Scottevest jacket or alternatives

So I was told I would need at least a light rain jacket for my first big trip to europe this August, but I don't want something that would take up too much room in the single carry on backpack that I'm bringing. As an Idea, I thought of bringing along either the new Scottevest revolution (not the plus with the quilt lining) or the Scottevest Transformer. Which would you guys think is more appropriate for my travel times/places I visit? Ireland,England, France, Netherlands, Czech, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Spain) I do think vests are pretty dorky, but in my opinion these jackets actually aren't that bad looking for guys. If nothing else, I figured this would allow me to bring more of my gadgets along while flying Ryanair and easyjet without going over their ridiculous size or weight limits. Also if you know of any alternatives that don't look bad, please mention them, and I figured since I'm from an Island in Florida the hot day's can't be too bad can they?
check out the two links and give me opinions please!

Posted by Monte
Genesee, ID
1376 posts

I'd be glad to. there are other options besides ScotteVest. I have one of their older Tropical Lightweight vest/jacket. I don't like it. All those little pockets are mad for one thing each. I can't carry my checkbook anywhere besides the big lower inside pocket that goes around the back. I defy any one to load up the jacket with all the things shown in the ads and sit in a plane for very long. My wife and I each tak a light weight Eddie Bauer WeatherWise rain jacket. There aren't lots of pockets but I believe they are lighter weight than the ScotteVest. We layer with cashmere sweaters, silk underwear and another jacket. My regular travel jacket is from Tilley. It is more expensive. It has some rain repellancy and can be sink washed and is dry in the morning. I would look around before buying a ScotteVest.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

Give up on your links, they both suck. What you need is something that's absolutely waterproof (not resistant) that has an attached hood and covers your butt. Having a hood that rolls into the collar is a plus since it doesn't become a water bucket in light rain. A detachable hood leaks, is something to loose, or not have when you need it. The hood needs a drawstring as well as a back adjustment so it doesn't fall over your face. Good ones will have at least one interior pocket. A zipper on it is a plus. It has to have a front zipper with an overlap so it doesn't leak. You need front-opening rather than pullover so you can ventilate when you're just using it as a light jacket. You have a choice of finishes. Hard wads up smaller, is much lighter, can be a bit noisy, can uv-out over time (but otherwise won't loose its repellency even in washing), and is more prone to snag on thorns. Soft might look a bit better, but it's shot after a half-dozen washings. I use both and I'm not sure why I grab which one. You've got to have room to fit a light something else under it. With a long-sleeve t-shirt and a fleece underneath, I'm good to about ten degrees if I'm moving around and have a knit cap. Being from way down south you might not have the same cold tolerance. Bean or REI can do you a good job for around $125, plus or minus. There aren't too many more places I'd trust without going into specific brands - - some of which look spiffy, but are horrible. If you want to whow people with your pocketbook size, you could get an expedition-grade Arc'teryx, those suckers are indestructible.

Posted by Richard
Los Angeles
633 posts

I prefer an umbrella. Depends on what type of trip you are planing I suppose.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

Famous Travelers: Richard Lionheart Richard of York Richard the Great Richard the WetButt

Posted by Eileen
Texan in CA
3586 posts

I've used an umbrella pretty much exclusively for rain, both at home and abroad (including hurricanes), and never ended up with a 'wet butt'. Luis, I've spent weeks in Europe in August, ( unfortunately - hot, humid, & crowded!); it sprinkled once in Paris. Would you be comfortable wearing a heavy jacket/coat at home? The temps aren't that much different, although the humidity is usually somewhat less. I haven't traveled in the UK, but I'm not aware of cold temps and rainstorms in August there...but I could be mistaken. Of course, there are no guarantees for the weather from year to year. If you'll go back to the General Europe page and look at the second thread title - FAQs - you'll find a link to a great weather site. Type in the city and travel dates, and it will give you a weather chart showing the last 10+ years of data; that's the best anyone can do for predicting the weather. I bring either an small umbrella or a very lightweight & easily packable waterproof rain jacket like a Marmot PreCip rain jacket. As a supplement, I always toss in a $1 emergency rain poncho. That's reserved for the unavoidable downpour; I've never experienced one yet. If the rain is so awful, I use a taxi ;-) If you expect rain, be sure to get as much of your outdoor activities done as possible; rain days are museum/café days.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
675 posts

