Stio is a relative newcomer on the outdoor clothing scene, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bunch of greenhorns. Based in Wyoming, the Stio team is comprised of heavy hitting outdoor experts who know a thing or two about the demands asked of technical apparel. The Stio Basis Shirt proves they also have an appreciation for utility, clean aesthetics, and useful features.
In my humble opinion, the Basis Shirt is a long overdue product. In a nutshell, it’s a technical baselayer that doesn’t look like, well, a technical baselayer. The Polartec® Power Dry® fabric is 74.5% Polyester and 24.5% Wool. The bi-component knit positions the soft Polyester against the skin, and the Wool is placed on the face of the fabric for optimal warmth. For those of you doing the math, the other 1% must be top secret. What ever it is, the fabric is soft to the touch, has a reasonable amount of stretch for maximum mobility, and it wicks moisture with supreme efficiency. I recently used the Basis Shirt as a mid-layer on long day of snowshoeing and it was a perfect alternative to the normal pull-over layers that have dominated the outdoors for decades. I found I could vent the shirt better than even a zip-t, and overall, it was just more comfortable than most base or mid layers. It’s also a very nice looking shirt. After several hours on the trail, I arrived at my local watering hole feeling appropriately dressed.
Living in the central mountains of Arizona, our seasons are pretty mild with serious bouts of weather infrequent and short lived. I don’t often wear the Basis without a thin layer under it, but I do wear it as a light outer layer quite often. When weather gets nasty, I throw a thicker insulating or hardshell layer over it to fend off the elements. It’s just the right weight to serve as base, mid, or outer layer as needed. I use it much the way I do my lighter-weight fleece or wool layers. In that regard, it’s a highly versatile piece.
Technical fabrics of this caliber are not cheap and the construction is a clear indicator that Stio is in the business of making products to the highest standards. The value for me is in the versatility. Almost anytime I head out the door, the Basis Shirt is the first thing I grab. Made in Canada.