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7/10/2006
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Review: Scott eVest Performance T-Shirt

Scott eVest's newest bit of wired clothing is one of its best efforts yet. Cool, light, and really sharp looking, this is nothing like your father's "pocket T." The shoulder pocket has a nice deep well, into which I slipped my 8 oz. cell phone. The weight management system (a panel across your shoulders spreads the load) makes it pretty comfortable.

Scott eVest's newest bit of wired clothing is one of their best efforts yet. Cool, light, and really sharp looking, this is nothing like your father's "pocket T." Come to think of it, I'd bet one could make your father totally forgive you for forgetting Father's Day.

It was a hot day in DC when my "review unit" Performance T arrived from Scott eVest ($29.99 short sleeve, $34.99 long sleeve). I was making out OK in my favorite short sleeved seersucker shirt, but was looking forward to seeing how 3M Quick Dry moisture wicking fabric stood up to the Capital's climate. Anticipation turned to dismay when I opened the box and found they'd sent me the long-sleeve version. I hate long-sleeve Ts. They're hot, they cut into my arms when I roll the sleeves up, and well -- I think they look dorky. You may now watch me eat my words.

The synthetic fabric these shirts are made from aren't just cool, they actively cool you off with the slightest breeze. The shirt is quite comfortable against your skin, but the sensation you get from the wicked moisture providing evaporative cooling is, well, really cool. The light fabric hangs really nicely. It's got a completely different drape than cotton, and the result is a much tougher look...very tactical without being tight or uncomfortable. The elasticity of the material comes in handy when rolling the sleeves up, allowing you to use that as another heat management technique without cutting off your circulation. The shirt is cut on the short side for a T, though not so short that I can't tuck it in if I like.

The shoulder pocket has a nice deep well into which I slipped my 8 oz. cell phone. The weight management system (a panel across your shoulders spreads the load) makes it pretty comfortable. You don't have to be a secret service agent to spot the lump under my left arm, but it's pretty stealthy. I'm still looking for a Bluetooth headset I like better than my wired one, but hiding the wire so it doesn't catch on things is a nuisance.

My first suggestion for version 2.0: small pockets built into the upper sleeves. I like to carry a digital recorder around when I'm on assignment, and this would be perfect for that. Shirt pockets are pretty useless for anything important, since things always fall out when you lean forward. Also, I often like to have a pen along... and side pockets could accommodate that too.

The 3M Quick Dry fabric has more advantages besides being cool, since it's impregnated with Scotchgard Protector for Activewear, helping it shrug off stains as well as moisture. The fabric is thin, and packs down tight, perfect for travel. Scott Jordan (Scott eVest's founder) has hit on a great combination of simplicity and sophisticated design with the Performance T, and we're looking forward to whatever he comes up with next.

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