A down jacket is a staple piece for the Pacific Northwest lifestyle. I’ve been on the hunt for a good lightweight packable down jacket for a while, and was stoked to get my hands on the Stio Pinion Down Hooded jacket.
For those unfamiliar with Stio, they were founded in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, a community known for outdoor pursuits and recreation. The company makes an effort to advocate for conservation and sustainability, two values one would hope for in a brand that values the outdoors and outdoor experiences. Towards that end, the Pinion Jacket utilizes certified responsible down fill and Bluesign approved textiles.
- Responsible Down Standard Certified
- HyperDRY™ 800-fill down Ultralight fill, suitable for four-season activities
- Ripstop exterior features an 80/20 DWR finish
- Regular Fit
- Weight: 12 oz.
In the wild
First impressions of this jacket — this thing is light. I’m able to wear it over a base layer and flannel, and it’s fitted enough I can wear a hardshell over it as well. Layering is a staple of dressing this time of year and it fits into the mix in a number of ways.
The jacket hits that sweet spot of providing insulating warmth without being overly warm, though it depends of the level of activity. I’ve worn it a wide range of temperatures, both as an outer layer, or a part of my layering strategy. The Pinion gets the most use pre-and post MTB, XC/DH Skiing, snowboarding, split boarding, and of course on hikes and camping trips. During vigorous activity, it packs down into a bag easily for storage, with the interior chest pocket doubling as a stuff pocket.
As you’d expect for a down jacket, it’s quite warm thanks to the ability of the down to retain your body heat. It’s the kind of piece you can live in on a weekend camping or bike packing — and I definitely have.
When it comes to the hood, depending on your use, I’m not entirely sure on is how much the hood is needed. Personally, I am a fan of the look of the hood, but if you’re layering it under a hardshell while skiing or snowboarding, you’re potentially doubling up on hoods. It isn’t an issue though; while there is a lot of loft, it isn’t noticeable under an outer jacket. Personally, I’d choose the hooded model every time; on cold nights huddled up in a sleeping bag, that hood sure is nice for a bit of extra warmth, and is more comfortable than a beanie to sleep in. It’s like having a sleeping bag for your head.
Fit & Sizing
I am 5’10” and weigh around 164 lbs and am wearing a small and have plenty of room for multiple base layers and a vest if desired.
A downside of down jackets and the lightweight warmth can be durability. Small tears are always possible, and with small holes comes the possibility of losing the down insulation. The narrow baffles not only distribute and keep the down in place, but also can help limit any potential insulation loss. I enjoy hiking with an adventure cat that likes to ride on my shoulders, so if I’m wearing the Pinion, I’ll always be sure to wear a durable outer layer as her claws like to tear things up. After a season of use, the jacket is holding up well, and I have yet to find the need to apply any patches.
The Pinion down jacket is currently available in five solid color options, and as blue is a favorite color, I was torn; the navy Mountain Shadow looked appealing as well. As I’m planning a number of bike-packing adventures in the next year, I chose the bright sky blue (which isn’t offered for winter of 2023) as it is not only photogenic but would be easy to spot.
There are a lot of options to choose from in the insulated jacket category, but if you’re looking at the Stio, its a solid option that should be up for providing years of service. The Stio Pinion down hooded puffy jacket lists for $285. Learn more at Stio.com