, I mean this lightweight nylon jacket from Scottevest, maker of gadget-minded, pocket-rich clothing. Frankly, a lot of technical gear &mdash much of Scottevest's stuff included &mdash doesn't suit my everyday aesthetic and/or looks huge on my frame*.
Hence why I was initially pretty pumped to slip into the new, $75 Pack Windbreaker
, which features a whopping 17 pockets and fit just right, without making me look like Bear Grylls
After the jump, see how much stuff I packed into this jacket, and hear about the good, the bad, and the fugly...
*Boxy, long t-shirts/jackets look like miniskirts on me: I'm 5'7".
This post is part of a theme day: BBG on Fashion
I'll admit I'm probably more concerned with appearances than, say, Steve Wozniak
Does this make me shallow? Maybe. But I can live with that.
What I cannot live with, however, is always having to tote around some kind of bag, pack or sack. Often my load is a phone, iPod, headphones, notebook, pens, wallet, keys, and reading material. Just enough for a fanny pack or tote bag (or my "man purse" as some friends call it), but not quite enough to warrant a full-on messenger bag.
The seeming benefit of this windbreaker, aside from the fact it packs small into one of its own pockets, is that you really can cram a bagload worth of gear into the pockets.
The jacket is warm; I camped in mid-50s with two light layers beneath and never felt cold.
The jacket features clips for your headphone cable on either side of the collar, plus a few loops and velcro latches around the neck line. Not amazing, but very convenient, smart and helpful for preventing snags while biking, riding public transit, etc.
All-totaled, I was able to stuff upwards of six
pounds of gear into all of the pockets. Much more than I'd usually carry, but certainly illustrative of what's possible. In addition to my usual gadgets (iPod, phone) and misc. stuff (pen, little notebook, keys), I loaded up this windbreaker with a spare camera, pocket video cam, larger notebook, magazine and more...
(not pictured: keychain/carabiner)
Relatively comfortable, and didn't appear all that overloaded, even from the inside...
Gravity can be unforgiving, especially when it comes to pockets. Everything I tossed into the jacket's larger side and inside pockets ended up cluttered together at the bottom. I found myself having to constantly adjust and literally balance certain items on top of each other to avoid having them bulge out too much.
I could see adding a few smaller inserts or cubbies inside the large pockets to help securely stash specific items. Probably easy to do on your own, but before you buy and break out the sewing machine...
The front zipper wasn't as resilient as I would have expected. In the three days I wore this jacket, the zipper unexpectedly opened up three times. It wasn't just when I overloaded the jacket with gear either (pic above).
Even when all of the pockets were empty, the front zipper slipped open at the bottom and had to be re-zipped. Not a major inconvenience, but totally lame considering the jacket costs $75. Then again, perhaps that's my penance for emphasizing form along side function?
: Scottevest sent me a new jacket to try. I've worn it a handful of times. No zipper issues thus far.
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