Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Mon May 06, 2013 3:03 pm

Well, I've been promising this review for a little while now, so here it is :)
(For the video review, go here.)

Scottevest sent me one of their Travel Vests for testing and review, and so over the past two weeks I've been wearing it every day, putting it to use in various situations and with different gear setups. I've used it in cooler, windy weather, as well as hot sunny weather. I've used it on its own, with a day pack, and with a full-on bug out bag with a hip belt, to see how well it would work with all of these.

The first thing I did was measure it on my gram scale. Weight when empty: 466g in size medium. Pretty impressive given the multitude of pockets and zippers on this. For the ultralight crowd - weight could be reduced a little if I took off the tags, removed the keychain lanyard, took out the magnets, etc.

How I used it

Although the vest has many different uses (which I will go over below), the gear I carried was EDC-type gear, to expand on what I already carry in my trouser pockets. For shorter trips and urban use in most situations, the vest successfully replaced a need for a backpack, since it can carry documents, my camera, gloves, hat, water, first aid, compass, and some other bits and bobs very well. The vest has 24 pockets, and swallows your gear very well.

When heading out for a longer day trip, I would take my day pack with me to include some more water, rain clothes, and an extra fleece in case the weather changes. Here the vest continued to carry all of my essentials on my person, giving me quick access to most things I would need while on the trail. This elegantly solves the problem of having to un-clip everything, take off the backpack, set it down, and rummage through just to find something important. There are other solutions out there created to address this problem, but they would look out of place in any urban environment and have less organizational capability.

With the Scottevest Travel Vest, I've found that the organization of the pockets is very logical and after just a few days I could remember exactly where everything was. For those people who like to eat snacks while walking, the vest has plenty of space for that too.

An additional point is that carrying items such as a pair of gloves, a bandana, a hat, etc., are excellent ways of increasing the insulative properties of the garment (although this backfires if you're dealing with high heat, in which case having such items on your person is probably not necessary in the first place).

While I don't usually carry much in the way of electronics, I did find that the Travel Vest had the best headphone management system I've ever seen - great for joggers or just music lovers in general. They call it the Personal Area Network, and it's a series of well-designed cord-retainers and even special pockets just below the collar that will store your ear buds when not in use. Additionally, two tactile touch-through type pockets for your mobile phone or music player allow you quick access to change music, answer a call, check a map, etc., without having to remove the device. This might even prove useful in tactical situations.

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Personal Area Network on the Scottevest by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

How does the Scottevest do as clothing?

After a hike out in fairly windy weather in just a shirt and the vest, I've found that the Scottevest is definitely wind resistant. Better yet, the vest is coated in a DWR that causes any water to simply bead up and roll off. Presumably the coating can be re-applied with a product like Nikwax or Grangers when it eventually wears off (I contacted Scottevest and they told me it shouldn't be a problem, but to try the product on a small portion of the fabric first, just in case). The outer zippered pockets (there are four, with smaller compartments inside) all have water-resistant material protecting the zippers too.

At the same time, the vest does very well in high heat, where its breathability is assured because of a mesh lining and a lack of sleeves.

One of the reasons I think the Scottevest Travel Vest holds so much utility for preppers is because it can be used virtually without regard to the weather. Unlike a micro-fleece or a rain jacket, the Travel Vest can be layered underneath or on top of any clothing items, so that you can use it both in summer and during winter, adding or taking away layers around it as necessary, while the Travel Vest and your essential gear always stays on you in the exact same pocket configuration.

Make sure you get the right size. If you're in between sizes, go for the larger one as loading up the pockets reduces how much space you have; in a way the vest expands inwards.

The first layer in a grab-and-go system?

Up until now, when traveling I had been using the Maxpedition Tactical Travel Tray to keep all my essentials in one place, in case I had to grab just one item and run out of a burning building, and still have items you wouldn't want to be without in a foreign country. Now, I just hang up the Travel Vest on a chair, and will grab that. It's basically the first layer of my bug out bag (after the trousers), and when traveling contains an assortment of documents and cash in addition to the regular EDC.

Can you still blend in?

