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Scottevest Transformer Jacket

Product Review

ABOVE: Durant Imboden rips off his sleeves while demonstrating the ScottevestTransformer Jacket on an apartment balcony in Paris. INSET BELOW: An ash or grey Transformer Jacket, an X-ray view of the pockets, and a Clear Touch Fabric pocket with the author's not-very-smart phone.

When I bought my first first Scottevest jacket in 2005, the name "Scottevest" and entrepreneur Scott Jordan's "Technology Enabled Clothing" concept were known mainly to technogeeks who refused to walk around without their iPods and other gear. Scottevest was pioneering a new idea: clothing with concealed interior pockets for electronic devices and "Personal Area Network" channels for earbud wires.

I didn't have an iPod back in 2005 (I still don't), but the SeV concept intrigued me for two other reasons:

  • The 20+ pockets were mostly on the inside, where pickpockets couldn't see them, and they offered enough storage space to make a backpack or messenger bag unnecessary for sightseeing.

  • A "weight management system" helped to distribute the weight of guidebooks, maps, cell phones, water bottles, and other travel items, which meant that my Scottevest jacket had a neat appearance and was comfortable to wear.

As a traveler, I also appreciated the fact that the sleeves were removable, which meant I could zip them off and turn the jacket into a travel vest in warm weather. My only complaint was the hassle of zipping and rezipping the sleeves. "If only there were a better way," I thought. And today, there is a better way, as you can see by watching the embedded YouTube video at the top of the page. It's called the Scottevest Transformer Jacket.

SeV Transformer Jacket with sleeves attachedScottevest's Transformer Jacket re-invents the convertible jacket/vest with a revolutionary design: The sleeves and shoulder yoke are attached to the body of the jacket with a dozen tiny but powerful magnets that are sewn into the hems.

To remove the sleeves and shoulder yoke, you just tug them off. When you put your arms back into the sleeves, the magnets re-attach the sleeves and yoke to the vest. Converting the jacket to a vest, or vice versa, takes only a few seconds. The concept is brilliantly simple, and the execution is simply brilliant.

More pockets than an Octomom kangaroo

SeV Transformer Jacket X-ray viewThe Transformer Jacket may have a new and revolutionary sleeve arrangement, but it's still a Scottevest: It has 19 pockets (mostly on the inside, away from pockpockets' fingers) and a Personal Area Network that routes earbud wires from your phone, tablet, or MP3 player to the earbud receptacles in the collar.

Clear Touch Fabric pocket in Scottevest Transformer JacketTwo of the interior pockets are made of "Clear Touch Fabric," so you can operate a pair of smartphones or MP3 players without removing the devices from the pockets. One of the inside pockets is big enough for a full-size iPad, or--better yet--a more travel-friendly tablet such as Google's Nexus 7 or a Kindle e-reader. (Click here for a larger X-ray view.)

For more information on how I used the Scottevest Transformer Jacket during a 10-day trip to Paris and a week-long river cruise in Normandy, see my field test on page 2.

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Inset photos 1, 2 copyright �© Scottevest, Inc.