The Azura XR is a lightweight, synthetic, hooded jacket whose quality materials and technical features create a jacket that is designed for versatile mountain use. The XT differentiates this jacket from the Azura line with the addition of a hood and a “trimmer, more athletic fit”.
The Stio Azura XT Hooded Jacket in all its shiny blue glory.
The shell of the Stio Azura XT Hooded Jacket is 100% Minirip, 15D polyester with a cire finish making it slightly shiny. A DWR coating means this shell will protect you from wind, light rain and snow, all while remaining breathable. Sixty grams of Primaloft Gold Insulation provides an excellent warmth to weight ratio and breathability. This high performance synthetic insulation is water repellant, but in the event that the weather has other plans for you, it’s said to retain 98% of its warmth when wet. This insulation is also a Bluesign textile, ensuring that it meets a high level of sustainable productions standards.
The Azura XT offers the same insulation as the original Azura line but provides a few technical features to enhance the performance of this jacket. The addition of a hood will help keep you warm and their peripheral adjustments ensure that your vision is not obscured while the hood is up. The hood as well as the wrist cuffs have elastic lining that help keep the weather out, and the hem at the waist can be adjusted via low-profile cord locks.
With four season versatility and an athletic fit, this jacket can be worn comfortably on it’s own, or under a hardshell to serve as a mid-layer. Gusseted underarm panels accommodate uninhibited arm movement. Two pockets at the waist and one on the chest are all zippered so your personal effects stay with you throughout your adventures. While the outer shell has a smooth finish, the inside is quilted and features a zippered mesh pocket. The draft guard features a grosgrain strip in order to protect zipper teeth and enhance garment durability.
Shell: 100% Polyester, 15D, 37g/m2 with 80/20 DWR
Insulation: 60G Primaloft Gold Insulation
The most noticeable feature of this jacket is the warmth to weight ratio. The Primaloft Gold Insulation it uses is very compact and offers excellent insulation while remaining very light. As far as synthetic insulation goes, this stuff is on point. Compared to the Outdoor Research Uberlayer Hooded Jacket, the Azura XT is 5oz lighter and $50USD cheaper. The Mountain Hardware Stretchdown RS Jacket, a down insulator, is only 1.2oz lighter, but costs nearly $50US more.
The shell of the Azura XT and liner are very soft and comfortable; I honestly thought “this kind of feels like a sleeping bag” when I was wearing it. While it is warm and comfortable like a sleeping bag, it is anything but bulky. This form-fitting jacket offers a great range of motion for any activity. If it warms up and the jacket needs to go in the backpack, it won't take up too much space as it compresses fairly well.
I also really like that this jacket has four zippered pockets. I’m a firm believer in never having too many pockets, and the added zipper provides confidence that your stuff will stay with you.
The two things I’m not sold on are the cire finish and a lack of stretch in the fabric. The shiny look of the jacket is certainly a style thing, so whether that’s a pro or a con will be subjective based on personal preference; my preference is that my clothes aren’t shiny. My other beef is with the lack of stretch in the fabrics. This jacket is being marketed to a performance-based, technical garment, and I think the added flexibility of even a little bit of stretch in the design would really boost the athletic appeal.
All in all, this is an excellent synthetic jacket which offers top tier warmth to weight while keeping the price reasonable.
Weight: 0.43kg / 15oz
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