One of my concerns when in an urban environment is blending in. Some have called this the "gray man" approach. This is why I don't carry camo backpacks around. They might fit in in some countries, but in France and I imagine most of Europe they're a real head-turner. Although the marketing on the Travel Vest says that they have a "NoBulge" pocket design that somehow prevents you from looking like a pretend fisherman, I was skeptical at first.

However, the system really does work. I mean, it's certainly possible to make things stick out, but by and large if you put a little thought as to what you put in and into which pockets, you can carry a remarkable amount of gear without it looking the part. This is because many of the pockets are aligned to cause no overlap, and the outer material doesn't seem to crease either. In the pictures below, you can see what the vest looks like and what I'm carrying in it at the time - you be the judge.

The vest with pockets filled for a day hike (I would have less with me for EDC):

Image
Scottevest Travel Vest loaded up for a hike by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

What's inside laid out on a table:

Image
Preparedness Carry Layer 2 by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

Item list:

- Camera w/ case.

- First aid kit and medium size dressing.

- Waterproof binoculars.

- Water bottle.

- Spare socks (in case the current ones get wet, cause blisters, etc.)

- Merino wool gloves.

- Post-it notes.

- Zebralight H502c angle flashlight, with a spare battery.

- FFP3 mask and ear protection.

- Chlorine tablets for water purification.

- Hand sanitizers.

- Rad sticker.

- MicroSD card in SD adapter with encrypted scans of all my important documents, family photos, etc.

- Full-size map compass with magnifying glass.

- Tissues.

Keep in mind that the above is not the entirety of my EDC, as I also carry quite a bit in my cargo pants (pictured in the thread here). My mobile phone is currently broken, and therefore not pictured. The above setup is also not even close to the limit of what can be loaded up in the Scottevest Travel Vest.

As you can see, between what I carry in my pants and my vest, I'm already decently equipped to deal with both minor inconveniences such as cuts, burns, and ticks, all the way to unexpected disasters, from power cuts to collapsing buildings and clouds of dust. Not bad for an EDC, right?

Theft-deterrent

The fact that the pockets don't bulge much, that almost every pocket has a zipper, and that most of the pockets are on the inside, makes it pretty difficult for pick-pockets to steal your passport, tickets, wallet, smartphone, camera, etc. Since the pockets don't bulge out much, it isn't that obvious you're carrying a lot of valuables either.

Can it be used with a backpack's hip belt?

This was an area I definitely had doubts on. Since the hip belt of a pack is always cinched up pretty tight to properly transfer the weight of a heavier pack onto your hips, the presence of items in these pockets would obviously be a hindrance.

In my testing, I've found three different solutions to this problem.

Solution 1: Just transfer the items in the affected area to the hip belt pockets on your pack.

Most good packs have either one or two hip belt pockets, and some packs also provide you with PALS webbing to attach extra pouches. If you choose to go this route, you can EDC anything you want in the lower pockets of your Travel Vest with no regard to the hip belt, and then simply move the contents to the pack when you go on a backpacking trip.

Solution 2: Keep only soft items in the affected pockets.

Not only does this solve the problem, but the soft items (e.g. gloves, bandana, fleece hat) actually provide extra padding - something especially useful if your hip belt is on the skinny side, a problem ultralight backpacks often have.

Solution 3: Use the bottom splits on the sides of the vest to simply lift the vest over the hip belt.

This is probably the easiest solution, but it also doesn't look that great with your vest flapping over the hip belt pockets. Of course if you're backpacking in the wilderness, do looks really matter? (To see what it looks like, see the beginning of my video review here).

Other potential uses

Covert/tactical: Although I don't use it for this myself, I could imagine that undercover police officers, civilians wanting to conceal carry, etc., could get a lot of use out of a vest with this much organization, yet which doesn't bulk out like most vests.

Fishing: the sheer number of pockets makes organizing all of your fishing gear pretty easy.

