I have to say that in four days in New York City, I was incredibly impressed with the versatility and durability of my 5.11 Tactical Vest. On previous trips I've worn a pretty good tactical vest I got from a supplier in Pakistan, shown here in the Museum of Science in Boston:
When I bought some pairs of 5.11 pants, however, I also bought a 5.11 tactical vest. When I travel I like to keep my hands free and have as many pockets as possible for carrying maps, souvenirs, gear, and what have you, so it seemed like a natural thing to bring to New York City.
With the vest on, I had limitless pockets; my wife was amazed at the number of things I was able to squirrel away to remain hands-free for the duration. I carried maps and pamphlets in the inside left pocket, various tour books in other pockets, an umbrella and folding boonie hat in the rear pouches, the playbill for the Broadway show we watched in the inner gun pocket, flashlights and eyedrops and batteries and keys and other odds and ends in the various outer pouches... and still I had more pockets left over. I bought a padded camera case for my digital camera, which rode under my vest in front of my strong-side hip where I could protect it. My wallet I kept in the front zipper pocket of the vest, with the zipper drawn.
The vest looks pretty casual and, with my matching pants, seemed fairly nondescript, at least to me. Nobody gave me that, "I think you're packing heat" stare that you sometimes get when you're wearing a photog vest or some other sort of firearm concealing garment. (I was in NYC anyway, so I couldn't have carried a gun legally as it was.)
I passed through many security checkpoints with metal detectors (such as at the United Nations, outside of which this "stop the violence" sculpture sits)...
...But I had no difficulties with the various zippers and D-rings on the vest. I didn't even notice the small umbrella I kept in the rear pocket on the less sunny days.
If you're looking for a good all-purpose travel and survival vest, I can highly recommend this one.