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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- 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).
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.
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.
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!