Any Experience with Cooling Vest? - Honda Goldwing Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Any Experience with Cooling Vest?

Riding in the heat this week and considering the purchase of a cooling vest. 2 questions:

1) Anyone here used one and have feedback?

2) Does anyone know where to pick one up in store (I donít have time for an online order)

Just a way faring stranger
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:08 PM
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We have the ones from Silver Eagle, we bought at a rally, and like them, they are the ones you soak in water. If you get this kind I recommend you wear a mess jacket it over it to slow the evaporation.
One of my riding Buddy has one that has tubes wound through it and hooks up to a small cooler that pumps cooled water through the tubes into the vest. The advantage with these you stay dry, but they are very expensive and you have to have a place to carry the cooler.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 04:54 PM
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I have a water based vest like Ron. They work great if you are moving and especially when the humidity is low. It is also easy to recharge them with a little water. They will make your clothes wet.
We also have phase change cooling vests from Techniche. When a coolant changes phase (from solid to liquid) it typically absorbs far more heat that you get from evaporation. I have used these on rides and working around the house. The vests are loaded with "Coolpaxs" that solidify at around 40 degrees f, I think. Submerging them in some ice water is sufficient to refreeze them. I find that they last 6-8 hours when pulled from the freezer. but only 3-4 hours when using ice water. Their insulated travel bags are waterproof and a handy way to do the ice water trick, but we found that it takes maybe an hour to get a good freeze on the packs. They are kind of bulky and are not light like a water vest, but they do make a big difference IMHO. They will not make you feel like you are in an air conditioned vehicle, but I feel much more comfortable when wearing them in hot and humid conditions.
As far as a brick and mortar outlet, I suggest checking motorcycle dealers and places that specialize in runners or construction workers.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 09:07 PM
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The first one Ron referred to is an evaporative cooling vest, works on the same cooling principle as your perspiration. Cost is probably under $30, and many dealers will stock them. Honda of the Ozarks in Springfield probably has them, but call first if its a long way from you. My personal experience with these is that if you're not wearing something like a mesh jacket to slow down the evaporation, the vest will dry out within a half hour of riding highway speed.

The second one that Ron mentioned has a lunch-size cooler holding a pump (either battery powered or hard -wired to the bike) and ice water. I think the most popular brand is Veskimo. But they run around $400 and I've never seen one stocked locally. Maybe you could get lucky and find one on Craig's List. Terry Cooper bought one, liked it so much, he bought another one for his wife a few months later.

The phase change that Bob referred to is near the middle of the price range but they are not a stock item for dealers. One of the down sides is the weight of the coolpacks. Think of the blue ice pack you use in your picnic cooler. Imagine wearing several of those packs in pockets of the vest.

This may sound silly but I've seen a lot riders put some kind of a spray bottle (like a gardener would use) in a cup holder and simply use as needed. Not the best solution with sunglasses or face shields, but cheap and you could have it working tomorrow.

Good Luck.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 03:00 AM
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I have one of those evaporative vests thsat I picked up at Cycle Gear in-store for under $50..perhaps less than $40, I dotn recall. I live in Vegas and over 100F days are the norm here.. Ive been riding in 110F + weather. Between the cooling vest and a neck towel (the blue kind that you soak in water and drape over your neck) I am pretty comfortable.

You can freeze the vest if you like, but cold water works fine too, at a gas station or wherever to get it a little cooler. If you pat it down dry before putting it on, the moisture on your clothing is minimal

I wear a mesh jacket on top.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:58 AM
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I have never used the actual vests at all, but in a pinch, I've soaked my shirt with bottled water at fuels stops if necessary. Yeah it's a tad messy but it does work (at least temporarily). We do have some reusable neck bands that a certain pal bestowed on us that use the same principles as the vests do, and they help immensely.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:09 AM
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I did as budoka did. Back in 03 I flew to Oregon from Calif to pick up my 02 wing. It was mid July and hot as heck. I would stop at rest stops and soak my T shirt in cold water from the drinking fountain and put a light wind breaker over it, worked great for a couple of hours at a time.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:13 AM
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You could try an old sweat shirt with the sleeves cut cut off and the neck cut out for easy on and off, wet it down and cover with a mess jacket.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:53 PM
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The problem I experienced with using a mesh jacket over 'any' evaporative scheme is that the mesh jacket lets too much air in and shortly thereof you have to re-soak again.

I think it might be best to use a 'mid-weather' jacket with a few air vents. IE: my Tourmaster 2. You get just enough cooling evaporation action and lasts longer than with a mesh jacket.

Yea, Tourmaster2, I am like, three models behind. But that thing is still in one piece barring having to jerk on the zipper a few times before it actually catches.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:01 PM
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If you want a cooling vest that you soak in water for where you live in Missouri, you will be disappointed. They do not work in humid areas. Any humidity above 30% and you will just have a hot wet vest on you. They need the airflow and low humidity for the water to evaporate. That is what cools you. If this is where you want it for, then the type with the cooling tubes would work great.

Now if you want it for a trip to the western US. then they work great with a mesh jacket. I have lived in the desert SW for over 15 years and have used the vest on many trips. The humidity is usually in the 20% or less range other than a few weeks during monsoon season. When I get to the mid west, my vest does not get any use at all. I just dry it out and then soak it when I get back in the middle of the US on my return trip. I just drink a lot of water and deal with the humid heat in the eastern US.

Here is a picture of mine. I store it in a small dry bag that has water in it when riding. I just pull it out when I need it in the afternoon when the heat gets up there. When you try to re soak it with a bottle of water on the side of the road, it does not get wet enough. It needs to be completely soaked to work well. When I need to re soak it, just throw it back in the bag. I also carry a bottle of water with me to add to the dry bag when needed. I ride solo, so I just keep it strapped on the back seat for easy access.

You should be able to find one at the larger dealerships, or at a store like Cycle Gear. Any camping store will have the dry bag if you want to go that route. It works for me.
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Last edited by snowmoer; 09-09-2019 at 05:05 PM.
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