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.
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.
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
- 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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