As any of you who know me already know, I've been whining about the Texas heat since the beginning of June. I decided to give a couple of cooling vests a good test and see how they do in the 100+ degree heat we've been suffering through. This review is for the Fieldsheer Iceberg cooling vest, I got from PowerSports4Less.com Here is a link to the vest and information: http://www.powersports4less.com/deta..._ID=WP471-9701
As I wear XL shirts and jackets, that's the size I ordered, and when it arrived, I tried it on and it fits me perfectly, not tight, but just like it was tailor made. The instructions say to soak it in water for about 15 minutes and then let it dry the first time before you try to use it, so I did and let it dry overnight. Today I put it in a zip lock baggie and soaked it for probably 20 minutes. When I got ready to take off on the ride, I opened the bag and took out the now heavy vest and gently rung it out until it was no longer dripping. I wiped down the vest with a hand towel to get some of the drips off before putting it on. When I put it on, I could feel the moisture immediately and I was beginning to think it was going to feel icky, but when I got on the bike and started riding, I could immediately feel the cooling when the breeze started hitting me through my mesh riding jacket. Granted, when you are sitting at a stop light, there doesn't seem to be much if any cooling effect, but when you are moving, it sure does work. It was right at 100 degrees when I was about an hour into the ride and it was still working. The one thing I found that felt weird, was the hot blast of air hitting my face while my chest and shoulders were cool. It is something you have to get used to, I guess. I stopped several times to drink some water, and when I took off the jacket and vest, my shirt was damp and the breeze really felt great! I was thinking, this is another advantage of the vest, being cool when I stop and take it off. If you don't dig the wet t-shirt thing, maybe you won't like this vest, but understand, your shirt isn't soaked, just damp, and when I stopped for gas, my shirt was dry before I put the gear back on and headed on down the road, so I don't want to give the wrong impression.
The vest cooling effect lasts for quite a while, and was still cooling after three hours when I had reached my destination. If I were going on, I probably would want to refresh the vest with water before going farther, but I did take a zip lock baggie and an extra bottle I had filled with tap water just in case I needed it, so if I had gone farther, I was prepared, and its easy to do. I just fold up the vest and stick it in the zip lock bag, then add the 16 oz of water and zip it closed and let it sit. It soaks up nearly the entire 16 oz in no time and you are ready to go after you ring it out a little.
This vest works, and even though you have to refresh it once in a while when riding in the blast furnace we call Texas Summertime, I highly recommend it, especially for the 29 dollar price tag! This is one inexpensive way to keep cool, and keep riding!