Gear 360

Stio Men’s Objective Pro Jacket

The Jackson, Wyo.–based outerwear brand's bomber Gore-Tex jacket proved to be an ideal companion for all-mountain skiing with a looser, freeride fit for comfort and style.

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Stio Men’s Ojbective Pro 3L Gore-Tex Jacket, MSRP: $699  [BUY NOW]

SKI Gear 360 Review

At first glance, the Stio Objective Pro 3L Gore-Tex Pro jacket is very similar to most three-layer Gore-Tex Pro jackets. It’s durable to the point that it’s almost overbuilt for most recreational skiers, plus it has a terrific weatherproof-to-breathability ratio.

But there is a reason all of these jackets are so similar: The design works very, very well. And the first collaboration between Gore-Tex and Jackson, Wyo.-based outerwear brand Stio has all of the durability and breathability skiers could ask for, but the Objective Pro takes a step further by fine-tuning the style to fit looser to accommodate midlayers and remain comfortable while skiing.

The men’s Objective Jacket, Stio’s new Gore-Tex shell, serves up a relaxed, freeride fit with excellent protection from the elements.

The jacket keeps most of the fit adjustments simple and effective, and a well-designed pocket system keeps all the essentials handy, including access to the inside of the jacket without having to undo the main front zipper. The pockets are placed in a way that keeps resort and backcountry skiers in mind, as it accommodates a backpack waist strap or harness with ease. Perfectly sized pit-zips help dump heat in a hurry when temps rise or when the bootpack gets steep.

While riding chairlifts during a sunny but chilly week in Vail, I didn’t do much thinking about the Stio Objective jacket I was wearing, which means it’s an ideal piece of outerwear. The loose, nearly freeride-oriented fit of the Objective Pro moved with me while carving groomers and playing around in some rock-hard moguls, and the chilly breeze I could feel through my helmet vents was completely held at bay by the jacket.

During a ski tour near Nederland, Colo., the Stio Objective Pro was the perfect layer for when things heated up in the sun but cooled in the shade. Worn over a merino wool baselayer, there was no moisture build up inside, and the chilly breeze remained at bay throughout the tour and descent as well.

While I didn’t get the chance to test the Objective Pro jacket in wetter conditions, I can say that I’ve tested a number of other Gore-Tex Pro jackets in both snow and rain, and I’ve always been impressed. They are the industry standard for a reason, after all.

Of course, it must be said that the price tag for all Gore-Tex Pro jackets, including the Stio Objective Pro, can be considered pretty steep. But that’s where the overbuilt durability comes into play: This jacket is built to last, and will be any skier’s go-to option day in and day out, for many ski seasons to come. Think of the price as a long term investment in your comfort while outdoors.


SKI Reader Gear 360 Review

I really like this jacket. I even got props from a friend, who is a 27-year veteran ski patroller, as I unloaded the lift, who said, “Wow, lookin’ sharp this winter!” I later found out from his wife that he had confessed to having ”jacket envy” after seeing me in this new Stio. I like the understated gray color and simple non-flashy design of the Objective Pro, which actually belies some extremely thoughtful functionality. Long and well-placed pit zips provide great ventilation and a rib cage pocket with a reach-though zipper lets me access pockets in my under layers. Two large bellowed slash pockets on the front have plenty of room for gloves, maps, or skins, and a couple of smaller interior pockets are good for smaller items such as phone, keys, or lip balm. There’s even a dedicated interior pass pocket near the lower hem on the front. Large was an accurate fit for me, a “true” large who often has to drop to medium or go up to XL in other brands with less-accurate sizing. My only complaint is that the sleeve cuff Velcro tighteners seem to face the wrong direction. I’ve found that, while wearing gloves, I can most easily and comfortably tighten my sleeve cuff over my glove cuff when I am pulling the Velcro toward me. On this jacket, have to pull it away from me. Not a deal-breaker, but something to adjust to. Overall though, the Objective Pro is a solid shell with just the right amount of features to make it user-friendly without weighing you down.
—Sam Bass, Boulder, Colo.