Although it’s my second year back as a resident in the Pacific Northwest, my efforts to stay on track as a regular bike commuter has meant expanding my selection of cold weather gear. The Azura insulated vest from Wyoming outdoor brand Stio has been a staple of day to day life since acquiring it from Stio a few months ago.
Features (via Stio)
- 15D Minirip Polyester w/ DWR, 100% Polyester, 15 denier, 37g/m2 with 80/20 DWR
- Primaloft® Gold 60g Insulation
- Double layer insulation at collar
- Inside collar brushed tricot chin guard
- Hand warmer pockets
- Second interior pocket doubles as a stuff sack
- Embroidered Stio® and Pinecone logos
- Weight: 9 oz.
The Primaloft Gold 60g fill falls in the Stio line up as a light weight piece, and the warm-to-weight ratio is high. The synthetic polyester fill doesn’t pack as small as their packable model using down, but squishes down just fine and doesn’t take a lot of room in my commuter pack. The lightweight insurance is nice at the office, where I’ve utilized it daily.
Dual side pockets as well as an inside and outside chest pocket offer plenty of space for stowing EDC items, and the liner in the pockets is great for keeping hands warm. I’ve been wearing the vest everywhere from cold weather rides, wrenching on bikes in the garage, to roadtrips to everyday in the office. Simply put, I love this thing.
The Azura features a “regular” fit from Stio. I wear a small or a medium depending on fit and intended use. (as well as the brand) At 5’10” and 163 lbs, and wearing a size 38 R jacket, I initially chose the Medium size as it recommended for those measuring 38-40. Unfortunately I was swimming in the medium, so I replaced with the small and am much happier with the fit. I’m able to wear the small under a jacket, and over a fitted shirt jacket with no issues whatsoever. Stio lists customer reviews on the product page and had I read the comments I’m sure I would have ordered a small from the start.
I’ve owned a few insulated vests to date and find the Azura to be a well designed technical vest that nails that sweet spot of layering and on-its-own functionality. Whether I’m wearing it over fitted jackets and sweaters or underneath a shell on wet days, it’s been a constant companion and a go-to piece in cool weather. The solid construction means I should be seeing regular use from it for some time to come.
The Azura Insulated Vest lists for $155. Check it out at Stio.com