Stio Shot 7 Down Jacket
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Pros: 800-fill down (high quality, mad warm), true pit-zips, rugged woven outer shell, the warmest hood we've ever tested
Cons: Zipper can get a touch finicky with down lining, expensive-but less than Arc'Teryx equivalent!
I’m always cold. Handwarmers, layers, down feathers, Polartec, battery-powered doo-dads. While others traipse about in light shells, I’m still rolling with two or three layers. I have spent years trying to hone my ski kit to keep me warm while riding up a lift in anything that isn’t full sunshine.
In Stio’s Shot 7 ($650), however, I found a solution. Last winter, wearing this coat on a gray January day in Jackson Hole, I took extra laps after the rest of my family headed to warmer après environments.
I’m normally leery of skiing in coats that combine a shell and big-time insulation. I’m worried I’ll be too hot (I shouldn’t worry about this as it never happens) and that they’ll look too puffy—or not be warm enough, leaving me to add more layers below.
It makes sense that an outerwear company from Jackson Hole would be the one to get a warm ski coat finally dialed in. I've skied in the Patagonia Primo Down—it does its job, it's definitely warm—but it looks and feels like a blimp. The Shot 7 offers the same kind of fidelity while also looking like something a badass skier might actually wear.
The coat's 800-fill down keeps me warm without wiggling into three fleeces, it has a bullet-proof Gore-Tex outer layer, and it has a texture to its woven shell that makes it appear as it should: as a stubborn bulwark against the elements. The responsibly-sourced down fills the coat with just the right amount of fluff--not bulky, just cozy. The lining even extends to the hood which, I kid you not, adds an extra layer of protection to your ears from bitter temps when you’re speeding down in a storm or battening zippers and velcro during a particularly windy chair ride.
The Gore-Tex 2L 75fD Dobby shell is described as “water repellant” (via their newest, niftiest technology they refer to as Hyper Dry). I wore it in several squalls (and a bit of rain) and the coat shed it all with aplomb. The fit is perfect--it hits just below the hip and is cut with a feminine silhouette that is still roomy enough for high powered carves and fiddling with skins in the backcountry. A side note: I wore this coat in downtown Aspen and still felt like the belle of the ball.
Ultimately it’s the attention to detail that sets this coat apart from the rest. Where to begin? The pockets? Oh, the pockets! Two hand pockets on each side of the zipper are lined with a thin layer of tricot fleece, making the mitten-less search for a rogue Jolly Rancher or earbud an experience worth repeating. The same material also lines the chinguard, keeping the bottom half of your face free of the often inevitable “dry skin red chuff.”
Also gone are the days of wondering where to attach your ski pass. There is a zippered sleeve pocket on the right arm for an RFID pass, while a webbed loop at the interior front hem accommodates the traditional zip tie card.
Finally, this coat is sealed like a tank: every single bit of stitching, including zippers and the hood, are seamed to keep the elements out. If you ski with children or other strange people who ask you to carry things, you’ll also love the mesh “stash” pocket inside the coat. It’s roomy enough that I could successfully carry my phone and my sons’ (as well as a few energy bars and a thin wallet). Zipped up, I didn't look like a bulky, asymmetrical clod.
While the coat is designed for days combining epic cold and epic powder, the shell is breathable enough and the pit zips are so strategically placed, that I was also comfortable wearing it in 45-degree spring skiing with full sun. This last option might not be for everybody, but remember, I'm usually cold.
For those looking for a coat that is the solution for skiing on truly cold days, the Shot 7 deserves a hard look. For me, Stio nailed it.
Stio Shot 7 Down Jacket
Where to buy it: Stio sells almost exclusively direct to consumer, so that means you can find the Shot 7 at a Stio store in Jackson Hole or Park City, or at Stio.com.
Where to ski it: anywhere it's cold.
Colors: Moondust (gray); Mountain Shadow (blue); Risk Red (yep, it's red).
Sarah Gompers is the women’s gear editor for ZRankings.