An outdoor vest may be the most practical and utilitarian piece of clothing in your outdoor wardrobe. Most vests are lightweight and washable. Some have mesh backs to keep you cool in the summer. Depending on the number and size of pockets, you can carry your phone, tablet, camera, binoculars, water bottle, keys, sunglasses, folding money, change, wallet, credit cards, documents, and passport. Pockets with zippers or velcro fasteners make them safe and secure. A travel vest is a good piece of clothing to have for a short hike from base camp or traveling through airport security where you can just take off the vest and run it through the scanner rather than having to empty all your pockets and then refill them. In most travel vests you can connect an MP3 player or other electronic devices to earbud or a headset. The right travel vest is fashionable and looks good.
Here’s a summary of six of the best and most popular travel vests available. When reviewing them look especially for:
- Number of pockets,
- The material it’s made of
- Whether or not it has a mesh back
The Duluth’s Working Man’s Vest has 13 pockets including two that are 17 inches deep with zip pockets. Pockets will hold tablets, GPS, gloves, and a great deal more. It’s constructed of 70% brushed cotton and 30% nylon. It’s designed for a working environment so stands up to rough treatment and abrasion. It’s lightweight and comfortable. It has UPF 50 sun protection. A vented back with poly mesh lets in air. It is treated to repel water.
Read more about the Men’s Working Man’s Vest from Duluth Trading Company
This vest is tropical weight and breathable. It’s made of 100% 6 oz cotton with a polyester mesh back inner lining. It has 11 zippered or button pockets. The vest features L.L. Bean extras like a leather zipper pull, a lens-cleaning cloth built into one pocket, and a sunglasses loop.
The Wantdo Vest is made of cotton and polyester. It has 13 total pockets – 7 breast pockets, 5 slant pockets, and one big back pocket. The breast pockets are zippered pockets with small buttoned pockets. The pockets are different sizes for different kinds of gear. It has hook on the left shoulder. The Wantdo best is recommended for mountaineering, fishing, photography and hiking. On more than one occassion, customer comments noted that the vest was heavier than they anticipated.
- Comment #1 The material is heavier than wanted, but the pockets and convenience of them make it ok.
- Comment #2 Although it appears to be made well with lots of pockets, the material is too heavy for hiking which was my purpose.
The Fishpond Gore Range Vest was designed primarily as a fly fishing vest, but can be adapted to other uses as well. It’s made of lightweight, waterproof breathable fabric. It has 17 exterior and interior pockets for organizing your gear. It has a mesh back for ventilation in warm weather.
The Humvee Combat Travel Vest is 100% cotton. The breathable mesh top and back are 55% cotton and 45% polyester nylon for cool comfort. It has a heavy duty 2-way zipper. The vest has 14 pockets, all made of polyester nylon. Some pockets have hook and loop elastic, others close with zippers and others close with velcro.
This is a popular travel vest with people who are carrying a maximum number of gadgets and gear and want to keep everything organized. The Scottevest Men’s Q.U.E.S.T. Vest is the “Pocket King” with 42 pockets in all – the most of any other travel vest. Included among the pockets are a zippered compartment in the collar to stash the hood when it’s not in use and a oversized back pocket. The vest features clear touch pockets that allow you to see and use touch screen devices without removing them from their pockets. The construction of the Scottevest evenly distributes the weight of the gear you’re carrying to avoid a bulky lopsided look as well as discomfort to the wearer.
This is a good garment for layering without adding bulk.