Of course, a travel vest is not for everyone. The drawbacks are:
- When all pockets are completely filled up, some vests can look a bit lumpy or saggy.
- Unless the vest is very light or you’re traveling to a cool weather place, it can make you feel like you’re baking.
- No matter how good it looks it’s still an article of clothing that non-travelers don’t usually wear, so you won’t really blend into a crowd.
- If you don’t like carrying a purse or daypack while sightseeing, you don’t have to!
However, fans of the travel vest will swear by it for almost any trip. Here’s why:
- The pockets are great for keeping things secure. Unlike most backpacks where everything is out of your sight, you’ll notice if someone tries to pick an inner vest pocket.
- As long as you remember which pockets hold what, it’s quicker to access things.
- If you’re flying, you can use it as wearable luggage. It can hold a LOT and its weight doesn’t count in your carry on limit. While going through X-ray screening, you just have to remove the jacket.
- Many photographers will testify to the usefulness of a travel vest. Since they have to carry expensive camera equipment and accessories, they find that all the above points are covered when wearing a vest.
When choosing a vest, make sure that it is washable and dries quickly. Another thing to look out for is whether you should buy one size larger, as filled pockets can make the vest feel snug.
If you’ve decided to use a travel vest on your next trip, here are some highly rated pieces for women that you can check out on Amazon.
However, there are four vests that get top marks. Let’s look at those more closely.
Best Travel Vest with Hidden Pockets
SCOTTeVEST Women’s RFID Travel Vest
This is probably the most complete vest for women. It is the newest version of the very popular multi-pocket travel vest. With a whopping 18 pockets, the Scottevest can completely replace a carry on bag! You would think that so many would make it unattractive to wear, but most customers are very happy with the style. It provides a little insulation if there’s a slight chill in the air, but it won’t be uncomfortable on warm days. It is a slim fitting vest, so it is advisable to buy one size larger than what you normally wear to allow for full pockets.
It is sized from small to XX-Large and is available in black, khaki, grey and red.
The pockets are specially designed to minimize bulk and the vest has a weight management system that ensures the load is balanced. You can carry lots of things, even an iPad, water bottle and snacks for the road, and you can switch from wearing it while traveling to wearing it for a trip around town or a safari. The CollarConnect is updated for easy use and keeps earphone cords hidden while they are connected to a device in one of the pockets. One of the pockets is RFID protected so you don’t have to worry about skimmers swiping important passport and credit card information.
The lightweight fabric is breathable with mesh lining, washable and quick drying, and has a Teflon finish that resists wrinkling and stains and is waterproof.
Verdict: This travel vest for women is for those who must have everything with them while on the move but still look discrete and not scream “tourist”! The way Scottevest has designed pocket placement, this is not your average travel vest. It actually looks smart and you won’t look bulky in it. It is the most famous of all travel vests and the men’s version has even been used by this man as his only luggage in a trip around the world!
Best Lightweight Travel Vests for Women
ExOfficio FlyQ Lite Vest for Women
Another very good option for a lightweight vest is the updated FlyQ Lite Vest from ExOfficio. It weighs 11.5 oz and is designed for the gadget lover and adventurer. This new version features an extra pocket and some style updates based on customer feedback. You can even carry your iPad in one of the pockets.
The fit is straight and flattering and looks pretty sleek in 100% nylon with coated ripstop fabric that is also stain resistant and a durable water repellent finish to protect you from the elements. It is washable and quick drying. The colors available are dark charcoal, light grey, wine red and light khaki and you can find it in sizes S-Small to X-Large.
It features a bungee elasticated hem cinch and a micro-fleece lined collar. In addition to the interior security pocket system there are two exterior front slash pockets and two front vertical zippered chest pockets. The 10 interior pockets are labeled so it’s easy to find anything. These include:
1 micro-fleece lined glasses pocket
2 pen slots
1 touchscreen gadget pocket with a clear panel
1 key clip
1 ID pocket
1 vertical security zip pocket for a passport or wallet
1 cell phone pocket
1 camera pocket
1 water bottle pocket
1 large inside lower back pocket
Verdict: This vest is good for summer as it is quite light but if you get caught in a downpour your gadgets will be protected because of the DWR finish. For women who can’t go out without their gadgets, this is a good bet. The labeled pockets is smart so even with 10 pockets, you won’t take an eternity to find something. The fit is more structured than the Magellan’s but still comfortable. This is great for airport security screening and it could replace a medium shoulder bag.
Best Travel Jacket for Colder Weather
BAVIERA Women’s Quilted Lightweight Vest
Even though it is quilted and will keep you warm when there’s a slight chill in the air, this BAVIERA Women’s Vest is very light and wearable. The cut is slightly long with a nipped in waist, so you can use it even when you’re not traveling but want to look good and not carry a purse. The fabric is water resistant and is washable but should be drip dried.
This vest is chocolate brown and comes in three sizes – X-small, Small and Large. The sizing is just like any other vest so only choose a larger size if you’re in between label sizes.
There are a total of 10 pockets – 2 on the outside and 8 on the inside. The outer pockets have a snap button flap for security but easy access. The inner pockets inlude:
2 large pockets for a tablet or newspaper.
1 clear tactile pocket for your smartphone so you can handle it without taking it out. A earphone port allows the wires to pass through.
1 hidden anti-theft pocket.
A slim pen pocket.
The rest of the pockets are for all your other odds and ends and are intelligently distributed for balance.
Two earbud docks are built in above the smartphone pocket to secure each earbud when they’re not in use.
Verdict: This vest is ideal for women who love their gadgets but don’t want to look like a geek. It’s also great for slightly chilly days. This is not a vest that replaces your carry on but if you’re looking for the most stylish, this is it.
Best Travel Jacket with Removable Sleeves
ScotteVest Tropiformer Jacket
The ScotteVest at the top is the most popular but it doesn’t have sleeves. If you’re looking for a more versatile vest, the SeV Tropiformer Jacket has removable sleeves so you can use it for summer but also for spring or fall along with layers or add the sleeves when you want to convert it to a windbreaker.
It is super lightweight and breathable but also water resistant, so your gadgets won’t get wet. Not only that, but it comes with a whopping 20 pockets so even the geekiest woman can pack everything into it! It features a weight management system and a no-bulk design so don’t worry about so many pockets making you look weird. It has a more sporty look and can be worn by men or women as it comes in a variety of colors. The fabric is nylon and can be machine washed and tumble dried on a low setting.
The way the sleeves detach and attach are via small gadget-friendly magnets. Taking them off is as easy as tugging on them and reattaching just means bringing the ends close to the magnets on the vest end so that they easily snap on.
A nice feature is the smartphone pocket that allows you to access your phone through a transparent window, so no need to take it out. There is even a large enough pocket for an iPad from sizes medium onwards.
Verdict:This is really all you need for a day out in unpredictable weather. There’s absolutely no need to carry a daypack if you’re wearing this jacket/vest. There is one drawback – it’s easy to forget where you put each thing. The styling allows you to layer a sweater or multiple layers underneath if you choose a larger size.
Haven’t found your ideal multi-pocket travel vest for women yet? You can check out a few more on Amazon now!