Buyer's Guides

5 Best Women’s Travel Vest for Style, Comfort & Safer Travel

The hidden pockets will keep your valuables safe and "close to the vest"

For women travelers, especially solo travelers or moms with children, safety and security are always front and center in your mind. There are countless horror stories of lost or stolen luggage, documents, purses or other significant personal items during travel. Like everything else, there is no foolproof way to secure all of your items 100% of the time.

But there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your belongings when traveling through busy cities and transit areas, including keeping the items you treasure most close to vest, quite literally! It may not seem the most fashionable choice at first glance, but I think we can work with it ladies. Follow me to hear about the best women’s travel vest.


Introducing the Women’s Travel Vest

Yes, I am talking about investing in a women’s travel vest with hidden pockets for your most important documents and devices that you would be utterly lost without during travel. Most of the best travel vests are designed to be lightweight and ergonomic so you can easily grab items at the point of need without being weighed down.

Graphic depicting items carried in travel jacket
Imagine stashing all these items in your jacket or vest.

Savvy travelers may even be able to ditch their purse entirely and rely upon the pockets provided by a well-designed, lightweight travel vest with pockets. For me, I like to wear yoga pants basically everywhere and as you know, yoga pants are comfortable but they never have pockets!

In fact, I’d say that most of my daily outfits have a curious lack of pockets altogether, so it is useful to have at least one piece to depend on that has ample pockets when my activities demand it. This may sound crazy, but I have even heard of moms leaving the diaper bag at home and packing baby essentials up in the pockets of a travel vest!

But most importantly, travel vests are designed for security. You have heard of lost luggage by an airline company or even purse grabbing, but have you ever heard of vest snatching? No, of course not – you and your travel vest are one single package. By simply using a women’s vest for travel, you can keep your passport safe and close to your body, as well as your phone, keys, wallet, jewelry, medicine and anything else of significance.

You can browse this helpful table that outlines all travel vest reviews featured in this article. If something catches your eye right away, you can skip ahead by clicking the button to see the full review. Otherwise, keep reading for more advice on tips to choose the right travel vest.

Best Women's Travel Vest Reviews

SCOTTeVEST Women’s RFID Travel Vest

  • 18 pockets, well-rounded design for any female traveler

ExOfficio Women’s FlyQ Lite Vest

  • 11 pockets, comfortable and stylish for travel or hiking

SCOTTeVEST Women’s QUEST Travel Vest

  • 42 pockets, designed for the world traveler or photographer

Columbia Women’s World Trekker Vest

  • 6 pockets, great budget option for occasional travel

SCOTTeVEST Chloe Glow Travel Jacket

  • More of a sweatshirt, but super cute and practical option

A Game-Changer

Ladies, a travel vest has the potential to be a real game-changer, and potentially a life-saver when you are out on the road. The easy part is deciding that a travel vest may be right for you. If you travel frequently through airports or train stations, or if you spend a lot of time visiting different cities by yourself or with your family, then you should strongly consider it. If you just think it would be awesome to open your vest and expose a world full of trinkets and gadgets, then you definitely need one!

inspiring woman solo traveler looking into beautiful desert canyon

The harder part is deciding which travel vest might be right for you to fit your own personal style and travel needs. Luckily, there are many great multi pocket vests designed specifically for women travelers including safari vests, utility vests, photographer vests, and hiking vests. They go by many different names, but all basically serve the same function. But true travel vests typically have 14, 24, or even up to 42 different sized multifunctional pockets, as well as other little extras like an inflatable travel pillow, RFID protection, or huge pockets for a tablet or computer.

About the Buyer’s Guide

This buyer’s guide offers in-depth reviews of our favorite ladies travel vests. Our travel vest reviews highlight the most important features to consider including style, function, weight and durability. Our goal here is to help you find a vest or jacket that fits your individual style, is comfortable and easy to use, and that will be something you can depend on through many travel adventures.

If you are looking for a quick and easy online purchase, we also provide links to exact products on Amazon. We participate in the Amazon Affiliate program, which just means that if you use one of our links, then we get credit for helping you choose a great travel vest, and it helps defray the costs of operating our blog. We appreciate your loyalty and support!

