Here’s a good travel hack for you. It used to be that women’s travel vests with pockets were too boxy and outdoorsy to be worn for anything other than fishing trips or safaris. However, they’ve now evolved to be sleeker and lighter and you can find a good multi-pocket travel vest for women that’s good enough to wear on plane trips or in crowded cities while sightseeing. Just place your things in different pockets and they’re easy to access, secure and not counted in your baggage weight limit.
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. Wearing your cards, cash, and passport in one of the pockets is the best way to keep them safe while traveling.
- If you don’t like carrying a purse or daypack while sightseeing, you don’t have to!
- 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.
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.
When choosing a women’s vest with pockets, 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.
A vest like this may not be necessary for all women. If you just want a few pockets so that you can eliminate the need for a purse, then consider the SCOTTeVEST Debbie Dress.
There are 6 vests that get top marks from us. Let’s look at those more closely.
Best Women’s Travel Vest with Hidden Pockets
SCOTTeVEST Women’s RFID Travel Vest
Talk about a travel vest with lots of pockets! 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 Women’s RFID Travel Vest can almost 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 also has a men’s version.
SCOTTeVEST Women’s 101 Travel Vest
If you’re looking for a more streamlined SCOTTeVEST travel vest and don’t need as many pockets, then the SCOTTeVEST Women’s 101 Travel Vest is the one for you.
It comes in 8 different sizes for various body shapes and is available in black, navy and red.
There are 5 exterior pockets and 4 inner pockets to carry documents, passport, iPad, eyeglasses and more. There’s also a water bottle loop and an attached keychain and eye glass wipe. It is a tech-friendly vest, featuring an inner hidden network of conduits that let you connect your devices without getting the wires tangled. So you can keep a battery bank in one pocket while charging your cellphone and iPad while on the go.
This is a TSA-friendly vest, as you don’t have to empty the pockets while going through security. Just place the whole vest in a bin and you’re done.
The vest is very comfortable to wear if temperatures are under 70F. It’s not bulky, so can be worn under a heavier jacket if it gets very cold. It features a jersey knit collar and is made of strong cotton and nylon fabric. It is water and stain-resistant and you can just wash and wear.
Verdict: This vest is a good buy if you want something that is comfortable and simple to wear while still giving you an adequate number of pockets to carry your most valuable and necessary items. It doesn’t have an RFID pocket, but you could buy an RFID wallet to place in one of the pockets.
Women’s Lightweight Travel Vest with Pockets
SCOTTeVEST Women’s Featherweight Vest – 16 Pockets
If the vest above seems like overkill to you but you like the RFID blocking pocket and other features, then the SCOTTeVEST Women’s Featherweight Vest ia a good alternative. It features 16 pockets in total and is made of lightweight poly fabric, which mkaes it the best travel vest for hot weather.
Choose from small to XX-Large and black, cadet blue or cement grey.
The pockets on this lightweight multi pocket vest won’t add bulk to you and it comes with the same weight management system as above. You can still carry all that you need with this vest but the styling is a touch different. You still have an RFID blocking pocket inside, along with a tablet pocket, hidden extendable keychain, etc. This vest has two external pockets, unlike the above Scottevest. One is good for a smartphone and the other for a pair of sunglasses or small camera. This way, you don’t have to unzip the vest everytime you want to get to one of those things. If you have a larger camera, it will fit well in the Padpocket if you don’t carry a tablet.
Instead of a earbuds pocket, you get a earbuds loop through which you thread the bud cords from inside the vest where your device is playing music. This is part of the built-in patented Personal Area Network (PAN) design that manages the wires running from all of your devices. You can also clip your water bottle through the loop that’s present below the waist and a little to one side.
The lightweight fabric is easy to wash or spot clean and it doesn’t need ironing. It is recommended that you go up a size to accommodate the larger items that go in the inner pockets.
Verdict: For a vest that comes with so many pockets and convenient features, it’s a pretty flattering one! If you’re going on a warm weather trip, this is a good choice for you.
ExOfficio FlyQ Lite Vest for Women
A very good Scottevest alternative that’s lightweight yet functional 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 structured enough that it doesn’t look like a safari or fishing vest and is comfortable. This is great for airport security screening and it could replace a medium shoulder bag.
Best Travel Vests for Colder Weather
SCOTTeVEST Women’s Fireside Fleece Travel Vest
If you’re looking for a fleece travel vest, the SCOTTeVEST Women’s Fireside Fleece Travel Vest is the best.
You get 15 pockets on this one – 5 on the outside and 10 on the inside. It comes in 9 sizes and 5 different colors.
You’ll have dedicated pockets for documents, passport, cellphone, camera, iPad, pen, eyeglasses, and more. There are even a handy keychain and eyeglass chamois wipe attached.
There is a network of ports to allow you to internally connect or access your devices by cables without having anything getting entangled.
You just take off the vest at the airport X-ray screening, put it in a bin, and you can breeze through yourself. There’s no need to remove anything from the pockets
The cut is slightly long, ending mid-hip and looser around the hips. The warm fleece vest is soft, lightweight, breathable, and machine washable. The material won’t pill. It employs a weight management system to evenly distribute the number and type of pockets all around so that you won’t feel like you’re unbalanced or that the weight is dragging you down once all the pockets are filled. The no-bulk design keeps you looking smart while you travel.
Verdict:This vest is meant for colder weather and can easily be layered under a raincoat or over a sweater.
MIER Women’s Lightweight Softshell Vest
The MIER Women’s Lightweight Softshell Vest comes with the least number of pockets, but you still have 8 in total to hold quite a few travel necessities.
This vest is made of a blend of polyester and Spandex, is water-resistant and windproof, and has a soft fleece lining to protect you in chilly weather. It is machine washable. The fit is classic, with a hidden cinch-cord hem and elastic shoulder cuffs to keep the cold out. You can layer under and over this vest too.
It comes in 5 sizes – X-small, Small, Medium, Large and X-large, onlu=y in black, and is with or without a detachable hood. The zip-off hood has a drawcord set in the hem for adjustability.
There are a total of 8 pockets. There are 3 exterior zip pockets – one vertical one on the chest and 2 hand pockets. There are 5 interior pockets – 3 zipped on one side, and 1 slip pocket, one large 8″ x 7″ pocket with hook and loop closure for a tablet on the other side.
There’s a full-length front YKK zip closure with a protective Storm Guard flap and a standup collar with a chin guard to prevent scratching. The collar can also lie flat if you want.
Verdict: This vest is ideal if you want versatility, as it can be worn under an outer coat or over a light hoodie or shirt. It adds warmth without being heavy. The armholes are a bit on the large side.
We hope that this helps you find your ideal multi-pocket travel vest for women. If you’ve come across any others, please let us know in the comments below.