Thursday January 27, 2005 8:54 pm
SCOTTeVEST Classic Vest Review
It’s always good to see folks improve on an established formula. Without progress, all of our wonderful gear wouldn’t be as sleek, powerful, and as tiny as they currently are. In today’s case, SCOTTeVEST took their original product, the Classic Vest—Version 1.0—and added in features seen in their more recent offerings, such as a softer exterior, more pockets, and increased breathability. Today Gear Live delves into this great piece of attire that’ll keep all of your gear organized and accessible without breaking the bank in the process. Click below for the full review.
COMFORT, COMFORT, COMFORT
The most immediate thing I noticed about this vest is how soft the exterior is. The cotton blend surface is pleasant to touch, and not abrasive, despite its weather-proof finish. It made it easy to slip on without getting your skin all scratched, and comfortable to take off and handle. If the ladies pay attention to how you dress, the extremelt flexible and soft surface will be just the first of the cool surprises in store with this thing. It’s also stretchable to a degree, which just adds more to the comfort factor. Still, I’d make sure that I order the appropriate size, if not something a tad bigger, because of the amount of gear you are likely to be carrying with the Classic Vest.
I like how ScottEVest gives you a lot of size options on their website, too. I’m 6’4 and 300 lbs, and the thing looks just fine on me. I first put on the vest in a cool apartment and it made a noticeable difference in body temperature. It was warmer without being uncomfortable. Of course this jacket should see most use in the Spring and Fall, not in the 10-degree weather we seem to be getting this week. It was nice to see that there were also magnetic flaps that fold over the main zipper to prevent wind from seeping in, in the event that you’re caught in some less than ideal weather.
POCKETS AND ZIPPERS GALORE
Looking at the interior, you’ll find a host of pockets with mesh finishes and individual zippers. The see-through mesh helps you in finding the item you need, which could range from PDA’s, mp3 players, CD-players, and headphones to even magazines and water bottles. Inside each pocket is a small business card with helpful tips on what could be stored in that particular location. One of the interior pockets includes a black cleaning cloth to wipe the smears you sometimes get on your gear screens. It’s connected to an alligator clip and a cord for easy access. A few pockets near the lower portion of the vest can open up to larger sizes via a Velcro strip. In total there are 28 pockets on the Classic Vest, counting interior and exterior ones.
There are some other nice touches, too. You’ll find a couple long pen pockets in the middle interior, along the line of the main zipper. Some of the other interior compartments are small enough to hold spare change. There’s also a stretchable spiral-cord with a key-clip inside one of the hand pockets. On the exterior there are two pockets at chest level that could work for easy access to your cell phone and PDA—items I use more frequently. A nice by-product of their placement is that you can better hear audible alarms or rings or feel vibrations from either of these device. If you choose, you can also clip your phone to the belt loops on either shoulder.
PERSONAL AREA NETWORK
It wouldn’t be a SeV product without their recently patented PAN (Personal Area Network) wire system. This system allows you to string the cords for your devices inside the lining of the jacket in order to avoid entanglement. You can run a headphone cord from a rubber clip near the collar of the jacket to the bottom interior pocket. That way you can keep your mp3 player or cell phone in an interior pocket instead of the cord flapping around in the wind while you walk. If you switch often between audio-capable devices you’ll need to make sure the cord is long enough to accommodate it though, especially if you want to pull out a gadget to use it. It may take you a little time to find the holes where you thread the cord through, but they’re there. I found the interior pockets that contain the PAN holes to be a little on the large side; perhaps more suited to store a magazine than a portable music player. Then again, devices come in all shapes and sizes and user preferences will vary.
There are actually two rubber clips on the collar so you can use the alternate one for your cell phone headpiece, and draw the cord to an interior pocket near the chest. However, I couldn’t find a PAN slot there. You can use the pocket’s zipper to thread the cord in, but you’ll need to be careful you don’t drop your cell when pulling the cord out for whatever reason. Caution should be exercised with all your gear actually. For example, there is huge exterior pocket on the back of the jacket where you could potentially store a laptop. Having a laptop on your back may be disastrous if you decide to sit down somewhere and lean back into the seat. The Classic Vest is helpful for doing away with bags, but it doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind. You’ll need to keep this in mind if you decide to take it off in a public place and it’s filled with all of your expensive gear. Finally, the vest exterior does have some logos on it, but they are non-intrusive and actually look kind of cool. There is a small “SeV” at the chest level, and a little TEC symbol below the lowermost front left pocket.
There were only a couple of minor things that kept the Classic Vest from perfection. I already mentioned some of these issues but I’ll point them out again for convenience: The slots for running your cords can be a little difficult to find. Related to this, in one pocket I didn’t even have a slot available, so I just used the larger zippered opening as a solution. You’ll also need to exercise some caution when handling all your items, since a lot can be stored here, and a lot can be…ahem…misplaced. One last thing is that storing some larger items like a bottle of water or a thick digital camera in the front pocket (as recommended by the “card tips”) may cause bulges to appear. This can possibly be remedied by ordering one size larger than what you’re normally accustomed to, but we can’t really know for sure. I found that simply placing the water in a large interior pocket near the bottom was a more discreet solution.
Overall though, this vest is going to be mighty useful for just about anyone during Spring and Fall seasons. Everyone has a cell these days, plus a PDA or an mp3 player, so the need is definitely there. The cotton blend material is softer than what I expected, the pockets are numerous enough to provide a ton of storage options, and best of all, the price is right. In fact it’s about a third of the price of their Solar SeV Finetex jacket but offers almost all of the functionality, with more comfort to boot. A very useful and high quality product…highly recommended.
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