When you encounter that rare deer in the forest or a bald eagle swooping down to snatch a fish from an osprey, the last thing you want to do is spend time searching for the right lens or detangling camera straps.
To capture the right photo, you have to keep your gear ready at all times. For photographers, this presents a considerable challenge. Taking out a camera from a backpack now and then is a constant nuisance, while a camera bag or a neck strap becomes cumbersome.
A photographer vest (or jacket) serves as an ideal alternative for keeping your gear safe, secure, and ready to capture whatever scene unfolds in front of you.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Why You Should Invest in a Photography Vest
- Choosing a Photographer Vest
- SCOTTeVEST Photographer Apparel
- Check Out These Vestimonials From Actual Photographers
- Women’s Photography Apparel
- Men’s Photography Apparel
- Final Thoughts: How To Find the Best Photographer Vest | Buyer’s Guide
Why You Should Invest in a Photography Vest
Camera bags are great for photography if you’re a professional photographer staying in one place or shooting pictures in a studio. However, a photojournalist or travel photographer needs to carry all the equipment without affecting their speed.
A camera vest lets you keep all your equipment on-hand, safe, and ready to go when the need arises. Available in both sleeveless and sleeved variations, they keep your core comfortable whether you are hiking the amazon or trekking the Alps.
Even a wedding photographer can use a photo vest to avoid fumbling with camera bags and missing key candid moments.
So why not pick up any old vest with a few pockets for your gear? Fishing vests may have a number of pockets, but they’re rarely big enough to accommodate all your lenses, filters, batteries, or even a gimbal or tripod.
Photography equipment is typically heavy, too. That means that even weight distribution is key so you can focus on your subject without being burdened by lugging your gear around. Unlike the pocketed vests you might find at Patagonia or Columbia, SCOTTeVEST carefully considered how each pocket will spread weight, so you hardly feel like you’re carrying anything at all.
Plus, SCOTTeVEST’s photographer vests offer streamlined profiles and subtle, classic designs. That means you can blend in when traveling and look still refined at formal occasions. You don’t always want to announce to the world you’re carrying thousands of dollars’ worth of gear on your person — and SCOTTeVEST keeps your valuable equipment nearby and protected.
The nondescript styling and pockets large enough to accommodate even long zoom lenses beat out comparable vests like the Domke, which offer only noticeable vest pouches that aren’t designed to blend in.
Choosing a Photographer Vest
When choosing your photographer vest, look for vest pockets that can handle all your camera gear — from your memory cards to your lenses. Depending on the climate, get high-quality breathable materials (for summer) or sleeved variations (for fall and winter).
Additionally, you want to ensure that your vest pockets:
- Prevent equipment from falling out
- Keep everything organized and accessible
- Distribute the weight throughout the vest to avoid extra burden on your body
SCOTTeVEST Photographer Apparel
Scott Jordan founded SCOTTeVEST when he realized that existing vests couldn’t handle the increasing number of gadgets people carry.
For photographers, this dilemma isn’t new. Items like a safari vest or fishing vest might keep you warm, but their cargo pockets weren’t designed to carry technology and camera equipment.
Scott embarked on a journey to figure out what makes the best pockets for technology. Here’s how decades of research — pocket science — have made SCOTTeVEST apparel some of the best photographer’s vests around.
DeepPocketsTM Keep Equipment Secure
The trademark DeepPocketTM design protects your equipment from falling out whether you bent over to reach something or climbed a tree to snap a shot. Vest and jacket pockets use various closures, including velcro, zipper, and magnet, to ensure that you don’t lose any gear.
Pockets Designed for Camera Gear
SCOTTeVEST apparel includes pockets specifically designed to hold cameras and tiny equipment like SD cards and USB drives. You can also benefit from the Personal Area Network (PAN) to charge your camera on the go by connecting your camera to a power bank located in a separate pocket.
Maximum Versatility and Comfort
Most SCOTTeVEST jackets come with removable sleeves and hoods. You are equally prepared for both hot and cold climates.
