Keeping your cool while riding in summer heat is difficult, but this cool vest and bag from Harley-Davidson will help.
The cooling vest (98215-18VM) costs $94.90 for sizes S-XL and $110.50 for 2XL-5XL.
It consists of a mesh vest made of HyperKewl material with four interior pockets that contain removable cool packs and a handy esky-style cool bag to carry the packs and vest when not in use.
Harley previously offered a $75 hydration vest which was a lightweight vest that you soaked in water or kept in the fridge/freezer. It soaked up water and slowly evaporated, taking the heat out of your torso.
This works the same way, but you don’t soak the vest, just the cool packs which are made of non-toxic carbon-based gel.
The previous vest used polyacralyte crystals like those found in nappies, but it could only be reused 50 times or for one year. The new vest doubles that to 100.
However, with the insert packs, it is very heavy.
Unfortunately, both vests only work for a couple of hours before you have to stop and rehydrate them, otherwise they start acting as a warm lining.
You can extend the cooling effect by putting the cool packs in the freezer for about 45 minutes prior to riding, but a freezer isn’t available on the road, is it?
It only takes about two minutes for the packs to soak up water, making them quite heavy.
However, the water stays in the packs and doesn’t get you soaking wet.
Despite the above gratuitous shots taken by the pool in LA, the vest actually works best if you wear it under a mesh jacket. That will allow the air to flow over the cool packs and evaporate the moisture.
While it only cools your torso, it seems to reduce the heat discomfort and dehydration effect. However, remember to always stay hydrated.