit and the tested size Medium fit my 5’11”, 180lb. frame very nicely.  The large-toothed front half-zip pulls very easily and there’s also a convenient arm pocket emblazoned with the OR logo.

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The jacket moves fairly well for its type and, while I mostly wore the Pelmo around town it fared well when I took it down to Riverside State Park for a stroll along the river.  As is only natural, my little hike was accompanied by a light drizzle but the Pelmo’s wooly fabric kept me warm.  The arms are gusseted for extra range of motion and the fabric dries off quickly, whether from sweat or from rain.

The Pelmo is quite soft next-to-skin considering the fact that it’s a wool blend, but it’ll never be as soft as a fleece sweater.  Outdoor Research lined the collar with tricot and there’s a fat zipper garage to shield your chin, so the chin area is cushioned in very soft fabric.  The collar is awfully tight, though, and I found the sweater uncomfortable to zip up all the way.  Additionally, the OR-branded zipper pull is textured in such a way that it acts like Velcro on the wool fabric – over time, this has led to a certain degree of pilling on the fabric along the zipper track.  Solution?  Remove the zipper pull and replace it with one from another jacket.

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The Good

  • Classic styling meets updated performance
  • Fabric dries quickly and retains heat when wet
  • Interior fabric is soft next-to-skin

The Bad

  • Collar is too tight
  • Zipper pull tends to pill nearby fabric

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The Bottom Line

The Pelmo is a very nice little sweater that’s built along the classic lines of European mountain guides – the name itself is for the Italian peak Mount Pelmo.  Outdoor Research has cleverly combined the classic performance of wool while taking some of the scratchiness off, making the sweater a very comfortable all-day option.  The Pelmo can hold its own outdoor, but it’s ideal for holding on to your mountain ties while in civilization.

Buy now: Available from Moosejaw.com

About Author

Kevin Glover is an outdoorsman living, climbing and biking in Spokane, WA. Originally from the Nevada high desert, he moved to the PNW for its mild winters and allergen-free summers. He has guided throughout the Cascades and Enchantments for Peak 7 Adventures.

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