SCOTTeVEST Travel Vest Review

When I hear the term ‘travel vest’ I think of a loud and obnoxious American traveling through Europe wearing a beige, oversized fishing vest, a silly hat, khaki shorts, black tennis shoes and white socks pulled up to the knee. Surely I’m not alone. A travel vest hardly sounds cool. Well, the times are changing and SCOTTeVEST has completely changed my opinion of the travel vest.

On one trip, 19 of 30 people were wearing SCOTTeVEST on my recommendation.

On one trip, 19 of 30 people were wearing SCOTTeVEST on my recommendation.

I had been eyeing the SCOTTeVEST for about two years. Although it looked cool and practical, I just couldn’t get over that it was a travel vest. I didn’t want to be the guy wearing a vest.

Then I decided to give it a shot.

I absolutely love it! It’s as if the travel vest hit the gym and went to Milan for some fashion tips. The SCOTTeVEST has a great form fit. It’s not at all baggy. It comes in très chic black. And it holds everything.

The vest has 22 pockets, though I only use about ten regularly. There are a few ‘clear touch’ pockets, meaning you can see through them and use the touch screen of a device without having to take it out. There is a ‘personal area network’ – meaning you can wire your headphones through the vest and not worry about getting tangled in the cord, or having to put it all away when not listening to music.

Six SCOTTeVESTs in Venice

Six SCOTTeVESTs in Venice

A great feature with the pockets is that they are ‘no bulge’. So I can stuff them and it’s nearly impossible to tell that I’m carrying anything.

My most used pockets are the two outside breast pockets. I keep my iPhone in one, and money for the day in the other.

But, my favorite pocket is the iPad pocket. Seriously! I can keep my iPad in my pocket while walking the streets of Europe.

Everyday when I head out on a group tour, I carry:

2 iPhones (one US, one Euro)
Hand Sanitizer
Field Notes Notebook
Credit Cards
Hotel key
Business cards
Some sort of snack – protein bar, etc.
Sometimes a water bottle

All this fits in the SCOTTeVEST – with plenty of room for shopping!

With the SCOTTeVEST, everything has a place and everything is in its place. For someone as obsessive as me, that’s a good thing.

I love the freedom that comes with having all my stuff on me, rather than in a bag. I’ve never accidentally left behind a bag, but I know people who have. And the peace of mind that comes with not having to even worry about it anymore is so worth it.

Me = Yikes! But I like the contrast of the ancient Ephesus Library and the modern one in my pocket.

Me = Yikes! But I like the contrast of the ancient Ephesus Library and the modern one in my pocket.

Another perk is that you can load up the vest and leave your carry-on bag at home. This makes going through airport security a breeze! Just keep everything in the vest, drop the vest in the security bin, pick it up on the other side and keep walking.

Two minor complaints. I am not a fan of the fleece lined collar. And the fabric on the vest, though it feels and looks great, is a lint magnet, so you may want to pack a lint brush. Luckily, there’s a pocket for that! (UPDATE: They now make a lightweight version without the fleece lined collar, and a different fabric that doesn’t attract lint.)

This review is from 2011. Many of my people still purchase, wear, and love their SCOTTeVEST gear. I still think they make a great product, and recommend it, but I no longer wear the vest.

Check out SCOTTeVEST here.

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