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The Stio Eddy Drift LS is a fishing-specific take on the popular Stio Eddy shirt series. It aims to blend on-the-river functionality with mountain town style.
To get us a closer look and help guys figure out the overall outdoor chops, style and fit, Stio sent Man Makes Fire a review unit, along with a short-sleeve Eddy. This is what we learned:
The Stio Eddy vs Eddy Drift Review
It’s hard to talk about the Eddy Drift LS without talking about the shirt that started it all, the Stio Eddy. The Eddy, both in long-sleeve and short-sleeve options, has been a year-over-year hit for Stio. In fact, the Stio Eddy is so good it took the number one spot in our guide to the best outdoor gifts for men.
The Eddy is made from Conflux, a nylon/poly fabric blend that has a water-resistant finish and a UPF 50+ sun protection rating. It also has a mild stretch to the fabric.
Why is the Eddy so popular?
That’s easy. It starts with the aforementioned technical chops that most competing synthetic plaid shirts don’t have, but it’s more about the overall cut and style.
The cut is reasonably trim, but not exactly. Athletic guys will fit it well — but it also has just enough torso to fit guys who drink just a few too many beers (every now and then). Stio says the cut is the company’s medium cut, which is “roomier than trim but designed with athletic performance and comfort in mind.”
It’s hard to find a single cut that flatters a wide range of guys, but Stio nailed it here.
The pearl button snaps on the Eddy are a nice touch, but I believe the modified shirttail hem is a key feature for the Eddy’s success. The hem is short enough to look great untucked — and not look stupid — but it’s also long enough to tuck in if you need to dress it up a bit.
Most short sleeve shirts have short sleeves that are ridiculously tight in circumference, which screams that you’re trying too hard to look tough. Or they go in the opposite direction — they’re so wide open with extra fabric that it looks like you have wings flapping around, even if you have a decent arm. In my opinion, the short-sleeve Eddy has a perfect sleeve circumference. Nicely done, actually.
The long-sleeve Stio Eddy Drift LS takes the fabric and style of the Eddy but amps it up for fly fishing dudes who care about style, too.
I’m not a particularly sexy guy, but I can tell you this: When I wear the Stio Eddy Drift LS, I get at least a 20% boost in sex appeal. Just saying. You want honesty, you got it.
I would say that if you’re already starting out with a healthy dose of rugged good looks, you’re still going to get a 20% boost. So be prepared. On the other hand, if your usual shirt is a beer-themed t-shirt with taco stains, your friends won’t recognize you in a Stio Eddy Drift LS — especially if you fold up the sleeves.
So yeah, I tell you how it is. The Stio Eddy Drift LS is a sweet shirt that’ll make you look good. And that’s really the point for anyone shelling out for a great button-up mountain shirt.
You can tell yourself that the oversized fly box pockets and sun protection is what is most important, but you’re not fooling me: You’re here because you want to know if you’ll look fantastic in a Stio Eddy. Rest assured, you will.
It gets better, though. If you own a drift boat or a fly fishing raft, you’re going to look like a hunk of man lure out on the water when you’re wearing your Stio Drift Eddy LS. You think that’s hyperbole? It’s not. The Stio Eddy Drift LS is a damn good looking shirt and you’re going to look great wearing it. That’s just truth right there.
If you’re still on the fence, I will say that I appreciate the rust-free TPU buttons. They’re not as cool as the pearly buttons on the regular Eddy, but they’re good, especially if you’re going to get wet.
The Conflux fabric and the plaid style — it’s great. So is the stitching. Obviously I think the overall cut is surprisingly good. I prefer a slightly trimmer cut in the torso myself, but I’m a tough fit. I have long arms and broad shoulders. The sleeves are long enough for me, which I found surprising.
Here is what the fit means: If you’re a thinner guy, you should be able to size down for a trimmer fit. In addition, if you’re athletic and on the bottom of the Stio size chart, you can likely size down for a trimmer fit.
If you’re average, or slightly heavier than average, get your regular size.
For reference, I’m about 6’3″ and 225 pounds and wear the XL. I have big shoulders, and so far, a reasonably trim waist. A large would fit me better in the waist, but I’d likely blow out the shoulder seams in a large.
For example, on the Stio website the “Clark” model is 6’3″ and wears a size large . . . but he has a 40.5″ chest and a 32″ waist. Right now, I have 46″ chest, wide shoulders, and a 38″ waist. The XL is best for me.
From my experience, the sizing is spot on, right where I expect it.
I gotta say, I’m a fan of the roll up sleeves with the button-up tab to keep it place. Yeah, sure, you can roll up any sleeve, but the little strip of fabric does a nice job of signaling attention to the sleeves, telling people that they’re designed to roll up, and oh, by the way, looks good, right?
Yes, yes it does.
Great Fly Fishing Gift
Listen, the Eddy line of shirts are great for outdoor guys who are single and out on the prowl, no doubt about it. But there’s a lot guys who are married or off the market who might hesitate to dress it up a bit here and there. For guys like that, the Stio Eddy Drift LS shirt makes a truly excellent fly fishing gift idea — it’ll definitely make it into our updated guide as we enter the holiday season.
So, if your hunk of bearded outdoor man could use a style upgrade, the Stio Eddy shirts are a good place to start.
The Verdict: Just Get One
We first became familiar with Stio while testing and reviewing the company’s burly Environ and lightweight Raymer ski jacket shells, which introduced us to Stio’s high-quality, action-specific designs. What we found with the Eddy and Eddy Drift LS is that Stio puts just as much thought into its more style-focused clothing, too.
It comes down to this: If you want a good-looking shirt you can get away with while fly fishing on a rugged mountain stream, the Stio Eddy Drift LS will do the job. It’s lightweight, can get wet yet dry fast, and it’ll help block the sun. But if you want a shirt that can do all that — and look fantastic in town — you can’t go wrong with the Stio Eddy Drift LS. Very highly recommended.