Backpacking & adventure racing: I've often run into the problem of quick access to items in my backpack. While on the trail, you've got to stop, undo all the straps, take the backpack off, and then rummage through the one or two large pockets until you find what you need. Not exactly ideal, and especially not if you're doing adventure racing. With the Scottevest Travel Vest, you can keep vital quick access items, like a compass, binoculars, map, food, water, etc., within easy reach, and not have to stop

Bushcraft/survival: When out in the wilderness, it is vital to have your survival essentials on you at all times. A survival tin is nice, but there's only so much you can fit in one, and digging any one item out of a tin is always a pain. So if you find yourself leaving your backpack behind at your campsite while you go out to collect water, firewood, set traps, or whatnot, you can still carry your survival essentials with you in case you lose your way back or get run off by a wild animal. I was doing a minor water crossing last week and realized that if I fell and my backpack was separated from me, I would lose the gear in it and have to rely on what's on my person. The large back pocket could even fit a tarp, cordage, and space blanket if you weren't carrying a backpack.

Canoeing/rafting: Likewise, I've often pondered what would happen if your canoe tips over, your backpack with all your gear floats away down the river, and you find yourself wet, cold, and nearing hypothermia with just the stuff in your pockets. My solution up until now was to use my cargo pockets. Carrying pouches on a belt also works, although they tend to interfere with a hip belt. With the vest, you have another two dozen pockets to organize survival essentials and emergency gear that can really improve your odds of survival. Every major pocket has a zipper. I counted 10 zippered pockets!

Photography: This is probably a photographer's dream vest. I sometimes do a little amateur photography myself with my Nikon D60, and the multitude of pockets would make carrying spare lens filters, batteries, memory cards, and even a small gorillapod tripod very easy.

Travel & tourism: Arguably the use this vest was primarily designed for. Going through airport security is much easier when rather than turning out your pockets you can simply put the whole vest through the scanner. That and the way the vest is designed makes pick-pocketing much more difficult. Having all your important documents and electronics on your person also reduces the impact of having one of your bags stolen while traveling.

EDC'ing electronics: Besides the wire management and touch-through pockets, this vest sports a tablet pocket (which also works very well for carrying a map), and a pretty large rear pocket that could even carry a laptop.

Negatives/Room for improvement?

I spent a while thinking about this heading, because there really aren't that many negatives. I suppose that the 24 pockets can at first be a disadvantage. Until you learn where each pocket is and what you're keeping in it, you might find yourself losing stuff in the Travel Vest, and patting yourself to see what sticks out and where. But I feel this is a temporary problem, as after a couple of days of use, I'm very familiar with where everything is.

I would also be interested in improving the durability of the outer fabric. I've not used the vest long enough to be able to comment on it (so far it's held up great), but the fabric is pretty thin and I wonder how well it will stand up to brushing against branches, or climbing into trees.

Image
Resting in a tree by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

The vest was designed more for urban environments and their fabric choice significantly reduces the weight of a garment that has two dozen pockets, and improves its ability to deal with warmer weather. What some outdoor clothing manufacturers have done is use a more durable material (such as cordura) on the high wear areas, which in the case of this vest would be the shoulders when carrying a pack. I think that might increase durability without significantly impacting weight or breathability.

Another suggestion I have would be to create a waterproof pocket. This ought to be easy enough - a waterproof zipper, waterproof fabric, and seam-sealed stitches. Perhaps the pocket designed for carrying documents could be made of that. In the interim, I just use Aloksak waterproof bags to protect anything important.

Remember when I mentioned using the splits in the side of the vest when using a hip belt? They were designed so that you could easily put your hands in your pant pockets even when the vest is zipped up. If Scottevest made the side-splits a little longer, the hip belt problem would pretty much be solved altogether.

Lastly, while I personally hold no preference for camo clothing, I could imagine that hunters or others who need camo would like that as an option. Perhaps adding a color choice in multicam would please a few people - although wearing camo clothing over the vest would solve that problem too. I've found the olive green to be very nice however, and it doesn't attract the kind of attention that camo would.

The little things

The attention to detail that went into this vest is difficult to put in writing. Although the vest is made in China, the stitching is very tidy, certainly much better than my experience with Maxpedition products, and given the number of pockets and their complexity, the price tag seems well justified.

One feature that I liked was the addition of magnets to the two hand-warmer pockets. I imagine that of all the pockets, these are the ones you're most likely to forget to zip up. So what the magnets do is automatically close the pocket the moment you remove your hand. If you're carrying a wallet here, this is definitely a good idea. The magnets don't seem to interfere with electronics (usually placed in other pockets), but are definitely a consideration if you have a pacemaker. Thankfully, Scottevest have indicated that it is easy to remove the stitching holding the magnets if you didn't want them (or take it to a seamstress if you don't want to do it yourself).