Ed has the right idea: waterproof, hooded, long enough to cover the butt sitting down or the knees walking around, compact when stowed. I use an LL Bean Stowaway parka, made of Gore-Tex so it breathes. It stuffs into its own pocket and weighs little, fits over a sweater or fleece for warmth. I wear it all winter and fall and spring here in Rainland. I'd be happier with it if it had an inside cargo pocket and hood that rolled into collar, but c'est la vie. Your original question was about a vest, apparently more for carrying stuff in pockets than for rain protection (what about the arms?). There's a long 3-year-old vest discussion on a nearby thread if you're interested, but if you post anything you'll hear from Andrea. Have fun on your trip, rain or shine!

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4878 posts

@Dick - just what are you trying to say? ;-) I think it's always good to bring a waterproof jacket. If you don't take one it's easy to find an umbrella if it starts raining. They umbrella sellers come out of nowhere. As for the vests or jackets that have a lot of pockets, it might be useful going through security at the airport, but I'm not sure how practical or comfortable it would be the rest of the time. I'm not sure why Monte mentioned that the travel vests aren't good for carrying a checkbook. Who writes checks anymore, especially when traveling.

Posted by Ed
Pensacola
7978 posts

Woops! It looks like I won't get a free sample from Scott this year. Apropos of nuttin, there was a FedEx box with an Arc'teryx return address on the porch when I woke up this morning. Not sure what's in it, but it didn't sound breakable when I shook it.

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1970 posts

Glad the company rep identified him/herself honestly. Not like some people who come on for the first time singing the glories of their product disguised as a fellow traveler.

Posted by Diane
Silverdale, WA, USA
105 posts

I have been through the raincoat issue often. It has rained lots on my trips to the places you mention, so a raincoat is essential - I did not bring one on my first trip to Italy, but I did buy a lightweight one in a sport shop in Bellagio that folded into a pocket - the only problem was that it did not breathe in the humid rain so I felt like I was wearing a hefty trash bag. I have a Scottevest trench coat. Positives: it looks good, love the pocket storage space. Negatives: the magnets holding the pockets to the coat to maintain the looks, demagnetized my Metro tickets (frustrating when you cannot get through the turnstile), no hood, the belt is irritating because there is no place to conveniently/stylishly put it when you have the coat open, too much coat for hotter climates and stuff got lost in the enormous pockets; I felt like I needed a key to find where I put my treasures. I also don't know how waterproof it is. I am active in the rain with my camera, so an umbrella doesn't suit my needs and is useless in windy rain. A poncho is nice for keeping camera gear dry but is useless in the windy rain. I have a breathable, hooded waterproof raincoat with velcro on the front by the zipper from Eddie Bauer - the problem is that the velcro catches and snags sweaters, ruining them when the coat is not zipped. The hood on my raincoat does not move, making seeing things and hearing things difficult. I think I may have found my solution: I bought a great wax rain hat in Ireland last year - looks cute - allows me to see and hear - keeps my hair and neck dry - folds up small. Paired with a waterproof raincoat, it may be my solution. On a return trip to Ireland, I will bring rain pants. You may want to try out some less expensive alternatives until you know what you want in rain gear or you can have fun adventures experimenting. If you find the perfect rain gear, let me know! Hope this helps.

Posted by June
Edmonton, Alberta
250 posts

I use a Scottevest hooded zippered fleece, with a MEC (Canadian brand like REI) raincoat over it. Raincoat is hooded. The fleece is very warm. That worked for me last fall in France, Belgium & Germany. I do wear the fleece at home too. I did try the SEV trench but it did not work well for travel for me. The 2 layers worked for me, layering is great for a variety of temperatures. I can roll up the raincoat and put it in my small day backpack. I do take an umbrella, bit the hood works well most of the time. Have a great trip.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

Hmm, they make fleeces now? I can see myself in that more than in a vest! Does it get annoying to empty all that out at airport security, or does one just wait until after that to load it up?

