Let’s get this out of the way first: This is not a sponsored post. I wanted to review this vest in case anyone else is thinking about buying one.
The Scottevest is an article of travel clothing that has been around for several years. The premise behind the vest is that it helps you save space and weight in your carry-on bag (or eliminate the need for a carry-on entirely) by providing you with numerous pockets in the vest in which to store your gear. Sounds good, right?
I resisted buying one until now because they are not cheap. ($125 is the current price.) I also didn’t see the need. Why would I need to carry all sorts of gadgets around on my body? As a vacation traveler, I felt I had things covered between my checked suitcase and my carry-on backpack.
But after a frustrating flying experience this summer, it became obvious that I needed to free up some space in my backpack. I broke down and bought the Scottevest women’s travel vest. My recent trip to San Antonio served as the “shakedown cruise” for the vest. What did I think of it?
The Fit and Aesthetics
A word of advice, ladies: Order a size up. I quickly learned that the women’s travel vest sizes run too small once you have the pockets full. I wear a size small, so that’s what I ordered; I had to return it for a medium.
I like the material it uses. It’s breathable, water repellant, and doesn’t wrinkle. Before I tried it on, I was afraid it might look too bulky, but with the princess seams, it’s more form-fitting than I expected.
Traveling between the zero-degree temperatures in the Northeast and the 70-degree temperatures in Texas, the vest was comfortable for this trip. I was able to fold it up and stuff it in my backpack as needed when I got too warm. It would be too warm to wear all day long in summer-like temperatures, but is ideal for fall, winter and spring (with an extra layer in winter, of course). It was pretty damn cold when I returned to Vermont, and I was grateful for the extra layer of warmth beneath my fleece jacket!
I love pockets. I love them truly, madly, deeply. Mainly this is because I hate carrying a purse. I would be happy if every single article of clothing I own had pockets in them, right down to my socks and underwear.
What makes the Scotte Vest enormously useful is its 17 pockets of various sizes, distributed around the vest. There are pockets sized perfectly for your passport, digital camera, mp3 player, a tablet, pens, spare change, ID, moleskin journal—even a water bottle. (Okay, that seemed like overkill to me.) There’s a pocket with a key ring on a bungee cord, a “lipstick pocket”, a tiny little pocket for memory cards, and a “secret” pocket for God knows what purpose, but I’m sure I’ll think of some use for it. For a pocket lover like me, it was like Christmas, the Fourth of July and my birthday all rolled into one. Where have you been all my life, Scottevest???
With the weight of the items evenly distributed around my torso, the vest felt a bit heavy at first. But the longer I wore it, the less I noticed it. And it was certainly much more comfortable than having all that weight sitting in my bag hanging off my shoulders.
Here’s an image of all the items I had in the pockets in the above photos:
Would you have known all that was inside my vest?
I’ll admit, when I first put on the vest to head to the airport, I felt a little ridiculous. Even though I bought it to free up space in my backpack for lighter things, I was afraid everyone would think I was paranoid about securing my valuables and snicker at me. I quickly got over my self-consciousness. First of all, it’s unlikely anyone could tell that I had so much gear stuffed in the vest (it’s all very cleverly hidden, which is kind of the point). But even if they did know, I loved it so much, I don’t care any more what they think. I’m sure I will feel more secure wearing it around in countries where pickpocketing is rampant.
Naturally, you still have to remove the vest and place it in a bin to go through airport security. Don’t sweat it, though: Your valuables are safely tucked away in inside zip pockets where no one will be able to snag them easily or quickly during the x-ray process. (Unless of course someone just snags the whole vest. Then you’re SOL. Kidding, kidding—I’m sure that won’t happen.)
So to recap, the ScotteVest:
- Frees up space in your carry-on bag
- Provides security for your valuables, and
- Is fashionable
But the thing I loved the most about it was how much easier it was to access my stuff (like my tablet, cell phone, mp3 player, etc.) than if I had to rummage around in my backpack, pulling out half the items, looking for things. The ScotteVest women’s travel vest is this woman traveler’s dream vest. Though it comes with a substantial price tag, I will definitely get my money’s worth out of it for many years to come.
I don’t think I’ll ever feel a need to stuff a water bottle in it, though.
Image credit: Pocket map image courtesy of Scottevest.