Review: SCOTTEVEST trench coat

A couple months ago, the company SCOTTEVEST sent me a trench coat to test drive. My husband got their fantastic Essential Travel Jacket awhile back and seeing as I’ve been envious of his coat ever since, I eagerly accepted the company’s offer.

SCOTTEVEST is a company that specializes in making clothing with gigantic hidden pockets. Let me show you how this works:

There are 18 pockets in this coat. I can fit my Kindle, son’s diapers and wipes, two Epipens, wallet, iPhone, small camera (a Canon PowerShot SD600), keys, sunglasses, zip-top bag for receipts, a stack of Band-Aids, and still have pockets available to hold more stuff. Even with all of these things in my coat, you can’t tell the pockets are loaded.

When wearing the coat, I have no need to carry a purse. Having my hands free is an incredible benefit when chasing after a toddler, and I don’t have to worry about losing my purse or it being stolen. (Sure, I could be pick-pocketed while wearing the coat, but I doubt there’s a thief out there who knows how to get into all 18 pockets undetected.) It’s also very nice at the airport because a coat doesn’t count as a carry-on bag. I fill my coat with my regular carry-on items, and then put my clothes and laptop in a traditional carry-on bag — avoiding the checked baggage fee.

The sizing for the product is accurate, the material is durable, and it’s an attractive coat. I get compliments on it every time I wear it. I’m such a fan, I’m planning to buy a second one in black to wear for more formal occasions. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have an optional wool-lining insert that would make it a four-season jacket.

The SCOTTEVEST trench coat is uncluttered in appearance and application (no additional purse to carry), and since each item I’m carrying with me has its own pocket, it’s also incredibly organized. I don’t waste time hunting for anything I need. I wish all coats were this practical.

51 Comments for “Review: SCOTTEVEST trench coat”

  1. posted by cng on

    I’m curious, Erin: doesn’t it feel heavy to be wearing all that stuff?

  2. posted by Lee on

    This is amazing! I’ve been looking for an alternative to carrying a handbag, because when mine is fully loaded, it is heavy enough to throw me off balance and cause leg and hip pain while walking.

    I think a zip in lining would keep the pockets from being accessible. Is that correct? Perhaps the solution would be 2 zip in linings with pockets – one very lightweight and one heavier and warmer – and no pockets in the coat itself. Or maybe the heavier lining could have reinforced slits to correspond to all of the pocket openings.

    I wish this would have been available when my now grown children were small and everything anyone needed ended up in my purse.

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @cng — As the person wearing the coat, you’re aware that you’re carrying things. However, it isn’t heavy like carrying a purse with this stuff in it would be heavy. I also have a mild case of scoliosis, so my back hurts when I carry heavy bags/purses on one of my shoulders. My back doesn’t hurt wearing the coat. The weight is distributed in so many locations that it’s much easier to carry the stuff in the coat than in a bag over my shoulder.

  4. posted by Holly on

    I have the trench in black, it is a nice jacket. The fabric is fantastic, dust brushes off with a damp cloth and other types of soil do not seem to embed themselves. I do wish that it was tailored in a more thoughtful way, the epaulettes, collar, buttons and belt all seem to be the same detail, regardless of the jacket body size. By the time you get to the XL size, they seem too small, they should be incrementally larger to get the same look as the XS. I wish the garment industry would not assume that a larger size just means more inches in body length and girth, and recognize that more tailoring is necessary.

    The jacket can be a bit weird when seated if you are fully loaded up with stuff. I recommend carrying one of those tiny folding bags to house bulky items if you are going to be sitting for a long period of time, to avoid getting jabbed by them, or having odd bulges.

  5. posted by mskris on

    Interesting…do you have to undo the belt and buttons every time you want to access a pocket?

  6. posted by Erin Doland on

    @mskris — It depends on the pocket. Some pockets you can access from the exterior only, some have both exterior and interior access, and others only interior access. Based on the security level I prefer, I pick the pocket. For instance, if I’m carrying my passport, I use a pocket that only has interior access.

