Crap I love: the Napoleon pocket


Love for the Napoleon jacket, originally uploaded by mathowie.

In the past few months, I’ve become the proud owner of two jackets with a new-to-me feature called the Napoleon pocket. Obviously, it’s named after the dude and his famous pose of having one hand halfway obscured into his clothing and it’s becoming more common on hiking and cycling jackets.

In traveling around I’ve quickly come to love my Napoleon pocket jackets to death mostly because it’s the perfect place to stash an iPhone/iPod for the following reasons:

  • If you stash one in the pocket and then wrap half of your headphone cord around your device, there’s a perfect amount of headphone cord sticking out, but not so much that it gets stuck in everything. You can put on and take off messenger bags, you can fall asleep in an airplane seat, and you can stand in a super crowded subway car without ever getting tangled up in a huge cord.
  • Stashing in a normal pant pocket risks scratches from change and keys, but up high it’s usually alone
  • The small chest pocket is a perfect size for an iPhone/iPod
  • With the iPhone button on the cord, you can just stash the phone into your pocket and forget about it, pausing and advancing music with the cord control

I’ve also found the pocket handy when getting to an airport or grabbing a rental car because it’s a great temporary pocket you won’t forget about and that you can quickly find again without having to dig through other stuff. I don’t know what I’m going to do this summer when it’s too warm to wear a jacket as I’m getting daily use out of this feature.

12 Comments

  • I’m with you. It’s also a little more secure. I broke a digital camera last year by carrying something heavy in and resting it on my leg as I opened the door. You’re less likely to break stuff up high.

  • I didn’t even know it had a name. There’s a Napoleon pocket on my Lippi Jacket (it’s a Chilean company) and I find it great for slipping in an ATM card/some money for a quick trip to the shop, rather than carry a wallet. And also for an ipod shuffle.

  • LL Bean fleeces have this now too… very nice.

  • I dunno if your jacket has this, but some of the cool new shells from REI have not only a napoleon pocket, but a special headphone conduit that pokes through to the inner lining of the jacket itself so you can run the wires up underneath the jacket / hood. It’s perfect for wet weather.

  • Intriguing. Any particular garments you’d recommend with this feature?

  • They are very useful when wearing items like snow-pants or heavy layers when you don’t have your regular pocket situation.
    Oh yeah, I forgot about snowboarding. They’re awesome for stashing a few bucks and being able to buy lunch easily without having to dig around in zippered pants pockets.
    Any particular garments you’d recommend with this feature?
    In the photo above, I’m wearing a REI One jacket I got for xmas. It’s a great simple jacket but kind of expensive. A lot of hiking/outdoorsy jackets are starting to feature this so I’d say visit a REI store.

  • I like the inside vest pocket for the same reason…great for iPods and weird extra stuff you need to haul around.
    I don’t know what I’m going to do this summer when it’s too warm to wear a jacket as I’m getting daily use out of this feature.
    Someone want to whip Matt up a t-shirt with a Napoleon pocket?

  • Maybe get a windshirt from Montane, Marmot, Patagonia, OR, GoLite, etc. They’re thinner and lighter than the softshell you’ve got in the photo (usually 3-5oz). A lot of them have full zips and Napoleon pockets. May not take you into deep summer, but certainly further in to spring and fall.

  • I am a complete Napoleon pocket fanboy too. I rather wish garments were made to have two or even four of them.
    They are very useful when wearing items like snow-pants or heavy layers when you don’t have your regular pocket situation.
    Nice work giving this “little” pocket the respect it deserves

  • This pocket. Headphone channels. About 2 dozen other pockets (from 2 tiny earbud stashes to the entire back of the coat with a Camelbak reservoir and hose channel) and more features than I have figured out yet. Check out the Scott eVest.

  • omg, I’m so wanting one of these now too and it’s all your fault :P
    Too bad I live in the tropics, where jackets are as useful as a Zamboni on our roads. Someone definitely come out with the Nap pocket t-shirt.
    The iPhone is partly one of the reasons I’ve switched to shirts with breast pockets. But still, a typical breast pocket doesn’t have enough room for the iPhone without the risk of slipping over. This sounds like the best compromise.

  • Gary you worry me. You think far too much about these things. That said, I use my napoleon pocket all the time, but find it’s really only big enough for a nano-pod. Anything heavier ruins the line (unless your jacket is usually zipped up).

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