Today, we’re going to be covering one of my favorite topics–how to travel safer and smarter! Regardless of how careful we are with minding our belongings, none of us are immune to forgetfulness or leaving our belongings unattended for just one second as we shift our focus to something else nearby.
While traveling, we can all be a victim of pickpocketing, stolen purses, or stolen luggage. You better believe it, there are really scummy people out there who make a living doing this kind of dirty work.
With that in mind, safety and security should always be front and center in your mind, especially if you’re a female solo traveler, a mom traveling with kids, or even if you’re traveling in a group. You’ll want to do whatever you can to not leave you or your belongings vulnerable when traveling through busy cities and transit areas.
Here’s where the travel vest comes in to save the day! It may not seem the most fashionable choice at first glance, but vests have come a long way since their first debut! Today, we’re not talking about those bulky flyfishing vests that your grandpa used to wear; we’re talking about stylish, versatile, and functional travel vests.
As with everything else, there is no foolproof way to guarantee 100% of your items are going to be protected, but a women’s travel vest sure does a heck of a good job at fighting off thieves!
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BENEFITS OF WOMEN’S TRAVEL VESTS
Every savvy traveler should consider investing in a women’s travel vest with hidden pockets. Why? Because it’s one of the safest, most convenient methods of carrying your money, tech, and any important documents that you’d be devastated to lose during your travels. Here are a few reasons why I love traveling with a travel vest.
I don’t know about other women out there, but I love to travel in dresses or yoga pants. The problem? These things never have pockets, so we’re always forced to carry a purse or bag with us. With a well-designed travel vest, you can ditch that everyday purse, shoulder bag, or fanny pack. It’s one less thing to carry or worry about, which is always a plus!
I find this especially useful in airport security (TSA) situations. Simply take off the vest (with all your belongings already safely stowed away), walk through the metal detector, and slap that vest back on. No more fumbling with loose items individually placed in the plastic bins.
While traveling, I usually have a carry-on and travel backpack on, which leaves me no hands (or back) to carry my mini backpack/purse. Ding ding ding, the travel vest can replace that mini backpack (at least until I get to the hotel and drop off my other bulky bags).
LIGHTWEIGHT AND FUNCTIONAL
Most of the best travel vests out there are designed to have lots of hidden pockets so that you can easily locate items pretty effortlessly when you need them. They are also constructed to be lightweight and functional so that you aren’t traveling from place to place feeling hot, bothered, or weight down.
SPACIOUS AND VERSATILE
Women’s travel vests can fit typical travel items such as phones, cameras, keys, passports and documents, but they can also hold things like baby essentials, lotion, toiletries, sunscreen, books, iPads, and much, much more. They’re literally perfect and ultra-customizable for any type of traveler.
Most importantly, travel vests are made for security. Not only are there plenty of external pockets for easy access to things, but there are usually a few interior pockets as well. We all hear about luggage theft and purse robberies often, and we certainly don’t want to be a victim of that! With all those hidden interior pockets and personal belongings kept close to your body, it’ll be really hard for thieves/pickpocketers to get the best of you.
A few of the women’s travel vests on this list even have RFID-blocking pockets, which means they prevent thieves and credit card skimming technology dead in its tracks.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE PERFECT TRAVEL VEST
There are tons of women’s travel vests on the market, but not all of them are created equal! Here are some things you should consider before you get your new travel vest
- The durability of the material – Better material, longer lasting!
- Quick-drying material – You’ll probably want this if you’re going to be in tropical climates where rain is possible.
- Water-resistance / Stain-resistance – You’ll probably want this if you’re going to be in tropical climates where rain is possible; stain resistance is great if you’re traveling with kids!
- Wind-resistance – A travel vest with wind-breaking features will keep you warmer than one without.
- Number of pockets – Consider the number of interior and exterior pockets. Interior pockets definitely provide more security.
- Anti-pickpocket features – This feature is probably best if you’re going to be traveling in high foot traffic areas like airports, bus stations, trains stations, etc.
