Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mini Review: Techniche Evaporative Cooling Vest from MotorcycleHouse dot Com

Thank you to the friendly people from MotorcycleHouse.com I am in possession of a garment which I really needed last year when I was riding across the Country in sweltering 100°F heat.  It is not an item usually found around Vancouver as we are on the Coast where we seldom get extreme temperatures.  I recently wrote about these products  HERE  on a previous blog post.

Until the past few days we had been experiencing our usual share of rain but last week we had a slight break in the weather.  It was a bit cool on the morning commute as you noticed on my Formotion Temperature gauge which also came from MotorcyceHouse.com       I finally had a chance to mount it on my handlebar and get a feel for it's accuracy


I find that the cooler morning air is refreshing and keeps you alert whilst riding but it was forecast to be a bit warmer on the way home so I brought my Techniche Evaporative Cooling Vest to work with me


I took it out of the package and removed the tags


It didn't seem too bulky.  For a garment designed for hot weather use it was light and well made with lots of cross stitching, presumably to hold the absorbent material in its place


I generally like to wear dry clothes so this was counter intuitive to have to soak it in water and get it dripping wet.   The directions are on one of the tags.   you thoroughly soak the Techniche Evaporative Cooling Vest  TECV until it is saturated, then you wring it out so it doesn't drip, and finally you get to wear it


Now, at home I would soak it in our sink but at work I was not so sure.   Also when you are "on the road" you cannot be sure how clean the sink would be so I decided that I would just "hose it down" just like I would do at a gas station when I was touring.   Or perhaps you could find a garden hose somewhere


I turned it around and tried to get it wet from all directions


Then I decided to unzip the TECV and soak it inside out


After a while it seemed to be holding a lot of water so I decided to wring it out so that it was "wet" but not dripping wet.   Since it was not really a hot day, I used "warm" water rather than "cold" water.   Did I mention that I have never used a cooling vest before so this was a test for me too

I realize that as the water evaporates it gives a cooling effect so you don't want it to dry out too fast.   I have read that you should wear it Under a riding jacket and over technical garmets which you don't mind getting a bit wet/moist .   This is what Sash recommended on a previous comment when she said not to wear my vest on top of bare skin


It's hard to take a photo with wet hands and then handle my camera so I used the reflection from our washroom mirror.   I have on a tank top, with a polyester V neck and then on top I am wearing a waterlogged  Techniche Evaporative Cooling Vest.


On top of that I am now wearing my riding jacket.   I decided to open the vents to get some air flow so the vest could start the evaporative process and keep me cool

It is now after work and I am getting ready for my commute home   Notice that it is around 80°F as indicated by my Formotion Temperature gauge  (from Motorcyclehouse.com)  .   Not really that warm to have to use a vest but enough heat for me to give it a first test.   Remember that I only used warm water this time


My commute isn't that far as far as distance is concerned.   Only 25 kms but in heavy urban traffic with lots of signal lights and it can take over an hour with the sun beating down at every signal light.    This day it took over 45 minutes and here I am at home


I decided many years ago to always wear riding gear.  This means riding boots, long socks, riding jacket, gloves and riding pants.   Of course they are all black and absorbs heat.  On a day like this I would be sweating by the time I got home.   Wearing this Evaporative Vest helped a lot.  I was still feeling the cooling effect, all the way home and the vest was still wet, so there was more cooling left

I changed out of my dress shirt before I left work as I wanted to keep it dry


and here you can see the wetness of my tank top.  I can tell you it was refreshing to have this coolness while riding home.   I am certain that on a hotter day and using cold water it would certainly be more comfortable with this vest,  over not having one at all


I am glad to have this Vest and I believe it will make your ride more comfortable in Hot weather.   Sweat or be cool,  your choice and you too can have your own   (you can buy one here)      MotorcycleHouse.com   great people and fast shipping.    Check them out when you have time.    They may have what you are looking for.


13 comments:

  1. It's not Sunday or Wednesday! I had gotten in the habit of looking for your new posts on those days…

    I used a zip-loc bags to re-hydrate the vest so I didn't need to use the sink in rest areas or gas stations.

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    1. Richard:

      Generally I like to post on Sunday and Wednesdays, as you say but sometimes I like to mix it up to fool you. Having a large zip lock bag seems like a good idea. I don't think public sinks are very clean

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  2. Seems like the vest will work well for you Bob and once familiar with the routine, should be quick and easy to hydrate. I may wish I had one before next week is through.

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    1. Coop:

      I think it would be easy to hydrate at rest areas or while you refuel. I should be able to find a hose somewhere. Once you have one you will wonder how you managed without one before

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  3. Heated vests required for UK summer.

    All the best from Hot Germany, N

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    1. Nikos:

      I have a heated vest too but I seldom use it, but of course that is different in the UK where summer makes an appearance a couple of days a year. I am sure that this cooling vest is going to come in handy for warm/hot weather riding

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  4. I have my heated vest with me for the mountains and early mornings. Did not think of a cooling vest and will probably regret it in July afternoons on my return trip. I do recall reading that over 94 deg F, riders are advised to zip up all jacket openings and avoid mesh jackets as too much body water will evaporate using those regular and mesh jackets. That vest should help a lot.

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    1. Ed:

      I generally don't bring my heated vest. I would never use it anyway. I can endure down to freezing with just a regular shirt and liner in my jacket. In hot weather you are supposed to not wear mesh as it would dry you out too fast.

      I am sure you would appreciate an evaporative cooling vest on your trip home

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  5. Good review Bobskoot....I have a similar vest and it does work nicely to keep one from overheating too much....I used cold water from the sink at work, got some strange looks from fellow workers but it didn't matter when dealing with the heat of Colorado in August.

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    1. Dom:

      I am sure to put mine to good use on my next trip. I sure could have used it last year when I had several weeks of 100°F temps. They don't sell them here as it doesn't get hot enough

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    2. one thing to note Bob, once air temps reach blood temperature, the vest's effect is minimal

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  6. Good review thanks Bob. I've thought about these vests every summer, when the temps get to 40c on a pretty regular basis. A couple of years ago I bought us neck thingys that you do the same thing with, and leave it dripping. I works well but it has a lot to compete with our weather and on the bike and on extreme days I find it's bone dry by the next stop and has to be wet down again. So I wondered if the vest would be any better. Would be interesting to know how it copes with higher temps, I might just give one a go next summer.

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    1. Brenda:

      I have one of those neck thingys too but who knows where it is. I've never tried it but I thought it was a good idea to have one. They had them at a motorcycle show a few years ago.

      I think the vest holds more water and then your riding jacket keeps it from evaporating too fast so the cooling effect lasts longer. Even if the temperatures rises the wetness of your vest will make it seem cooler

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