Posted by Matthias
Big Stone Gap, VA, USA
1 posts

You are actually visiting different European climate zones on your trip. For the mediterranean area (Croatia, Italy, Spain) August weather is hot but not quite as humid as in Florida. The countries north of the Alps can have days ranging from warm/hot to not so warm and even unpleasant rainy days with chilly wind, varying each year. I would recommend a light jacket with a silky lining for comfort. I have a few Scottevest jackets made like this and I like everyone of them for travel and Europe. Their pockets are good for smartphone, camera, travel documents, etc. This protects your valuables from pickpockets that always prey on travelers. A water repellent jacket with a hood is helpful in downpours, however only an umbrella will keep you pantlegs dry. So packing a compact umbrella is a good idea. Wear your jacket while flying, it will hold all your small items in its pockets during airport security checks and it doesn't go against your limited baggage. For August, the Scottevest Transformer jacket should be fine. For stylish and absolutely waterproof rainwear, check out Helly Hansen (http://www.hellyhansen.com/), perfect Norwegian designed rainwear, look for jackets with taffeta liner. I have a couple of them too (not any current item though) and love them.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Does it get annoying to empty all that out at airport security, or does one just wait until after that to load it up? I simply take the whole vest off and send it through the Security conveyor belt in one of the plastic buckets. With all pockets zipped, nothing to worry about anything falling out. After years of travel I finally have the Security thing down. I haven't been pulled over for a secondary check in the last 4 years. Yay!

Posted by June
Edmonton, Alberta
250 posts

With my scottevest and security at the airport, you have to take the jacket off. Only things I had to remove were liquids. It as very easy.

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

You know, I must have been half asleep when I asked that. Security probably makes you take it off anyway. Thanks!

Posted by Christina
New York, NY, 10025
365 posts

You know, I must have been half asleep when I asked that. Security probably makes you take it off anyway. Thanks!

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Haha, Christina! I didn't want to say it out loud, but yeah, they typically do.

Posted by Liz
Spokane, WA, USA
30 posts

Hello Luis, I don't know if this would look too casual for you but have you looked into K-Way Claude Classic (Klassic) rain jacket? * Very light weight waterproof shell * Has hood that rolls into zippered collar pocket. * The entire jacket can be stuffed into one of the zippered pockets that are part of the jacket forming a sort zippered pouch.
* The pocket/pouch has two built in stretchy straps that go around your waist so you can carry the rain jacket like a small fanny packe. When I was a university student living in Europe, we all had these jackets and loved them. They were very compact and lightweight, but strong I never tore or damaged mine although it was used heavily for a year. I loved the convenience of having it handy in case of unexpected rain. It also kept me suprisingly warm (I would layer underneath it). (It wasn't suitable for mid-winter, but certainly worked great in fall and spring, and of course summer). I travelled every weekend with a Eurrail pass and would never have dreamed of leaving it behind. Also as a young adult, lived in Europe many years and still used that jacket!! (I remember when I lived in London, using it on weekend trips around the UK that often turned out rainy). Anyhow - recently I was looking to buy a similar rain jacket for an upcoming trip. There are plenty of packable rain jackets out there but bulkier, or don't include the waist straps. But finally I found it: the actual brand I had owned in the '80s! (apparently recently re-produced). Typically costs around $80. Here is a link to a sample website that sells these: http://tinyurl.com/krve9gb

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

REI has Arc'teryx rain jackets marked down from $499 to $398.93.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7828 posts

Never say never,,, I spent 9 days in Paris in August a few years ago,, planned and packed for the usual hot weather ha ha ha.. it was cold and rainy for 7 of the those 9 days and my friend and I actually ended up having to buy some more long sleeved shirts( I always pack at least one long sleeved shirt and long pants, even I summer, but mostly capris and short sleeved ts. and skirts and sundresses,, ) I have only been to London 4 times. Three of those times were either in july or august.. and it rained every single time,, I am actually getting a complex,, if you want good weather for your visit to London, contact me to check my dates, , if I am going , its gonna rain.. lol I bring a lightweight Eddie Bauer wind/rain jacket( its not rain proof, just reistant) and an umbrella .

Posted by Pam
Troy, Idaho, USA
471 posts

I don't know if you are still looking for a jacket, but I just purchased a Marmot PreCip and gave it a workout last week. It wasn't Europe, it was Yellowstone, but used it to fend off a horde of mosquitoes one night, then used it over a fleece vest the next AM for snow flurries. Also put it thru it's paces in strong winds and then a downpour. It worked great for all weather I encountered. It is a little crinkly sounding, but does fold up into one of the pockets. I recently did an RS Heart of Italy tour and the tour guide had one and put it to good use when it was chilly in Volterra and raining in Florence.