Also, Scott worked with chiropractors to ensure that his products protect you from pain in your neck , back, and shoulders.
Attractive Design With Minimal Bulk
SCOTTeVEST’s vests feature well-designed pockets that balance weight throughout the vest without layering on top of one another. It means that you can carry all your gear without adding bulk or restricting your movement.
With all these features, it’s easy to see how DigitalTrends named his vests one of the best pieces of gear for photographers, and the entire line consistently receives praise in publications like Business Insider, Forbes , The New York Times , and many more.
Check Out These Vestimonials From Actual Photographers
“I have two versions of this terrific vest, for slightly different purposes. On short trips, I prefer not to check luggage. A carry-on and an e-vest is all I need. On one recent trip, I stowed a 30” photo reflector in the rear pocket of my vest and a standard iPad in an inside pocket. I’m a professional photographer and, personally, I very much dislike the fishing vest look. Besides, those fishing pockets weren’t designed to carry what I want.”
— Bruce P.
“My complete vlogging equipment, point and shoot camera, mini tripod and snacks fits in my RFID travel jacket. If minimal traveling is possible I think I can accomplish it easily.”
— Ramon B.
“Love my Scott’s Vest! I use it for traveling & for my camera lenses when I am taking pictures for the day... no need to carry a camera bag...which is huge!!!”
Well-known photographer Thomas Hawk is another fan of SCOTTeVEST. Here’s a photo he took of SCOTTeVEST’s founder Scott Jordan using his vest to store photography gear.
Women’s Photography Apparel
While you can wear any SCOTTeVEST apparel and get well-made, real pockets to secure your camera gear, here are the best photographer’s vests and jackets for women to take it to the next level.
Q.U.E.S.T Vest for Women
The Q.U.E.S.T Vest for Women is the ultimate travel vest for adventurous photographers that need all their camera gear with them. Whether you want to shoot pictures or edit them, you can carry anything you need with the Q.U.E.S.T. With 42 pockets and spaces specially designed for SD cards, USB drives, managing your gear, large and small, will be a breeze.
Best photographer vest for: Long treks
Essential Jacket 2.0
The Women’s Essential 2.0 Jacket is one of our best sellers. It’s perfect for photographers who are always on the go. Removable sleeves let you convert this photographer jacket into a photographer’s vest with ease, making it a decent all-around choice. The extra-deep chest pocket is ideal for long lenses, and water-resistant material means you’ll be prepared for anything in the field.
Best photographer vest for: Hiking and general traveling
Men’s Photography Apparel
All SCOTTeVEST products are designed to protect your gear. Nevertheless, here is the men’s best camera gear apparel that stands out due to its better fit for the photography lifestyle.
Q.U.E.S.T Vest for Men
The Q.U.E.S.T Vest for Men is the ideal vest choice for professional photographers who need all their photography gear with them. Whether you want to capture wildlife up close or edit your raw photos, the Q.U.E.S.T will empower you in every step. The 42 pockets, including a space for your laptop and tablet, means not only can you take photos on the go, but you can also upload and make edits too.
Best photographer vest for: Remote hiking and wildlife photography
Revolution 2.0 Jacket
With its detachable hood and sleeves, the Men’s Revolution 2.0 Jacket is a photographers’ favorite due to the comfort and practicality it presents for a modern photographer. The well-rounded 25 pockets offer spaces for your camera, memory cards, tablet, and water bottle. No matter what your day of shooting holds, the Revolution 2.0 Jacket can help you meet it.
Best photographer vest for: All-around use — hiking, traveling, and event photography
Final Thoughts: How To Find the Best Photographer Vest | Buyer’s Guide
As a professional photographer or travel photography enthusiast, you should live your life without regret, without missing the opportunity for the perfect shot. Invest in a photographer vest that protects your camera equipment and prepares you to capture any moment, anywhere.
To discover more travel and tech-friendly apparel, explore all SCOTTeVEST products.