- RFID-blocking technology – If security is your main concern, look for RFID pockets that prevent thieves and credit card skimming technology from getting the best of you.
- Comfort, movability, and breathability – are you going to be doing activities like hiking or jogging in your travel vest? If so, look for a travel vest that allows breathability.
BEST WOMEN’S TRAVEL VESTS (ALL WITH POCKETS)
SCOTTeVEST Women’s Featherweight Travel Vest
This lightweight women’s SCOTTeVEST Travel Vest features an incredible 16 pockets to hold everything you need while traveling, working, hiking or simply running errands. You can stay organized with a document pocket, passport pocket, an attached eyeglass chamois and even a large pocket big enough for an iPad or other bulky items. With this vest, I highly doubt you’ll have anything left to carry in your purse!
And in terms of security, the specially engineered RFID wallet pocket prevents thieves and credit card skimming technology from getting the best of you.
- 16 Pockets (8 interior pockets and 8 exterior pockets)
- Wind and water-resistant
- Lightweight and breathable
SCOTTeVEST Women’s RFID Travel Vest
Best For Security
The SCOTTeVEST RFID Travel Vest with 18 pockets is another incredibly durable and stylish option if you’re in the market for a travel vest.
The 13 interior pockets will undoubtedly help secure and conceal your valuables while traveling or commuting. As with the previous SCOTTeVEST, this one’s got all the same pockets– a document pocket, a passport pocket, an attached eyeglass chamois, and even a large pocket big enough for an iPad or other bulky items.
How it differs from the 16-pocket version is that it’s got a lot more interior pockets.
- 18 Pockets (13 interior pockets and 5 exterior pockets)
- Wind and water-resistant
- Lightweight and breathable
ExOfficio Women’s Sol Cool FlyQ Travel Vest
This women’s travel zip vest by ExOfficio is great for travelers who are equal parts jetsetter and outdoor enthusiast. Because of the cooling and water-repellent technology, this women’s travel vest is perfect for rainy hikes, muggy trails, hot city walks, or anywhere that puts you in contact with the elements.
Stain- and water-repellent Teflon Shield+ technology lets you wear this vest longer, reducing washing and drying time. Sol Cool technology with jade-infused fibers absorbs heat slowly and releases it quickly so you are comfortable throughout your journey.
If the sun comes out mid-trip, the UPF 30-rated fabric will ensure you stay protected from harmful UV rays and the odor-resistant Silvadur technology will keep the vest feeling fresh. The hand and chest pockets provide secure storage for travel essentials.
- 10 Pockets (2 pockets on the outside, 8 pockets on the inside)
- Sol Cool technology with UPF 30 fabric
- Cinched waist drawstring cord for a more stylish look
Patagonia All Seasons Hemp Canvas Vest
Women’s travel vests are an essential fashion item for any adventurous traveler. Patagonia knows this and has designed the All Seasons Hemp Canvas Vest to be the best of its kind.
This vest is made from a lightweight, yet durable hemp canvas fabric that is perfect for all seasons, making it perfect for year-round use. The vest is designed to fit snugly and comfortably around the torso while giving maximum flexibility with minimal bulk and weight so women can move freely and easily during their travels.
This insulated All Seasons Hemp Canvas Vest has plenty of work-specific pockets and is lined with smooth taffeta which slides easily over layers.
It has five large pockets on the front of the vest, providing plenty of storage space for items such as wallets, phones, or keys.
And because it’s Patagonia, you know this is one stylish investment that will last for years and years to come.
- 5 Pockets (all exterior, 2 zippered)
- Abrasion-resistant yet warm and breathable construction
- Made to be roomy to accommodate a wide range of movement and layering
Charles River Apparel Women’s Pack-n-go Vest
Designed for unencumbered movement, the Charles River Apparel Women’s Pack-n-go Vest is made for both style and comfort.
