Price and Where to Buy: $125 from Scottevest.
Pros: Go hands-free with this travel vest. The travel vest (available in men's and women's styles) is designed to store everything you need for travel, so it's like having a whole other bag that the airlines can't charge you for. It's also great for women who don't want to carry purses, and men who don't want to bring a backpack or "murse" (man purse) along on a hike. Since you can store all your valuables (iPod, passport, camera, etc.) safely in the interior pockets, it's also a great pickpocket deterrent. The vest is designed to be streamlined and has a trademarked Weight Management System and NoBulge Pockets. We loaded up the vest and can confirm that we didn't feel weighed down or look super bulky.
Cons: The price. At $125, it's a lot to pay for a vest. But if you think of it as another carry-on bag, you can help justify it.
How it Rates:
- Usefulness: 10/10. Sure, we'd love not to carry anything when we're walking around a new city, but can't live without water, a camera, sunglasses, etc. This vest leaves our hands free for picture taking and our shoulders free from heavy bags. It's also great for flying—just zip it off and send it through the metal detector. There's pockets designed for everything you can think of—from handwarmers to lipstick (women's vest) and even water bottles.
- Portability: 10/10. The lightweight jacket folds up small when not in use.
- Value: 7/10. Think of it as a purse, suitcase, and extra layer, all rolled into one.
- Durability: 10/10. The vest is made out of a lightweight fabric treated with Teflon, so you won't have to worry about getting it wet or staining it. Everything on it, from the zippers to the pockets, is made out of high-quality materials that seem designed to last.
- Cool Factor: 8/10. I'll be honest—vests don't fit into my personal fashion style. But, as far as vests go, this one is inoffensive. Buy it in black and wear it with a black shirt if you're not a vest person, or if you can rock it, the other colors are good. You really don't look like you're wearing a travel vest—the Scottevest does look like a normal vest.
Final Verdict: It's worth the money if you like to travel light, or if you have trouble meeting the airlines' baggage restrictions..
Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.