At a Glance
Men’s jacket with iPod integration.
(The following review is an excerpt from a Playlist article on iPod apparel; you can read the full article at the link below.)
The $180 men’s Velocity Jacket is a lightweight, water- and wind-resistant jacket that integrates the same LiveWire connection cables and soft-button control pad found in the company’s Audio and Alt Packs (reviewed elsewhere on Playlist). A zippered pocket on the left chest holds your iPod, and the LiveWire dock-connector and headphone-jack plugs connect it to the jacket. The LiveWire control panel — which provides Play/Pause, Forward, Back, Volume Up and Volume Down buttons — is located on the outside of the jacket on the left chest, next to the jacket’s front zipper, and the jacket’s headphone jack is positioned on the inside of the jacket just behind and above the control pad. You connect your headphones to the jack and then run the cable through a loop near the jacket’s neckline so the cable isn’t dangling down the front. (One odd thing about the headphone jack is that it’s pointed down instead of up.) The control pad works consistently and is easy to use; thanks to its small button size, it doesn’t stand out too much from the design of the rest of the jacket. On the other hand, because of its location on the chest, the jacket’s iPod pocket can feel (and look) bulky with a full-size iPod inside. The “lump” isn’t nearly as bad with an iPod nano, but I think I would have preferred the pouch to be slightly lower — perhaps at bottom-of-the-rib-cage level.
The jacket itself is well-made and comfortable. A mesh interior lining aids ventilation; soft fabric on the inside collar prevents chafing; a Velcro-closed zipper flap keeps out wind; and an adjustable waist and adjustable wristbands keep out drafts. You get three non-zippered internal pockets and two zippered hand pockets, as well as a removable, two-layer hood with elastic drawstrings. Overall, the Velocity is a nice jacket for cool weather and light hiking/walking. The big caveat here is that since this isn’t a jacket for very cold conditions or an “active” jacket — for example, for serious exercise use — there isn’t as much need for keeping your iPod tucked away; some people will be just as happy keeping their iPod handy and controlling it directly.–Dan Frakes