it has some molded pockets but otherwise its similar to the guide...just a lot more $$, I wouldn't say it was stiff but it does have the molded pockets. I am not sure why it has them...I guess you could say its easier to put boxes back in. The guide vest has rougly the same exact layout for $70 less. I have had a guide vest for over 10 years ...the velcro is worn so I am looking to replace it soon. I may well go back to another guide vest.