View Full Version : Keeping cool review

Mark G
05-21-2005, 10:35 PM
Hit 97 degrees today, so I decided to give the new cool vest thing a real test, took the Goldwing out instead of the VFR. Anytime the temp gets over about 85, I HATE the GL. It's got a giganto aftermarket windscreen that cooks me with no air flow, but makes SWMBO very happy. I've got wind deflector things which help some, but no matter what, above 85, that Wing is HOT.

I should note that I never, ever ride without protective gear. Good stuff, mesh, but still hot, a suit similar to an Aerostich. Boots, full face helmet, gloves. So no WONDER I'm hot, huh?

I've tried an evaporative vest, and it works, sort of. The thing I tested today is a "phase change" vest. It's got plastic thingies that get hard when they get cold, and slip into pockets in a vest. If you wear it without your motorcycle gear, you qualify as a Super Dork.

The thing works as advertised, kept me cool for about an hour, then I had to change the thingies out. I bought a second set for that very porpoise.

A single set of the inserts will work just fine...it takes about 20 minutes soaking in iced water to get them ready to go again. On the Goldwing, of course, I have plenty of room for a small soft cooler. The guy I bought the vest from says it actually will last longer under leathers, as wind warms them up faster. I guess, if I take them to a track day, I can put the vest on in the bathroom, and zip my leathers up, and hope no one notices...I'll just tell them I'm in the Witness Protection program, and it's a bulletproof vest. I'll be a cool cat.

I can recommend this thing without reservation. There's lots of places to get them; I bought mine from a guy in Texas. Immediate ship, nice fellow. I bought a medium-large which would be puhlenty big for all but the most hearty eater.


05-22-2005, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the report Mark,

I have been looking at Cool Stuff (http://www.motocoolstuff.com/index.htm) as a possiblity. Glad to know there is another option.

John Bennett
05-22-2005, 08:27 AM
I was surprised at how hot it was yesterday.

I took my 13 year-old daughter to a picnic at the dam at Lake Sam Rayburn.

We jumped in the lake with all our clothes on. Evaporative cooling made the ride home quite tolerable.

On hot days I stop at gas stations about every 70 miles and soak myself from head-to-toe using their water hose.

Hood Ornament
05-26-2005, 09:41 AM
I tried one of these this last weekend: http://www.silvereagleoutfitters.com/shop/vest/ZFV_K.htm

It worked great for the first 30 minutes but as soon as it dired out, just became another layer of clothing. :-( I imagine that if I used it with something other then a mesh jacket the water won't evaporate so quickly and it might last long enough to make it from gas stop to gas stop.

05-26-2005, 10:47 AM
Different here with low humidity. I tried the cooling vests with similar results as it dried too quickly. I went back to my old standby that has worked for years. I wear a very thick turtleneck under my mesh jacket and it will stay damp and cooling for several hours. My Valkyrie will run about 2-2 1/2 hours on a tank of gas. The turtleneck stays wet when I rewet it at each gas stop. I get lots of odd looks wearing a turtleneck in the heat, so if I am planning some lengthy stops, I just put a T-shirt under it so I can strip off the turtleneck. :shock:

Mark G
06-06-2005, 09:27 AM
Update on the RideCool vests. I've tried an evaporative vest (for sale, cheap), spraying myself with water, all the usual tricks, which work usually damply, for a little while. the RideCool deal lasts at least an hour before I need to change out the cold stuff, or stop for 20 minutes and recharge them. Suzanne and I used the vests for a very long, very hot ride last week, and they were really, really great. About every hour or so we'd stop and switch out the "pods" with fresh ones. We keep a soft cooler full of slushy ice water in the trunk of the Goldwing...I've also used the same cooler with a net on the back of the VFR riding solo. We ride in full gear, remember, so we get hotter'n ****. These things really help. They're expensive, especially if you get the extra set of "pods", but we'll ride through the summer this year.

A bonus is that you're all set if you decide you want a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart; the vests are the same shade of blue.

The only downside to them is they're a little heavy, which I only notice when they've thawed almost to the point of needing recharging.

As I said in my original post, there's a number of companies selling these things, I chose RideCool because it's Mom/Pop Texans.

06-08-2005, 11:08 AM
Does the vest soak your shirt or do you stay dry?

Sleepy Weasel
06-08-2005, 11:19 AM
Does the vest soak your shirt or do you stay dry?

Man, I'm glad I read all the way to the bottom before asking the same question.

Mark, inquiring minds want to know...

Mark G
06-08-2005, 02:23 PM
You stay dry. The vest gets a little damp when you take the pods out of the ice water...not enough to soak you.

06-08-2005, 03:21 PM
One more question; since you're so busy. I went to the WEB site and it looks like the tubes fold in half. If so, would they be small enough to put in my tank bag in a gallon ziploc?
Tell Nurse Ratchett I said Hi.

Mark G
06-08-2005, 05:28 PM
It's 91 here, wind chill makes it 98 according to the weather site. I just got back from about an hour and a half ride. Was hotter'n **** until I got moving out of the stop and go traffic, then I was completely comfortable the whole ride...almost caught a cheeill. Was hot because I was wearing full gear and a full face helmet. Once my head got cooled off, the vest did its job.

Yes, Buzz, they fold in half, but they swell up a little. You could probably do what you're asking, although I think I'd go for two or more ziplocs. I just strapped a cooler on the back of the VFR with a bungee net, and filled it with ice and water.

I've stopped a couple of times since buying the vests, bought gas, and asked the clerk if I could refill my little cooler with ice to keep my vest cool...never had a problem.