3 Tips for choosing a travel vest

  1. Size up – if you plan to use your vest for long duration travel or airplane travel and want to replace your purse or carry on luggage, plan to get a size or two above your regular size. The fit will be less chic and may appear undesirably bulky for some, but it may be the only way to fit all your gear comfortably. Be sure to read reviews to get an idea of how much to size up.
  2. Pockets, pockets, pockets – what sets a travel vest apart from regular clothing is really the overall design with multiple pockets to hold a variety of travel items. You should consider which items you really will plan to carry on your person and make sure your travel vest has the requisite pocket space. On the flip side, if you don’t plan to carry a large tablet or water bottle, then you don’t need to sacrifice form-fitting style for a bulkier vest to accommodate these larger items.
  3. Don’t be tricked – into getting a vest with a few extra pockets and pass it off as a travel vest. Travel vests are designed to keep your items secure with zippers, organized with multiple sized pockets, and easy to access with everything right under your vest.

Best Travel Vest for Most Travelers

SCOTTeVEST Review: Women’s RFID Travel Vest

The SCOTTeVEST RFID Womens Travel Vest is a great choice that will fit most travelers. It has 18 different sized pockets to hold a vast variety of gear including several pocket types that are distinct for SCOTTeVEST products like the RFID pocket for protection of credit card information, the clear touch pocket so you can use your smartphone without having to remove it, and the oversized PadPocket which is large enough to hold an iPad or comparably sized tablet or computer. The fabric is treated with Teflon and made for durability and comfort. The fabric is breathable, machine washable, and resistant to wrinkles from stashing in your suitcase over night. SCOTTeVEST products are designed with travelers in mind, and they tend to employ an effective weight management system so the vest or jacket doesn’t get too unwieldy, even when filled with gear. The style is chic and straightforward and the curves will appeal to most users. Users also compliment the quality and durability of materials used to construct this vest, so it will be clearly something you can pack up for many travel adventures.

Perfect for:

City travel, Airplane travel, Adventure Travel, Jogging, Hiking, Running Errands

Why you will love it:

  • High quality construction and materials you can depend on
  • Maintains attractive style even when stashing lots of items
  • The features and number of pockets will suit needs of most travelers

Room for improvement:

  • Be careful about sizing, users claim that it tends to run smaller than expected
  • Vest can become overly bulky if you truly utilize all the compartments
  • Some users complain about the main front zipper being difficult at times

Super Versatile Travel Vest

ExOfficio Review: Women’s FlyQ Lite Vest

The ExOfficio Women’s FlyQ Lite Travel Vest has 11 interior pockets including a chapstick slot, pen slot, and pockets designed for smartphone, camera, water bottle, sunglasses, keys and passport. This amount of cargo space will fit the needs of many light travelers and joggers/hikers. The 100% nylon outer fabric is protected by Teflon shield+, and the microfleece collar will keep you warm and comfortable. This vest is notable for its lightweight and comfortable design, which is has extra length and a bungee cinch to keep things fitting well. This cute travel vest has a pretty sleek design that is suitable for many different outdoor uses.

Perfect for:

Light travel, City travel, Airplane travel, Jogging, Hiking

Why you will love it:

  • Is machine washable and comfortable for many different body styles
  • It has enough pockets to store essential travel items and documents securely
  • Well designed layout of interior pockets for easy and efficient access

Room for improvement:

  • May want to size up if you plan to store bulky items
  • The phone pocket is too small for some larger smart phones
  • There are only two front pockets so most storage is inside

Best Travel Vest for Serious Travelers

SCOTTeVEST Review: Women’s Q.U.E.S.T Travel Vest

The SCOTTeVEST QUEST Travel Vest is the ultimate vest designed for the most avid traveler adventurers and photographers with 42, yes you read that right, 42 different pockets! Like the other SCOTTeVEST, this one has the patented PadPocket to store an iPad-sized tablet, clear touch pocket for visibility of smartphone when stored, and personal area network of cords running subtly through the fabric to keep everything connected and charging. The QUEST travel vest also has a hood stowed away in a zippered compartment and a giant back pocket to quickly stash larger items like photography gear. The fabric has Teflon and is designed for resistance to water, stains and wrinkles, because you never know what will happen out on the road. The sheer number of pockets will be too much for light travelers, but is unique on the market for its capacity and versatility.

