Originally Posted by wa1200lt
I hate the heat just a little more than I hate having solicitors show u at the front door at dinner time.
Do a Google search for "phase change vest". They use a chemical compound that changes from a solid state to a liquid state (change phase) at a constant temperature. You can buy them with a phase change temp from the upper 50's to the mid to upper 60's. You recharge them (transform them to a solid phase) by placing in the refrigerator for about 1 1/2 hours, in the freezer for 45 minutes or in ice water for 15 minutes. They will then revert back to a liquid phase chilling you out at 60* over a few hours at which time you put 'em back in ice water. Two sets of the little pack things will keep you in a constant state of coolness. About $200 with two sets of the packs.
There is also a system that circulates ice water through small tubes sewn into a garment that reportedly works well. This solution is spendy.
The third option is the evaporative vests. Soak them in water and the evaporating moisture draws your body heat away. Not effective in humid climates.
I wish someone would report on the effectiveness of the phase change option.
I have one, not impressed. In HOT weather (95+) the "icepacks" last maybe 20 minutes and then you have a vest with 10 pounds of liquid in it which (because it therefore blocks any ventillation) makes you warmer if you don't switch them out.
Two sets of packs would last me less than an hour in Texas heat. You can't fully recharge the packs by putting them in, say, a small cooler with ice in it (well, you might be able to, but it would take a couple hours), and the idea of stopping every hour at a restaurant or something and saying "hey, can you put these in your freezer...you know, where you keep your FOOD?" (a procedure touted by the manufacturers as a "simple option for recharging on the road") is pretty ridiculous.
I tried replacing the phase change packs with small "blue ice" packs, which wasn't a swift idea...the ones that freeze solid aren't flexible enough to allow for easy movement, and the ones that freeze into a firm gel thaw too soon, and leave you in the same position as above.
Save $150, get the evap vest, and put a garbage bag full of icewater in your saddlebag. Every hour (more, or less, depending on evap) toss the evap vest in the icewater for one minute, squeeze out the excess, and you're good to go.
I'd LOVE a veskimo, but can't justify the money right now.
Another thing I discovered--if you buy one of those artificial chamois cloths for drying your car (about ten bucks at Autozone, wal-mart, etc) and cut it in half length-wise, you can soak that in the same ice water, GENTLY squeeze enough water so it doesn't drip, and wrap that around your neck. Gives you about an hour of cooling on your carotids, which does an AMAZING job of cooling you off, and it's less than half the price of evap "scarves" plus you can give the other half to your riding partner!