Every so often a product appears in the marketplace that makes you think: Why didn’t someone think of that sooner?
That’s how I felt the first time I used a ScotteVest product, the brainchild of founder Scott Jordan. Scottevest (www.scottevest.com) is a line of clothing designed for people who embrace an active lifestyle. The pants, shirts, vests and jackets are ruggedly constructed of lightweight materials, but any similarity to standard outdoors wear ends there. In my quest to share great products with my readers— products that I actually use— I’d like to give you this heads-up.
The secret to the ScotteVest line is in the astounding number of pockets hidden throughout the garments. My jacket (the Quantum; now discontinued), has something like 25 pockets, no exaggeration! My TEC shirt has 8 pockets. But think again if you believe their clothing looks like a dorky photo vest. ScotteVest designers have put together well-styled and durable garments with thoughtfully placed pockets.
Take my jacket, for example. In the late fall, winter and early spring I use it almost exclusively for my photo forays. It is water resistant, has a removable hood, adjustable sleeves, draw cords, armpit vents and a breathable mesh lining. But here’s the winning formula for photographers; it is lined with pockets for every gadget you could possibly carry. I have separate pockets for my right angle viewers (2), my Lee filter holder, filters, shutter release cords, memory cards, 2-3 lenses, a point-and-shoot, etc. The jacket, like many of their jackets in their current product line, has 2 chest pockets specifically designed to fit an iPod, iPhone or smartphone. The high-tech materials lining those pockets are completely see-through, so I’m able to make calls, run my photo apps, or follow a map without taking them out of the pockets.
There are other perks for photographers. My jacket has a shock cord and clip in one of the pockets with a microfiber cloth attached! There is a pocket for business cards, pens, pencils and Lenspens. One pocket has an extendable key holder. When I leave the house I clip my keys to it and don’t have to worry about losing them in a bog. Another feature is an internal wiring system through which you string your earphones, connect it to your phone or iPod and make calls or listen to music.
Interestingly, the entire jacket is so well balanced (they call it their Weight Management System) I’m hardly aware of all the photo junk I’m packing. I just load up, sling my Gitzo with attached camera over my shoulder and I’m off.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a shortcoming, although it’s kind of a moot point, given that my jacket is now discontinued. To be a perfect photo jacket I would have preferred one large flap-type pocket on each side of the jacket to hold a camera body or medium lens. I’m hoping that ScotteVest’s designers will make a dedicated photo vest in the future; I’m sure it would be a winner.