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Thread: BMW Cool Down Vest

  1. #1

    BMW Cool Down Vest

    I picked one up about a month ago and have used it a few times. I'm using it only along the Gulf Coast so far, so read hot and humid in July/August.

    I think it's better than not using it, but by how much I cannot say. It's NOT dramatic.
    Some observations, acknowledging that I am probably still learning how best to prepare it for a ride. I am soaking it as best i can, then wringing it out and letting it stand a bit before wearing. I have also put it in the freezer for a short time.
    It definitely feels wet when it is on. It doesn't wet my T shirt, but feels like the T shirt is wet. That's acceptable considering I am riding in 90+ heat, but reports I've read said it feels dry, no it doesn't.

    In order to cool you airflow is needed. You have to be going over 30-35 mph for noticeable effect. Others mmv, but with my Cee Bailey screen, that's how fast I need to go.

    Does it lower temps by 5-9 degrees C? Doesn't feel like that. Last weekend I compared how my chest felt with the vest vs how my legs felt with mesh and no cooling attire. My jacket is summer mesh (RevIt). There was a little difference, but it didn't seem 9degrees C (about 15 degrees F).

    It does stay damp a good while, 4+hours, and so far the extra layer has not made me hotter, even when it is nearly dry.

    On balance, it is a worthwhile addition, but in my experience the advertising hype is somewhat overstated. It could be that in dryer climes it could be far more effective, but I have not tried it there.

    Comparing it to soaking your T shirt and or filling your helmet w water, soaking the lining, it's similarly effective, but does last a lot longer.

    It was $100.


  2. #2
    Fastman Fastman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Webster Groves, MO
    I almost bought a BMW Cool Down Vest, but by the time i dragged my carcass to the dealer, the only one in my size was gone. I made a leap of faith and can highly recommend looking at the LDComfort line of products. In early July, I rode from St. Louis to Colorado Springs and back wearing their short sleeve mock turtleneck t-shirt and comfort cool sleeves. Crossing Kansas, I saw temperatures as high as 104 degrees and was very comfortable. I'm sold!
    '86 R65, '96 R1100RS, '04 K1200RS, '13 K1300S 30th Anniversary - SOLD
    '16 R1200GSA
    The most notable thing you can leave for posterity is your name...signed Anonymous

  3. #3
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Astatula, FL
    I purchased a Kool Vest from Silver Eagle at Sedalia last summer. Worked well in the lower humidity areas, but once back in the high humidity Southeast it was less effective.
    Bob Weis
    Bikeless! 2004-bmw-k12rs-hannigan-Sold!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Craftsbury, Vermont
    Like Bob (Hi, Bob!) my experience is that cooling vests of any evaporative type work best in lower humidity levels. Because I travel with a dog and need to be attuned to his comfort level I don't use any of the long-duration products. I went the same route as Fasterling. I wet my LD Comfort long-sleeve mock turtleneck (and Barley's neck and chest fur). As long as we're moving we're quite comfy, so far in temps up to 108F, but that requires us to re-wet every 45-60 minutes. If traffic or construction slows us down, we both suffer.

    '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Tulliver

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    Been using a Veskimo for those hot humid place- including a 10 hr ride in temps up to 102 about a week ago.

    It works well but the std Veskmo can't hold enough ice for a long ride so I'm reenginnering the reservoir from their stock 9 qt to one based on a 13 qt Engel cooler...A block in the 13 L should last for a long day ride and it will also hold an entire 10 lb bag of ice whereas their stock 9 qt one holds only about 6 lbs of bag ice.

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