A valiant attempt at solving a problem we didn't even know we needed solved.
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SCOTTeVEST is a company the seeks to bring fashion and technology together in a unique way. Most company's these days are trying to find new and different ways to integrate technology directly into the clothing, but SCOTTeVEST's philosophy is simple: Just bring the tech with you! Their vision is for a wide variety of fashion sensible jackets, vests, hoodies, and even lab coats, that will comfortably allow you to bring all, and yes I mean all of the things with you.
Wallet and keys? Check.
Pop-tarts and Hot Pockets? Check.
iPad? (Yes, I know.) Check. You can bring both a 7-inch and your 9.7-inch tablet with you safely within the pockets of your SCOTTeVEST Knowmatic Hoodie.
SCOTTeVEST wants you to forget about computer bags and backpacks, but the question remains, can you really carry everything in it? Even the kitchen sink? Let's find out.
The Knowmatic Hoodie is firstly just that, a hoodie. So how does it stack up next to its other hoodie companions? Well, as far as hoodies go it's amazingly comfortable. It is made out of a micro-fleece material that is oh-so-soft, and keeps you warm as well. Although being in Texas in the middle of summer, everything is hot. Like ridiculously hot. Aside from that, the Knowmatic Hoodie is very easy to wear and is certainly fashionable enough for even your most hipster-est of friends.
No matter how many pockets I use, I keep finding more!
As the name suggests, the Knowmatic Hoodie does have an adjustable hood — go figure. But they've added a fun little feature to it which, depending on your friends and family, some may find more useful than others. Tucked away inside the hood is a flap that you can fold down to cover your eyes for all those little power naps throughout the day. It can be used for flights, train rides, or maybe just to politely tell someone that you are otherwise occupied at the moment. To ensure that those around you are getting the message that you don't want to talk to them right now, a simple "DO NOT DISTURB" is printed on the flap. Thank you SCOTTeVEST for finally coming up with a way for me to tell the world to go away without me having to say anything!
Oh, and one more fun little tidbit on the outside of the hoodie — cuts into the cuffs of both sleeves is a hole for your thumbs so you can look like all the cool kids around town and, secondarily, to keep your hands warm. We don't have to tell them that cool can be functional, too.
This Hoodie claims to have 13 pockets. I say claims, because no matter how many I use, I keep finding more! They just keep appearing out of nowhere; it's magical!
Let's start with the ones on the outside. As you would expect on a hoodie, there are two pockets at the bottom where your hands would normally fit, pockets one and two. But don't for a second think that these are just regular pockets; for starters, both pockets can shut with a small magnetic clasp. On the inside of both pockets, there is an extra little tiny pocket for all your spare change, pockets three and four. However, this is 2016 so I'll just over-pay for my coffee with my watch and be on my way, thank you. Aside from the change pocket, the inside of the right pocket hides two more surprises for you.
The more stuff you add to the vest, the heavier it will get.
The first is a strong elastic strap designed to hold your water bottle. However, it seemed to be a little more trouble than it was worth for me to get the bottle in and out quickly. I'd rather just set it in the pocket. The second hidden gem is a small key holder. This is a little more intricate gadget which involves a key ring on an extendable plastic band with a quick-release clasp on the end. This is all held in place by a snap button at the bottom of the pocket. Confused yet? It's really not that bad and actually is a very convenient way to carry your keys without them falling out or getting pulled out by a quick-thinking thief.
Lastly, on the left sleeve is another pocket, which is perfect for a small wallet. It won't fit anything massive but as long as it isn't too big or stuffed with 20 different credit cards, it should fit without issue.
Things really start to get interesting on the inside of the hoodie. Both sides are symmetrical so that makes it a bit easier. At the top, we have a pocket big enough for any smartphone with some extra room for sunglasses or whatever else you might need (Pop-Tarts on the go for instance). These pockets (six and seven) clasp together magnetically as well so it's easy to get in and out of quickly while making sure nothing falls out.
Beneath these pockets are even bigger pockets (eight and nine). These are designed for your larger gadgets like phablets, tablets, and kitchen sinks. This pocket is technically one large pocket that is divided down the middle with three small velcro patches that can transform it into two smaller ones. Turning these two pockets into four brings us to a grand total of 13.
Now at this point you're probably saying, "Wow, that's a lot of pockets", and you're right. But with a lot of stuff in there, it can become quite heavy. Luckily, SCOTTeVEST had the same thought you did and came up with a mostly functional solution. They have built a Weight Management System into the material to help distribute it more evenly throughout the hoodie. How it works is pretty simple: they design the shoulders and upper half of the clothes with extra material and place the seams in such a way as to help lighten the stress on your neck and back.
