How Much Junk Is In My Trunk?

scottevest collage.jpg

By trunk, 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 FashionI’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 Good

The jacket is warm; I camped in mid-50s with two light layers beneath and never felt cold.

scale six lbs.jpg

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…

inside edit.jpg

(not pictured: keychain/carabiner)

Relatively comfortable, and didn’t appear all that overloaded, even from the inside…

inside.JPG

The Bad

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 Fugly

zipper fail.jpg

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?

Update: 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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12 Responses to How Much Junk Is In My Trunk?

  1. Anonymous says:

    The big pockets would be ok if you’re holding one or two big items in them. Otherwise, I’d want a bunch of PALS webbing on the inside so I can mix and match the type of pockets that I want.

  2. scottevest says:

    Thanks for the article. We are sending the jacket to our factory to examine the issue. We use YKK zippers and they are much more expensive and the best, but if a seamstress sewed it incorrectly it can fail. We have not had a single complaint about this product to date. We stand behind our products 100%, whether media review models or customers. In ANYTHING happens like this, we immediately replace it, not questions asked.

    Thanks for the review. I will report back with our findings.

    Scott Jordan, CEO and Founder
    http://www.scottevest.com
    scott@scottevest.com

  3. scottevest says:

    Steven,

    I got the jacket back. Here is my review. http://www.tokbox.com/vm/3rqshftojxfq

    Thanks.

    Scott Jordan, CEO
    http://www.scottevest.com

  4. Gloria says:

    A faulty zipper is lame whatever the cost of a jacket. Did you contact Scottevest to check whether it’s a design flaw or just a random mechanical failure?

  5. Dean Putney says:

    This makes me want a ScottEVest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VO_PeMrA0

  6. JP says:

    I used to use the microfleece hoodie for traveling back and forth to China, and managed to fit ~13kg of gear in the various pockets in order to minimize overweight fees. It did end up looking a little bulgy, though….

  7. Steven Leckart says:

    Gloria: They are sending me another jacket to try, and I’ll report my findings here.

    The founder of the company says on one occasion he saw the exact same problem happen to someone he knows who was wearing this windbreaker.

    FYI, I’m told they use YKK zippers:
    http://www.ykkamerica.com/zippers

    Also, I should add that zipping it back down and re-zipping solves the issue. It’s just annoying to have the split happen from time to time.

  8. OneLastTry says:

    Taking this as an opportunity to pimp my coat: 1950s Danish civil forces surplus greatcoat. Three times older than me, £30 from ebay, could keep you warm in practically any weather, and has fairly giant pockets. The downsides being that it smells a bit of mothballs after fifty years in storage and you could stand in the rain for a while before it soaks through, at which point it would probably be too heavy to move.

  9. nehpetsE says:

    Ykk makes good zippers. But the jacket obviously requires one with bigger teeth.

  10. Steven Leckart says:

    Dean: just…wow…

  11. Bill Smargiassi says:

    I can back Scott’s response up 100%. I bought a very early Ultimate Fleece Hoodie during the pre-release sale. The two-way zipper failed after about 5-6 wearings. The stop at that bottom completely broke off. I called and the CSR was very apologetic and fixed my problem in a few minutes. SeV sent a replacement (with return mailer) free of charge, even though I bought at a discount.

    I’ve had that replacement for over two years now. I *live* in it during the winter for two reasons: I work from home with the thermostat turned down and it’s also handy to keep small gadgets out of the hands of toddlers. :) It’s still going strong.

    Defects happen. A good company will take care of you when they do.

  12. dalek g says:

    I have the microfleece hoodie, and I love it, but… the inner clear-touch pocket w/cable guides keeps folding out if I don’t have the hoodie zipped. It looks like I have some weird verticle cylinder at chest level. Some other things…I wish there was a hidden pocket on both sides instead of just on the right, there was another buttoned loop on the left outside pocket so I can move the keychain cord, and I really can’t put anything big on the inner chest pocket, it sticks out and makes it look like I have a tumor. Oh, and I wish I had gotten it in early fall instead of early spring; it’s too damn warm to wear now!

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