Sphero XT fabric was possibly the best all-around softshell textile we’ve ever tested
Adjustments were clean and useful, even with gloves on
Awesome weather protection for a non-membrane jacket
Pockets and shoulder seams weren’t too pack-friendly
The Stio Vescent gets our Best in Class award this season for its versatile and uncomplicated performance. We felt that it was nearly everything an all-mountain softshell should be.
Weather Protection With a tough-as-nails DWR treatment and super-soft polyester fleece lining, this coat performed quite well in the dank and cold. While rain could (maybe) eventually work its way in through the seams, it took a lab-based hose-soaking to breach the Vescent’s considerable defenses.
Breathability Though it hoarded warmth and shrugged off all but the fiercest winds, the Vescent could still release plenty of humidity when we picked up the pace.
Mobility Good stretch and a regular-to-roomy cut made for easy wearing. The hood’s fit over a helmet was a little tight, but entirely serviceable.
Comfort A strong score here reflects the wonderful comfort of the fabric, soft and stretchy double cuffs, and the just-right fit. The confidence that came with knowing that this jacket would handle pretty much whatever the mountain threw down was pretty comforting, too.
Attention to Detail The Vescent’s adjustments had a reassuringly utilitarian feel. And while some users might wish for more details—pitzips, or additional hood adjustments, for example— we felt that the feature set Stio chose was spot-on.
Value With its great all-around performance and high-quality, durable construction (in Canada), this Stio softy would be a good buy at $260. At $230, it’s a steal.