There is a special glasses pocket with an attached elasticated micro fiber cloth included inside. A very handy feature.

There's also a keychain lanyard in the right hand-warmer pocket. The lanyard stretches out, allowing you to use whatever is on your keychain without risking dropping or losing it.

Image
Scottevest Keychain Lanyard by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

Many of the pockets have small labels next to them with pictures of what should go inside, e.g. tickets, camera, sunglasses, etc., and they also provide a pocket layout map to help you figure out what's what.

Image
Labels on Scottevest Travel Vest by LibertarianPrepper, on Flickr

Summary

It's impressive just how easily the Scottevest Travel Vest swallows a ridiculous amount of gear.

I've always been annoyed by the way your average outdoor-type fleece has only one chest pocket. Why?! It's just a waste of real estate. But this Travel Vest really manages to use every single inch of space, while also placing most pockets in ways that don't overlap.

If like me you find yourself wanting to carry certain emergency preparedness items on you on a daily basis, or you do a lot of hiking and traveling and hate having to dig through your pack to get to your food and water - this vest is the ticket.

If you have any questions or you want me to take pictures of any other part of the vest, please say so :) Oh and if there's any criticism - what I should have mentioned or something I shouldn't have gone into, please do tell as I'm new to reviewing gear.
Last edited by derf26 on Mon May 06, 2013 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by docdredd » Mon May 06, 2013 4:15 pm

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by Boondock » Mon May 06, 2013 4:43 pm

Thanks, that's pretty cool. I'm not really a vest guy, but I might consider one of those next time I'm in Europe. How much does it weigh?

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Mon May 06, 2013 4:51 pm

Boondock wrote:Thanks, that's pretty cool. I'm not really a vest guy, but I might consider one of those next time I'm in Europe. How much does it weigh?
When empty it weighs 466g in size medium, but you could definitely reduce the weight a little by removing the keychain, cutting off the tags, etc. It actually feels pretty comfortable even when loaded up with heavier items like water. The vests are mostly sold in the U.S., although when I was looking into it I noticed there was also a UK retailer selling through Amazon.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by acestor » Mon May 06, 2013 8:24 pm

Excellent review. Two years ago I was looking for a travel jacket, one that I could use for plane travel primarily but also for sight seeing, city wear. I settled on the Scottevest Expedition Jacket. It is very well constructed, although not cheap, you get a high quality product. I don't use it all that often so the only problem I have is trying to remember where I put what in where - with 37 pockets it is easy to lose things! I keep promising myself to work out a system for what goes in what pocket. As mentioned in the vest review, I simply take the jacket off and run it through the airport security scanner. Highly recommended; a quality product.

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Wed May 08, 2013 10:21 am

acestor wrote:Excellent review. Two years ago I was looking for a travel jacket, one that I could use for plane travel primarily but also for sight seeing, city wear. I settled on the Scottevest Expedition Jacket. It is very well constructed, although not cheap, you get a high quality product. I don't use it all that often so the only problem I have is trying to remember where I put what in where - with 37 pockets it is easy to lose things! I keep promising myself to work out a system for what goes in what pocket. As mentioned in the vest review, I simply take the jacket off and run it through the airport security scanner. Highly recommended; a quality product.
Thanks :)

37 pockets though?! And I thought 24 was impressive lol. Yeah, I imagine if you use it infrequently you would eventually forget where they are located. That's why I think the vest is a good idea - it can be used in almost any weather, just layering up or down around it as needed.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by mk_ultra » Wed May 08, 2013 3:44 pm

I remember looking at these a few years back. Thanks for the review .
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by survivalkitmag » Thu May 09, 2013 1:55 am

Looks pretty good.

Zipped pockets are so valuable when you are on the move. I imagine it takes a while to check they are all zipped up though!
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Thu May 09, 2013 5:24 am

survivalkitmag wrote:Looks pretty good.

