Review of the Perfectly Named Scott E Vest “Expedition” Jacket – An Expedition of 37 Pockets!

by Michael Sheehan on June 14, 2011

in Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, General, Hardware, iPad, iPhone, iPod, Review, Video

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37 pockets, that’s what the “Expedition” jacket by Scott E Vest (“SeV” for short) has. I almost think that there are more but it could be the hidden conduits and other innovative design elements that were inflating my count. I have sort of a jacket addiction, always looking for that one that will be the one that I go to time and time again. There are a few that I bounce between either for comfort or utility or based on the weather. I now have one that may rise above the rest. The Expedition is now the one that I reach for first.

Another "Model" Pose

Yep, that’s me striking a “model pose”.

Scott E Vest clothes have long had a reputation of being extremely utilitarian. The company was formed about 10 years ago by Scott Jordan to provide a better way to store gadgets and gizmos than a backpack or “man purse”. This is a man after my heart. I love loading up my pockets or my backpack with all of my devices, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one. If you are a parent, you know that any time you have to go anywhere with you kids, you need to lug along a ton of items to keep them happy or sustain them.

Back View of the SeV Expedition

This is the backside of the Expedition (and me).

The Expedition from SeV is a 3 season jacket (you wouldn’t want to wear it in the dead heat of summer or the cold of winter) but it is heavy enough to keep you warm and it is water proof (with double stitched seams). There is a detachable hood, which you can nicely store away in one of the back pockets.

Let’s talk a bit about pockets. As I mentioned earlier, the Expedition has 37 pockets. And the way the SeV is designed, you can load up all of the pockets and magically it doesn’t give the appearance of being bulky or hanging or weighing the jacket down. I recorded a video (below and available here on YouTube) that shows some of the things that you can load up in the pockets:

[iframe_loader width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cXjNvbOXQqY?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen]

The Expedition actually comes with a guide to explain all of the maps. The X-Ray view below can give you an idea for what you actually can store in the jacket. They have another jacket that actually acts like your carry-on bag so you can imagine that SeV has really thought out how items are stored within it.

SeV_xray

The Expedition also has some core features that are common on many other SeVs :

The TravelSmartSystem consists of something that they call a PAN (Personal Area Network) and some other features mentioned throughout this review. The PAN is a meshwork of internal conduits that allows you to wire devices within garments like the Expedition. There is actually a press release that talks about not on the PAN but another term called “TEC” which stands for “Technology Enabled Clothing”. This concept is obviously right at home with a “HighTechDad”!

You can also see from the photos below that there are two interior pockets that have semi-translucent covers. These are designed to hold your iPod or cell phone with a unique combination of a clear touch fabric (meaning you can actually interact with your device through the fabric) but also a combination of zippers and Velcro to allow easy access and removal of your device.

Phone & ID/Business Card Holder Another iPod/Phone Pocket

The large interior pocket, otherwise known as the “PadPocket” is designed to hold your iPad, Tablet, Kindle or even a netbook. It’s easily accessible and because of the weight distribution system, you don’t really feel the weight of the iPad tugging down on you.

I got quite a few comments on the beer…er…water bottle holders in the back of the jacket. It’s pretty handy when you are out hiking to have the ability to easily carry your beverage of choice in a place that is out of the way, yet accessible. It’s nice that there are two pockets as well, one for your kids’ juicebox and one for your “adult beverage.” There is even a loop to hold an additional 3rd bottle in one of the front pockets…nice touch!

Back Pockets on SeV

Oh, and one more thing, the SeV Expedition is machine washable! Wow! Now THAT is something nice. They do recommend that you hang dry it or dry it flat, but just being able to throw it in the washing machine is a huge plus in my book.

Features I liked

It’s kind of amazing that I have to actually write a list of “features” that I like about this jacket, as if it were a piece of technology. It almost seems to be and I look for the battery compartment frequently. But here are the things that I really like about it:

Collar Line - Ear Bud holders & Conduits

  • Comfortable – this jacket breathes well yet keeps the warmth inside. The fleece-lined neck line is a nice addition (see picture above). Oh and you can see the holders for your earbuds as well.
  • Waterproof – you need to have a jacket that will not only keep your gadgets safe and away from the elements, it needs to keep the wearer dry as well!
  • Magnets instead of Velcro – while Velcro is a great invention, it tends to grab onto whatever is around it including lint and other fabrics. SeV did away with Velcro on the band of fabric that covers the main zipper and put in low powered magnets instead, which I think was quite smart.
  • Pockets for everything – well isn’t that the title for of this review? Seriously though, there is a pocket for just about everything with the exception of )a tent (but perhaps a single-person tent could fit into one of the back pockets).
  • Ability to hide that you are carrying a lot – using what SeV calls a “Weight Management System,” all of the items have their weight evenly distributed throughout the jacket which means that it doesn’t pull on you in an odd way, nor does your jacket appear to be bulky or bulge out strangely.
  • Channels connecting various areas of the jacket – throughout the jacket are conduits and channels to guide headphone or other wires through out. If you look into just about every pocket, you will find stitched openings that connect one pocket to another or to the neckline area. There are easy ways to thread your wires throughout the jacket as well.
  • Good craftsmanship – after a close inspection of the seams, I found that most critical seams were double-stitched. The production work of the Expedition seems to be pretty high. Even down to the zippers which are easy to grip even with gloves on.