  7. posted by jay on

    Doesn’t this coat do or enable exactly the opposite of what unclutterer is?

  8. posted by KAi on

    um, maybe it’ just me….
    I’d still, even if i could afford a jacket like this, would prefer a simple jacket and a simple purse. sometimes simple solutions are the most practical..
    but it does look pretty.

  9. posted by Shalin on

    What a tidy and smart looking coat 🙂

    I may get the Essential Travel Jacket – thanks for the post!


  10. posted by Erin Doland on

    @jay — The coat represents the Unclutterer ideal. It allows its wearer to ORGANIZE belongings (a place for everything, and everything in its place) and UNCLUTTER her life by not having to own or carry an additional bag or purse for the things she needs with her. What is more uncluttered: arms full of bags or empty arms? Clearly, empty arms are more uncluttered.

  11. posted by K on

    Unless you’re a size 2 to begin with, don’t you look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy when this is loaded? And is it comfortable to sit down in?

  12. posted by SCOTTEVEST on

    Erin! Awesome review thanks so much for sharing! Our full line of pocketed clothing can be found at

  13. posted by Celeste on

    Glad you found your solution, Erin. I’m happy with my backpack.

  14. posted by Tom C on

    Do the pockets have closures? What happens when you throw it over your arm and the pockets above waist height are all upside down? Is it waterproof and if so did you actually wear it in the rain (or shower)? Do things in the pockets stay dry? How is the construction and quality of the stitching?

    For a review there was little information here other than it has pockets and you like it. I am used to more from this site.

  15. posted by Courtney on

    What do you do with your stuff when you have to hang up your coat somewhere?

  16. posted by lucy1965 on

    Okay, I am now coveting the coat. My “leaving the house” necessities are down to a slim card wallet, my keys, my phone and headset, and my Nook — and I still need a bag to haul them around. As I don’t actually enjoy carrying a bag, this would be perfect for me. Thanks, Erin!

  17. posted by KN on

    This coat made me wish I lived in a place where it gets cold enough to need a coat! (SW Arizona)

  18. posted by Kai on

    I’d love to see a photo of your jacket on your body. Marketing photos can never be trusted.

  19. posted by Mletta on

    When you travel on a plane, where do you store the coat during flight? In an overhead bin?

    If so, how do you access the things you might need that were stored in the coat?

    Also, what do you do with your coat in restaurants and other venues where lack of space or policy dictates that you check your coat? Do you leave your stuff in or take it out (which would require something to then put them in…maybe you just don’t travel with some of this stuff when going out in the neighborhood)

    Living in a big city and traveling around, in theory this coat sounds great to hold a lot of stuff, but dealing with coats in general once you get somewhere is a problem (I could not imagine spending even an hour walking around a store with my coat on, which means this coat would end up in my hand, as a bulky coat/handbag equivalent.), not just the actual wearing while walking, car driving, public transportation driving or other activities where your coat is on for extended periods.

    And again, just walking in a crowded city and riding busses and subways daily, I worry about electronics getting damaged during my normal “crush” on busses, subways, not to mention people bumping into me and my electronics. Getting knocked while walking is normal and it happens at all “heights” from head to feet.

    And are you comfortable wearing this while seated and driving, or does it have to be removed?

    Great idea in theory, not sure how practical in real life. But it varies by individual and their carry-around needs.
    Thanks, M

  20. posted by Erin Doland on

    @K — Based on the brand of clothes, I’m anywhere between a size 6 and a size 12. Usually, I’m an 8 or a 10. The coat doesn’t make me look larger, and you can’t tell when there is stuff in the pockets. The only time it has been weird was when I put my son’s blanket in my pocket (the entire blanket). Then, you could tell I had something in the pockets.

