I love Scottvest’s products, and during the last few weeks I have had the good fortune to update my SEV wardrobe quite a bit. Last month I reviewed the Evolution Jacket. It was the first SEV product I had seen in some time and I was impressed by how far the line has come. It just looks and feels more refined than ever and, thanks to more than a few tweaks, the system for carrying and organizing your gear is more usable than ever.
Early last week Scott Jordan, the company founder and CEO, was kind enough to send me the company’s latest jacket for review. The Soft Shell Jacket is currently only available in one color but if my reaction to it is any indication, it will be a huge hit and the options will be expanding.
Let’s take a look.
Yeah, that’s me. I don’t love “modeling” items we review, but the cut of the Soft Shell is a bit different than SEV’s other products so I figured I would break down and get a couple pictures of it on. It runs a bit slimmer than other jackets so, while my awesome new Quantum Jacket works perfectly in a medium, the Soft Shell was better for me in a large. Translation, before ordering make sure you read and follow the site’s sizing information exactly.
Stylish and functional, the SeV Soft Shell Jacket has the performance of a winter sports layer built into a sleek and fashionable exterior. Styled for performance and comfort, this jacket retains all of the hidden functionality you’ve come to expect from SeV with 20 carefully designed pockets. You’ll never forget any of your gear again (and you won’t look like your pockets are stuffed, either!).
The SeV Soft Shell Jacket was designed with comfort in mind. From the specially-designed sleeves to increase freedom of movement and water-resistance, to the Weight Management System with NoBulge™ pocket design to conceal the contents of your pockets, this jacket combines classic SeV features with our latest innovations. Ergo zipper pulls, clear touch interior pockets (so you can see and control your iPod®/iTouch®/iPhone® right through the cloth) and our TravelSmartSystem™ of travel-oriented pockets. Other features include our patented Personal Area Network (PAN), secure travel document compartments, and pockets for everyday items like digital cameras, cell phones, GPS units, flashlights, change and glasses. Discreet graphic labels on some of the pockets offer suggested uses, so you don’t forget where you put things. Navigate seamlessly from the urban landscape to your next outdoor adventure in the SeV Soft Shell! Available in Slate Grey. Made of three-layer synthetic soft shell with water-repellent/breathable finish and 100% polyester fleece inner layer.
19 purposeful pockets for travel including the TravelSmartSystem™
3-layer fabric with waterproof/windproof barrier
Active cut, subtle surface texture, water/windproof front zipper, adjustable cuffs
Patented Personal Area Network (PAN) for wire management
Soft shell jacket with hidden pockets & features for travel
Material has Spandex® for comfort stretch and mobility
Weight Management System™, NoBulge™, clear touch pockets – see Key Features tab for full list
Available in Slate
From the back you can’t tell there is anything special about the jacket. And that’s the point. It can hold a ton of gear but is designed in such a way that no one else will notice. That makes it great for using the jacket as an extra “carry-on” when flying and, since no one will know you are carrying a $300 iPhone, $600 camera, $200 Pulsepen, etc, it also makes walking down the street feel a bit safer.
One thing that Elana has commented on with each of these jackets is the way it is cut lower in the center of the back than on the sides. This does a great job keeping the cold out and is clearly the result of the company’s legacy of outdoor activity (seriously, @scottevest seems to tweet that he is going skiing every single day!).
The jacket is made from “a three-layer synthetic soft shell with water-repellent/breathable finish and 100% polyester fleece inner layer” that feels super nice, is comfortable and remarkably warm.
One of my favorite new features in the current line are the clear touch interior pockets. They let you see and control a touchscreen device without having to remove it from its place inside the left or right side.
In addition, the company has recently been moving away from “Geek-wear” and rebranding itself as travel clothing. A clear indication of this is the TravelSmartSystem™. It brings a series of travel-oriented pockets to the items. Fact is, SEV products have ALWAYS been great travel cloths, my father-in-law took my version 2 TravelVest to Africa with him last year and loved it!), but now that is front and center and the clothing is being designed with travel in mind more than ever.
Pockets are still plentiful. The pulls are now easier than ever to grab and use and, as you can see, the construction quality is excellent.
The “Secret Side-Seam Pocket” is one example of the thought that went into this jacket. This pocket is perfect for those items you might otherwise carry in the main side pocket but really need less access to on an hourly basis. In the past a number of different items would get jumbled together in one pocket. Now the “I really need access to this” items can go in the main pocket and the “I don’t really need this all the time but it would be great to have it just in case” items can go in the “secret” pocket.
Finally, I really like the changes they have made in putting the company logo on the clothing. My old beat up travelvest has a company logo front and center on the front. This Softshell, by comparison has the company name embroidered into the velcro that secures the wrist. It is there but as soon as the jacket is on it all but disappears. As a fan of the company I don’t mind the logo in a more prominent place but this just shows one more refinement the clothing has received in the last few years.
The Soft Shell Jacket has an MSRP of $175 and is.
What I Like:
Super thoughtfully designed, Nice material and build quality, comfortable, nice looking
What Needs Improvement:
As with all SEV products there are so many pockets you may well get lost at first