After a radio interview I recently did, I received multiple emails from listeners who wanted to know more about my tip about having a secret third carry-on. See this email from Craig D. “Johnny: I thought I heard you say that a Scottevest travel vest could hold a laptop computer. Did I hear correctly? I have a MacBook Air M1 laptop and will buy such a vest if the laptop would, indeed, fit inside one of the pockets. Can you advise?” READ: How to Save Hundreds of Dollars When Booking Flights

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The short answer is yes! The long answer is that his laptop is only 12 inches wide, which makes it easy for it to fit as mine fits my 14-inch laptop. I wrote about this tip in a round-up last month, titled 10 Airport Security Hacks Every Traveler Needs to Know. Sometimes the problem with these long round-ups is that people don’t read them all because, well, they’re too long. So I thought I would make this a separate tip since it’s so important – especially when traveling overseas and the airlines weigh your carry-on bags.

My favorite thing about Scottevest is that a jacket or vest acts like a third carry-on, which is key when you have too much stuff or if your airline weighs your carry-on bags and you’re over the limit by a few pounds. Most Scottevest jackets have 20+ pockets so you can put everything, from your phone to your laptop inside. As the folks at Scottevest like to say, it’s not rocket science, it’s pocket science!

Check out here on or here on Amazon.

You can also check out the promotional video below that I made for them to give you an idea of how much you can carry inside:

YouTube video

As you can tell, I’ve been a longtime fan of Scottevest products. They really can help travelers carry more things on their person so they essentially act like a secret third carry-on and can help to save you from paying baggage fees. As you can see from the video, my jacket doesn’t look or feel bulky. I also love the Scottevest jackets because you can secure your money and passport so it acts like a money belt when traveling in dicey areas. Beyond the jackets, they also sell vests (obviously!), pants, shirts, sweaters and even underwear, which also have pockets, don’t take up a lot of space and they are extremely quick-drying (just in case you need to wash them in the sink). They offer an assortment of products for men and women.

I’ve just recently tried out the Covert Cargo Chinos (pictured above) and they are super comfortable and stretchy. They have 10 hidden pockets and I love that the pockets are deep and safe to store your valuables. Too many times, the pockets on my pants and shorts aren’t deep enough and I risk losing money, credit cards or my car keys. These pants solve that problem and I like wearing them not just for travel but their clean, streamlined look makes them great for everyday wear, too.

You can purchase directly on or buy from


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31 Comments On "How to Save Money with a Secret Third Carry-On When You Travel"
  1. J Melnick|

    Scott-E-Vest makes a quality product, I’ve had my vest for a long time and it has held up for many miles, great utility.

  2. Benesse|

    My personal experience with Scott-E-Vest…loved the idea behind it…got it…had to return it. Why? The pockets don’t “give”nor were they gusseted. Once loaded up, which was tough in the first place, I couldn’t comfortably zip it up and I am slim. If I chose to not zip up, everything was so wedged in (phone, passport, etc) that I felt like I was wearing a straight jacket.

    I wish it had worked out for me because I really like the concept. Perhaps they’ll consider some stretchier fabrication on the inside.

  3. Joe|

    After a pickpocket in Rome got my wallet that was in my front jeans pocket (she should have her own Las Vegas show), I did a lot of research on best way to prevent this . I settled on a Scott vest and wear it every time I travel. With so many pockets, I have a consistent routine of what goes where.

  4. joe|

    How do you sit in the flight seat with these many things? Also, how do you use flight restroom?

  5. Sandra|

    I bought one of these several years ago and returned it. When using the pockets (and not even all of them), I looked and felt like a Sherpa. It was too uncomfortable to sit in, much less move around. For “extra” space I take a plastic grocery type bag, put my treats for the flight attendants in it, plus water bottle and other stuff I want to use on the plane. Since the food and water are on top, I haven’t had a problem with taking it onboard, and I give the flight attendants their treat once I’ve boarded.