    I don’t keep the coat tied up when I’m sitting down if I have a lot of stuff in the pockets. I leave it buttoned, though. It’s not any different than sitting down with stuff in your jean’s pockets.

    @Tom — All of the pockets have some kind of closures (zippers, magnetic clasps, etc.). Stuff stays dry as long as it stays in the pockets. If you pull something out of the pockets, you can fling water into them, just like on every coat you’ve ever worn. It’s a water-resistant trench coat, so water beads up on it, but if you’re caught for quite awhile in a downpour it will eventually get saturated with water (I imagine, I’ve never stood out in the driving rain for more than 10 minutes in it to find out). The stitching is well done. It’s made well.

    @Courtney — This isn’t a coat you wear to a state dinner or a night club that requires a coat check. It’s what my mom calls “sportswear” or what I think of as “business casual.” You wear this to work or when traveling for business or when going to the movies with friends. You throw it over the back of your chair or hold it in your lap or keep it on the same as you do your other coats.

    @Kai — If you can hire a hair and makeup person, and a professional photographer for me for the photo shoot, I’ll gladly model it. I accidentally posted a picture of myself on the site once and I wasn’t wearing makeup, and I received horrible “that top looks horrible on you” and “some concealer would hide the scars on your nose” and similar nasty messages for weeks.

    @Mletta — Similar to how I travel with a carry-on bag, I put it under the seat in front of me. As far as restaurants are concerned, if they’re super fancy and require a coat check, I wouldn’t be wearing sportswear fashion to them, so I would have a different coat and probably a clutch handbag. As far as the items in the coat, they get jostled much less than they do in a bag. Every item has a little pocket protecting it. The coat is much better suited for traveling on the Metro than carrying a bag is. And, again, I don’t have to worry about anyone stealing my purse. Also, I wear it while driving all the time. It’s exactly the same as wearing a regular coat.

  21. posted by Karen on

    Not sure how this would work in the summer–where I live, right now it’s too hot to even think of wearing a long sleeved shirt, let alone a coat! What do you do then?

    When I have a child who requires diaper changes, I just carry a diaper bag or use a backpack. When I do not have a child with me, I carry my wallet (my keys latch on it) and my cell phone. That’s it.

  22. posted by Celeste on

    You could always take a photo of yourself wearing it and crop out your head, or only take the photo from the neck down.

  23. posted by Alix on

    I’m not sure that I’d consider a handbag “clutter” unless it was full of stuff you didn’t need. I think I’d find things easier within the confines of a bag than I would within all those pockets (“I know I’m wearing my wallet somewhere here…”)

    I also imagine feeling a bit like one of those old itinerant peddlers, displaying all my wares on my person. That said, it does look like a nice jacket.

  24. posted by Alix on

    “I accidentally posted a picture of myself on the site once and I wasn’t wearing makeup, and I received horrible “that top looks horrible on you” and “some concealer would hide the scars on your nose” and similar nasty messages for weeks.”

    SERIOUSLY? Unbelievable. Some people’s minds are filled with clutter of the worst kind, aren’t they! It’s a shame you have to concern yourself with stuff like that.

  25. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Alix — Very seriously. I get about three to four truly nasty grams a week. Most days, I just ignore them and don’t take notice. Some days, though, I consider pursuing a different career. Thankfully, there are people out there who write in from time-to-time who let me know that I have helped them in some way. I call these thank-you-for-helping-me grams, and they make it all worth it.

  26. posted by empty on

    I’ve been considering this coat for an upcoming overseas trip–thanks for the review. It’s especially nice to know that it can carry diapers without bulging. With two kids sprinting around airports, the closer we can get to bag-free, the quicker we can run them down. And the way that carry-on limits are going, the more non-negotiable stuff (like diapers) that we can keep available without using a bag the better.

  27. posted by bandicoot on

    it’s a nice idea…but too many pockets for me.
    for day to day wanderings, i only need sunglasses, keys, iphone, lip balm, a hankie ( does anyone else still use these?), credit card, cash.
    it all fits in a small purse that fits in my hand.