Zipped pockets are so valuable when you are on the move. I imagine it takes a while to check they are all zipped up though!
Sort of. All the inside zippers can be checked at a glance, but the outside ones are protected by flaps (to stop rain) and so yeah, you'll have to check those with your hands. The hand-warmer pockets (probably used the most) have little magnet clasps that close them in case you forget the zipper :)
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by Doctor Zed » Fri May 10, 2013 12:51 pm

A very thorough and well thought out review, thanks for posting it!

I'd be interested to see how it holds up over prolonged outdoors use. To be honest, I would expect it to suffer as it isn't marketed as a outdoor - pursuits type product.

However, as your review clearly shows, it has a lot of utility as a sort of edc/small pack replacement. Some real potential there for the manufacturer to bring out a 'hardened' version targeted at people who want to use it for outdoors/ prepper uses.

In any case, I'm extremely interested in it for just regular 'gadget carrying' duties as it stands and your review has given me helpful insights so thanks again.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Fri May 10, 2013 3:46 pm

Awesome, glad you found it helpful. I'll be sure to write an update as to the durability in a few months as I use it more. I actually went jogging/sprinting in it today, loaded up as shown minus the water which I had in a hydration pack, and it worked very well! Everything stayed secure in the zippers, etc.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by Woods Walker » Sun May 12, 2013 12:08 am

- Zebralight H502c angle flashlight, with a spare battery.
Great review. The above item is on my want list.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Sun May 12, 2013 5:27 am

Woods Walker wrote:
- Zebralight H502c angle flashlight, with a spare battery.
Great review. The above item is on my want list.
Thanks. I can definitely recommend that flashlight. It is seriously awesome. Its role is basically as hands-free closeup illumination, e.g. when indoors, reading a map, working on something, or just illuminating the whole room. Its wide angle and lack of bright spot in the middle, with the natural color rendition lets me use it for long periods with no eye strain (I don't like the blue tint of most LEDs, not for long anyway). On its lowest mode, it can work for 2.8 months if I remember correctly - and that's bright enough to read a map for instance. Plus it takes AAs, which are available everywhere. I still use Eneloops though, but it's good to know that there are AAs in almost every supermarket and home out there.

As long as you have another flashlight for long-distance throw illumination outdoors (my fenix PD32 for instance) then you're all set :)
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by Richard S » Tue Jun 11, 2013 9:15 pm

Thanks for posting this review! And also for your other threads outlining your interest in finding a good vest option (I'm new to the forum and didn't want to seem like I was spamming by posting in all those other threads) I'm also interested in looking into vests as an option (or addition) to my future bug-out bag gear. I like your notes about this vest's appearance, there was a thread mentioning the 5.11 Taclite vest but having an unobtrusive vest seems like a good way to go.

A quick question, when the pockets are full to capacity how comfortable is the vest when moving around? I guess that depends on how and what you pack in it but what's your general opinion?

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by FSwanderer » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:47 pm

I actually have a TON of Scottevest clothes. I do really like their clothes but I have narrowed down what I travel on planes in vs what I wear otherwise for travel or sight seeing or even everyday wear. Their Performance Tshirts are great basically anytime. I often wear them under shirts for work but also have worked out in them. They have a chest pocket and then side seam pocket. Add that to one of the polo shirts and hidden cargo pants and your up to like 12 pockets in just clothes.

The problem is traveling on a plane with all those pockets then things get put in them and makes security a pain. Its good to have one of the vest's or jackets or fleece because then everything loaded in it stays when you take it off for security points.

For sightseeing or wandering around town then most any of their clothes are great for not having to have extra bags or anything and the locations of the pockets make them practically pick pocket proof. It can take a few times of wearing it with whatever gear you plan on carrying and rearranging that gear to make it the most comfortable. If not careful with some of the lighter jackets and vests you can really overload them and make it bulkier. The cold weather jackets are much bigger and have even more room for more stuff but don't seem to get as overloaded as easy.

All in all I agree with this well done review and also enjoy the Scottevest clothes.

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by AmirMortal » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:25 pm

Ok, now I've gotta get me one of these!

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by moab » Mon Jun 17, 2013 10:53 pm

What an incredible review! Do you have a blog or anyplace where we might read more of your writing?

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:14 pm

moab wrote:What an incredible review! Do you have a blog or anyplace where we might read more of your writing?