And those are just a few things that I thought I would call out. But there are plenty of little “surprises” that keep popping out, like a lanyard to hold your keys which you can attach to either the right or left pocket, an eyeglass pocket (clearly labeled like many of the other internal pockets) that has a chamois that is attached to a bungee cord, and a place to put your ID or business cards (that’s what I did).

HighTechDad rating

As this is less of a gadget and more of a personal gadget transportation device…er…jacket, some of the categories below don’t really apply. But in a way they do. For the Easy to Geek factor, well that is a funny one to answer. It’s easy enough to put on the SeV Expedition jacket. But, there are so many pockets and conduits to explore and figure out, that it might take a while to get your jacket fully “dialed in.” In terms of it being family friendly, I give it high marks, simply because it is an essential to have if you are going on an excursion, long or short, with your kids and carrying all of their and your gear.

HighTechDad striking a "model pose"

Here’s one more “model pose” for your scrapbooks!

You can really load it up with necessities like snacks, cameras, diapers, drinks, cell phone, Band-Aids, diaper cream, wipes, books, toys, you name it. Even if your kids are older, it’s nice to have a jacket where you can store a variety of items. It’s hard not to highly recommend the Scott E Vest; it’s very comfortable and extremely useful. The price is right about what I would expect a jacket of this caliber, if not a bit less expensive than I would have thought. I would think it would come in at $250 or so, but at $200, it’s definitely a good deal. Overall, the Scott E Vest Expedition jacket earned one of the highest ratings that I have ever given. Of course, I’m going to have to really test it out to see how it stands up over time and may have to see how well it works with some other SeV clothes.

EASY TO GEEK FACTOR – is the device easy to get up and running
HTD_4_star
FAMILY FRIENDLY – does the device fit well into family environments
HTD_4_star
RECOMMENDABILITY– would I recommend it to others (more means “yes”)
HTD_5_star
PRICE POINT – does the price reflect the product function
HTD_4_star
OVERALL – my general rating
HTD_4_half_star

The funny thing is, as I wrote this review, I kept discovering more and more little things about the Expedition jacket. It’s the attention to not only detail but also of possible use cases that a wearer might come up with that makes the SeV so compelling. It’s going to be really hard to put away the Expedition SeV for the summer. I’m hoping there are a few cool nights that will allow me to break it out. Whether this is a gift for a birthday, Father’s Day or another holiday, or you are buying this for yourself, you really can’t go wrong with the Expedition jacket!

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: Every active person needs to have at least one Scott E Vest in their clothing collection!

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  • Liz

    Michael! You’re an awesome High-Tech Dad and blogger! Thanks for the stellar review, oh and we LOVE the surprise at the end of the video! Try to keep that with you all the time! 

  • Nico Veenkamp

    Michael, Thanks for the great review. I own a ScotteVest Essential Travel Jacket since a few months and there hasn’ t been a day that I have not worn it. In two weeks I leave for China, for a period of three weeks,  and the ET Jacket, with the pockets filled with essential stuff, is the only luggage I will carry. 

  • http://zach.copley.name/blog zcopley

    Built-in holster options?

  • http://www.hightechdad.com hightechdad

    Practically! It’s awesome!

  • Anonymous

    It is a great jacket technology. I am really impressed by this technology. There are so many options available inside jackets pockets. It is a good combination of technologies. 

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  • Gloria

    the weight-management system used to be extra-fabric on the shoulder-area so that the weight of the gadgets and devices in the gadget is offset by the resistance-force on the shoulders.

    Scottevest has removed that feature beginning with the “4.0” products (like the Evolution and all the products that first had the clear-touch pockets in them).

  • Coby

    i agree with Gloria. i’ve talked to alot of other Scottevest customers and many of their new and/or most recent products that do not have this feature, are starting to tell me that they’re feeling the weight of the garments uncomfortably hang on their vertebrae when they have any gadgets in them (even something as light as a “small wallet, pen, and a cellphone distributed throughout the pockets”, according to several of them). i tried this for myself on my Evolution, Revolution, Revolution Plus, Cotton-fleece and Micro-fleece hoodies, and Tropical jacket, and all of them had this issue.

