After my outstanding experience with the Stio Environ jacket (review here), I decided to give the Stio Environ pants and Environ bibs a try. For many years I have been a fan of another CO-based ski pant, but they were just a bit too baggy and I was having some waterproofing issues in the seat. There isn't much of anything I don't like about the Environ jacket, so I figured I would like the pants version. There are two versions of the Environ pant: one is designed more for inbounds, and the other is a mini-bib with features oriented toward touring. The differences between models aren't clear, so I purchased both versions via Stio's pro-program last season and got in about 40 days wearing both styles. The pants' MSRP is $389, and the bib lists for $449. I am 6 ft 168 lb with a 33-in. inseam and 32-in. waist, and I am testing a size medium.

The two versions share the same materials and high-quality construction, but there are some key differences that you should understand when deciding between modes. Let's start with what they share. All Environ products (pants and jackets) utilize Toray Dermizax three-layer waterproof/breathable material. Dermizax membrane is rated at 20,000mm waterproofness and 10,000 breathability. The material is a 150 denier with an 80/20 durable water repellent (DWR). The fabric is a very tightly woven, pliable material but its heavier weight feels substantial and burly. Both pants have generously sized Cordura kick patches. All seams are sealed, and Aquaguard zippers with silicone grips help ease of use with a glove. Both models feature articulated knees and internal pant gaiters. For my use in Colorado, this combination of abilities and features works very well. Build quality is right up there with any top-quality manufacturer.

The Environ pant is built for the resort environment. It has a few extras that we will explore and a design oriented more toward comfort and style. It weighs about 840 g. Its features differ from the bib in a few ways:
  • Fleece-lined front hand pockets that actually add a little insulation to your quads
  • Flap covers on the zipper on the hand, thigh, and rear pockets
  • Adjustable waist
  • Belt loops
  • Thigh vents running from butt to knee with a double-ended zipper
Environ Front .jpg

Environ Covered pocket.jpg

Environ pant Zipper.jpg


The Environ bibs are best described as a high-waisted pant with a higher back with suspenders. They are designed with the backcountry in mind, or maybe just for those who want a pant with a cleaner design and extra coverage. They weigh about 770 g. They differ from the pants as follows:
  • Ample-sized waist with room for layering and elastic back panel for comfort
  • Fixed, adjustable suspenders
  • Full-length zippers that can be partially opened for venting
  • Side zipper snap covers at the top and bottom
  • No rear pockets
  • No flaps on pockets
  • Hand pockets are not fleece-lined

Environ bib full view.jpg

Environ Bib zipper .jpg


Fit and Comfort

Both of these pants are what Stio calls its relaxed fit, but in reality, they are neither slim nor baggy -- just about right for most skiers. They have a slightly full leg that allows freedom of movement but doesn’t look baggy. Stio's sizing guide says the medium has a 31¼-in. inseam, but it is longer than that. I wear a 33-in. pant, and these fit fine. If you wear a 32, they will fit just fine, too. The waist is ample; even with base layers and my shirts tucked in, I still have to adjust the tabs on the pant and have plenty of room in the bib. They feel good when on; the fabric is pliable and doesn’t make the dreaded swoosh-swoosh noise. I really enjoy the higher-waisted bibs for comfort (I don't like belts on my pants) and extra protection on deep or uber-cold days. The suspenders work well; they were easy to adjust and stayed in place.

Performance

The Dermizax material really does its job. The 20K membrane is paired with an excellent DWR finish, and I never had water permeate the DWR or fabric. The 10K breathability is ample for most skiing. If I’m really working hard or if the temps get warm, there are times I notice a little bit of moisture, but not enough to worry about; in those cases, I just open the vents, anyway. This can be a good thing because I find fabrics that breathe at exceptionally high levels (Event, Neoshell) let too much warmth out on really cold days. The fabric is windproof and did a great job during some fierce storms. When skiing, the fit of the pants and fabric are very comfortable. The articulated knees work well as do the zippers.

Durability

After skiing trees and bumps (and just through general wear), both models have held up beautifully. Even aspens and evergreens have not scratched the material. Dirt and such has washed off easily (although I didn't test with chairlift grease). The kick pads have scuffs but no tears.

Summary

Both of the Environ pants are highly recommended and have become my favorites. I personally prefer the bibs, but either model is fantastic. They are great pants with just the right fit and features and are constructed meticulously. No, they are not the cheapest pants out there, but you can often find a 10-15% coupon on the site. That makes these an excellent value in my book. They are backed by a solid guarantee and outstanding customer service.

  • Who are they for? Any inbounds skier will appreciate the quality, fit, style, and comfort of the Environ. Inbound skiers and backcountry skiers who want a cleaner, pared-down pant or who appreciate a slightly higher cut front and rear will love the bibs! If you are a AT skier who is looking to shave weight with an even more breathable pant (or jacket), see Stio’s new Raymer line.
  • Who are they not for? I can't think of anyone.
  • Insider tip: Save some money by signing up for Stio's newsletters and watch for "Save 10% coupons"; and don't forget about Active Junky.