Ask people to list their own personal bêtes noires of 21st century living and airport waiting times are bound to come up. Between the queue at security and the uncomfortably metaphorical never-endingness of the baggage carousel, we seem to spend an increasing proportion of our "travel" time doing quite the opposite. The new sleeveless Stuffa Jacket, from UK-based designer Sandro Cafasso, aims to lessen the hassle of getting from A to B, reducing the need for luggage by incorporating storage compartments into the jacket itself. Gizmag spent some hands-on time with a pre-launch prototype to put the Stuffa through its paces.
The first thing to say about the Stuffa Jacket is that a surprising amount of clothing fits into the vest's 12 compartments. On first stuffing, we managed a pair of jeans, a light hoodie, a pair of long shorts, four t-shirts, six pairs of socks, four pairs of gentleman's undergarments, and a winter scarf. Though not a large suitcase-haul by any means, the Stuffa fits more than enough clothing for a long weekend away.
The dozen compartments are all secreted in the jacket's interior, made from an elasticated netting that forms an extra inside lining. Four large compartments sit within the coat's back panels, and eight small ones on the front. Though they aren't buttoned or zipped, they're nevertheless secure enough to hold clothing without fear of it leaping out at unsuspecting air hostesses. There's also the usual two outside pockets to put your hands into when leaning against lamp posts.
It's a surprisingly versatile garment. At a comparable price to other stuffer jackets, those simply in the market for a winter coat, or something to go hiking in, might see it as a jacket with some bonus pockets for hats, gloves and scarves. Outdoor advantures should be aware that like most puffer jackets, the Nylon Stuffa is water-resistant rather than fully waterpoof.
For seasoned backpackers this is potentially an alternative to a travel bag. Packed to the gills, it is inevitably a warmer, weightier and visually bulkier jacket, but that weight can be evenly distributed - unlike a shoulder bag, or even a rucksack. And when stopping off points are reached, be they hotels or hostels, the Stuffa can be unpacked and worn out and about. Empty, the Stuffa is outwardly indistinguishable from ordinary puffer jackets.
When flying, it's conceivable the Stuffa, being primarily a jacket, will effectively let travelers take an extra item aboard flights with hand-luggage limitations, potentially preventing the need to check in luggage.
Flying or no, you don't have to fill every compartment for the Stuffa to make itself useful. In fact it may be the long walk and the short trip to which the jacket is best suited, most especially during colder times of year.
The Stuffa jacket is due for launch this November, with a retail target price of £95 ($148). It will be available in women's and men's sizes small, medium, large and extra large; with a choice of red or black.
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