TEM investigations have been performed on irradiated samples after deformation covering various testing conditions for different recrystallized Zr alloys. It is shown that for transverse tensile tests and internal pressure tests performed at 350°C, only basal channels are observed for strain levels up to uniform elongation, whereas only prismatic and pyramidal channels are observed for axial tensile test. Then, focusing on internal pressure testing, irradiation hardening and strain hardening behavior have been analyzed in detail and compared to TEM observations. It is proposed that dislocation channeling phenomenon leads to high strain incompatibility between channels and surrounding grains and therefore to high microscopic internal stresses. These high microscopic internal stresses are believed to induce strong kinematic hardening at the macroscopic scale, as suggested by the mechanical behavior analysis. Finally, a micro-mechanical model based on microscopic deformation mechanisms and using homogenization techniques is proposed, taking into account the observed channeling phenomenon.