Chilled Water Cooling Vests


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TXAggie87
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Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Wed May 01, 2013 9:12 am



Being a life-long Texan, I'm fairly used to the heat. But, as I get older I've learned more and more to work smart, not harder. Along that line of thought, I've decided to get a chilled water cooling vest. I've narrowed the search down to two - either the Veskimo (http://www.veskimo.com/personal-cooling-system-9quart.html) or the HogCooler (http://www.hogcooler.com/). Both units are comparable in price at approximately $350.00.

I'm curious if anyone here has used or is using either unit and if so, can you give me pros and/or cons. If you've used both ... even better! Thanks.



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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby WingAdmin » Wed May 01, 2013 10:43 pm

TXAggie87 wrote:Being a life-long Texan, I'm fairly used to the heat. But, as I get older I've learned more and more to work smart, not harder. Along that line of thought, I've decided to get a chilled water cooling vest. I've narrowed the search down to two - either the Veskimo (http://www.veskimo.com/personal-cooling-system-9quart.html) or the HogCooler (http://www.hogcooler.com/). Both units are comparable in price at approximately $350.00.

I'm curious if anyone here has used or is using either unit and if so, can you give me pros and/or cons. If you've used both ... even better! Thanks.


I've not used either, but I am interested to hear what your experiences with them are once you do decide. I've used the poor-man's method of carrying bottles of water, and dumping them over my T-shirt every so often. :)

TXAggie87
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Wed May 01, 2013 11:00 pm

LOL! I'd dumped more bottles of water - some cold, some not - over me and in me than I can count over 47 years of living. Not an "old man" yet - but hopefully a wiser one. I've tried the evaporative cooling vests. Here in Houston, with the high humidity, they just don't work that well. Plus, they're slimy and get your other clothes wet. I've tried the phase change models - "phase change" ... an impressive sounding 75 cent word that means melting - the change from the frozen phase to the liquid phase, thus drawing heat from your body to accomplish the phase change. While they work somewhat better than the evaporative models - especially in high humidity - they are hard to "recharge" on the go. So ... my quest for a model that uses circulating chilled water. I'll let you know what I find out.

I did find out that HogCooler is made here in Houston. I'm going to try to get down to look at one in person as soon as I can. I've gotten a number of friends outside of motorcycling sing the praises about the Veskimo. That includes a dear friend who has Multiple Sclerosis. Heat really hits her hard - it can easily put her in the hospital with "an episode". She has been using a Veskimo vest with either a backpack or the 9 qt. cooler run off of a battery or automobile cigarette lighter plug for several years and LOVES IT!

I'll let you know what I find out and what I decide.

TXAggie87
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Wed May 08, 2013 9:33 pm

OK - I finally got someone to answer the phone at HogCooler.com. It is indeed a local company here in the Houston area. However, thanks the to current economy and some events in his personal life - HogCooler.com is currently in a holding pattern. He has completely sold out of existing units and is only providing parts/replacements for units already purchased. Due to a family emergency, he had to take a regular J O B and only does the support work on the side. His plan, if everything goes right, is to get back up and running in the next 30 to 90 days. Unfortunate - I really like to support the small businessman and a local motorcyclist is even better. But 30 days plus is longer than I'm willing to wait.

I also talked at length with 2 people who have Veskimo units. One friend who has Multiple Sclerosis uses the backpack unit. She says it is literally a life saver in her case. Without it - it would mean staying almost totally indoors in the summer. Exposure to the Texas heat "send me into an episode and I end up in the E.R. and admitted to the hospital". With the Veskimo system, she says she can spend hours out in 90 to 105 degree heat with no problems. It regulates the temperature of her body core and allows her lungs to function relatively properly. The 2nd friend is a GWRRA chapter member of a neighboring chapter who had a full heat stroke about 3 years ago. Her body has lost the ability to properly regulate temperature through sweating and evaporative cooling like most people. In her case, the Texas heat almost was deadly and can easily become so again. She rides 2 up with her husband on his GL1800 and she has her own GL1800 - she says that the ONLY way she can do either is because of the cooling of power of her Veskimo. She has the small 4.4 qt. ice chest version and says she gets a couple of hours our of a charge of ice.

So ... I just ordered one. I chose the 9 qt. version in an XL vest. I can' wait to get it and try it out! I'll keep this updated as the summer wears on. Stay tuned!

TXAggie87
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Tue May 14, 2013 9:20 pm

Got home from work this afternoon and sitting on the front porch was a gift from the FedEx man!

Opened the box and found a really well made product. The ice chest is simple and easy to use. The inlet and outlet, as well as the electrical supply to the pump are well connected and not cheaply done. The hoses are well insulated and the attachments connect and disconnect very easily, but seem very strong. They also do not strike me as something that will easily be disconnected by accident. The vest is well made and has LOTS of tubes to carry cold water. I ordered the XL and it fits perfectly for length. The sides have elastic adjustments that made it easy to fit around my chest. You want it snug, but not uncomfortably tight. I think it is something that is vastly superior to anything I could have cobbled together myself. The electrical line has a built-in on/off switch. You can buy a switch that cycles the pump on and off at 4 preset timings.