  28. posted by Andrea on

    That looks pretty awesome, but not useful for summer. I checked out the site and saw the lightweight vest. Has anyone tried that? It looks like it could work great.

  29. posted by Sooz on

    Erin, how do you go through airport security with this? Surely it sets off alarms if you walk through a metal detector, and if you took it off to put it through x-ray, surely the TSA people would want to see what’s in all the pockets… and THAT would potentially take up a lot of time, wouldn’t it? Just wondering…

  30. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Sooz — It’s against TSA regulations to wear any coat, jacket, or outerwear through the metal detectors. All outerwear must be scanned through the x-ray machine. Sending it through is no different than sending any other carry-on item through the x-ray machine. It looks like a flat purse is all. Never been stopped, but have received compliments. Same with my Zuca bag — only compliments.

  31. posted by kelly on

    My husband got one of these jackets after he was mugged carrying a backpack on his way home from work. He LOVES this jacket. You can’t tell he’s carrying anything of value, and he no longer has to carry a bag with his laptop (a macbook air) because it fits inside the coat. We live in an urban area where we often use public transportation, and he feels much safer with his things in this jacket. He also flies a lot for work, and he hasn’t had any problems with airport security with the jacket. (Of course, he takes it off through security because you can’t wear coats through the metal detector.)

  32. posted by April on

    This coat and the men’s jacket would be perfect for me and my husband… except there’s no way we can afford even just one of them.

    Wish they were more affordable. 🙁

  33. posted by Elisa on

    Living in Europe, this looks like the perfect coat for anyone that travels Ryan Air…the number of people who are made to empty things from their suitcases to reduce the weight by mere grammes is amazing – this jacket would allow them to wear most of their luggage!

  34. posted by Zen friend on

    Erin – This IS an incredible find. All this in an attractive WOMAN”S coat?! Unheard of.
    I’m eading to their website now…hope they’re not sold out.

    Thanks so much!

  35. posted by Alex Williams on

    A pocket for everything and everything in its pocket.

  36. posted by Marie on

    Erin, I am coveting the woman’s vest version because I could wear it under another coat during the winter and as a vest alone other times. Looks like it would be perfect for traveling or local adventures.

    I think you have one of the best jobs ever! Don’t let the people in need of an attitude adjustment derail you from the great service you provide the rest of us appreciative types 🙂

  37. posted by Heidi on

    I loath carrying purses, but I can’t leave home without it because I need to have my Epipen with me at all times. I’d love to have this coat, if only it didn’t cost so much…

  38. posted by Simplebeauty on

    Erin I’m sorry you have to deal with some people’s mental garbage. I love your site and always save it for last on my daily rss feed because I like to save the best for last. I always read the comments too and appreciate the thoughtful people who post here.

  39. posted by Leonie on

    Would you let us know how the coat stands up after a few months? I’ve read some reviews of the brand that rated the quality to be poor.
    Also sorry to hear about the uncomplimentary remarks. I think this site provides a great service to a wide range of interests and needs.

  40. posted by Maura on

    My concern is in the “wearing” of electronics as far as any potential health risks go.

    Recently I had to buy long pants for my son, and we both questioned why there was a zippered pocket on the side seam of the pants leg (at the thigh), and immediately concluded that it’s less “risky” there then in a pocket closer to the “reproductive” zone.

    For similar reasons, I think it is best to keep electronics at a distance when at all possible.

  41. posted by Maura on

    “It” being a cell phone, in the second paragraph above.

  42. posted by JJ on

    I’m not sure it’s for me (just because I hate wearing a coat, no other reason). But I don’t see why people are complaining about the price – it’s actually very reasonable for a quality coat, even without the pockets. I’d rather spend $150 on a coat that would last me 10 years than $40 on a coat I have to replace every 3.