  6. Debra|

    I agree with a couple of other comments. If you do use it as an additional carryon it really is like wrapping yourself in a stuffed duffel bag. Without emptying it once on board, how do you sit comfortably. You have recommended Scottevest for many years, maybe you could answer this very basic question of how you get comfortable in flight wrapped in your “extra carryon”?

  7. Paul|

    What to do with a Scottvest when you get on the plane? Take it off and either put it up top or under the seat or hang it if the seat in front of you has a hook. Anyone else have suggestions?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I put it in the overhead bin

  8. Bonnie|

    I got creative one day when just before boarding an airline employee went around and checked to see if anyone was carrying on too much….our suitcase bulged too much so she was going to charge us $50 or so…so I went around the corner and began putting on layers of clothing…voila! problem solved. So, wearing three pair of leggings, three blouses, a jacket and a coat…is that doable? whatever works! We laughed about this later but saved $50.00!

  9. Mael99|

    So you’re one of those assholes that takes up everyone else’s space in the overhead bins? I see people like you with an oversized hard shell “carry-on” that needs wheels because it can’t be carried, plus a “personal item” like a backpack or GIANT handbag, a neck pillow, a paper bag full of MacDonalds food and a fountain drink that spills all over.
    This is why we can’t have nice things, jerks that push way beyond the line with their crap because they can’t be bothered to check a bag. Thanks for nothing.

  10. Susan L Webb|

    How do you get thru TSA with all that stuff crammed in your pockets?

  11. Oahu Hawaii|

    He takes it off, and has it scanned like the other pieces of carry-on items. The laptop likely has to be pulled out; the sanitizer, too. TSA generally isn’t concerned with how much carry-on items you bring onto a plane, as that’s a specific task of the carrier. Of course, they have limits where liquids must fit into a quart-sized Ziploc bag, holding containers no larger than 100ml.

  12. Oahu Hawaii|

    I’ve experienced what you’re complaining about. My flight out of DUB was full, and the FAs told everyone to keep to the limit of 1 bag (9″*14″*22″) for overhead bin, and 1 personal item, such as a backpack or handbag, for the space under the seat in front of your seat. Sadly, the FAs didn’t enforce the rules, and allowed the many Irish folks to stuff their oversized bags, personal items, and coats into the overhead bins. As I got to my seat, all the overhead bins filled; the FAs insisted I had to get my standard-sized bag checked into the cargo hold, or I couldn’t take that flight. Well, my bag didn’t get to travel with me, and it arrived several days later at my destination, damaged. I stopped using UAL for the past 7 years because of that issue.

  13. Dr. Adrian March|

    What is TSA?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Transportation Security Administration

  14. Oahu Hawaii|

    @SUSAN L WEBB: He takes off his vest and puts it onto the conveyor belt for scanning. Of course, the laptop computer and liquid hand sanitizer must be pulled out and placed in a separate tub, just like his belt.

    The TSA doesn’t care if he has 3 or more carry-on bags, as the limit is set by the carrier.

  15. Nikkie|

    I agree. Some people have no respect for others. They can’t survive a 2 or 3 hour flight without stuffing their face with carry on food and entertainment items and stuffed bags. Drinks and snacks are offered for free on flights. Why can’t they appreciate the few hours of free time to just wind down and relax silently. Two hours of free time is a blessing to many people. Stop acting like spoiled children and be mindful of other people. Zen out!

  16. Bea Sivitah|

    I’m one of those people you hate who carries a larger bag and a large “personal item”.

    If you’d like to live with the reason I need it instead of me, I’d happily carry smaller items- … I am disabled, and have cancer, and have to carry extras to make sure I am ok during the flight and in case there is a delay. Medication, folding walking stick, blood sugar monitor, CPap (which is NOT going into the hold…) etc, can take up a lot of room. Sorry you all seem to find this an offense.

