If you're anything like me, you have your own system for packing up your drone and its related supplies. My system usually involves a case and backpack. Whatever doesn't fit in one goes in the other.
It can make for a lot of kit to haul around, especially if you're hiking into an area that's a bit out of the way. I've used jackets and cargo shorts in an effort to minimize or better distribute weight, to varying degrees of success. Needless to say, I've never found a satisfactory solution.
Then SCOTTeVEST came along with the Q.U.E.S.T. As a rule, I've never been a fan of sportsman vests. They tend to be bulky and don't feel quite right.
And, if I were to choose between a vest and a light jacket, the light jacket just seems to be the more reasonable, more useful choice. The Q.U.E.S.T. changed that.
First off, the Q.U.E.S.T. vest is surprisingly lightweight and doesn't have the bulky, not-quite-right feel that other utility vests can nave, ireaieu with Teflon, the cotton/nylon blend breathes well and hangs nicely. I've worn the Q.U.E.S.T. in conditions ranging from a humid 90 degrees F to a brisk, drizzly 40.
In the heat, the Q.U.E.S.T. provides plenty of ventilation, and in cooler conditions, I was able to comfortably wear heavier shirts and still have that nice, light feel on my arms that a full-fledged jacket just can't provide.
And in case that drizzle turns into a heavier rain, there's a hood folded neatly into the back of the vest's collar — simply unzip and unfurl.
But the hood is just the beginning. The Q.U.E.S.T. vest houses a whopping 42 pockets to help you carry whatever you might need for your drone adventures.
I'll let that sink in. 42. Got it? 42!
Luckily, SCOTTeVEST provides a set of quick-start instructions for the Q.U.E.S.T. Trust me, you'll appreciate that this vest comes with a guide. Up front, you have your typical hand-warmer/cargo pockets, just like any jacket or outdoor vest would. In the right-hand pocket are also an elastic water-bottle holder and a removable carabiner — I find it useful to attach my car keys to the carabiner.
A nice touch for these pockets is that they both have loose change pockets inside. When you don't have your hands in them, they also zip shut. Layered on top of the cargo pockets are pleated pockets with drop-down access and magnetic flaps to secure whatever may be inside.
Zippers just below the shoulders reveal large right and left quick-access pockets. A number of smaller pockets within can comfortably hold sundries, including moderately sized batteries, cords, or even spare parts, should you need them.
Across the lower part of the vest's back panel is a massive exterior pocket that I think is incredibly cool. It has one large compartment and two smaller, plus a host of loops.
I don't know what SCOTTeVEST intended them for, but they could easily secure a set of hex and nut drivers, along with various other tools. I use it to hold a bag or two of trail mix, just in case I need a little pick-me-up when flying.
While I think the option to store tools makes sense, for me, it would definitely be a drag to sit down with a bunch of pointy bits digging to my back.
The inner pockets are where it's at. SCOTTeVEST provides places for your tablet, wallet, ID, smartphone, MP3 player, headphones, glasses, pens, and even a digital camera.
A touch-sensitive window on the phone pocket's face allows you to operate your phone without taking it out, which is useful if you use hands-free operations like Bluetooth. The camera pocket includes smaller pockets to house micro-SD cards and a spare battery. The pocket for glasses comes with its own handy chamois.
Now, am I suggesting that you try to cram every pocket in the Q.U.E.S.T. full of every bit of tech you possess? Absolutely not. Although it would likely be a fun challenge, it would make the vest nigh unwearable.
If you travel light when you head out to fly your drone, then the Q.U.E.S.T. might be all you need besides your copter and controller. On the other hand, if you tend to pack for every eventuality, this vest presents you with plenty of storage options.
Learning your way around the Q.U.E.S.T. can be daunting. At the beginning, I was so taken with the idea of the pockets that I migrated everything over to it. I was so diligent: My wallet goes here. My phone goes there.
I'll put my USB charger in this pocket. And on and on. But for the next few days, every time I went to use my wallet, I ended up searching through pocket after pocket until I found the right one.
Or when I went to extract my phone, the process wasn't as fluid as I'd hoped it would be. I also discovered that while the pockets are designed to lie mostly flat, you can end up with uncomfortable or awkward overlaps, and had to rearrange my setup a number of times.
Don't think these are problems with the garment. Rather, just like with a backpack or other case, you have to figure out what is comfortable for you and where you like to carry certain items.
It may sound weird, but using the Q.U.E.S.T. properly comes down to time and experience. But once you get it down, it'll become second nature to pick it up. The Q.U.E.S.T. has become my go-to wearable, for both flying and just heading out.