6) Cool Tools: The Right Photographer’s Vest

travel vestI admit: I was always just a tad embarrassed to wear a photographer’s vest, even though it was extremely handy, just because it made me look like a gadget freak. With the development of the new slender profile “ScotteVest,” however, most of that image problem has gone away.


The ScotteVest’s pockets are all but invisible — and tech-enabled. It was recommended to me by a great friend and, I’ll have to admit, he was spot-on. They become a walking, incognito extra carry-on. My camera fits in one pocket, my flash or water bottle in another, and I still have PLENTY of space for a lightweight mini-tripod, a small flashlight, hand sanitizer, passport (in a protected, waterproof pocket), hand sanitizer, and virtually everything else you wish you had on the trail or village visit. I suggest you stick to khaki. The black vests seem a bit too paramilitary-looking.

3 Responses to 6) Cool Tools: The Right Photographer’s Vest
  1. Brian James Reply

    ScotteVest (SeV) is premium-priced clothing, but they do have regularly sales that can make their clothes more affordable (20% off a different item every day, plus occasional 30% off select items). Note that they do have a range of items for both men & women – athletic clothing, vests, jackets, sports coats, hats, boxers – and some of it looks as nice as it is functional.

    My favorite 2 pieces are the Fleece 5.0 jacket with detachable sleeves and the lightweight vest. It is amazing how much stuff I can fit in these! It is a great help when traveling. I throw my camera, phone, tablet, backup power supply, passport, wallet, stylus, pen, etc. into this thing. What’s nice is that it really does balance the weight of all this stuff amazingly well. SeV gets rave reviews for good reasons. I only wish it were less expensive ;-)

  2. Dan Reply

    To all my fellow Brigada readers,

    I read with interest the article about the “Right Photographer’s Vest” and then went to the Scottevest to check them out. As it turned out there was a sale on the Transformer vest for 50% off. The website shows that their sale page items are sold with an “All Sales Final” policy, even though the paper work shows clearly that they offer a 30 day money back guarantee. I should have known better.

    After reading about the vest and double checking the size to order I received it only to find the jacket/vest ran large. Very large. So much so it looks ridiculous and I won’t be able to use it. I’m 5’10” and 170 lbs. After a couple of exchanges with Scottevest they are standing by the “All Sales Final” and won’t have anything to do with making it right.

    The point is be sure you know what size you need before buying something from them on sale. You won’t be able to do anything with it if you don’t like it.

    That said, I won’t ever be using them again. LL Bean is a much friendlier place to shop with fantastic customer service, free shipping, great products and excellent return policy.

    Oh yah. I have a brand new Transformer Scottevest in Red size Large for sale.

  3. Brian Reply

    Dan, I was sorry to hear about your negative experience with SeV. I don’t want to diminish what you’ve shared. However, I do feel compelled to mention that the couple of occasions I’ve dealt with SeV’s customer service, they’ve been very helpful and even willing to relax their stated return policy (once due to some extenuating circumstances at my end). To be fair, in your case they did state that all sales were final. I was tempted by a similar deal there recently but chose not to as I was uncertain how well the item might fit me. I have found that there is good info in the product reviews on their site regarding fit, and I’ve found their staff to be helpful with determining how particular items fit (i.e. narrow or full, small or big, etc.).

    L.L. Bean also makes excellent products, and has an excellent return policy. REI does as well, though their policy just got scaled back unfortunately.

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