I find this vest to be a great layering piece for any season, and with features like full-zip styling and zippered welt pockets for storage of valuables, it also serves as a great travel vest. Additionally, this piece packs easily into its own pocket for convenience on the go.
It’s very lightweight, perfect for those warmer seasons, and also pairs well under jackets in colder weather. When you’re not traveling, you can use this vest for running errands, going to work, or even walking the dogs. All your necessities will fit in these spacious pockets!
- 4 Pockets (2 zippered pockets on the outside and 2 open pockets on the inside)
- The fabric has a 4-way stretch for comfort and mobility
- Packs into its own pocket for easy packing on the go
- Flattering fit
Columbia Women’s Silver Ridge Vest
With solid pocket space, Omni-Wick moisture technology, and UPF 50 blocking power to protect you from the sun, the Columbia Women’s Silver Ridge Vest is a great option when you’re traveling, commuting, or adventuring through mild weather.
This travel vest has mesh pocket bags, hand pockets, and a zippered security pocket. Not only is the vest durable because of its construction with 100% ripstop nylon, but it’s also comfortable and moves well with you when you’re on the move and engaging in physical activities like hiking. There is even a built-in hood that packs into itself when it’s not needed.
If you’re looking for a lightweight, high-quality yet affordable vest with pockets, the Columbia Women’s Silver Ridge Vest is a great choice. However, if you’re looking for more security, I’d go with something else on this list.
- 4 Pockets (all exterior, none of them are zippered)
- Omni-Wick moisture technology
- UPF 50 blocking power
- Drawcord-adjustable waist
- May be better suited for cooler temperatures or mild weather
Okay, but what if you’re looking for something warmer? Here are some of my favorite options for travel vests that provide a bit of warmth too.
Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff Vest
Best For Packability, Functionality, and Warmth
This functional, windproof, water-resistant vest has it all—plus it keeps you warm.
The Nano Puff Vest uses incredibly lightweight and highly compressible 60-g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation for the best form of warmth without making you feel weighed down. One of the best features about it is how small it packs down to!
Its durable water-repellent finish ensures that it is both water-resistant and breathable in even the worst weather conditions. The adjustable drawcord hem allows you to adjust for your desired fit, while elasticized cuffs provide extra coverage against cold winds.
Some of my favorite features include the two zippered handwarmer pockets and the internal zippered chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop. So many functional pockets!
With such amazing features, it’s no wonder this Patagonia women’s travel vest has become one of the best on the market!
- 3 Pockets (2 exterior, 1 internal — all zippered)
- Lightweight and super packable
- Drawcord-adjustable drop-tail hem seals in warmth
Bernardo Women’s Quilted Vest
When it comes to versatile and warm travel outerwear, the Bernardo Women’s Quilted Vest is one of the best options available. Combining lightweight insulation and a tailored fit, this quilted vest is perfect for layering up or wearing alone on milder days.
In addition to its comfort and warmth, this stylish vest also provides plenty of practical features designed to make your travel experience easier.
ALTERNATIVES TO THE WOMEN’S TRAVEL VEST
Zero Grid Infinity Scarf with Hidden Pockets
Unlike other boring scarves that only serve to keep you warm, the Zero Grid Travel Scarf comes with built-in zipper pockets with button snaps at either end which let you customize the look and fit of the scarf.
The patented design of this infinity scarf with pockets provides not only warmth but also endless ways to wear it. You can turn the scarf into a wrap, shawl, hoodie, travel blanket, you name it!
Waypoint Goods Infinity Scarf with Pocket
While other travel scarfs are made from flimsy fabric that is sewn poorly or have a pocket that is too small, the Waypoint Goods Travel Scarf is made from a soft yet durable fabric meticulously stitched with a pocket large enough to fit your phone with still enough room for a passport, keys and some cash.
With this infinity travel scarf with pockets, you can free up your hands to explore, snap photos, and commute anxiety-free instead of worrying about pickpockets.