I'm chillin' out!

[ Sunday - June 12, 2016 ]

It's been getting hot lately on the commute home.  Not only that, but my old coolvest is reeking of a moldy smell.  The last time I used it, I had to wash the Rally suit once I got home.  In Dr. McCoy's words, "I think it's dead Jim."  After all, 3-4 years of service for $50 is not bad.  I'm also noticing the old vest is not able to retain moisture for as long a period as when it was first purchased.  It's toast!  A long time back, I had purchase a combo coolvest/isotherm vest.  It didn't really work that well, but it was better than just the coolvest by itself.  I gave the combo vest to my dad for when he was plowing the fields out at the farm.

Seeing how the current coolvest is done for, it's time for a replacement.  There are a couple of other manufacturers, but this time, I want to try another coolvest/isotherm system and hope that it works better than the last set.  Once again, it's Amazon time.  I look and look.  Then I stumbled on this...

At $200 it's not cheap.  It's also one of the few modern coolvest/isotherm combo.  There are other systems out there, but they're either coolvest or isotherm, but not a combo.  Other combo systems are cheaper but they are also less well rated.  Amazon shows 4.5/5 with only 9 reviews.  Most of the folks that purchased this use it for sports activities like jogging.  It's a gamble, I go for it.

About a week later, I get it.  Nice.  It comes with it's own waterproof insulated carrying bag.  No wonder this thing cost $200.  Too bad it doesn't fit into the trunk.  Otherwise I would just shove the whole thing in.  The vendor claims the isotherm will last 8 hours.  The last isotherm unit I had only lasted for about 30-40 minutes.  I'm skeptical.


Baby has been sitting in the freezer for a while to the isotherm is all solid.

Nice bag... still haven't used it yet.

These isotherm packet lasts for more than 40 minutes.  One day while I was commuting home in 107F, the isotherm packets kept me cool.  I did sweat a little where my skin was in contact with the hot air.  My chest and back felt like it was in the mid 70F instead of 107F.  Once I was home, the isotherm haven't even melted yet.  The packs were all pretty much still all white.  I'm impressed.  Another time I had left the vest in room temperature and forgot to put the vest into the fridge at work.  8 hours pass and the isotherm pack haven't melted yet.  I put the vest on and went home.  This system is much better than the last coolvest/isotherm combo I used.

So I came up with a strategy for long distance riding using isotherm packets.  Purchase an extra set of isotherm packets (4) and throw them into the carrying bag with sloshy ice cold water.  Once the isotherm being worn is all melted, swap out the isotherm packets.  Put the melted ones back into the carrying back for recharge.  I think this will work.

Some of the reviews claim that the vest works best with both soaked coolvest and isotherm installed.  That might be the case, but with my experience I don't think that's necessary.  The one thing I did discover is that it's better to zip of the suit and have the vest on underneath.  That way the suit can keep hot air out while retaining cool air in.  So I zip up all of the vents when I wear this vest.  It seems to work better than leaving the vents open.

In the end, it was worth the $200.

Written on: August 25, 2016
Last modified: August 25, 2016