To my mind there are four qualities I care about in a jacket: appearance, build quality, useful temperature range and functionality. When you talk about a SCOTTeVEST jacket ‘functionality’ suddenly transforms into ‘massive amounts of usable space’.
Imagine that you were about to embark on a long journey to a far-off land, and you could carry nothing but what you could fit in your pockets. For this grand expedition, you would need the appropriately named SeV Expedition. 37 pockets – yes, blink a few times and re-read that – 37 pockets in one jacket, the most ever on a single SeV. (Maybe the Guinness Records folks should look into it….) Styled after a field jacket with both external and internal pockets and features, the Expedition can hold everything you need to carry with you on the trip of a lifetime (kitchen sink not included). In addition to the standard Weight Management System to balance the load of items carried in the jacket, and the TravelSmartSystem™ pockets found in most SeVs, the Expedition contains a prodigious number of unique features, including:
- Gussetted external bellows pockets and a Zip-PIP™ zippered pocket-in-pocket
- Various horizontal and vertical zippered pockets on the chest and arm for easy access to items of different sizes that need to stay secure, but reachable
- Six back pockets/pouches, including water bottle carriers
- Magnetic closures, a removable hood, hidden hook-and-loop arm patch and chest tab (for morale patches, ID, or external wire management), and adjustable drawcord waist
- Waterproof Healspro® Fabric that has been Teflon®-treated, with critical seams sealed
You can carry an iPad® in it (sizes M & up), water bottles, maps, a phone and iPod® (in interior clear touch pockets so you can see and control the screen through the material), ID, tickets, passport, cameras, glasses, keys and almost anything else you can think of. We refer to this jacket as Pocketus Maximus, and it lives up to its name. The SeV Expedition is available in Charcoal Gray and Safari and is machine washable. As a testament to its complexity, the Expedition contains additional features not mentioned here… you will just need to discover them for yourself. (Good thing we include a pocket map… otherwise you might not find your way back!)
I got thejust before Thanksgiving with plans to make plentiful use of the mid-weight coat before being forced to switch to my winter jacket, thereby giving me loads of first-hand use. Then something happened – the temperature dropped so that in the last month we’ve had more than 20 days where it snowed, the morning temperature has never risen above 20F and the daily high has stayed below 32F!
As a result it has taken me longer to get a solid feel for this jacket than I had expected. And that was very important to me. Why? Well, this is a $200 jacket, and while it is cool that it has 37 pockets without a solid construction, great-looking style and overall usability having a lot of pockets is just a gimmick.
Two things ended up saving me: the first was a slight temperature rise for a few days (ok, it was still below 20 in the morning and below 32 in the afternoon … but after almost two weeks of near-0 mornings and below 20 afternoons it felt nice!). The second was the SeV fleece Judie gave us last year as documented here. That gave enough warmth that I could get away with wearing the SeV Expedition.
So let’s see how it does against the criteria mentioned at the start. Oh, and at the end there is a video so you will get to see everything I say in action!
I love the look of the SeV Expedition. The length is perfect, and the fit gives enough room for a sweater or fleece underneath without feeling like you are wearing the wrong size when wearing it with a t-shirt. The Expedition comes in Charcoal or Safari. I got mine in Charcoal and it is a nice deep brown color that looks richer than what you see on the website – and it was based on that picture I selected the color!
I got a number of compliments on the look of the jacket from people who had no idea that I was evaluating it – from folks at work and friends at the kids’ school and a random person in the supermarket, the SeV product has a clear quality appeal to it that attracts attention.
The beauty of the SeV is more than skin deep – one reason that most of the Gear Diary staff are loyal to SeV products is that they are built with care and an eye for detail. For example – with my fleece it is clear that they knew which pockets would get used and HOW they would be used and the construction emphasizes extra strength at those points.
When you have a jacket with 37 pockets the care required to build the jacket becomes even greater. Yet I found that the SeV Expedition felt every bit as solid. The upper body build is super-secure, so that grabbing your cell phone or iPod is easily done with one hand. The same is true for most of the pockets.
My only minor complaint came on the inner deep pocket where you’d place the iPad or Macbook Air. The pocket is wide and deep, but the zipper is anchored only on the thin and soft inner material. As you’ll notice in the video I found myself anchoring on the end of the jacket to unzip that one zipper. Not a major issue by any stretch, just something to be aware of depending on how you use the jacket.
Useful Temperature Range
The SeV site has a thermal map of their jackets showing which is applicable for what temperature range:
As you’ll see there, the Expedition isn’t meant for the deep winter. It is rated just below the fleece jacket, and based on the performance in the heavy arctic winds (sub-zero wind chills) we had here in early December I would have to agree. The Expedition is great handling chilly days and impervious to winds … but lacks the thermal mass to repel the deep cold.
For myself I can easily see the Expedition filling a long spring and fall role since it is heavy enough to last to ~40F but light enough to be usable to ~60F, and also great in the wind and rain – the hood is great at blocking these as well without being too bulky or difficult to fold back into the jacket.
As I said, for me when talking about SeV, ‘functionality’ suddenly transforms into ‘massive amounts of usable space’. Note that is NOT just a ‘number of pockets’ metric.
37 pockets is certainly impressive, but it is the fact that you have ‘hand’ pockets and utility pockets coupled with those. You also get breast pockets with side-zipped pockets to store more items. Then you get interior pockets just about everywhere you might want to store things.
The cell phone and iPod pockets have see-through panels with direct links to earbud cable systems that allow you to keep all of those cables strung within the jacket and under control.
There are pockets around the back and even the upper back, which would be a great place for something thin that you could fold up like a light blanket or something. There is so much storage and it is so easily accessible that I was truly amazed every time I found something new.
Two signature items are the glass cleaner and key holder. Each is attached within a different pocket, making it so your keys will always be accessible and you can use the stretch cable to leave them attached while still being useful. And since I don’t wear glasses I have put the cleaning cloth to good use always having something to keep my iPad and other touchscreen devices clean.
To illustrate the SeV Expedition in action I made a short video … hope you enjoy!
The most hilarious thing? Even after all of that, when I went to hang up the jacket my younger son realized I had missed something! There is a shoulder pocket that housed his iPod Nano!
The SeV Expedition is an amazing piece of tech clothing. There is an absolute ton of usable storage space – which is what my jacket weighed with all of my stuff in it! But for the normal user the space can translate into the ability to carry many things they would normally have to pack into a purse, computer bag, or carry-on into a secure pocket.
But as I said, this isn’t a ‘gimmick jacket’. First and foremost this is ‘clothes that work’ – it fits great, allows for warm underlayers without bulking up too much, and looks absolutely fantastic. Between the quality and overall usability this is a jacket that is well worth the price and one that I recommend heartily.
Review: SCOTTeVEST Expedition
Where to Buy:
What I Like: Delivers solid value for the price; great balance of warmth and weight; loads of usable storage; usable across seasons; excellent fit and finish.
What Needs Improvement: iPad pocket zipper feels less secure than others.
Source: Review jacket provided by publisher