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Evaporative Cooling Vests


marcopolo

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In mid-July, my wife and I will be undertaking a five-week ride from Ontario out to the west coast (Oregon), down the coast to LA, up to Vegas, Arizona (Sedona), Utah, Colorado, then back east to home.

 

We go ATGATT, and we know it will be HOT. I've already purchased a water bladder (like a Camelbak), but I have a couple of questions about evaporative cooling vests:

 

- are these indispensable in our circumstances, and therefore, like Amex, should we not leave home wthout them?

 

- anyone tried vests from Silver Eagle Outfitters?

 

http://www.silvereagleoutfitters.com/shop/vest/MCV_B.htm

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http://www.thermotux.com/index.html

 

Check out the Thermotux cooling vest. I wore one under body armor for six months and it worked well. It can be soaked just about anywhere or frozen.

 

Just getting used to riding hot is tough but works. Remember to stay hydrated. The heat and the wind will dessicate you quickly. I went through as much as two gallons of water a day.

 

Have fun,

 

Trajan

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I've used evaporative vests for awhile (Joe Rocket with the Joe Rocket Mesh outer jacket)...for me, they work great when there is relatively low humidity, like the desert here in Idaho, but I felt the effectiveness dropped off in the mid-west and south where the humidity is higher as it seems to inhibit the evaporative effect. Just my opinion.

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- are these indispensable in our circumstances, and therefore, like Amex, should we not leave home wthout them?

 

If your going to be here in the southwest then a BIG YES!

I wear mine as just a vest under my jacket on cool mornings then soak it down as the day gets hotter. This works well in the desert where you get both extremes.

 

As for brand it dosen't really matter if it works. I personally wont pay anything over 30 bucks for one but it's your money.

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Couchrocket

Where you are going you'll find the cooling vests invaluable. Lots of very dry heat. They work GREAT. I won't leave home w/o mine. It can make the difference between heat fatigue that really affects safety and enjoyment, and being very cool and nice and keeping your core temp down.

 

One of the secrets of good cooling is to "re-soak" it every couple of hours, max. About right for the average "butt break" anyway. Carry it in a 1 gal heavy duty zip lock bag. When dry you can roll the air out of the bag and minimize the space it takes. Then the bag makes a convenient "soak it" bag, and also allows you to stow it away later in the day w/o getting your other gear soggy in the saddle bags.

 

Obviously a mesh, or WELL vented jacket is necessary to get the benefit.

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http://www.ridecool.com/

 

The vest works great and the owner is a fellow motorcycle rider.

Are you referring to the evaporative vest or the phase change?

 

And for anyone with a phase change vest... (minor hijack) do you find it effective? And I don't have access to icewater at work but I do have a standard refrigerator/freezer... will this work for recharging the cells?

 

An evaporative vest won't work for me... too humid here, and in a humid environment wearing one of those is worse than nothing.

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- are these indispensable in our circumstances, and therefore, like Amex, should we not leave home wthout them?

 

As others have said - yes in the drier climates. Also worth a try - if not a bit unorthodox - is to just jump into a nearby cold stream, gear and all (remove the helmet. If you have mesh, that is. It dries real fast, and the evap vest gets the cold water it needs once it has dried out a bit. Lots of cold streams in the West - use 'em. cool.gif

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Obviously a mesh, or WELL vented jacket is necessary to get the benefit.

 

They actually work better and last longer if the vents are somewhat limited. The vests will dry out fast when exposed to a lot of air movement - if the air flow is moderate the vest will maintain its cooling and last longer.

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markgoodrich
http://www.ridecool.com/

 

The vest works great and the owner is a fellow motorcycle rider.

Are you referring to the evaporative vest or the phase change?

 

And for anyone with a phase change vest... (minor hijack) do you find it effective? And I don't have access to icewater at work but I do have a standard refrigerator/freezer... will this work for recharging the cells?

 

An evaporative vest won't work for me... too humid here, and in a humid environment wearing one of those is worse than nothing.

 

+1 on the evap not working in humid climates...I have one in the closet; also have the Ridecool phase change vests, and yes, they do work. I carry a soft 6-pack cooler and tump the inserts into slushy water for fifteen or twenty minutes. I can usually talk a C-store clerk into letting me have some ice from the fountain drink machine. If you're wearing mesh suit, put the liner in if you use the vest; the wind through the mesh drastically shortens the time the inserts stay cold.

 

If you get stuck somewhere without any cash for a few days, you're good to go as a WalMart greeter with the vest.

 

When it's 104 and you're at the track in full leathers, the vest is the most wonderful thing in the world...I used to wear it between sessions....too fat to wear it under the leathers, or i woulda.

 

Standing offer for Austin area guys: borry either type vest from me to see if you want to order one.

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Obviously a mesh, or WELL vented jacket is necessary to get the benefit.

