I recently tested a jacket from a local outdoor apparel company, Stio. There’s no better place to test outerwear than in our own backyard, so I took the redesigned Stio Environ Jacket out for some tours around here in Jackson, WY.
Stio Environ Jacket Review Women’s
The Environ is Stio’s top of the line ski shell, so I admittedly had very high expectations – like Teton high – and it did not disappoint. This is a jacket for the skier who demands comfort and performance going both uphill and downhill.
Let’s be honest. Looking fresh is half the battle, so we’ll start there. My experience so far with women’s ski jackets is that they tend to be either too boxy and shapeless or dysfunctionally overstyled – I prefer to save my Aspen Extreme look for gaper day at the resort. In Stio’s “regular fit,” the Environ has enough stretch to allow for a trim, feminine fit without inhibiting movement. I am just shy of 5’6” and the length of the size small was just right. I didn’t even think about whether it might be riding up while I was skinning – crazy, right?!
So now that we’ve established how good I look and feel in this jacket, you must be dying to know: could it keep up with my radical moves? To avoid constant layer adjustments, I’ve been looking for a shell that can keep me cool when things get hot going uphill. The breathability of the TORAYDELFY material was exceptional – definitely superior to the GORETEX I have been using for years. When everyone else was shedding layers, I cooled off just fine by opening the pit-zips. Stio uses a unique zipper pull that was exceptionally easy to use – I never had to take off my pack or gloves to adjust the zippers. It’s a small detail, but one that I noticed.
The zippered cuffs were another small but well-appreciated detail. Normally I sacrifice dry wrists because it is so difficult to adjust the velcro on the cuffs of most jackets. But the hidden zippers on the cuffs of the Environ made it easy to adjust the wrists without taking off my bulky gloves.
In addition to the bonuses that separate it from the rest of the pack, the jacket includes all the other features that have become standard. This year a powder skirt was added to supplement the existing adjustable lower hem. The detachable hood, which fits easily over my helmet, has three points of adjustment to ensure a good fit around the face while maintaining peripheral vision. All of the zippers are completely waterproof. No question, you will definitely stay dry in this setup.
So what would I change? Mostly just bells and whistles. It might have been nice to have a couple of additional pockets. There are two interior pockets, one with a zipper and one without, in addition to three exterior pockets. It would be nice if the exterior chest pocket had an opening inside for headphones. However, for a high-performing, minimalist backcountry ski shell, Stio nailed it. Any more features would have resulted in more weight that none of us really wants to carry uphill. While the breathability was a major plus, it did come at the expense of the windproof quality. For mid-November, it was no problem, but I could see it getting a bit chilly on a cold January day with higher wind speed.
All in all, I definitely recommend This Jacket ($449.00) for anyone looking for an attractive, functional, true-to-size shell that can handle the demands of traveling in the backcountry and skiing variable conditions in and out of bounds. At $425, it’s right in line with other high-quality waterproof ski shells, and you’ll be repping a local brand.
For men there’s a matching jacket. Learn more in our Stio Men’s Environ Jacket Review.