Unpacking my Scott E Vest jacket


I’ve been asked more than a few times what I always pack in my bag when I’m getting ready to go on a trip. My answers are pretty standard: Laptop, Kindle, passport and camera. But there’s an aspect of that answer which I rarely add on to the story. I can “pack” all of that stuff without actually packing a bag. And a decent amount more, too.

To call my SeV Evolution jacket capacious is probably a disservice to the amount of stuff it can easily hold. I’ve had it for just over four years now and have used it to carry far more than I should probably admit. There was one night in Seattle where I had six bottles of wine in the pockets, clanking along as we walked from dinner back to the bar at the Sheraton to continue the party. There was a trip to Mauritius where I put a pair of shoes in the pockets to satisfy the carry-on bag weight restrictions. And then there are the various things I’ve stashed in all the different pockets. At least one friend calls it the “klepto-coat” because it has so much room to stow things. I never really expected it to steal from me but I once lost $200 in the sleeve for roughly a year. I was pretty pissed when it happened but equally happy when I finally found the cash.

SeV-jacket-fully-loaded

Looks normal enough, right?

I’ve got a trip to Norway coming up in a couple weeks so I figured that maybe it was time to clean it out and start fresh. And even I was a bit surprised with what I found in some of the pockets (and in finding a new pocket I didn’t know about.

IMG_4135
Yes, all this crap was in my pockets

So, just what did I fit inside?

  • 11.6″ Asus laptop
  • Kindle (a generation older, but close enough to this version) in a hard cover to protect the screen
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • MP3 player + headphones
  • City Pass cards, train tickets & receipts from at least five countries spanning three years’ worth of trips
  • Museum ticket stubs/receipts from three cities
  • Old boarding passes from my Baltic Beers trip earlier this year
  • A concert program from last March in Germany
  • A map of Mainz from last December’s trip
  • A receipt from a not-so-recent trip to CVS
  • Business cards
  • A notepad

And, my favorite bit: I found 50 euro in the same pocket where I once “lost” the $200. Apparently I’m really good at putting my cash in there and pretty bad at remembering that I’ve done so when I get home.

This isn’t the most I’ve had in the jacket. I typically have a small camera (current model is the Canon S110) in one of the top outside pockets to make it reasonably accessible while wandering about. Ditto for my passport when on the road. And one of the pockets holds my water bottle very nicely, in addition to all the other stuff in there. A couple USB charging cables and a power supply occasionally find themselves into the pockets, too.

The model I have is no longer for sale; it was replaced by the SeV Revolution. It looks to be roughly the same in terms of pockets, though they now advertise the largest interior pocket as iPad compatible rather than for holding a netbook or laptop. Mine is still holding up pretty well so I don’t anticipate needing a replacement any time soon.

I also own a couple pairs of SeV pants (purchased at the same time) and I don’t wear them all that often. Maybe I should, though the time I “lost” our passports in one of the pockets spooked me a little bit.

Loaded as shown the coat weighs seven pounds. Considering all the crap I was carrying that’s not too bad at all. Plus I don’t always carry my laptop and Kindle in the pockets, but when I’m traveling especially light (think Ryanair) I do. Every little bit helps. And the part where I can do a weekend mileage run without packing a bag at all is pretty cool.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

10 Comments

  1. SEV’s are great – have both a jacket and a coat and other SEV gear. You might want to add a Thomas Bates web money belt for additional lightweight cash and coin storage. Have fun in Norway – I’ll be over there again in August with my Hawaiian shirts in tow.

  2. For me, this would be the nightmare jacket.

    I’m the guy at the airport with the cargo pants, who has that look of sheer panic on his face as he goes through every pocket in his pants and jacket, looking for his wallet/boarding pass/passport etc.

    I need less pockets and more brains.

  3. Bluecat – why don’t you get one of those ticket lanyard things? I mean, other than the fact that it makes you look like a feebleminded altercocker?

  4. A CVS receipt recent ENOUGH that’s it’s for 4 vanilla reloads 🙂

  5. I have 2 ScottE coats (women’s); they are fabulous. So nice to not need to carry a purse when I travel; one less thing to be bothered with.

  6. Just to point out – beware !

    My ScottE Vest had sleeve zipper problems Their customer service was
    awful, as posts on flyer talk have reported . Mine was just out of warranty, and despite many emails to CS & their President (who never responded ), I was unable to get any help !!!

    So, buyer beware – there are many other vendors out there.

    So, now I am reduced to using it as a sleeveless vest

  7. Persistent recurring problems on their zippers keep being reported. Outrageous considering the price of the garments.

    And some garments are not finished very well considering the price. The bungee cord in the hem of my Fleece jacket from Scottevest detached from where it was stitched as soon as I took it out of the pack. After a further negative experience with them there are so many occasions when I could have bought from them, but just couldn’t be bothered.

    With the greatest regret I simply have not found their quality acceptable at any price level and definitely not at the price levels they charge.

  8. Lady London – we are happy to help you with your zipper problems and your detached lanyard! Please contact us at sales@scottevest.com and let us know the trouble you are having with your zipper, we can also send you a replacement keychain lanyard that will reattach to the fleece. If there are any defectives within two years from the purchase date we will be happy to replace or repair the garment!

  9. Seth,

    Since this post screams (and directly mentions) Ryan Air, what do you use for a carry-on? When I do find something that’s within their size limits, it’s still ~8 lbs, which is about 40% of the weight limit (leaving less for content). I’m thinking maybe a properly sized backpack would work best, eliminating the weight and space of wheels and a pull-out handle?

    GEE – would you care to suggest alternatives to ScottVest?

    1. My main carry-on these days is a Timbuk2 messenger bag my in-laws got me for Christmas in 2012. I LOVE it. And it fits in the UA “personal item” sizer still, even with a 4-day weekend’s worth of clothes in it.

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