 

They actually work better and last longer if the vents are somewhat limited. The vests will dry out fast when exposed to a lot of air movement - if the air flow is moderate the vest will maintain its cooling and last longer.

 

How fast is fast? I just bought a Venting machine jacket and pants. I was hoping to comfortably wear a evaporative cooling vest undersneath. It would be a shame if I had to stop every 15 minutes to charge the vest.

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How fast is fast? I just bought a Venting machine jacket and pants. I was hoping to comfortably wear a evaporative cooling vest undersneath. It would be a shame if I had to stop every 15 minutes to charge the vest.

 

Don't PANIC! wink.gif

Full mesh gear in 85 to 110 temps doing 60 to 100 mph will yield anywhere between 2 and 4 hours of cooling.

 

The vest can be soaked to different levels of saturation to adjust the factors accordingly.

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We used the Silver Eagle vests on a 14 day trip in 04 from Washington to Colorado, and it was 100+ everyday. Were we cool? dopeslap.gif NO way, but the vests really helped.

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How fast is fast? I just bought a Venting machine jacket and pants. I was hoping to comfortably wear a evaporative cooling vest undersneath. It would be a shame if I had to stop every 15 minutes to charge the vest.

 

That's better. I've had the VM in temps up to 95 degrees without a vest and it worked great. I'd be using the vest for temps above 100.

 

Don't PANIC! wink.gif

Full mesh gear in 85 to 110 temps doing 60 to 100 mph will yeild anywhere between 2 and 4 hours of cooling.

 

The vest can be soaked to different levels of saturation to adjust the factors accordingly.

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Bill_Walker

Obviously a mesh, or WELL vented jacket is necessary to get the benefit.

 

They actually work better and last longer if the vents are somewhat limited. The vests will dry out fast when exposed to a lot of air movement - if the air flow is moderate the vest will maintain its cooling and last longer.

 

+1. I've worn mine under mesh while traveling through the desert, and I've worn it under a jacket with a few vents. In over 100 degrees, I was more comfortable without the mesh. With mesh, the vest was absolutely dry in less than an hour. This was on an RT, behind the windshield. And the flow of hotter-than-body-temperature air just makes you hotter instead of cooling you off.

 

With vents, you get enough airflow for the evaporative effect to work, but your jacket stills holds the cold in.

 

I also use an evaporative skullcap and an Aerostich evap-o-danna (I don't deal that well with heat). With all three, I've ridding in 117 degrees and been only mildly uncomfortable (it's hard to avoid that "I'm breathing from the nozzle of a hair dryer" feeling).

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- are these indispensable in our circumstances, and therefore, like Amex, should we not leave home wthout them?

 

As others have said - yes in the drier climates. Also worth a try - if not a bit unorthodox - is to just jump into a nearby cold stream, gear and all (remove the helmet. If you have mesh, that is. It dries real fast, and the evap vest gets the cold water it needs once it has dried out a bit. Lots of cold streams in the West - use 'em. cool.gif

 

Did that one time in BC and it turned out to be glacial melt water. I was back out of the stream so fast it was like one of those cartoons where the action reverses. dopeslap.gifclap.gifdopeslap.gif

 

Ditto what the others have said. You WILL need them!

 

The Ride Cool looks like a nice product. I've used a Mira Cool vest for years. Inexpensive and works great but doesn't have the neck coverage. For neck coverage I have a Middle Eastern keffiyah that I use as a scarf. Soaked in cold water it provides great cooling. A scarf made of several layers of cotton, or terrycloth or any absorbent fabric would serve equally well.

(And you can use it for head gear, a towel, slinging a busted arm, wrapping fish, a surplice when giving Extreme Unction, etc. etc. thumbsup.gif

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One more vote for the Silver Eagle. Yes, it is expensive, but it keeps you dry beneath the vest. Anyway, you'll forget about the added cost the first time you use it. The staying dry part is crucial for me here in central CA as one of my favorite rides will often start with the temps in the 50s, be in the upper 90s and lower 100s during the middle of the ride, and in the 60s when I get back near the coast. At that point I do not want anymore evaporative cooling!

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moshe_levy

I tried a few brands back to back and found the Silver Eagle ($100) performed no better than the generic $35 camping store brands, FWIW. Just used vests on our 30 day, 9,000 mile cross country tour and they were very useful. A definite must for hot arid climates!

 

Everyone else covered all the other info you need to know - remember, if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Drink ALOT when you travel in the heat!!

 

-MKL

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Don't do anything stupid like wearing black or dark colors: Better to wear WHITE, which is the most reflective color in the visible spectrum and in ultraviolet and infared, which radiate from the sun, even though not visible.

 

With white, you would not get to hot in the first place, meaning that your cooling gear would be less taxed to keep you cool, and would last longer between soakings.

 

Hoon Cooler in addition to other stuff already mentioned would be a good idea.

 

Light-colored sheepskin seat cover is also worthwhile.

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