My Favorite Travel Gear That Works
Welcome to Flashback Friday – Where we share previously published articles which were reader favorites. Hope you enjoy this Friday’s article, originally published in 2015, about my favorite piece of travel gear – my photo vest. Enjoy!
There’s an old saying – “Travel Right – Travel Light.” I generally try to travel light and right – and sometimes I’m actually successful. One key to light travel is to take items that can serve multiple functions. My favorite travel item in this regard is my trusty photographer’s vest. Check the striking photo below –
Yes indeed, that’s me outfitted in my photo vest. My photo assistant wasn’t available when this was taken so I tried using my new “selfie stick” with my iPhone. Clearly, I have a bit to learn in the “selfie” world. (And yes, In addition to loving the Kansas City Royals I am a bit of a Detroit Tigers fan.) But the photo does at least gives you an idea of my vest. I’ve had this one for years. It’s definitely been around the world a bit. It’s made by Woolwich. I checked their site on-line while preparing this article. Unfortunately they don’t seem to offer this item anymore. But lots of other companies have their own versions of photo vests. A quick “google search” produced numerous listings. Some vests are designed more for fishing or hunting or hiking. I’m not sure if mine was designed specifically for photography. I sort of doubt it. But it works really well for my photo needs.
Why do I like this vest so much? (And yes, I realize it doesn’t make much of a fashion statement.) I primarily like the vest because it can carry so much. Look at all the pockets. There are 12 pockets just on the front. Some pockets are inside of other pockets. Some zip closed. Some have velcro closures. There is a really large pouch like pocket on the outside back as well. Inside there are also two large pockets. Lots of room for lenses, cables, strobes, etc. It’s made of cotton, and while it is a bit on the heavy side, it is strong enough to hold all the gear I sometimes carry in it. It also has a large mesh venting opening on the back to help keep you cool. The photo vest allows me to operate “hands free” – no bags to carry, etc. Both hands are available for my photography which is great.
There are two added benefits of this vest – these are the “multiple functions” which I alluded to above. First, when the weather is cold, this vest serves as a nice extra layer of clothing, helping to keep me warm and toasty. It is large enough that I can wear it over other layers such as a t-shirt, shirt, sweater, and/or sweatshirt. I’ve also used it over jackets – or under jackets – depending on the situation.
The second extra benefit is the fact that this wonderful article of clothing functions very nicely as a way to carry items – actually lots of items if you want – on an aircraft. In many cases it can almost be an extra carry-on in terms of what it can carry. I took this concept to the extreme during a journey to India. I had one internal flight from Khajuraho to Varanasi that had a ridiculously low weight limit for checked luggage. My solution? I loaded up my photo vest. And I mean, I really loaded up my photo vest. It probably weighed more than my checked bag! Now I admit, with my vest all loaded up that way, I looked a bit overstuffed. But it was effective and for me at least, as I mentioned above, I’m not really trying to make a fashion statement when I travel. The important thing is that it worked.
My trusty photo vest is always a primary item on my travel packing list. If you have one, well then you already know what I mean. If you don’t have one – well I suggest you might give one a trial run.
Travel Light & Right ………. And Enjoy The Adventure!
© 2017, Bruce W Bean, Ph.D. All rights reserved.