Originally Posted by JRWooden
I've heard mixed reviews on the cooling vests, but likely will try one along with the "sleeves" from LDComfort.
The local CycleGear store has the vest on sale, and has 30-day money back satisfaction guarantee...
I tried out my cooling "kit" this week.
I rode to Myrtle Beach SC - weather was in the mid-90's with high humidity and strong sunshine.
I rode down without using the gear to get a baseline. The drive was not too bad until I got stuck in traffic... then it sucked. Even though I drank a fair amount of water on the way down, I arrived a bit dehydrated.
On the trip back I deployed both the CycleGear cooling vest and the LDC sleeves.
The vest (on sale now $35
) hold a LOT of water - I put it in a zip-lock bag and added almost an entire quart of water the first time I wet it and still did not need to wring it out. As the instructions say ... it does take a couple minutes for the water to be absorbed. Getting the sleeves wet is a bit trickier... I followed the advice of putting the sleeves on, holding my arm up and pouring water down my arm... but the water tends to just run off the completely dry sleeves and not be absorbed (almost like water running off a tent) ... not to mention I looked a bit goofy doing this in the convenience store parking lot...
I ended up pouring water down the sleeves from the shoulder end with the hem flipped down to act as a bit of a dam..
Once the sleeves were somewhat wet the absorbed water pretty well.
I was wearing a thin Underarmor "heatgear" short-sleeve shirt put the vest on over that, then my Olympia Bushwacker jacket and hit-air vest (yeah... it's all most TMGATT - Too MUCH Gear All The Time) ... anyway it worked pretty well.
As long as I was moving at all there was cooling even in the high humidity, and when I stopped as long as it was not for too long there was some "cooling inertia" that kept me from breaking into a sweat.
The vest felt kinda like wearing a "barely damp" swim suit in a lightly air-conditioned room, but it was not uncomfortable. Like others have commented I think if I was headed to work or other serious appointment I would take along a second shirt to switch into on arrival. The vest was good for about 1.5 hours, the sleeves - holding less water lasted maybe an hour or so... I made no attempt to restrict air-flow beyond my standard gear compliment which would have made the "water-charge" last longer. Since I was no longer sweating my required water consumption dropped considerably, and I arrived home fully hydrated. I think it will work OK. In the future I may just take the sleeves off and soak them with the vest and then put them back on rather than trying to mess around with re-wetting them while wearing them.
I also bought a cyclegear heatgear skull cap - http://www.cyclegear.com/eng/product...ner/web1010136
it seemed to work but for some very odd reason it gave me a serious headache after wearing it for about an hour...
Almost as soon as I took it off the headache was gone - it was like it was pressing on the acupuncture location for "give this guy a splitting headache". The cap is a bit short and only comes down to the middle of my ears which is not a good "termination" point IMHO,
... so I'm still looking for something to help keep my helmet padding from absorbing so much sweat - suggestions appreciated!
PS: I have no affiliation with either LDC or Cyclegear.