My New "Hot Pockets" Tactical 4.0 Scott eVest Gadget Jacket

Quite a title for an article - but I would argue that this is quite a jacket!

I had already discovered the Scott eVest clothing line years ago and got pulled in by the allure of more pockets that I could possibly want. I took that as a challenge... and lost. I never did find a reason to use every pocket but new respect was earned that day by Mr. eVest. I actually met Scott once and he seemed like a down-to-earth guy who was really focused on producing a new kind of clothing that appealed to and served the needs of a technical generation. I remember shaking his hand and wondering if he wasn't helping to to encourage a new breed of sophisticated pickpocketers.

My previous jacket (now hanging in my museum) was truly innovative in its ability to accommodate, dare I say absorb, wires into the lining of the garment. They called it a Personal Area Network or PAN and it really worked. I took full advantage of the PAN as I had been wrestling with corded earphone/mic for my cell phone, a separate headset for my portable music player and a spare ground cable to help avoid direct lightning strikes. I loved the jacket and would have worn it more it had been just a little more on this side of fashionable.

Which brings me to the new 4.0 line of Scott eVest clothing. I decided it was time for another look and was very impressed with how Scott and company have updated the look of their products. I bought another black jacket which has even more pockets than before, same zip-out sleeves (to create the "vest"), and some cool, new innovations. It took longer to figure out where all the pockets were than how to fill them with absolutely necessary items.

So before I get to the updates, let me describe the current contents of my jacket. I suppose you could argue against any one of these as being ridiculous but there is no way you could stuff the entire contents of my jacket into your average man-purse. CMON!

  • Spare pen
  • Tissues (nose tends to run in Chicago cold)
  • Snack (bar shaped, likely some granola variety)
  • Spare change for parking meters
  • Extra 5-spot - never know when you might need 5 bucks
  • Combo headphone/micrphone for cellie
  • Spare iPod mini and headphones
  • Current paperback I'm reading
  • 1 Red Bull (new jacket designed to hold bottles/cans nicely)
  • Sunglasses
  • Gum
  • Keys
  • Best Buy Reward Zone card
  • Hand lotion (hands get chaffed from high 5-ing other geeks)
  • Extra AAA batteries
  • Spare cell phone charger
  • Lip balm (seriously, its always cold here)
  • Biz cards
  • Grocery list: Red Bull, granola bars, lip balm
  • Latest issue of Wired - I was lying about the book earlier

So you can see why I was so eager to upgrade!

Anyway, personal effects aside, here are some interesting garment-related features I found to be worth writing about:

Magnetic pocket closures - Such a simple idea but beautifully executed, the most frequently used pockets on the coat all have small but powerful magnets that do a great job of protecting the contents when you are too lazy to zip.

Zip-up sides - there are 4 inch zippers at the bottom on each side of the jacket which make it easy to access belt-clipped cellphones or similar gadgets while you are are all bundled up.

Epaulet - I had never heard the term used but after reading about it, I decided to try it out. There is a sturdy strip of fabric sewn to the outside of the jacket around the shoulder that allows you to clip on any gadget that you might otherwise clip to your belt. On one occasion, I happened to be in a very noisy place and didn't want to miss an important call so I temporarily moved my cell phone from the belt to the shoulder and it worked perfectly. Not for long term use but great for that situation.

I also like the way you can access some of the bigger compartments from both inside and outside pockets. Another cool feature is the giant back pocket which I have confirmed *will* hold a laptop quite nicely.

But perhaps the one thing that deserves the most praise is the way that the jacket looks when laden with all this gear. The craftsmanship is outstanding but special care was taken to make sure the jacket would not look bulky - ever! And it doesn't. You cannot tell the difference when I am standing or walking with or without the heavy contents. Hey, I'm all about admitting I'm a geek but I don't necessarily need to advertise it to the world.

Well done, Scott eVest. You have another loyal customer in your pocket.


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