Perfect for:

Any travel including photography and long distance or duration

Why you will love it:

  • Despite all the pockets, the design is rather appealing and not too bulky
  • Super high quality, durability and versatility to fit almost anyone’s needs

Room for improvement:

  • The number of pockets may be too much for everyday use
  • The style is less chic and more serious travel adventurer
  • The black outer fabric can attract lint or other little fuzzies
  • (and don’t forget to size up!)

Best Travel Vest on a Budget

Columbia Review: Women’s World Trekker Vest

The Columbia Women’s World Trekker Vest is the no-frills budget option designed for lighter travel, days out running errands, or going on a jog or hike. It only has two inside pockets, but they are decent sized and one is zippered and the other has velcro for a measure of security for travel documents, keys and phone. It does have 4 exterior pockets so you can actually pack a decent amount of gear into this travel vest. The outer fabric is not luxurious, but is well made and will get the job done. The omni-shield fabric is water repellant and the interior has a mesh lining. I wouldn’t give the Trekker vest the highest points for fashion-ability, but it is a good option at a lower price point.

Perfect for: 

light travel, hiking, running errands

Why you will love it:

  • Price – this is the most affordable vest on the list
  • A comfortable option for everyday use with small gadgets

Room for improvement:

  • Outer pockets not ideal for security of phone or valuable items
  • Odd shape to fit for some women with larger chest and/or hips
  • Designed less for long travel and more for hiking or around town

Not a Vest but You'll Love it Anyways!

SCOTTeVEST Review: Chloe Glow Travel Jacket

No, strictly speaking, the SCOTTeVEST Chloe Glow Travel Jacket is not a vest, but it is a super cute travel jacket with hidden pockets that will perform all the same functions as the travel vests reviewed  above. This makes it more desirable for colder weather adventures, and the blend of cotton/polyester/spandex is designed for smooth, stretchy comfort anywhere you take it. I think it is very stylish and versatile and I would happily wear this sweatshirt around town without packing it up with any travel gear. But for the traveler, it is great to know that it has 18 different pockets including the customary SCOTTeVEST PadPocket for a full-size tablet. It has the patented personal area network to keep devices connected inside the fabric of the vest, as well as water bottle loop, key holder, earbud holder, change pocket, passport pocket and more. Users also report highly on the fit, design, quality of fabric and comfort in wearing this travel sweatshirt.

Perfect for: 

Jogging, hiking, air travel, city travel, light travel, running errands

Why you will love it:

  • It has a hood and thumb holes in the sleeve for versatility on the go
  • Even loaded with items, the spandex design still gives a nice fit
  • The perfect clothing for the frequent jogger or hiker

Room for improvement:

  • Definitely runs small, so you need to size up at least one size
  • When filled with large items like iPad, it can fit a little odd and bulky
  • Pretty snug in the chest area, not designed for women with larger bust size

That’s a Wrap!

There are so many female travelers out there that haven’t even heard of a travel vest or they haven’t considered one because they associate them with safari vests or utility vests. But with today’s travel vests designed for women, you don’t really have to sacrifice style for function. Personally, I find it so useful to have a wardrobe item that can potentially replace my purse, or even my diaper bag in a pinch. It gives me comfort to think that my keys, passport, phone and devices will be secure and with me at all times while traveling to a new location. It is primarily for this reason that female solo travelers and family travelers should really think about investing in their first travel vest.

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Have you ever used a travel vest in your travels and what are your thoughts? Do you have any stories of how it might have helped you? Or did you find that using a travel vest or travel jacket was more cumbersome or unnecessary?

Let me know in the comments below!

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5 Best Women's Travel Vests for Safer Travel


I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".


  1. Pingback: Review: Lewis N. Clark WEA RFID-Blocking Mini Cross-Body Bag

  2. Look at the Magellan travel vest. It is unisex, but made of supplex nylon instead of polyester.

  3. I came across the BJacket. It looks stylish and appears to have what I am looking for in a secure travel jacket. Has anyone here used this brand? If so, what did you think of it?

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