Hugh John didn't wait for wearable tech – AyeGear let him wear the devices he already had
Aye Gear J-25 jacketThink of AyeGear as a distant, but more sophisticated cousin of those photographer vests from the 1960s and 1970s. Presenters and camera crews would emerge from the jungle loaded with cameras, lenses, cables, all jammed into canvas jerkins bulging with more pockets than a snooker table.

AyeGear, designed in Scotland, is for computer rather than camera technology, but the intention is the same. Why carry your gear in a rucksack or bag when you can carry it as an item of clothing? It’s safer, more accessible and, if you’re going through airport checkouts, more convenient.

AyeGear, first seen by at David Fanning's Digital Seasons PR event for technology journalists, offers a comprehensive range of multi-pocketed clothing but essentially there are four designs to choose from; the T-shirt (T5); hoodie (H12 and H13); travel vest/jerkin (V23); jacket (22). Prices start at £22 for the T shirt through to £89 for the jacket.

Tailored for high performance and longevity

For the technically minded, the outer shells of the jackets are 100 per cent nylon coated Taslan and the inner fabric is 1005 Polyester Polar Fleece. All the material has double-stitched seams and high-tensile zips which should guarantee high performance and longevity. All garments are machine washable but should not be tumble-dried. Discrete pockets intended for smart phones or MP3 players have a sensitive membrane which allows for operation of the device while in the pocket.

There are a couple of points worth considering and the first is the weight of the loaded jacket. Granted, modern smartphones and tablets are astonishingly light, nonetheless the accumulated weight of digital devices can be excessive. Tablet, phone, battery packs, camera – Load all these into a jacket and, if you’re doing any amount of walking, you’ll feel the weight. AyeGear’s snappy motto is "Take Everything Everywhere" but a careful choice of what to take and what to leave behind seems sensible.

Second, when choosing your size veer on the generous side. You’ll find a size guide on AyeGear’s website that goes from small (41-inch chest size) to XXXL (51-inch chest size) but bearing in mind you’ll be wearing some sort of undergarment and that devices, particularly tablets, occupy a considerable amount of physical space – no matter how well designed these garments are – it makes sense to go for at least a size larger than you’d normally choose.

The review travel vest that I trialled was an XXL but I found that fully loaded it was, erm, a tad tight and I was more comfortable with it unzipped. No problem in warm weather, obviously, but not ideal on a cold or wet day (this was an early item with an initial tendency for zips to snag which has now been rectified by AyeGear). AyeGear is aware of possible "undersizing" by customers and suggest that if there is any doubt they might wish to order two sizes and return the incorrect size. Obviously the returned item should be in tagged and pristine condition.

New J-25 utility jacket expected in June

AyeGear has just announced a new flagship utility jacket, the J-25 (pictured above). Due for launch in June, this jacket has all the features of the highly successful J-22 and then some. Its capacity is huge: there are 25 compartments with space for two tablets, two smartphones, (both of which can be accessed by the touch-screen 'windows') credit cards, memory sticks, passport... everything except the kitchen sink.

The re-design is not just about additional storage; the AyeGear team has incorporated a tranche of new features. The J-25 is the first jacket in the range to have removable sleeves, there’s a concealed hood for extra protection from the elements, the three-layer construction of the jacket should make it even more durable and the waterproof and 'breathability' of the fabric has been improved. All this comes at a price (£139.99, half as much again as the J-22) but if you want mega storage capacity, and what AyeGear describes as “the ultimate in connectivity, accessibility, mobility and security”, this could be what you’re looking for.

AyeGear is well-designed and manufactured clothing for technology enthusiasts who can’t bear the idea of not having their essential equipment close at hand. The range of products can be viewed and purchased from the AyeGear website:
Digital Summer