It’s time for slightly embarrassing admissions here at Gear Diary: I can personally vouch that when I was in college (hmmpty-hmmph) years ago, I learned that it is possible to smuggle an entire eight-pack of 8 oz. Little Kings Cream Ales into a movie theater stashed within the various pockets of a denim jacket. I mean, have you seen the price of concessions at the movies lately?!
Unfortunately, I can also verify that when you drape said blue jean jacket around the back of a theater seat, there is a very high probability that at least one of those little 8-oz. evidence bomb bottles will slip out of the inside pockets. At this point, three things may happen, two of them very bad. If you’re lucky, and you don’t deserve to be since you snuck beers into the movies, the bottle might just hit the floor with a clunk and remain intact. More likely, the bottle will begin a loud and inexorable roll down the sloped floor of the non-stadium seating configured theater. As it bumps against the heels of everyone sitting directly in front of you like some deranged game of Plinko, it’s not too difficult to trace the path back up to identify the guilty party. The third, and by far worst, option is that the bottle will break. leaving you sitting on top of a hops and barley bidet. Not fun at all, plus cleaning up in the dark is a real pain.
So the easy answer to these problems is … don’t do that. But again, have you seen the price of concessions at the movies lately?! Luckily, after all these years since I first encountered this situation, technology has come to the rescue. Two different solutions have emerged over the last year that cheekily addresses the problem of transporting beverages on your person and keeping them cold along the way.
The first is the Beer Hunter Jacket from Enjoi, a manufacturer of skateboard clothing and equipment. Although the jacket is available in any color you like, providing that you like olive-green, and the styling is rather military-chic, the Beer Hunter jacket is a very utilitarian piece of clothing. In addition to a zip-off hood and both button and zipper closures, the Beer Hunter jacket features four button-down insulated pockets on the front which can each hold a couple of your favorite beverages.
The inner lining is decorated in a floral Hawaiian print to serve as a counterpoint to the drab exterior of the jacket’s design. Perhaps the idea is that when you reach inside your breast pocket for a quick nip, you can be reminded of a tropical vacation that you may never take while you stand outside in the cold at a Green Bay Packers game waiting to use the Port-O-Let.
If you’re a fan of the bottle over a can, there’s another nice touch of genius dangling right in front of you. The zipper pull on the Beer Hunter is actually a functioning bottle opener. I’m sure that there are some of you out there that learned while you were in college how to open a bottle with a Bic lighter or the bumper of a truck, but I prefer not to depend on one of you Beer-gyvers to be nearby when I’m on the wrong side of a cold bottle of beer. You know which side of the beer that I’m talking about, the outside.
If you have a powerful thirst, the inner breast pocket will hold a 32 or 40 oz. bottle of beer, or what we like to call around these parts, “A Lunchbox Special.” Because nothing warms you up on a chilly day like malt liquor … I’m sure it would hold a thermos of soup, too if that’s more up your alley. Of course, these types of bottles don’t need that cool bottle opener zipper pull, so you won’t get to show off your talents as the eminently prepared boy scout of your drinking troop.
Even more over the top and specifically designed is the Drinkmaster Hoodie from Zane Lamprey. While the Beer Hunter jacket would work fine as a nice utility coat even if you never put a can or bottle of anything in the multiple pockets, the Drinkmaster Hoodie is more like the Batman utility belt of drinking. In addition to deep side pockets and a bottle opener zipper pull like the Beer Hunter, the Drinkmaster has many more features designed specifically for your partying fun.
The outer breast pocket is stitched specifically to accommodate a round can and is insulated with neoprene so it’s like having your own personal beer coozie on you at all times.
The inner breast pocket is sized to fit a flask because as any Southerner will tell you, there’s nothing classier than a gentleman reaching inside his jacket and presenting a flask as if out of nowhere as if by magic at exactly the appropriate moment. (That means not at a wedding, but possibly at the reception, if it’s a cash bar…)
There’s a snappable ID pocket to make sure you don’t lose your license and possibly to keep it tucked away so that you don’t drive when you shouldn’t be anyway. There’s even a place on the label to write your name in case you lose your jacket or somebody needs to identify you if you happen to forget your name. That’s when the warm hood might come in handy in case you find yourself sleeping it off outside.
Perhaps the strangest feature are the insulated drinking gloves which are attached to the ends of the sleeves and can be tucked up along your forearms when not needed. They keep your palm warm and your fingers free for pull tab opening, although I can’t say that I’ve ever wished that I had drinking mitts ready at hand.
While certainly, these products are designed with tongue at least partially in cheek, we spend a lot of pixels here talking about ways to carry our gear with us at all times. So why not give the same treatment to your beer as you do your gear? These products are like the SCOTTEVESTs of booze but without all the Shark Tank drama.
Hmmm, that x-ray view does look awfully familiar.