Best Travel Vests • An Underrated Travel Essential

Are you looking for the best vest for travel? This post covers the best travel vests on the market and discusses what to look for in a vest.

After all, there’s a lot to remember when heading off to tackle a new city or country. You have tickets, wallet, keys, sunglasses, phone – the list goes on and on! Then you have the adventure seekers who need an extra layer of warmth before tackling in the mountains.

The ideal travel vest will help keep all your essential gear organized, accessible, and protected, but which ones are the best? Let’s cover the ten best travel vests for you to peruse and easily see what the market has to offer.


Best Travel Vests for Men


Travel VestRatingWeightAvg Price
Orvis Performance Vest4.5*15 oz$229
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest4.5*9.8 oz$179
SCOTTeVEST Travel for Men4.5*18.5 oz$149
Carhartt Denwood Vest4.5*9.4 oz$89
Filson Oil Tin Cloth Vest4.6*2 lbs+$140
Columbia Silver Ridge4.3*14.4 oz$70

Orvis Performance Vest

Orvis Performance Vest

Pros

  • Pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable Construction
  • Breathable
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Geared Towards Flyfishing (positive if you fish!)
  • Limited Color Options

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better outdoors-focused vest than the Performance Vest from Orvis. The vest packs a punch with fifteen pockets that are perfect for organizing all your essentials. Orvis designs its products for fly fishing, but that outdoor focus is also ideal for travel as they carry a ton of similarities.

This travel vest has water-resistant fabric and features hidden interior pockets perfect for travel documents and valuables. It also features nifty features like magnets to hold headphones in place on your shoulder. The Orvis Performance Vest is a beautiful vest that is sure to last a lifetime.

Shop For Men’s Orvis Performance Vest


Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

Best Down Vest Patagonia Sweater Vest

Pros

  • Warmth
  • Slim Cut
  • Stylish
  • Quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Patagonia makes our favorite packable down jacket, so it’s no wonder they make one of the best down vests for travel. The down vest uses 800 fill down and their new recycled polyester for the shell. The result is a down vest that will keep you warm and do decent job fighting moisture. We also find Patagonia’s nylon material to be extraordinarily comfortable without the obnoxious crinkly/swishy sounds cheaper down items make.

With its wide range of colors and appealing brand name, the down vest feels at home in the mountains, the beach, or city streets. The only drawback to the garment is the high price tag that comes with Patagonia vests. It’s also not the warmest down vest on this list, but it remains slim fit and attractive by doing so.

Shop For Men’s Patagonia Down Sweater Vest


SCOTTeVEST Travel for Men

Pros

  • POCKETS!
  • More Pockets
  • Decent Style

Cons

  • Quality
  • Expensive

Luckily for the men out there, SCOTTeVEST also produces a top-notch travel vest for travel and adventure-oriented gentlemen. The travel vest boasts 26 individual pockets to keep all your travel gear organized and in one place. An RFID blocking pocket is a perfect home for your wallet and passport. In contrast, the multitude of electronics pockets and wire passageways allows you to charge items without ever taking them out of your pockets!

The lightweight and breathable vest material make it a breeze to wear all day for whatever your adventure of choice may be. Strolling around the city, spending a day on the trail, or even a beach day – you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips! I find SCOTTeVest products gimmicky, but there are plenty of people that love their pocket-heavy clothes.

Shop For Men’s SCOTTeVest Travel


Carhartt Denwood Vest

Men's Carhartt Denwood Vest is great for a bunch of different settings

Pros

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Value
  • Style
  • Warmth

Cons

  • Other Vests Offer More Durability or Warmth

For the travelers out there who would like to blend a little extra style into their travel vest, there’s the Denwood. This vest emphasizes comfort and style with a light yet warm construction. With its slick looks, the vest is still surprisingly durable for the serious traveler. The material is water-repellent, machine washable, and has reinforced seams for all your adventurous traveling escapades.

Bulky backpacks and finicky purses begone! We’ve covered all the essentials you need to pick out the perfect travel vest for your adventure of choice and start keeping all your requirements safe and secure in your new army of pockets.

Shop For Men’s Carhartt Denwood Vest


Filson Oil Tin Cloth Vest

Filson Oil Tin Cloth Vest

Pros

  • High End Feel
  • Outdoor Style
  • Quality
  • Durability
  • Liftime Quality Product
  • Decent Pockets

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Pockets Are For Work Vs. Travel

This iconic vest uses Filson’s heavy, abrasion-resistant, and water-repellent Tin Cloth canvas. It’s a work vest made for rough work on the ranch, operating an angle grinder, chopping wood, or in the garage. That rough and tumble look makes for a gorgeous piece of clothing that will last a lifetime.

