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Evaporative cooling vest


gfountain

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I plan on buying a TechNiche evaporative cooling vest for use in hot, dry climates. I have already made the decision on TechNiche and evaporative cooling versus phase change but need help making two choices and would appreciate comments. First, on a basic vest versus vest with zip-on zip-off sleeves. I just noticed the removable sleeve option on their website. Seems to me the more body area you cool the better. Second, they offer a choice of a typical open v-neck or a high collar. TechNiche states the "high collar w/hook & loop neck closure for additional cooling relief and sun protection, handy front pockets, and zipper closure; designed especially for bikers". This is the first I have seen of the high collar design. Any experience out there with the different sleeve and collar designs?

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Last year after 40 years of riding I bought a Silver Eagle Cooling Vest. best purchase I've ever made. Sleeves were not an option and I didn't miss them. My wife and I rode two-up back from Laguna Seca thru Nevada in 110 degree heat last year..Once up to speed we were never uncomfortable. What I'm saying here is they make such a big difference that it may be another 4o years before I think about sleeves.For sure the high collar is best..

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Hi _____________ (your name is?), welcome to the board.

 

I only have the original no sleeve, no collar one, and have found it to be more than adequate. Even too cold at times. Even at 95F / 35C.

 

Personal opinion, sleeves and a collar would be overkill.

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I had one and found it to be more trouble than it was worth..A quick wash down with a bottle of water at each stop works better for me..

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Those of you with cooling vests, do you prefer a mesh jacket over the vest (or does it dry out too quik), or a regular touring jacket?

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Jerry_75_Guy

I'm sorry I can't speak directly to your questions concerning collar and sleeve, but my wife and I purchased a couple of evaporative vests early last summer.

 

As you alluded to in your post, they work best when the humidity is low to moderate. We use 'wicking' micro fiber shirts under the vests, micro fiber undies (I prefer wicking bike shorts with a padded chamois sewn in to them) and mesh gear top and bottom. I'd recommend long sleeve micro shirts; keeps your sweaty arms from sticking to the inner mesh of the jacket, especially when trying to take it off or put it on.

 

The only time this setup doesn't perform well is when the temps and humidity are very high.

 

Like others here, our vests worked well enough that I'm not sure evaporative sleeves are really necessary, but I wouldn't mind giving them a try.

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Any ideas on what brand of vests would do well in the high humidity we have here in Georgia?
As others have also noted I wouldn't spend any money on a cooling vest for use in humid climates as they are actually worse than nothing. What does seem to work in these areas is a mesh jacket and a bottle of water in a tank bag used to douse your t-shirt every once in a while.
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Jerry_75_Guy

Walker, I agree with Seth, that once it gets hot and humid down there, evap. vests won't help much. Here are a couple of ideas though:

 

1. get the evap. vests (they can be had for~$20 to$30ea. if you look) and use them only during the transitions in the seasons when they're useful,

 

2. you can also find 'phase vests' which work through active cooling (these can be spendy: ~$120 to $180 ea.)

 

Phase vests work through using small cooled or frozen gel packs in little pockets all over the vest, and will cool you regardless of humidity, but you will have to carry a very small softsided cooler in your side case or topcase to hold the gel packs you use when you trade out the warm ones. Then, of course, the warm packs get cooled in the cooler while you use the fresh ones. I haven't tried these, personally, but folks who have say they work very well, and should for the cost tongue.gif

 

Or if you have the money, buy both types; evap. for late Spring and early Fall (they are easier to use logistically; just pour fresh water on them at stops), and the Phase vests for the really hot, humid Summer months. I'm sure this would work.

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I agree with many of the posts saying that the vest is more trouble than it is worth. My experience riding in 110 degree weather in Las Vegas was that it dried out after 40 miles....then became a smelly accessory that I really didn't want to deal with.

 

Pour a bottle of water down your T shirt....and the rush is much better than the vest when it is working as advertised. Anybody want my vest...used only once....email me and I'll send it to you for $15 shipping.

 

Obviously...I am not a fan of these vests.

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Merlinpedaler

Gordon, you will not get any evaporative effect if you wear a regular jacket. You will just be wet. As others have stated once it gets very hot the cooling effect will last only about an hour at most. It is fine when I am commuting in 100 degree plus weather but it is pain on the road to stop every hour to wet it. I carry a plastic bag that I use to hydrate the vest with ice water if available.

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I only have the original no sleeve, no collar one, and have found it to be more than adequate. Even too cold at times. Even at 95F / 35C.

 

Personal opinion, sleeves and a collar would be overkill.

Ditto. Definitely a mesh jacket with it.

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