Scottevest travel vest: a review

Bridge over River Kwai HDR 2

“What does it have in its pocketssss?”

If Gollum were to pose me this question whilst I was lost under the Misty Mountains, as he did to Bilbo, and I happened to be wearing my new Scottevest, the answer could go on for some time.

You see, the Scottevest comes with a lot of pockets. Like, a lot of pockets. So many in fact, that it even comes with a pocket map. A map of the pockets! It’s tech geek heaven.

Laurence Scottevest River Kwai bridge

I was pleased to be sent the Scottevest to review on my trip to Thailand, because usually when I travel through airports I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time fumbling with loose change, earbud wires, passports, tickets, boarding passes, keys and my wallet. Not to mention bits of fluff and wadded up pieces of paper that were probably once very important before I put them through the washing machine.

All of this stuff usually has to come out of my pockets and get deposited into a security scanner, and then retrieved. During the scanning process it inevitably becomes tangled into a giant wirey nest, which then has to be untangled and re-sorted back into pockets.

Inevitably the stuff all goes into different pockets to those it came out of, which causes that panicked “I’ve lost my passport feeling” as it’s no longer in the pocket I expected it to be in, which is normally the same pocket, except just after a security scanner.

The Scottevest travel vest for men aims to fix all of the above problems in a smart and stylish way. As long as it solves the problems, I’m generally happy, as those of you who know me will testify that practicality goes a lot further in my book than stylishness, but if I can be practical and stylish, then what the hell, I’ll go down that road.

Lets talk about a few of the features that really impressed me with my new Scottevest Travel Vest, starting with:

The Personal Area Network

First up, the wiring system. A jacket with a wiring system! Known as the "Personal Area Network”, this aims to solve the problem of your wires dangling all over the place as you roam across airport terminals, doing their best to snag themselves on whatever they can.

Scottevest photo montage 2

Very simply, this is a cunning system of loop cords and grab clips that channel your music wires around the back of your neck, and into your ears. It’s very convenient. Even more convenient though, are the earbud pockets.

These are probably my favourite thing about the jacket. In the collar on each side of the neck, there are two little pockets. If you stop listening to music, or have to keep an ear out for important flight delay announcements, you can pop your earbuds on either side into these little pockets.

No more unsightly dangling earbuds getting in the way or catching on anything just because you happen to not have them plugged into your ear lugs. It’s a very elegant solution to a niggling problem, and I thought it was a wonderful idea.

The correctly sized Travel Documents pocket

Boarding passes are the bane of my life at airports. They appear to be exactly the right size to not fit into any pocket. Instead, the little flappy bit that is of critical importance to about seventeen different people as I get closer to my seat, sits around just waiting to fall off the main body of the thing.

Invariably I put it inside my passport, where the flappy thing also just sticks out. I then try and get the passport-with-boarding-pass into my pocket, where it sticks out even more. Or bends over, and looks like it’s going to fall off.

Laurence rocking the passport pocket

Imagine my excitement then, when I learnt that the travel documents pocket is exactly the right length to fit a boarding pass. Yep, it was up there with the time that Bilbo learnt he was going on an adventure with some dwarves. Peter Jackson isn’t actually paying me any money for this post, it just so happens that the deluge of hobbit advertising going on at the moment has sort of invaded my brain. Did you know that Bilbo in France is called Bilbon? The French are weird.

Anyway, back to my Scottevest review, and…

The sunglasses pocket

A pocket for sunglasses is pretty cool in of itself. But the Scottevest Travel Vest goes one step further and adds in a built in sunglasses cleaner on a string – one of those snazzy microfibre ones. And as it’s on a string, it’s not going to get lost. So my sunglasses practically clean themselves in the pocket. That’s awesome.

And the rest

Don’t worry, I’m not going to go into all twenty four (!) pockets in exquisite detail. Just know that they are all very carefully thought out by people who have clearly travelled a lot.

Scottevest photo montage 1

From the little touches like the magnets on some pockets that keep them closed, to the see-through touch enabled interior phone pockets that let you operate your smartphone / music player without removing it from the pocket, to the pocket that is actually big enough to fit an iPad in, it seems that Scottevest have thought of everything.

Some of the pockets even have pockets in, presumably to keep each other company in case you don’t have enough stuff to fill them all with.

In practice – breezing through travel

I wore my Scottevest on my recent trip from France to Thailand, which involved three types of rail transport, two aircraft, one bus and three airports. Gone were the days of pocket fumbling. If I forgot where I had put anything, I could look at the little labels that adorn each pocket to remind me.

Scottevest photo montage 3

When it came to the security scanner, I was able to smugly remove the vest and pop it through the scanner, with not a pocket fumble in sight. I slept in it, and it didn’t so much as gain a crease. I was even more impressed by how it somehow managed to maintain it’s shape even when loaded up. No saggy pockets on this traveller!

In summary

As you can probably tell, I was delighted with the performance of the Scottevest. It’s light, well-designed, and appears to be tough enough to withstand the rigours put upon it by frequent travel. It’s even water and stain resistant, which is handy for someone like me.

The only thing I’ve not been able to do is test it over time to see how it stands up to frequent use. Don’t worry though, I’ll pop back and update this review once I’ve broken it in even more.

If you want to pick up your own Scottevest, you can do so at Amazon’s UK store, where Scottevest has recently started to ship their products from to meet European demand. I can totally recommend the travel vest, and would assume that the rest of the range is just as awesome!

Laurence Scottevest under River Kwai bridge

Disclaimer – I received the Scottevest Travel Vest for review and got to keep it in return. The opinion above is my own – I had to wear it, and if I hadn’t enjoyed the experience, you would have been the first to know! As it was I can thoroughly recommend it!

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