It is no secret that I really enjoy Scottevest clothing. Ever since I first purchased a Scottevest original vest, this company’s clothing has transformed how I pack to walk about the door. With the Scottevest original vest, Fleece 5.0 jacket/vest, hoodie sweatshirt, sport coat, cargo pants and button down shirt in my wardrobe … some purchased by me, some sent to me by Scottevest … recently the new SeV Transformer jacket arrived at my door.
I had planned to hold on writing about the Transformer until the weather turned warmer to write about it as both a jacket and a vest, however a ‘lighting review’ of it that appeared on Gizmodo got me wondering … what exactly to people expect from their jacket?
Personally, I tend to load my Scottvest clothing fairly heavy, with my Travel Vest and Fleece 5.0 being loaded pretty similarly, which you can see here. The Transformer has 20 pockets, and while it is a lighter jacket/vest than the Fleece 5.0, it is still designed to hold just about anything a user could want to stuff in their pockets for a day out, or a quick day of travel.
In Gizmodo’s review of the Scottevest Transformer, author Sam Biddle wrote “The Transformer boasts a “personal area network” (hahaha) that packages all of your stuff (?) into twenty different pockets. This is an appalling glut of pockets and zippers and pouches, none of which make obvious their purpose.”
As a long time user of the Scottevest clothing, I was originally drawn to the clothing for two reasons, 1) the ability to carry a netbook or iPad inside the jackets and vests 2) the ability to wire my headsets through the jacket and vests, untangling the wire, since I do not like blue tooth headsets. The personal area network is ideal for throwing your phone or MP3 player in your jacket and having your headsets always ready for use and easy to stow when not in use.
But let’s get past the personal area network, because not everyone is going to wire up their jacket, vest, sport coat, sweatshirt the way I have … I am confused by Mr. Biddle’ s statement that “The pockets, too small to be useful,“ in his Gizmodo review, which cuts to the crux of my question … what exactly to people expect from their jacket?
Let’s start by going down the list of what I packed inside my Scottevest Transformer two Sunday’s ago as I headed off for work.
1 – iPhone 4
1 – iPhone 3G
1 – Headsets wired into jacket
1 – 11″ MacBook Air
1 – Kindle Touch 3G
1 – Canon Powershot G11
1 – Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses
1 – Apple MagSafe AC power supply
1 – iPhone USB cord
1 – USB SD card reader
1 – 20oz Pepsi
1 – Bagel & Cream Cheese
2 – Pens
1 – Moleskine notebook
1 – pack of business cards
All of these gear was comfortably was stowed in my Scottevest Transformer jacket, while wearing two cameras via the BlackRapid harness system and other gear via the Think Tank Skin Kit harness (except the Pepsi and Bagel which I ate and drank on the train up to work).
For the past few days I have been out with the Scottevest Transformer jacket I have been packing light. An 11″ MacBook Air inside the jacket, and swapping a Canon 28-70f2.8 and 70-200f2.8 from the right side pocket. To put this in perspective the Canon 70-200f2.8 is 7.8 inches in length and 3.4 inches in diameter, not counting the tripod collar … and the lens slips into the side pocket without any problems.
The Scottevest Transformer is unique in how it converts from jacket to vest. Rather than the using zip off sleeves, The Transformer uses magnets that hold whole a whole sleeve section to the jacket , instead of two separate sleeves. The magnet design allows a user to make their jacket a vest in less then 5 seconds and put the sleeves back in in a matter of seconds. Using the Scottevest Transformer with camera straps, and the BlackRapid harness system I have found the magnets that hold the sleeves in place durable and reliable. I would not try picking the jacket up by its sleeves when loaded, but typically I pick jackets up by their collar, regardless of the jacket. Should the jacket’s magnets had issues I am sure I would have pulled the sleeves off countless times … although Mr. Biddle at Gizmodo is quoted as stating “The magnets for the sleeves are too weak,” leaving me wondering what exactly he is doing with the sleeves.
Below are a few photos of my Scottevest Transformer jacket, loaded with an 11″ MacBook Air and Kindle; my Canon G11 in the sunglasses pocket and my Canon 70-200f2.8L in my right side pocket … as well as a photo of me wearing a loaded vest with my gear while out looking for some photos.