It may not be your standard travel vest, but this vest is up for an adventure—a stylish piece of workwear. Be prepared for a wait as this piece of clothing is in high demand and sometimes requires a waitlist. The only negative I can find with this vest is the price. It’s pretty expensive. However, given its lifespan, one could argue it’s better value than the budget-conscious Columbia vest below.

Shop For Men’s Filson Oil Tin Cloth Vest


Columbia Silver Ridge II Vest for Men

The Best Travel Vests - Columbia Silver Ridge

Pros

  • Value
  • Practicality
  • Feature Heavy
  • Decent Looks

Cons

  • Quality

Crafting a travel vest that can function just as well in an urban environment as it does out in the heat of an outdoors adventure is a fine line to follow, but Columbia seems to do it with ease here. Their Silver Ridge vest is specially crafted for some hot and sunny adventuring but wouldn’t raise a single eyebrow if you slipped it on for a day of city sightseeing.

The vest features Columbia’s Omni-wick technology to quickly whisk any sweat away from you for faster drying and increased comfort during your activity while at the same time protecting you from the sun with a UPF 50 Omni-shade sun resistance.

All this outdoor technology is in a fashionable vest that can easily be worn for an evening out in the town after spending all day adventuring outdoors. You’ll have a security pocket in addition to the standard side pockets.

Shop For Men’s Columbia Silveridge II Vest


Best Travel Vests for Women


Travel VestRatingWeightAvg Price
Orvis Pack and Go Vest4.7*8 oz$119
Patagonia Down Sweater Vest4.5*9.8 oz$179
ExOfficio Women’s FlyQ Vest4.5*13 oz$84
Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Vest4.5*9 oz$45
SCOTTeVEST Q.U.E.S.T. for Women4.518.5 oz$149

Orvis Pack and Go Vest

Women's Orvis Pack and Go Safari Vest

Pros

  • Pockets
  • Lightweight
  • Reliable Construction
  • Breathable
  • Stylish

Cons

  • Price
  • Limited Amount Of Warmth

Orvis designs some of our favorite items for stylish outdoor wear — perfect for travel. The vest’s weight has a nice balance between wearing it independently in warm weather or as an outer layer for cooler days.

It’s pretty lightweight and can fold down into an included stuff sack. A waist cinch and multiple pockets also deliver the practicality and features we want in a vest. As a bonus, the polyester material used is Bluesign® certified and dries out quickly.

Shop For Orvis Pack And Go Vest


Patagonia Down Sweater Vest

Best Down Vest Patagonia Sweater Vest

Pros

  • Warmth
  • Slim Cut
  • Stylish
  • Quality

Cons

  • Expensive

Patagonia makes our favorite packable down jacket, so it’s no wonder they make one of the best down vests for travel. The down vest uses 800 fill down and their new recycled polyester for the shell. The result is a down vest that will keep you warm and do decent job fighting moisture. We also find Patagonia’s nylon material to be extraordinarily comfortable without the obnoxious crinkly/swishy sounds cheaper down items make.

With its wide range of colors and appealing brand name, the down vest feels at home in the mountains, the beach, or city streets. The only drawback to the garment is the high price tag that comes with Patagonia vests. It’s also not the warmest down vest on this list, but it remains slim fit and attractive by doing so.

Shop For Women’s Patagonia Down Vest


ExOfficio Women’s FlyQ Vest

ExOfficio Women's FlyQ Vest

Pros

  • Quality
  • Ample Pockets
  • Decent Value
  • Functional

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Slight Off Fit

For the female traveler that goes everywhere, from the occasional jungle trek to exploring a big city and a safari here and there, there is the FlyQ vest. The FlyQ has many different pockets – one of which is RFID blocking – to keep all your essential items close at hand for any adventure, all arranged in an attractive style that is suitable just about anywhere.

The built-in water, wind, and stain resistance ensure this vest will keep pace with all your adventures, while the durable construction will keep it in your travel clothes rotation for many trips to come!

Shop For Women’s Exofficio FlyQ Vest


Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Vest

Columbia Benton Springs Fleece Vest

Pros

  • Cheap!
  • Comfortable
  • Warm
  • Style

Cons

  • Lacks Many Pockets
  • Quality

Lots of outdoor and travel enthusiasts associate Columbia’s name with quality and always a decent value. Columbia’s Women’s Benton Springs vest is one of the most affordable on the market, priced less than $50.

