Subject: Travel vests
We love the travel vests sold by Campmor for, I think $29.95 (I bought mine about five years ago from Orvis and paid $59.95; the next season Campmor had the absolutely identical vests for $19.99--now gone up $10). We wear them on every trip and so do many of our friends now. In fact, one friend who leads large groups to Europe is asking that all of his participants buy one! They hold everything in zippered and velcro pockets, inside and out, of many sizes. I never take a purse, bag, passport wallet, etc. anymore (though I may take a tiny bag in my suitcase for any really dress-up times); my hands are always free, which I love. For hiking, etc., I can easily wear a daypack over it. In winter I can wear a sweater, blazer, or jacket over it. It might be too hot in real warm weather climates, but that is rarely a problem for us in what we tend to prefer places like N. England, Scandinavia, Iceland, and the high U.S. elevations; but, yes, we did wear them in Costa Rica in late Nov. and were very comfortable. My little camera and all film fits in the vest pockets, as does either my smallest umbrella or fold-up-tiny raincoat. Another big plus for us is that we cann't inadvertantly leave a bag in a restaurant. The vests seem quite safe; we are , after all, wearing them, with the valuables inner zipper pockets. At times, we probably do look a bit like the Michelen man, but that's ok; we are very comfortable with the weight distributed all over and feel relatively secure. I can't believe how many people we have met while travelling who have asked where they can get the vest and who have written us that they, too, are converts to hands-free-but-have-all-of-your- necessities-with-you travelling! Cheers, Pat in Baltimore