Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pockets, lots of ’em, essential for bicyclists’ clothing

Woman and man standing next to each other, wearing vests over their clothing. The woman has a green vest on over a brown shirt and is wearing a green and brown 'newsboy' styled hat. The man has a black vest on over a green shirt
If essential bicyclists’ clothing could be summed up with one word, that one word would be, “pockets.” And lots of ’em.

Tossing assorted belongings into the trunk of a car is not an option for us, so we have to think about storing and transporting what we need for the day.

Here are Jonathan and me wearing “RFID Travel Vests for Men,” manufactured by SCOTTeVEST. We purchased our vests from Travel Essentials, a travel store in downtown Ashland.

We returned the next day to ask that someone take a photo of us wearing our vests.

With 26 pockets, the vests let us distribute the weight of day-to-day essentials. When this photo was taken, I was carrying keys, a pair of eyeglasses in case, ID, writing notepad, pen and phone. Had I wanted to, I could have tucked a mass-market or trade paperback into one of the vest’s many pockets. Similarly, a wearer could easily find space for an eReader tablet.

We could have purchased my travel vest in a women’s cut, either online or at Travel Essentials, but I opted for a men’s Size Small. My favorite color is green, but SCOTTeVEST doesn’t offer the women’s travel vest in green. An online product description also reveals, it has fewer pockets: 18 to the men’s 26.

I saw no reason to accept a product in a color I didn’t want, with considerably less functionality, just to be in “gender compliance.” But I also feel that I need to acknowledge an unearned privilege I enjoy in society. It is far more socially accepted for a woman to use products created for men, than it would be for a man to use products for women.

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