The fleece vest is full-zip and features two zippered front pockets to keep your hands warm. Basic and comfortable polyester fleece is used in construction but offers little durability or natural warmth. Fit is decent and strikes a nice balance between roomy and athletic to fit most body types excellent.

It’s best utilized as a layer because any breeze tends to pass right through the thin fleece material. It’s tough to find a more affordable fleece travel vest in terms of quality. Color choice is also plentiful, with well over 20 color options to choose from online.

Shop For Women’s Columbia Benton Vest


SCOTTeVEST Q.U.E.S.T. for Women

SCOTTeVEST Q.U.E.S.T. for Women

Pros

  • POCKETS!
  • More Pockets
  • Decent Style

Cons

  • Quality
  • Expensive

If you have worries about finding a vest with enough pockets for all your things, the QUEST vest categorically puts those fears to rest! With an incredible 42 total pockets, it’s a guarantee to find a place for everything you need on your travels. Amongst these pockets, you have an RFID blocking area for credit cards, along with an oversized pocket for tablets such as a Kindle or iPad.

The material is also treated for water and stain resistance to maximize your outdoor fun; you even have a storable hood for when the weather turns cold or nasty! So if you’re planning on lots of gear for your trip – from camera lenses to souvenirs – we highly recommend this slick-looking vest for every occasion!

Shop For Women’s SCOTTeVESt Quest


Ranking Vests For Travel


Pockets and Pockets

Natasha in a travel vest while on safari in South Africa

The ideal travel vest is, first and foremost, an array of different pockets to ensure that everything you possibly need on a typical day in your trip can easily find a home. It can be beneficial for the female travelers out there; we all know that many of the best and most comfortable women’s pants are painfully pocket deficient. Therefore, a good travel vest can eliminate a clunky purse that risks theft in an unfamiliar city.

But the male traveler can equally benefit from a travel vest that compiles everything you could need into one place—no more unslinging a backpack to try and hunt for tickets or opening and closing a briefcase to fish out a passport during your travel day. So once again, pockets and more pockets! Make sure your travel vest can fit everything you want to have on you for your day.


Construction

Natasha in a travel vest in Ireland

It’s always important when purchasing travel clothes to consider the quality and material used. Synthetic materials for standout vests as they’re quick to dry, which can keep you cool or warm. At the same time, cotton articles tend to hold moisture and are slow to dry. It is crucial in cold weather destinations with snow/rain or tropical destinations high in humidity.

When looking through different brands and types, one element that we are always looking for its durability. You want to ensure the vest lasts for your trip(s) and beyond! Pay close attention to the manufacturing and material/stitching quality of your vest. Is it an established manufacturer or an off-brand?

Do they stand behind their product and offer an extended warranty? While you’re at it, take a look and see if the vest is water-resistant if you’re heading into a wet environment. If you’re traveling to dry and sunny climes, check if the vest is UV resistant.


Security

Tasha wears a travel vest in Egypt

As we alluded to earlier, traveling the world always risks becoming the victim of petty theft.

A vest eliminates the need for extra bags by condensing all your gear down. It isn’t foolproof protection from pickpockets or thieves, but it allows you to keep a better eye on your belongings. I find it most important because it reduces risks as thieves have less opportunity with a travel vest.

An RFID pocket is a nice touch, but it’s a little outdated and more for marketing. It’s an obsolete tactic as it is not possible to skim a chip card. So the practice is falling out of fashion with thieves, particularly in Europe where everything is a chip. We highly recommend you look out for travel vests that include hidden pockets to carry your valuables, as the classic pickpocket is a more significant threat.


Comfort and Style

Natasha Stands Along Lake in Iceland wearing a Patagonia travel vest

It may seem like a no-brainer, but please try to track down a vest that will be comfortable for you to wear and is suitable for your travel plans—heading to a warm tropical location? A bulky and heavy-duty vest may not be the most appropriate – aim for something a little lighter such as nylon or polyester!

Along these same lines, you’re likely to draw some unneeded attention if your strolling down the city streets in an oversized, safari-style vest draped with pockets; aim for something a bit more city appropriate, eh?

So now that we’ve covered the critical buying points for the ideal travel vest let’s move on to our top suggestions!

About Cameron

Cameron Seagle is one of the principal writers and photographers for The World Pursuit. He is a travel expert that has been traveling the world for the past six years. During this time he established a passion for conservation and environmental sustainability. When not traveling he's obsessed with finding the best gear and travel products. In his free time, you can find him hiking, mountain biking, mountaineering, and snowboarding. His favorite countries are Ireland, Scotland, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Japan.

You can learn more about Cameron on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

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