Front of the Vest
I’ve ridden with this vest twice from work to my house. My commutes were 13.9 miles with some rolling hills with temperatures on the low 90′s. First, let me begin by describing the ‘activation’ of the vest: First, I soaked the vest in room temperature water for 10-15 minutes to ‘activate’ the crystals that form some sort of gel, you can see the gel pouches in this picture:
Gel pouches activated
Once the cells are activated, I removed the excess water and I hanged the vest to dry up. I didn’t use the vest on my morning commute to work, temperatures are not really high in the morning.
Back of the vest
The first day that I used the vest, I placed it inside the freezer for about 1 1/2 hours, I noticed that the gel pouches were not fully frozen but the vest was cool to the touch. On my way back home, I used the vest in top of my regular cycling jersey, the vest felt really cool but it was not freezing. The first four miles were a joy to ride, I wasn’t sweaty and I didn’t feel like I was burning when I stop at a red light. After the four miles, I started to feel that the cooling effect of the vest was wearing off, the gel pouches were no longer cool and I began to sweat. By the 10th mile, the vest felt uncomfortable but I finished the ride without taking it off. So far, I was not really impressed by the vest’s performance.
Vest weighs 2lbs fully activated
On my second ride, I placed the vest for 4 hours in the freezer, this time the gel pouches were fully frozen. I also rode with the vest inside my jersey, the vest felt really cool but it was not uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the result was almost the same, the vest lost its coolness by the 7th mile, leaving me uncomfortable on the last 5 miles of the ride.
Temperatures in L.A. are in the mid 80′s but they are projected to rise by the end of this week. This time, I will freeze the vest for a longer period of time and I will ride with just the vest on. Stay tuned for an update.