  43. posted by Anita on

    Please, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t let my boyfriend hear of this brand! He already overstuffs his coat pockets and I’m appalled by all the stuff that gets left in there for ages. Having more and bigger pockets is just asking for trouble.

    But probably a good idea for those who CAN manage their pocket inventory and don’t want to carry a bag.

    As for me, I love my purses (all 5 of them) and never had an issue with either comfort or security (then again, I come from Romania, where you very quickly learn how to keep your bags safe in public; I guess I have anti-theft training 😛 ), so I’ll stick with that.

  44. posted by guest in ca on

    I have a multi-pocket women’s travel vest from TravelSmith & mainly use it for airline travel or for day outings where I don’t want to be carrying a purse (craft fairs or a packed errand day, for example). My main problem is keeping track of what’s in which pocket!

    The Scottevest travel vest is a trimmer more fitted design. The coat would be great if you travel a lot or walk/use public transportation at home & the temps are such that you need a coat. I would think if you wear the coat fully loaded that would be enough extra insulation! I have a regular trench with zip-out lining & I think I used it with the lining once last winter.

  45. posted by Lynne Small on

    I used the blue trench coat on a trip to England in March and loved it! It was the right weight coat and always looked so neat and smart. I was the only person in all of England wearing a bright blue coat, but that was OK with me.

    However, to be fair, there are occasional times when having all your stuff in coat pockets is awkward — during a plane flight, when checking a coat at a museum, when going to the restroom in a restaurant. Because of this, I did still sometimes carry a very small purse.

    Still, I loved my coat and happily stowed in it (in addition to the usual stuff) an umbrella, a scarf, small purchases, a small water bottle, and once even the smooth, thin sweater that my husband had been wearing. With that last, the coat did bulge, but it was worth it to have our hands empty.

  46. posted by j on

    I have this coat too and love it for travel. Easily fits a kindle or a thin/medium paper book plus credit cards, passport, chapstick, pen, notebook, sunglasses, camera, scarf, etc.

    Doesn’t feel heavy or look lumpy even when full.

    So handy for travel not only because I can keep all these things in the coat instead of my carryon, but it also allows me to bring a laptop bag and a small suitcase (my one bag plus personal item) and not try to cram a purse into my luggage for evenings when I go out.
    I have the black version and think it looks fine with business clothes (anything from a suit to business casual) or even jeans. Wouldn’t wear it to a formal event but I don’t go to many of those!

  47. posted by C on

    Looks great… considering for travel. But, would be nice to know the real dirt about it once you’ve used it a while. What happens when you actually travel and have to go through airport security? Do you have to take every item out? And, then one-by-one place every item back in each pocket it fits? Also, if you get hot or need to check your coat at a decent retaurant…

  48. posted by Ruth on

    Please please please let us know how it wears with a bit more time. I find the concept of these coats absolutely perfect as I hate carrying a purse. I already carry the smallest one I can find. The only reason I’ve not done without already is I forget to move stuff from pants pocket to pants pocket, and then leave stuff at home. With this the important stuff could stay in its pockets and the rest be moved around as needed!

  49. posted by Megan on

    I’m so glad you did a review of this trench coat because I’m seriously considering purchasing it within the next year or so!! (I take forever to buy things because I have to save so long, and I like to really think about what I’m buying to make sure I really want it) So thank you!

    I second the other commenters who want to hear how it stands up to wear and time.

    Also, does anyone know how it fits someone who’s rather tall? I’m 5′ 11″ and regular jackets and tops often fall too short in the sleeves. I think I could live with it, though, to get all the other great features. I can always layer a longer-sleeved sweater or shirt underneath if necessary.

  50. posted by Jack on

    I own the summer vest, the winter vest and the essential jacket. I am getting ready to buy the sport coat.
    Once you start using a Scottivest purses and backpacks are no longer needed. I have used this clothing for a couple of years and the quality is excellent.


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