If you’re the type of person who thinks airline baggage fees are ridiculous, then do I have the jacket for you. I test-drove the SCOTTeVEST Tropiformer Jacket around Europe for 100 Nights of Summer. If you’re now wondering how one layer helped me circumvent over $250 in airline fees, let me talk about the wonders of pockets, specifically lots and lots of pockets.
Wizard Robes For the Modern World
The Tropiformer is a lightweight convertible jacket that conveniently folds up into its own pocket when you’re not using it. Here’s the breakdown schematics of the Tropiformer, complete with 22 pouches, pockets, hidey-holes, and secrets. It’s like a modern day incarnation of wizard robes, but less of a chance of being dinged for a security hassle.
How Did It Work in the Wild?
Let’s start with the gear I carried inside the coat. Anything in my 100 Nights of Summer kit that’s small got stuffed into a pocket. My partial packing list included:
- Cell phone charger
- Laptop charger
- DSLR Camera charger
- Battery pack
- Extra camera battery
- 50mm Nikon camera lens
- GoPro Camera
- Assorted adapters
- Security cord for laptop
- Stack of business cards
- Two stacks of Music Festival Wizard stickers
- Tent stakes
- Laptop mouse
- Travel towel
With this many items bulking you up, the jacket doesn’t come across as super low-profile, so I popped off the magnetic sleeves (more wizardry!) which converts the jacket into a vest in under two seconds. I then wore a flannel shirt over the whole get-up. Here’s how I looked at the airport check-in desk minus my hair being butchered ten minutes before I took this photo.
You don’t have to go as extreme as I did to take advantage of the pockets. The Tropiformer functions nicely as a light travel coat, with pockets for your passport, sunglasses, a small tablet, and whatever else you may need to quickly reach. For train and bus trips, I used it for easy access to my phone charger, ear plugs, and small snacks.
How Much Money Did You Save?
This may seem like quite a bit of work to save a few dollars, but you may shocked to learn that “Music Festival Travel and Gear Expert” is not as lucrative of a job as I’d like it to be, so I’m squirreling away money wherever I can. I fly quite a bit and the only way to pick up those super cheap plane tickets in Europe is to cap your baggage limit to 11 pounds or less.
By not checking a bag, I saved around $30 per flight without sacrificing the gear I need to live, work, and camp at music festivals. I took nine flights over a 100 day period, so I estimate the Tropiformer saved me about $270.
What Didn’t Work For Me
Waterproof Test: It’s just water resistant so the jacket held up fine in a light drizzle, but as expected, it soaked through in a couple of summertime downpours. I thought a summertime jacket would be fine for the warm weather, but if I’m going to keep covering festivals in Europe, I’ll need a waterproof coat in the future.
The Sleeves: The detachable sleeves are magnetic, which sounds cooler in theory than in actual practice. Also, people will mock your magnet sleeves at a music festival, and by people, I mean all your friends. The jacket does convert back and forth to a vest fairly quickly, but you may find the magnets sticking to your collar.
Sizing: I should have been in an extra-large, which would have been far more comfortable, but somehow this review jacket ended up in the back of my parent’s closet, instead of my pile of “stuff I need to review”, so it only made the cut for 100 Nights of Summer at the last minute. I recommend if you’re interested in checking out SCOTTeVEST to take advantage of the 30-day return window to find your perfect fit.
Overall, this is a solid light weather coat. While I’m not sold on the Tropiformer for my specific type of traveling, I am now very much on board with travel pockets. Right now, I’ve got my eye an on their collection of hoodies and this travel underwear for hiding my valuables.