    And, I travel with an assistance dog, so I have to carry stuff for her, too. Just get over it. It’s a few hours out of your life. You’ll live. How would you feel if it was you who needed others’ understanding?

    Sometimes, people are jerks- but sometimes, they are doing the best they can to get through what is otherwise a difficult and challenging time. If you want to make sure you have plenty of room, book tickets in the higher class seating area. Like I said- sometimes, people are jerks- and it’s not just those who hog the overhead bins who can make flying miserable for others.

    People who stench of smoke, strong cologne/perfume, snore loudly, talk so loud they can be heard on the ground, drink too much, ignore their energetic children… and people who whine endlessly about everyone else hoping probably to get an upgrade, which I personally find the most annoying…those who are perfect are the only ones with a right to complain about others.

    Have a little compassion. Getting stressed and angry about small things gives you wrinkles. Someday, if you live long enough, you will be the disabled person who need a bit of extra compassion. How would your trip be if you encountered someone like you- a good or bad experience? Just think.

  17. mtn laurel|

    Bea, you tell ’em honey. I was thinking, ‘what jerks’ as I was reading some of their posts. You go girl.

  18. Judy Morris|

    Bea–I was not one of those who complained above. However, most of those taking up so much room in the overhead bins are not disabled or have medical needs (or parents of very young children they need extra items for). They just don’t want to take the time to go to pick up checked baggage. I just have a Cpap and smaller items like glucose meter and medications. However, I have had times it was difficult to find a place for my Cpap due to the people who overdo carry-on baggage (medical equipment like yours and my Cpap are not considered carry-on baggage). So I do think people need to understand some people have legitimate need for extra space inside the plane, but I do think its ok to criticize those who have extra space for selfish reasons.

  19. Terry Warden|

    I’m a 5’4” disabled woman in my 60s. I’m a quilter, writer and master gardener. I bought a men’s ScotteVest (at the time the women’s offerings were too limited ) a few years ago because I was having trouble carrying a purse and craft bag (for laptop, quilt magazines &/or writing tools) while using my cane. Now I’m handsfree thanks to my ScotteVest jacket (11 zippered pockets) and using either a fannypak or cross-body slingpak for my wallet and personal things. A plus to the slingpak is a pocket on the back for conceal-carry if so inclined – or something of similar size – that I found using Google while looking for a better fannypak. What’s great is being able to adjust everything so my balance isn’t affected. I just have to watch the combined weight because it can hold more than I can walk with. Great for the young and strong!

  20. Steve Dobbins|

    I’ve had a 9 pocket E-vest for several years now and wouldn’t travel without it. Holds my Samsung tablet and everything else I need. Just remember if you are carrying something like a tablet or laptop to put some weight on the opposite side of the vest to balance. Besides pulling to one side you can end up looking like you have a gland condition!

  21. Jerry Mandel|

    Hunters and fishers vests and coats have many pockets and cheaper than Scottvest.

  22. Olive|

    Thanks! I like to be hands free when I walk outside for exercise or run into the grocery store,( hate to have to watch my purse while I pick fruits and veggies) but I am frugal, this sounds like just the thing.?

  23. Jerry M|

    If only they made big and tall sizes.

  24. Jerry M|

    John, are you going to guest on Leo’s new podcast after he retires from radio?

    1. Johnny Jet|

      Hi Jerry, he said he would have me on once in a while as it’s a much shorter show

  25. Anonymous|

    Thanks John, I hope you become a regular guest again! I just subscibed to your newsletter. Safe and Happy Travels!

  26. GM|

    Scottvest looks great.
    Columbia ROC pants and shorts have a great hidden zipped pocket on the right hand side great for passport and money for travel and visiting cities

  27. Anonymous|

    Sounds uncomfortable. Do what I do. Use a large leather tote bag and call it a purse. You can shove a lot in a purse.

  28. DevonRose|

    I found a great safari/photographer’s vest on eBay – they even have a model with detachable sleeves. It has a lot of miles on it.

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