Have a quick question as to which cooling vest is the best and if they are even worth the money versus wetting down a t-shirt every hour or so under a mesh jacket. It was a wee tadly bit warm at the national last year and don't want to go thru that again this year.
I have a one made by Motoboss, bought at the BMW dealership (don't remember which one though) several years ago. Still works and in good shape after 4 years. The wet T-shirt will work, but will dry out much faster than a cool vest. Without going into detail, the cooling vest will hold more water, hold it for longer and provide better cooling.
[I](My vest has been "field tested" in the NV, CA & AZ deserts in the summer, so that means consistent 100+ temps. Worn in combo with mesh riding gear has worked well for me)[/I]
I've had a cool vest for probably 10 years and it worked just fine. However, I have since started using the LDComfort (ldcomfort.com) long sleeve turttleneck shirt and leg tights with the First Gear Kathmandu jacket and TPG pants. Starting off in the early morning it will keep you warm. Then as it gets warmer I open the vents and/or take out the liners of the jacket and pants. If it gets really hot I get the turttleneck and tights wet, then open the vents just a little bit to let it give that air conditioning effect. I stay away from the mesh gear because it drys out too fast. This way I keep my riding gear down to a minimum and don't have to change when the weather does. Under Armour also works well.
Keep in mind that the cooling vest works best west of the Mississippi. In areas with high Humidity they don't work as well. My wife bought hers from Silver Eagle and was told that when she bought it.
[QUOTE=kgadley01;788148]Keep in mind that the cooling vest works best west of the Mississippi. In areas with high Humidity they don't work as well. My wife bought hers from Silver Eagle and was told that when she bought it.[/QUOTE]
And from a technical perspective cooling happens as a result of the energy required to evaporate the water. You need lower humidity for capacity in the air for the the water vapor to go. If you have high humidity the air can't hold any more water vapor and so you don't get evaporation or the cooling effect. Just saying....
Living on the east coast of Va, used to very high humidity. At 0647 this morning, temp is 71F, humidity is 85%. Bought a "phase change cooling vest" (Google search term) last summer. It is a bit bulky since it uses renewable 'ice packs', but is very effective at keeping core temps down. I wear it under a textile/mesh jacket.
If you can afford it, get a Veskimo. Infinitely superior to any cooling vest and not impacted by humidity. One of the best things I've ever done for riding in really hot humid weather....
See the review in MCN a couple years back or talk to any current user. The comfort is an outstanding improvement. You will find yourself wondering why anyone tolerates hot summer riding without one.
My only suggestion for improving the Veskimo design is a larger cooler than the 9 qt now available (13-14 qts would be ideal)- it won't hold a full 10 lb gas station bag of ice- only about 6 lbs- so needs 2 fills a day in hottest weather. But at $1-2 for gas station ice, its not a big deal. Morning fill is generally a freebie from a motel ice machine and if you're starting from home you can use blocks made in your home freezer which last a bit longer. For convenience I believe a dash-mounted switch is useful and you can buy their optional timer switch or use your own regular switch. However, for my first season of use I simply used their std in- lne switch, reaching down beside my butt to operate it as needed.
The quick disconnect hookup from the cooler to the riders vest looks a little clunky and fiddly on first impression but is no issue in actual use- works quite well and doesn't interfere with anything.
The Veskimo is simply an adaptation of a old idea- the cool suits used by auto racing drivers that circulate ice water through tubing around your body core - but specifically adapted for motorcycle use. The idea is well proven and has been around for a lot of years though fairly new to bikes. Given its inherent simplicity and how well it works I'm surrpised it took so long to pop up in the bike world..
brain storm (fart?)
Following the thread an idea occurs regarding the evaporating vest idea.
The evaporative cooling bandanas with the polyacrylamide gel (PAG)in them work because the PAG holds 1000x its mass in water, then evaporates over time. What if one were to take two wicking shirts together with pockets of the PAG in them and wear that under a mesh jacket. Whole body cooling in hot conditions.
Yes, from a thermodynamics standpoint, if there is no place for the water to evaporate to, then you can't utilize the -H Gibbs Free Energy so it's no use in humid conditions or under a waterproof jacket. Perhaps a return to the WWI concept of having a water cooled jacket like on a Maxim?
Like I said storm or fart...:scratch
The main reason a Vekimo beats everything else is the "heat of fusion" that it takes to change ice to water. It is simply impossible to carry enough water in a jacket like that Maxim has to keep a rider cool for even an hour. And using evap cooling, too little water can be stored in a vest to last very long and of course it only works where humidity is low enough- but coming by water to rewet it is pretty simple..
Obviously a Veskimo wouldn't be the best choice for travel in areas without convenience stores or other handy places for ice though one would still have a reservoir to fill with water - 9 qts or about 18 lbs- far more than one wouldwant in jacket....
Those WW1 soldiers often resorted to pissing in water cooled guns to help out but a small squad isn't biologically capable of generating enough piss to service a gun in constant use- you needed a water source or you burnt it out quickly, had jams, etc
I met a guy last summer wearing a vest called "stay cool". I tried it on and was impressed. Supposedly, it stays cool for up to 3 hrs. AZ heat is something else. He said it just needs to be charged in cold water or a freezer for a short period of time and it's good to go.
The most effective cooling vest I've owned - for dry heat - cost $2 at a thrift store. It was a pullover long sleeve heavy cotton sweat shirt with a zipper that pulled the high collar around your neck. I amputated the arms with pinking shears and the lower part around belly button level.
Last time I used it the temp was in the mid 90's. With a full mesh jacket, it kept me cool for about three hours. Just soak it in a gas station washroom sink, slightly wring it out, shiver when you put it on, then enjoy the evaporative cooling for several hours. Cooling the neck is a big help.
These suckers are no longer common, but if you are thrift store fan, keep your eyes open for one.
I have the cooline vest [url]http://www.coolineusa.com/products/products.asp[/url]
This works great for the heat here in Phoenix. Most cooling vest are made the same size and shape as vests that keep you warm. This is made specifically for the cardiovascular area only, which is what you need to keep cool.
Here in the east, evaporative cooling doesn't work so well since we usually get high humidity with high temps. Of course you Phoenix residents get those delightful 112 degree days while we New Englanders top out at at a humid 95 most summers. Or 99 like right now. In high humidity the phase-change vests are the way to go. But expensive and bulky. I'm saving my bottle return money to get one.