I'll let you know how it works once it heats up a little. Right now, the highs are around 82 with lows around 58 at night. Definitely don't need the cooling system yet ... but it won't be long ... this is Texas after all!
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TXAggie87
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:19 pm

A few of you asked for follow-up on my experiences witht he Veskimo chilled water cooling vest system. Here goes:

I've been using the vest almost daily for the past week and a half. High temps are around 93 degrees ... not horribly hot yet, but enough to cook you in stop and go city traffic. And the prognosticators are saying it will hit upwards of 98 degrees by Thursday of this week.

The Veskimo works GREAT!!! I've tried a number of configurations from a cotton t-shirt under, a Under-Armor shirt under it, the Veskimo vest directly against the skin - I think the Under-Armor shirt underneath is the most comfortable and it cools quite well. The Veskimo vest does produce some condensation in our Houston high humidity and the wicking fabric does a better job of getting rid of the moisture than the cotton t-shirt.

In the summer, I ride wear a FirstGear DayGlo Green all-mesh jacket. After experimenting this week - I found that I get the best results by putting my leather vest over the Veskimo vest and the Mesh Jacket over that. The leather vest blocks the wind from "robbing the cold" from the cooling vest and blocks out the hotter wind from the outside. Additionally, by snugging up the adjustments on the leather vest, it helps hold the tubes of the Veskimo cooling vest against my body better than without it - more efficient heat transfer and thus, better cooling. I tried riding with my Olympia All-Season Touring jacket over the Veskimo vest - but it was just too heavy and I feel better with the wind through the mesh on my arms.

I went down to WallyWorld and found a plastic food storage container that is just slightly larger than the inside of the 9 qt. cooler that comes with the unit. I couldn't find anything I thought was acceptable in terms of durability that was slightly smaller than the cooler - so I opted to go larger and use an ice pick to carve off a little bit of ice to make it fit. Add 2 cups of liquid water to the unit and I'm off! Works great! The block ice lasted over 4 hours on a 92 degree ride - I'm sure would have gone much longer, the block had about 30% to 35% remaining ... but the ride was only 4 hours long. The 8 lbs of bagged ice I got at the local Stop & Rob lasted just over 3 hours on a similar day. At $0.89 for an 8 lb. bag, that's a pretty cheap way to go without the hassle of making your own block ice. I just have this hard-headed mentality of doing it myself! :geek:

I know that the rig is a little cumbersome - especially for local riding where you're on and off the bike frequently. But for anything over a 20 minutes ride ... it is worth every penny! I highly recommend the chilled water systems!

Daveelochow
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby Daveelochow » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:03 pm

I am hyperthermic (i over heat easily) and I use a OccuNomex vest. It's cheaper, better, easier than all other vests. http://www.discountsafetygear.com/cooli ... -vest.html It freezes at 65° stays that way for 2 to 3 hours, It recharges in icewater in 20 minutes, There is no tether or ice water to deal with, it just looks like you're wearing a bulletproof vest. I freeze two sets before my ride, the first one last three hours then I switched to the second set, that's six hours of cooling with no fuss or mess. Two sets of packs and the vast cost less than the chilled water systems. I ride trials and use this system, on the hot days I use it with the street bike, I use it when I'm working, these things are so convenient. I bought some smaller ones that I put inside the helmet, it helps tremendously!

eeore1974
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby eeore1974 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:08 am

You made me curious, as I never thought that such things existed. My case is different as I have to be careful about spinal areas that have metal and don't like cold. So I share with you a link I came across:
http://www.activemsers.org/tipstricks/choosingacoolingvest.html

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RedBear
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby RedBear » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:28 pm

I'm curious where you mount the cooler? Back seat? One of the trunks? How long are the hoses? Might even mount on a trailer hitch receiver bracket?
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TXAggie87
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby TXAggie87 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:23 pm

RedBear wrote:I'm curious where you mount the cooler? Back seat? One of the trunks? How long are the hoses? Might even mount on a trailer hitch receiver bracket?


RedBear - My wife doesn't ride - but then, she don't drag me to the mall either ... We have a working agreement in our relationship :) that being said - I put mine on my back seat. I put a cigarette lighter power outlet in the right side box under the right rear speaker on my bike and power my Veskimo unit there. I'm not sure about the stock hoses being able to reach a hitch rack ... It would be close. But Veskimo sells extension hoses.

gypsy traveler
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Re: Chilled Water Cooling Vests

Postby gypsy traveler » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:52 am

Not trying to hijack your post but...As a long term diesel mechanic, I would use a small towel, wet it and wring it, roll some ice cubes in the towel around my neck and tuck the tails in my collar....you WILL get wet... but blissfully so! I have found that some fast food restraunts will sometimes sell ice at a good price...its fresh and not stuck in a together in a lump. Put a small cooler on your trunk and give your passenger something to do! [MAYBE!] LOL!




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