You got your cell-phone. You got your beeper. You got your organizer, your calculator, your passport, your plane tickets. You got your pens. Foreign currency. Change for newspapers. Hotel and cab receipts.
Now you got a problem: Where do you put all that stuff?
George Stalk's got the answer: you got your fly fishing vest that you wear on the plane.
Stalk, 45, a senior vice president of The Boston Consulting Group, has been experimenting with the fishing-vest-as-business-accessory on and off since 1985, when he spent two years reconfiguring a Hillenbrand hospital bed factory in Mississauga, Canada.
"I kept running back and forth between the factory and the office to get a tape measure, samples of flooring, a calculator," he recalls. Finally Stalk stopped into an army-navy store and bought a $45 nylon fishing vest — mostly for the pockets. One year later he invested in a Banana Republic model that is sold as a photographer's vest: "It had more pockets and was warmer in the winter."
Stalk, who logs as many as 750,000 miles per year in his consulting work, next began using the fishing vest on his long-distance trips to Japan. "Everything I needed was in there. I didn't even have to think."
Wearing a fishing vest to travel in, Stalk notes, is convenient — but not without its problems. "If you have to wear a suit," he says, "it clashes. And you look like a nerd."
Coordinates: The J. Peterman Company's Hunting Vest: $87 (800-231-7341); The Orvis Travel Vest: $85 (800-424-6255); The L.L. Bean Cargo Vest: $56 (800-347-4552); Patagonia's Vertical Pocket Fishing Vest: $115 (800-638-6464); Eddie Bauer's Canvas Down Vest: $78 (800-426-8020); Banana Republic's Photojournalist Vest: $88 (call your local Banana Republic store); Lands' End Canvas Trail Vest: $59.50 (800-356-4444); The Norm Thompson Round-trip Vest: $68 (800-821-1287).
A version of this article appeared in the April/May 1996 issue of Fast Company magazine.