The Stio Raymer Jacket is a lightweight, ultra breathable and waterproof shell, which performs remarkably well in a wide variety of weather conditions. Testers also appreciated the variety of pockets. The stretch waterproof fabric is very comfortable and does not inhibit movement. The Raymer jacket was the only jacket tested without a built in snow skirt. Overall, testers were extremely impressed with the Raymer jacket and tried to push it as far as they could, failing to find any weakness in durability, weatherproofness or comfort.
The Stio Raymer jacket is a durable waterproof nylon shell made from a 50 denier, 3-layer Dermizax fabric. Dermizax is an ultra-breathable alternative to Gore-Tex with high waterproofness and breathability specifications. This fabric allowed testers to push the physical exertion to the limit and any internal moisture was wicked away while external moisture stayed out. Combined with a 4-way stretch this made for an extremely comfortable product that performed well in any sort of conditions. The Raymer jacket proved itself over many days of high output activities during periods of heavy snowfall.
The Raymer jacket combines its fantastic fabric build with durable waterproof zippers which performed great even in the wettest of weather. The helmet compatible hood is an appropriate size that can easily be adjusted for wearing with or without a helmet. The large Velcro cuffs allow the user flexibility to wear either over or under the cuff gloves. Two zippered harness compatible hand pockets, a zippered chest pocket, one interior zippered stash pocket as well as an interior mesh pouch pocket allowed for ample storage without adding bulk to the jacket. Testers really appreciated the interior pockets which provided plenty of storage without additional bulk. Oversized waterproof pit zips also allowed users to dump heat quickly when needed. The Raymer is lacking a few features seen in other jackets in the test, such as a removable snow skirt and RECCO reflector. While not everyone wants these features, it warrants mention.
The Stio Raymer Jacket impressed testers with its weatherproofness and breathability in a wide variety of conditions. The Dermizax membrane carries a 20,000 mm waterproofness rating and the 80/20 DWR on the surface of the shell ensured water and snow would bead quickly and not interfere with the comfort of the piece. During periods of heavy snowfall and wind, testers never felt damp or wet, and wind was blocked. However, the Raymer is lacking a snow skirt which was present in all other shells that were tested, so if taking a big tumble, then snow could potentially get into the jacket.
Testers were most impressed by the temperature control for the Raymer jacket. The provided specs say that the Raymer jacket has 10,000 g/m2 over 24 hrs of breathability which is lower than some of the other specs for this test. However, testers found that during high output activities, such as skinning or hiking, the jacket was breathable enough to keep zipped up, when other jackets got too clammy or hot. Even during heavy exertion such as ice climbing or skinning, the jacket never got too wet on the inside, and the pit zips were able to dump heat quickly, further ensuring the tester remained comfortable.
The jacket fit very well, with a nice length in the sleeves and enough space for the cuffs to fit comfortably over most short cuff gloves, while being low profile enough to easily sit under an over-the-cuff glove. Testers were comfortable and confident in this piece while backcountry touring, skiing hard in bounds and even ice climbing. It is a low profile piece that fits close to the body allowing for superb range of motion that encouraged testers to push it to the limits. The length of the jacket is shorter than others tested, but sufficient to keep the elements out. In the deepest snow, however, there is enough space at the bottom of the jacket to allow a little bit of snow to creep in. The lightweight 4-way stretch fabric is easy to forget about on the lift, skin track or even just around town. There is an unusual condition however, where in extremely low temperatures, the moisture in the fabric would freeze, causing the jacket to stiffen up, not quite to an uncomfortable level, but enough to notice. This would also cause a crinkly feel and sound to the fabric. This only seemed to occur in temperatures below 5℉ and was not otherwise an issue.
Style & Value
This piece has the look and feel of a high end alpine shell. Its slim cut and low profile pockets give the appearance of shells commonly seen on professional mountaineers and ice climbers, rather than the bulkier outerwear typical of the pro ski community. Testers were very happy with the versatility of the piece, noting that it is a great option to take on almost any winter adventure. At $375, the Raymer Jacket is a great value for a lightweight 3-layer shell. While this piece was tested as a ski shell, it can definitely compete with any alpine climbing jacket on the market. Since there is often significant market overlap between the two categories, testers believe the Raymer jacket could be a serious contender for anyone looking to spend lots of time in adverse winter conditions, while keeping weight and bulk to a minimum, whether they spend that time skiing, climbing or both.