First Look: Stylish & Tech Women’s Down Jacket

‘One jacket to get you through the winter, on the ski hill and off.’ – That’s the promise behind the down-insulated Durrance from Stio.

Durrance down jacket

Too many jackets boast the made-for-ladies label. However, upon closer inspection, they look and fit like sized-down men’s jackets. Until recently, I nearly gave up on the idea of a flattering, functional women’s-specific outdoor line.

Insert Stio, a company based in Jackson Hole, Wyo., and founded “to inspire connection with outdoors through beautiful functional products infused with mountain soul.”

Review: Stio Durrance Down Jacket

This winter, I received the brand’s new all-around ski town coat, the Durrance Down Jacket ($375). Stylish, comfortable, technical, and feminine, it quickly became my go-to winter wrapper.

Review - Stio Durrance down jacket

Since cold weather hit Central Oregon, I’ve worn this jacket resort skiing, cross country skiing, shoveling snow, and running errands.

The quilted look and feminine cut of the Durrance make it appropriate for wearing while out on the town, while the waterproof/breathable membrane, 50d polyester outer shell, and water-repellant down (Allied Feather’s HyperDRY) make it ideal for mountain activities.

Compared to the other jackets in my quiver, the Durrance excels. Though heavier, its warmth inspires me to choose it every time I head out the door. 

The Good:

Lined with brushed tricot (much like fine soft fleece), the exterior pockets and neck cuff keep glove-less hands and chins cozy and warm. 

One roomy, zippered, interior pocket holds valuables and a ski pass, while the other opens on top for easy access. Big pit zips make it quick to cool off on nicer days. 

Pit zips

The Durrance Down Jacket transitions fast and easily from slope to street, with its removable down-filled hood and snow skirt. Easy-to-grab zipper pulls work well even when your hands don’t. 

Super cozy and comfortable, I shoveled snow in 5-degree temps with nothing underneath but my flannel pajamas. 

The trim and feminine fit flatters the figure. Yet it’s roomy enough for an athlete to make jump turns on a snowboard wearing extra layers underneath. 

Stio durrance jacket

The Bad/Not So Good

At about 32 oz, this is a mid-weight jacket (and one of the heaviest in my closet, which is biased toward hard-shells or dedicated lightweight down jackets). Because of its weight and bulk, I don’t recommend the Durrance for aerobic activities.

Wear it for walking, slope skiing, and casual snowshoe excursions. But this is not a running jacket or one I’d take on a climb or wear XC skiing.

Internal jacket pockets

The jacket doesn’t pack down at all. Give it a second thought if you travel light or remove layers at any point during your outdoor adventure; the Durrance takes up a lot of backpack real estate. 

I found the jacket’s snow skirt to be mediocre. To test it, I lightly fell down a couple times in deep powder and slid for a little ways.

Like most snow skirts I have tested, it didn’t keep the snow out in a fall but does its job sealing off the bottom of the jacket while you’re turning through powder.

Who Should Buy Stio Durrace?

At $375, consider your style of backcountry adventure before committing to this jacket for the winter. Don’t buy it if you do regular dawn patrols or otherwise want to travel fast and light in the snowy backcountry. 

But if you spend your days riding lifts and going out on the town afterwards, Stio’s Durrance could be perfect for you. I love the look and fit of this fine, technical down jacket.

tagged: #review

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