  • Kenny

    really Coby? same thing happened to me! O_O

    plus i had another problem: with each wash (in my washing machine. gentle cycle. cold water (i follow the “clothing care instructions” exactly)) some of the stitching becomes undone. i also had 2 shirts that after the first wash, the collar loops of the personal area network became undone at one end. i recently had a cotton tshirt that after its fifth wash the stitching for the zipper holding the chest pocket became undone at the upper part, leaving a pretty noticeable hole between the plastic of the zipper and the cotton fabric material of the shirt itself. i showed this to my wife who kindly and lovingly stitched it for me. still, Scottevest proudly claims and markets their products as having quality stitching, and great zipper-quality. well, after 3 washes, another of my cotton tshirts’s zipper just cleanly pulled right off while i was trying to zip the zipper closed back up (you zip in a upward direction the chest pocket zipper in order to close it). (i gently hold in a pinching fashion (ie. with my thumb and index finger) the fabric immediately below the zipper so that the shirt chest pocket zipper can zip up easier when i’m zipping it closed). i was very surprised by this. it’s never happened before on any of my Scottevest products and thankfully this is the first and only product so far that this has happened to. however i really don’t want to run the risk of it happening to my other Scottevest shirts so now i just use them as regular shirts and don’t use the pockets at all. same thing goes with my Evolution, Quantum, Tropical, Cotton and Microfleece hoodie, and Fleece 5.0 jackets: the jackets get unbearably heavy and the weight of them hangs on to and presses on to my vertebrae even when i have just 2 or 3 items (SMALL ones, i might add) in the pockets, so now i just use them as regular jackets but DON’T use the pockets.

    i however, would like to add that i have a “fisherman’s vest” by another company (yes, outer pockets and all. but like Scottevest’s jackets and vests, the overwhelming majority of the pockets are in the front), and a “Dockers” black workmans’-type cotton jacket i bought in WalMart (the fisherman’s vest was bought at Columbia store, if memory serves me), as well as some other jackets, hoodies, and fleeces from The North Face, and NONE OF THEM have the weight-pressing-on-your-neck-when-stuff-is-in-your-pockets issues, stitchings-coming-undone-after-one-or-two-washes-in-the-washing-machine, and metal-zipper-pulls-breaking-cleanly-off-of-their-zipper-“loop”-attachment-after-3-or-4-washes-in-the-washing-machine issues that Scottevest’s items have. i sincerely hope that Scott Jordan and company plan to fix this and soon, or i will never buy Scottevest products again. their products are not exactly cheap and i would rather take my money elsewhere and buy something worthwhile that will last me a really long time instead of buying something that will begin to fall apart after 3 or 4 uses and 1 or 2 cycles in the washer-dryer/washing machine. especially in this economy…

  • scottevest

    Hi Kenny, 

    Thank you for your feedback and I apologize that you have had issues with the stitching and the zippers. We stand behind the quality of our products but are not ignorant to the fact that they are handmade and have A LOT of mechanical zippers, which can have issues every now and then. We do have a two year warranty on all of our products and our Customer Service department would be happy to help take care of any quality issues you are having. Please don’t hesitate to contact them at sales@scottevest.com or 866-909-8378. 

  • Kenny

     i understand. thank you scottevest. will do.

    also, i understand that you are using (a) chinese manufacturer(s) for the development, making, and manufacturing of your clothing. may i suggest you go back to using AMERICAN clothing manufacturers. (you can read more on these websites here http://americansworking.com/clothingmens.html  http://americansworking.com/clothingwomens.html  ). as a self-employed person myself, i’ve also had to often see who can give me the best service and product for my design and needs, and often i’ve come to find that chinese manufacturers just aren’t worth it. they price cheap for a reason, and even if their products are made to MY (or any other person who asks’) qualifications, their products tend to usually break down after a short while, especially when compared to “made in America” clothing of the late 1970s to 1990s. besides, your products will arrive to you in Ketchum faster if they’re made in the USA instead of in China (thereby saving you transportation costs, shipping costs, and plane-ticket costs when you have to visit your factory) (last time i checked, it was cheaper to get a plane ticket to some other state within the continental U.S. than it is to get one to China).

    that and, we all need to help each other out. especially in this economy. bringing American people back to work, will certainly help each other out, and regrow our nation, and revitalize our (and this) economy. especially in clothing (i mean who DOESN’T need clothing? we don’t walk around naked do we? :-P )

  • Kenny

     on that front, one of my Scottevest products is the Sport coat, and it DEFINITELY lasts even BETTER than the Tec shirt, and all the other Scottevest-designed shirts. this thing is built to LAST, and it feels like if it’s built like a truck. (solid seams, good stitching, and all that). and that was even before i discovered that it was made by an AMERICAN clothing manufacturer.

    may i suggest that you switch all of your other clothing manufacturers to an American one as well. the quality of your Sport coat far surpasses the quality of your other products, and i think the fact that it’s made from an American clothing manufacturer kind of proves it. (no offense).

  • Regina Stanley

    i really like your gadget-review Michael. thanks for helping me make an informed decision regarding whether or not to buy Scottevest products for ALL my gadget-carrying needs! :-)

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