The SCOTTeVEST Featherweight Vest is a lightweight vest designed to store your tech arsenal and make your ID/credit cards/travel documents a little bit safer with anti-skimming technology. If contains 14 pockets of varying sizes and built-in wire paths for headset wires so they’re never in your way.
There are a lot of features of the vest that don’t just jump out at you. When I got this I thought “oh wow, pockets, how innovating.” To say I was a bit prejudiced against this being useful would be an understatement but I was determined to give it a shot. I gave it a month more or less (we had some hard freezes in which case the vest was ditched for a coat).
The SCOTTeVEST Featherweight Vest in use
First off I had the idea that because I don’t carry around all my devices that I wouldn’t carry around all my devices. While this is still pretty much the case, when I do wear this I do now carry around more devices and am generally feeling like I’ve got what I want.
The Personal Area Network (the patent mentioned below) works well to keep earbuds from being a pain. They’ve got a place, the wire’s got a path. If you want to listen to music without using Bluetooth this is the way to go. I’m afraid I didn’t get much of a chance to listen to music, but I did pack some earbuds with me most of the time and they were kept out of the way and not annoying.
There’s a pocket for everything it seems, whether useful to me or not. Two pockets for phones, two pen pockets positioned at the perfect height to not stab you when you bend over. There’s an iPad or similar tablet pocket which worked when my iPad 2 was out of the case, but not particularly well with the rubber toddler-proof case I generally have on it, a change pocket, an RFID blocking pocket, a random extendable carabiner for keys, and a place to stash your water bottle and a belt to keep it upright.
I wasn’t particularly fond of where the phone pockets were. I don’t like my phone being that high. Besides being on your chest they’re sideways pockets with zippers. I’d much rather have my phone at belly level in a pocket at an angle, maybe slap in a one-foot earbud extension cord into the vest if that’s the reason they’re up high.
I had some techie friends look at it, the general consensus was useful, but we wanted to test the skimmer pockets since it has RFID blocking pockets to prevent. I verified with standard NFC (which is on one extreme end of the RFID spectrum) that there’s no blocking, nor WiFi, nor CDMA. After a bit of research it turns out that the stuff in credit card chips and travel documents is another frequency entirely, so I have no way to test this evidently. I’m not going to doubt it though.
As for it as a fashion piece, the vest looks like the vest looks. I was told like I looked like an aged MacGuyver at one point, and that it looked pretty slick on me at another time.
Even loaded down the vest still maintains the basic shape, although you slap an iPad in there and the shape does tend to bulk up a bit.
The vest is pretty light. Coming in at slightly over half a pound it’s nearly unnoticeable until you start stuffing tech junk into it. That’s when you realize exactly how much all this stuff you carry around weighs. The SCOTTeVEST doesn’t add to that at least.
Besides being light I’ll point out the vest breathes extremely well. I didn’t notice it. I’m going to have to give it a run in the summer to verify, but it was pretty much like it wasn’t there, even though it has handwarmer pockets.
The water and stain repellent nature of the vest has helped it survive over a month of me wearing it around a two year old, whose mission in life seems to be to get chocolate and juice on my clothing. It seems to wipe off pretty easily.
Why does this look familiar?
If you’re a fan of Shark Tank chances are the SCOTTeVEST may look familiar. The CEO went on to attempt to sell a licensing deal for a patent the vest uses, and an hour with the Sharks was edited into 10 minutes of some memorable TV, although perhaps for the wrong reasons.
There was no deal reached after an hour with the Sharks, they wanted his clothing company, wanted it promoted and mentioned and a chunk of it, and he wanted just to sell a patent for a licensing deal. Mentioning or promoting the clothing company evidently would have cost him 5% of the company due to the terms of the Shark Tank agreement.
Overall I found I was using the vest and liked it after a few days of use. I had no need of the skimmer pocket but if you’re traveling it might be useful to combat RFID bump-and-steals.
It’s more expensive than I’d like it to be, you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not this is worth it to you. I’d think if you like listening to music via earphones, carry around a tablet and a phone, and worry about people stealing your credit card/passport info, it’s really aimed directly at you as a consumer.
The SCOTTeVEST Featherwight Vest is currently available at the manufacturer’s website for $135.