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  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Howards Grove, Wisconsin

    Question Cool vest

    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.

  2. #2
    Thick As A Brick r184's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    So Cal
    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.

    (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)

  3. #3
    Let's go scooterboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Nipomo, Ca
    I've had a cool vest for probably 10 years and it worked just fine. However, I have since started using the LDComfort ( 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.
    Ride far enough today so you can't come home untill tomorrow. 1998 BMW 1100GS
    IBA# 47129

  4. #4
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    South Carolina
    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.
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Pender Harbour, B.C.
    Quote Originally Posted by kgadley01 View Post
    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.
    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....
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  6. #6
    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.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    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..

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