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Reviews : Police Product Test

Police Product Test: ScottEVest Brad Thor Alpha Jacket

If you carry lots of gadgets and gear, this outerwear will help you tote it comfortably and stealthily.

October 31, 2014  |  by A.J. George - Also by this author

Photo: ScottEVest
Photo: ScottEVest

ScottEVest has done what might seem impossible to some: taken something as simple as a jacket and made it almost inconceivably yet delightfully complicated. The brainchild of founder Scott Jordan, ScottEVest was founded on the reality that we, as a society, carry a lot more stuff than we used to and the clothing industry has yet to catch on to our need for more pockets. What started as a traveler's vest has evolved into an extensive line of jackets, shirts, hoodies, and accessories all designed to carry a maximum load. The company sent me one of its flagship jackets, the Brad Thor Alpha, and seemingly challenged me to find and fill all of the pockets.

On the outside, the Brad Thor Alpha is a very sleek and stylish medium-weight jacket. The clean lines and superb stitching of the 100% poly shell doesn't scream "tactical" but includes small Velcro panels for a few small patches plus an IR treatment for a reduced heat signature. The weight of the jacket itself was very warm yet much more comfortable and provided a much greater range of motion than a heavy parka.

Now for the fun part. The Alpha features 35 different pockets. Yeah, you read that right, 35. That isn't including the zippered sleeves and side panels for access to belt-mounted gear. Finding all of them is a challenge; figuring out what each one is for really isn't. First, almost all of them are marked with a small icon that gives you a hint of what the pocket was designed to carry. From sunglasses to iPads, everything has a place in the Alpha. To sweeten the deal, each pocket has a distinctly different design with various linings and closures so every item is secure and safe.

I wore mine for a couple of weeks; barely long enough to check out all of the Alpha's features. My first mission was to test the performance of the Alpha as a jacket; that is, whether it would keep me warm and comfortable. Check and check; it did very well on both fronts.

Next, I did my best to load it up with everything I carried along with me on a normal day. A pistol, two magazines, pen, keys, iPhone, wallet, flat badge, and a knife rounded out the list. Even with all of this the Alpha felt great and wore about the same as it did empty. The location coupled with the specific design of each pocket distributed the weight exceptionally well.

Just for grins I decided to get ridiculous and added two AR-15 magazines, an iPad, handcuffs, an ASP, my portable radio, and a second pistol. The jacket was notably heavier but still well balanced and comfortable and held everything securely in its place. Believe it or not I still had several empty pockets.

The Brad Thor Alpha was a home run with me and is one piece of gear I'll have around for a very long time. If you're like me and find yourself with a lot more gear than pockets, you'll likely be just as impressed with this jacket as I am. ScottEVest's Brad Thor Alpha retails for $200, which is just shy of $6 per pocket, and comes with a two-year warranty.

ScottEvest Brad Thor Alpha Jacket Specs:

Stealth Exterior: Quiet softshell in black, IR-signature-reducing matte finish

Covert Styling: Exterior pockets and panels designed to be subtle, removable exterior branding

Rapid Access Panels: RAPs provide access to a mid-layer of pocketing without needing to unzip the jacket

Sleeve Dagger Pockets: Long, narrow, tricot-lined pockets concealed on inner wrist of each sleeve to hold a sleeve dagger or pen

Hidden Tech Features: Interior clear touch cell phone pocket, all pockets include Personal Area Network (PAN) to route wires between pockets

RFID-blocking Pocket: One secure travel documents pocket with a color-coded large locking zipper

Water-repellence: Water resistant

Price: $200

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