For a few years now, I’ve been getting by with old ski pants that are literally falling apart at the seams and lost their waterproofness sometime before my six-year-old daughter was born. In November, I finally swapped those out for Stio’s Environ Pants.
My first few days out in the Environs have been a tremendous reminder not to underestimate the role good ski pants play in our kit. Sure, they might not be as sexy as a new pair of skis or as truly essential as boots that feel good on your feet, but a warm, dry and generally comfortable lower body can definitely inspire longer, bigger, happier days.
So far I’ve used my Stio Environs to backcountry ski, ride lifts, sled and cross-country ski (both skate and classic) — all here in the Tetons. I've put them to the test on bluebird days as well as during epic snowstorms. And I've worn them in temps that range from subzero to 40 degrees.
They’ve performed well in all situations, but are particularly suited to earning turns. An athletic cut means they move fluidly with my body, while breathable fabric and side vents facilitate temperature control.
What I like about the Stio Environ Pants:
Quality construction throughout. It’s clear that these pants have been obsessively designed, to get each detail right without adding any unnecessary bells and whistles.
The 2-way thigh vents, reinforced cuff, built-in gaiters and water-resistant zippers are particularly nice touches.
The fit is spot on! I’m a “smedium,” sometimes small and sometimes medium. I ordered a medium in the Environs and it’s perfect. I’m able to get a snug fit around my waist with the Velcro adjustments while still having plenty of room for my skier thighs.
Well thought out zipper pulls mean you can open pockets and adjust ventilation on the go without needing to take off gloves or mittens.
- I don't experience any chaffing where the hip belt on on my pack cinches around the Environs — something that's been a problem in the past.
- I just feel good wearing them. From the texture of the fabric to the color, it’s just a very aesthetic, high-performing piece of gear.
Suggestions for improvement:
I wish the thigh pocket was just a bit bigger. It fits my iPhone 6 Plus without a case, but not with one.
- This isn’t something I’d necessarily like changed, but it’s worth noting that these pants are designed to be a shell, and don't have extra insulation. I definitely find myself wearing thicker long underwear layers, especially when riding lifts or during a deep freeze.
The bottom line: if you’re in need of a pair of ski pants, you just won’t go wrong with the Stio Environs (available in both men's and women's styles). They keep the elements out, breathe beautifully and feel comfortable and streamlined.