Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Scott eVest - Fourth Time's the Charm

One of the best things about Scott eVest is that they listen to their customers. With version 4.0 of their jackets they've fixed almost everything that didn't quite work.

I still don't like many of the zippers. They are too small and too fine-toothed to open and close easily, especially with one hand. This is particularly troublesome on the Tactical 4.0 model. The side zippers allow law enforcement officers or the armed citizen to draw without opening the entire coat. Larger, easy to open zippers could save precious seconds and an innocent person's life. Better yet, they could have gone with magnetic closures.

The silky lining doesn't breathe and holds sweat. This can be a real problem for the well-equipped geek who carries ten pounds of stuff around with him.

Here's what I like...

The larger pockets open at the top and zip down the side. If you have something large in one of them you can get at it quickly and easily.

Wrists and several of the external pockets have magnetic closures as well as zippers. One handed access is quick and easy. In previous versions these could only be found on the windflap that covers the zipper. Note: There is some concern that magnets could interfere with pacemakers. If you have a pacemaker consult your physician about this.

There is the beginning of a velcro accessory support system. 5-11 Tactical and Blackhawk pioneered the use of large velcro patches that can support a variety of modular pouches such as holsters, magazine pouches, flashlight carriers and handcuff cases. The new eVest has velcro in a few strategic places that is compatible with these systems.

Several of the pockets have elastic loops that fit everything from pens to larger things. A single stack 9mm pistol fits nicely into one of them. The trigger guard is covered. Access is pretty fast. It doesn't print. It may not be ideal, but it's not bad at all. It also perfectly fits my emergency backup beverage supply. A standard size bottle of Gorilla Juice or Bawls fits perfectly and doesn't move around.

There are more small pockets, especially pockets inside pockets. Earlier versions tended towards a few large pockets. Most geeks I know have a lot of little things, not a few huge ones. The new design reflects this.

So I'm happy. I can carry around all of my stuff. And my wife calls me her White Knight. That would be a lot more reassuring if I didn't know she was talking about the overburdened character from Through the Looking Glass....

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