Monday, October 20, 2008
Posted by Jon Westfall in "Pocket PC Hardware" @ 09:00 AM
Product Category: Clothing
Where to Buy: SeV Store
Price: $340 USD ($250 for Quantum Jacket; $140 for Fleece 5.0)
System Requirements: Body ranging from XS to XXXL Sizes
Specifications: 52 pockets, cable management through channels / pocket passthroughs, removable hood (Quantum Jacket), removable sleeves (Fleece 5.0), various specially designed features such as key holders, bottle holders, and pockets accessible from the interior or exterior.
- Be an unabashed geek without having to look like a nerd;
- Attention to detail and usability;
- Eliminates the need for a separate bag (some days).
- Price (for some), Sizes (for others);
- Does not connect (as in previous SCOTTEVEST systems);
- Lack of color options.
The first SCOTTEVEST product I ever purchased was the 4.0 Tactical system, the closest thing to a predecessor to the Scott Jordan Signature Series. I was blown away and since then have reviewed many other SeV products. The direction foreshadowed by last year's "Evolution" jacket has now come to pass with the release of the Fleece 5.0 and Quantum Jackets (together they make up the series). But with any new thing, old favorite features can be lost or changed - and new features added can somewhat make you forget about the old. How does this system stack up to its past, and pave the way to the future? Read on!
The Signature Series has many new features as well as SCOTTEVEST classic options. The most apparent new feature is the change in fabrics in the jacket. The Tactical 4.0 jacket was, well, tactical - it felt like something I'd wear if I was a secret service agent or SWAT officer. The material was a bit coarse, with a nylon base.
Figure 1: SCOTTEVEST branding in the velcro section used to tighten the sleeves around the wrist. Notice the material has a grain, yet feels smooth.
The new material used in the Quantum jacket is very similar to shell of the Evolution jacket. While the material has a grain to it, it feels very soft to the touch, likely due to the Teflon fabric protector used. In the rain, the jacket does not soak up water but rather promotes beading and flowing of the water off - keeping the occupant drier than the alternative.
The Fleece 5.0 also gets a subtle change in fabric. On the inside the fabric mesh is more accented, allowing you to easily see where pockets lie and where your gear is going. On the outside, the material feels a bit more plush and soft compared to the 4.0 fleece. At least it did to me, my wife insists that it's closer to the 4.0. In any event, we both agree it's nice and cozy.
Figure 2: Exterior of the 5.0 fleece.
Another new feature to the 5.0 fleece and Quantum jacket is the introduction of Clear Touch fabric. Clear Touch is designed to replace those awful hard clear pieces that clothing manufacturers sometimes place on their products to let you "see" what's inside a pocket. The plastic is always rigid, and feels like, well, hard plastic! Clear Touch pockets on both the Quantum and Fleece are clear, but feel like fabric. Or at least best approximation of fabric that plastic can get to.
Figure 3: A Clear Touch pocket in the Fleece 5.0. Both jackets feature two Clear Touch pockets. Notice the red piping also present on the interior.
Clear Touch is a winner when it comes to controlling a touch sensitive device while it is safely stowed. Lastly, a very pronounced difference in both jackets is the red piping around the interior pockets, similar to what was done on the Evolution jacket. It sounds really strange, but I was always able to 'lose' pockets in my Tactical jacket. Trying to remember where they opened or where they hung so I could see if I had something in them. With the red piping, it's easier to find the pockets, and the overall pocket design has been streamlined substantially.