This, coupled with the strategic placement of the pockets, ensures that the hoodie won't have any adverse side effects. Each new design is also inspected by a licensed chiropractor to ensure its safety. In my own use, since I don't have another hoodie that can hold all the things, I wasn't really able to asses how well it is compared to others, but in short, the system works. Now it's not gonna let you fly, but it doesn't feel as heavy as it might without it. I say mostly functional because I'm honestly not sure how much lighter it will really feel. And keep in mind, the system cannot change the laws of physics, so if you add 10 pounds of gear to the hoodie, you'll still be carrying around an extra 10 pounds. After a while it will still feel heavy, but it makes traveling, or even those Sunday afternoon coffee shop sessions much more bearable.
Unfortunately, like all of Bond's other stuff, this thing ain't cheap.
But SCOTTeVEST wasn't done there. Oh-ho no. Because now that we've gotten all the gadgets in there, what about my headphones? How am I going to jam out to the latest Bieber album while rocking out in my super fly hoodie? Don't worry, friend. You can still pretend to be cool with all the other kids. SCOTTeVEST's solution for this is called the Personal Area Network or PAN (don't ask me, I don't know why they call it that either. It is patented, though, so there's that.). The PAN is a series of small holes and elastic bands all throughout the hoodie that will let you wire it up just like an undercover super spy. They start from the bottom-most pockets and weave their way up into the collar so your ear buds are never far from your ears. You can weave the plug end into pretty much any pocket you want, inside top, outside bottom, inside bottom, one of the invisible pockets, wherever you want. The end result is having your headphones within easy reach without having to wrap and unwrap them constantly or stuffing them down your shirt awkwardly. The earbuds live right by your ears and the rest of the wires are hidden out of the way so you don't have to worry about them. It's honestly probably the coolest part of the whole hoodie (aside from the pop-tart pocket, of course).
All About the Benjamins
Unfortunately, like all of Bond's other gear, this product isn't cheap. One of SCOTTeVEST's biggest aims is to stay fashion sensible and as with most things fashion, that comes at a price. SCOTTeVEST is aimed at the business traveler crowd who maybe have a little extra money to spend in the name of convenience and looking professional. As such, their prices are a bit high. The absolute cheapest thing on their website is $25 but that's a hat and a pair of boxers. If you are looking for a jacket, hoodie, shirt, or vest, things get a little pricier. On sale, you can find some for around $60 but they quickly go up from there.
The Knowmatic Hoodie that we've been talking about here is a cool $110. SCOTTeVEST also attempts to meld fashion with the ability to leave your computer bags behind, so depending how often you actually end up leaving your bag at home and how much your bag costs, things might balance out a little better. For example, the bag that I use the most cost me about $100 but now I have a cool hoodie that allows me to leave my backpack at home, so for me it evens out. The other good news is that there are plenty of options for all kind of business professionals. Even bodyguards get some love with a jacket that will let you conceal your firearm right next to your iPad.
All in all, it's a good chunk of change to drop on a piece of clothing. It will really come down to how much you really need extra pockets, aside from the ones in your pants.
In my time with the Knowmatic Hoodie, I came away very impressed. For starters, the material is very soft and comfortable to wear. The size I ordered was correct and fit me perfectly well without being too baggy. It kept me warm, but was also breathable enough that I wasn't sweating while wearing it.
Not only was I impressed with it as an article of clothing, but I was also impressed with how it lived up to its claim. When I go to work, I take with me my two phones, my iPad, wallet, keys, charging cable, and sunglasses. I used to take my backpack with me, but after using the hoodie for a while, I was able to fit everything I needed comfortably in the pockets without feeling overburdened. So I left the backpack at home. The harder part for me is not melting from sweat while wearing a hoodie in the 100 degree South Texas summer heat. Maybe I'll start rotating the bag and the hoodie.
Should I Buy It?
Well, it depends on your needs.
SCOTTeVEST products are great for a wide variety of people. Almost everyone would be able to use the features of the hoodie. If you are a business traveler who wants to get away with an extra carry-on, or someone who needs to carry everything with you all the time, or if you have a bad relationship with your backpack and have been hurt, then SCOTTeVEST is perfect for you.
It's incredibly comfortable, allows you to carry everything you might ever possibly need right on your chest, and look great doing it. Also, if you're a more safety-conscious person, another great thing about the hoodie is that no one else can see what your packing. Everything is concealed well enough so that those unsavory types would have no idea what you've got on you.
If you don't really carry that much tech with you, or you don't travel a lot, or if you just prefer to carry a bag with you, then honestly it might be better to save your money and look elsewhere for fashionable outerwear. But if this is your sort of thing, you can find them for sale right from the SCOTTeVEST site.