Patrick
Hey moab, thanks - I appreciate that! I do have a blog, http://www.libertarianprepper.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;, but it centers mostly around economics and politics, although I do have a few articles on prepping, e.g.:

Water Treatment during a Disaster Situation

or

How to Check if Someone's Been in Your Room
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by modustollens » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:44 am

I had one - the tropical version. It was a light coloured khaki version. I forgot it in a hotel room; when I went back to get it had disappeared. Bad luck. Damn you third world hotels!

I liked it for travel, especially on the plane: everything is in the vest so security screening is a breeze. Plus it is very secure - the pockets seal up well.

The light colour - I bought that to keep cool for I spend a lot of time in South East Asia. But, the jacket picked up dirt and always looked grungy. So, I would not pick that colour again.

It holds an amazing amount of equipment. I would buy one again for sure.

I now have the sport coat! It looks nice but the cut, especially around the waist, is too tight. The dimensions available for chest/waist combinations don't make such a good fit, at least for my ratio - which is odd given that my other sport coat is very loose around the waist for the same chest size.

The main issue I had with the vest - and one of the reasons I often chose not to wear it - is the plastic pockets that allow one to use a touch screen through the pocket:

First, it is somewhat impractical given the angle and distance to really use the phone's touch screen anyway.

But, secondly, the real reason is that the plastic traps all the sweat and moisture making for giant sweaty tit stains. I thought about cutting the plastic away and replacing it with normal fabric.

Anyway, I think I will buy another vest after reading this, though I will stay away from the light colour.

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Mon Sep 02, 2013 3:34 pm

Hey MT - the sweatiness from those plastic pockets is an issue I think I forgot to mention, thanks for bringing it up.

For me it's not too bad as long as I keep the vest unzipped or only partially zipped. Then those pockets aren't in full contact with your chest and it's all good. I guess the transparency/click-through-ability of the pockets is more for the occasional button push, such as to change a music track or to answer a call when you've got a bluetooth headset. If I want to do anything more elaborate than that I take the device out.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by Medic73 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:34 am

Very nice review Derf.

For those interested, here is a link to the Scottevest Travel Vest page.

http://www.scottevest.com/v3_store/Travel_Vest.shtml

$125.00

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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks Medic73! I'm glad you liked it.
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by 00dlez » Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:34 pm

Thanks for the review - I've been considering compiling a Bug Out Vest (more of a get home vest in function, but kept at the GFs apartment as a place holder BOB until budget provides for a suitable repalcement).

My initial thought on the "bug out vest" was to use a fishing vest of some sort - lots of compartmentalized pockets of various sizes, made to perform in warm areas / get wet, and allows for decent range of movement... My question to you is, how do you think the Scottevest would perfom in this capacity versus a typical fishing vest?

How difficult were the interior pockets to access? Was there a good range of pocket sizes/volumes to accomidate items that could potentially be much larger that the objects you have shown? (Ex... Say, a pair of heavy wool socks or a larger IFAK)
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Re: Scottevest Travel Vest Review

Post by derf26 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:38 pm

Hi 00dlez, I'd say that the main advantage of the Scottevest over a traditional fishing vest is its ability to remain inconspicuous. Someone with a loaded out fishing vest might look suspect in an urban environment, especially in the aftermath of certain types of disaster situations. I did not think that there was any compromise as far as ease of accessibility goes - all of the pockets are well arranged and easily accessible.

As for placing larger items in there - it's definitely a possibility, but at that point the vest will start bulging too much. Perhaps a better option is to divide the items into smaller parts and try to arrange them in a way that makes them as flat as possible. For instance, rather than put a pair of heavy wool socks in a single pocket, you could put the two socks in separate pockets. There are also some long pockets (iPad length) that could remain inconspicuous even with a couple of socks. For a larger FAK I would say to also try and separate the items - but there is definitely a limit to how much you can put in there without looking out of place.

There is an interesting backpack made by Sea to Summit that compresses to the size of a small key-fob, and is fairly inexpensive. Link here: http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/86At the same time, it has a capacity of 20 litres. I would suggest you consider keeping such a pack (in its compressed form) next to or attached to your vest, which would enable you to bring any additional bulky items (such as grabbing some water bottles) that don't fit in the vest.

Hope this helps!
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