As a traveling woman who hates carrying a purse, I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Scottevest clothing until now.

With vests, jackets, shirts, pants, and even a dress in their line-up of travel wear, the Scottevest line is designed to keep your hands free and your pack light with numerous useful pockets in each item of clothing.

The travel vest (available in both men’s and women’s cut) is designed for photographers, journalists, and any other serious travelers who find they have gear to carry but need their hands free.

Scottevest Women's Travel Vest | Practical Travel Gear 1

When I first saw the vest, I was floored: it has 17 pockets (yes, 17…enough to warrant a ‘pocket map’ to orient oneself to them all!). But here’s the amazing part: it does not look like a vest with 17 pockets.

They’re so well-designed and strategically placed that the vest appears sleek and lightweight.I turned the vest inside and out, checking out all the pocket options (some I didn’t even understand how to use). The fabric is lightweight poly, Teflon treated to be stain and water resistant, and it’s thin enough that I’ve been completely comfortable wearing it in summer.

The 17 pockets can hold whatever you like, but certain ones are designed for certain objects (and when worn with the weight of them in the appropriate pockets, the vest is evenly weighted…it’s amazing).

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In a nutshell, the vest can hold a phone, camera, water bottle, iPad, wallet, travel documents, passport, loose change, keys, and more at once.

I tried out the women’s travel vest on several (very different) trips, taking it with me to a mountain lodge where I did a lot of hiking, a family trip to Canada where I needed to pack a lot of kid-friendly items like snacks, tissues, and sunscreen, and through airport security on a flight home from Colorado.

I have not needed to fill every pocket up yet (I just never need all those things at once), but here’s how the travel vest fared for me: For use on shorter hikes and day trips, the vest is a great solution when you have too much stuff to carry in traditional pockets (especially in summer, when you’re lacking a jacket) but not enough stuff to need a backpack.

For a recent hike, I carried a camera, phone, keys, and water bottle in the travel vest, and felt comfortable and able to move easily (a worry of mine).

During our multi-day trip to Canada, I wore the vest while city touring and heading out on day excursions (again, hiking, and kayaking). I carried the extra supplies I needed with kids (the above-mentioned, plus extra sunglasses, other people’s cameras, etc).

I liked how the vest looked (bear in mind, I’m no fashionista, but I don’t like looking like a dork, either) and I was never too hot.

Wearing the vest through airport security at Denver International, I agree with Scottevest’s claim that this vest can be used as an ‘extra’ carry-on. I was able to keep my iPad, phone, wallet, and passport in the vest and dump the whole thing onto the conveyer belt.

Did I have room for these items in my traditional carry-on? Yes, so using the Scottevest was overkill on this solo trip. However, I’ll definitely put it to use while traveling by air with the whole family, when space is at a premium.

Note: Some Scottevest products do have magnetic closures, which I imagine would cause problems through security (and when storing magnetic key cards).

SCOTTeVEST Women’s RFID Travel Vest
  • Keep all your electronics and personal belongings safely and conveniently on your person.
  • Gadget friendly, tech savvy, and loaded with pockets designed to hold phones, tablets, and wallets.
  • Specially engineered to balance the weight load across the entire garment to prevent neck and back pain.
  • Oversized interior pocket designed to hold iPad as well as Android tablets.
  • Fabric specifically engineered to be wrinkle-free and look great no matter how you store it.

The Scottevest washes easily (a regular cycle is fine…just be sure to take everything out of the pockets!) and packs quite small. A few other details I appreciate: the iPod and earbud system to easily thread your cord through the vest, and the large back pocket (this one is designed for the iPad, but you really only want to use it for that purpose if you’re not sitting down a lot).

The vest is lined with mesh along the back so create some air flow. The key pocket includes a key fob, and the sunglasses pocket includes a lens cloth that can double for screens and camera lenses. Bottom line?

The travel vest is an incredibly well-thought out product. Though it won’t work for every conceivable use (sometimes you definitely need a bag or pack), for the right trip, it would be a lifesaver.

The travel vest comes in hunter green, black, red, or gray in the women’s version. I have gray, and it’s a nice neutral color. Pick up a Scottevest at their website for $125 (many other styles are on offer in a range of prices) or look for one at Amazon for the same price.