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Keep Your Cool with REV’IT! Personal Cooling Products

 The REV'IT! suite of cooling products supercharges your body's cooling.

Published on 09.03.2014
Wearing REV'IT! suite of personal cooling products (Vest, Collar and Wristbands)
Motojournalist Steve Green reviews the REV'IT! suite of cooling garments, including their vest, neck collar and wristbands.

Compared to our motorcycles, which can have a piston at freezing temperature one minute and fiery the next, we poor humans don’t like much more than a few degrees swing in the thermometer before we start getting uncomfortable. Manufacturers of riding gear have made great strides in recent years to keep us protected during hot weather with nicely ventilated riding jackets and suits, but when the temps approach triple digits, ventilation alone can begin to feel like a blast furnace.

Evaporative cooling vests have been around for years, but only became popular for motorcyclists more recently. Here is the bottom line: They work! I’ve been using a cooling vest on hot days for a few years now; I thought I beat the system by finding an inexpensive cooling vest from a workwear clothing store. It actually did a noticeable job of keeping me cooler. When asked to test the motorcycle specific REV’IT! suite of personal cooling products (cooling vest, neck collar and wristbands), I felt that I wouldn’t see much difference; but the difference surprised me.

Before we get into the specifics, let’s first talk about how these evaporative cooling garments work. Back in science class, we learned that when water evaporates, it sucks away heat with it. That same thing happens when using the REV’IT! personal cooling products. Water stored in the garments evaporates while you ride, creating a cooling effect.

Using a jacket with good ventilation will help promote evaporation and the products work best in dry conditions. Keep in mind that when humidity is high, there won’t be much evaporation occurring.

Advanced Cooling Fabrics

The REV’IT! cooling products use a combination of three different types of material sandwiched together. The black exterior is a durable crosshatch woven ripstop nylon that is highly durable and allows moisture to escape. The middle layer utilizes Hyperkewl™ polymer embedded cooling material. Hyperkewl™ is highly effective at absorbing and storing water, then releasing it gradually over time through the natural cooling evaporation process. The inner layer is a breathable polyurethane coated waterproof nylon that keeps your skin dry and helps transfer heat from your body. It is all skillfully quilted together into a lightweight but effective fabric.

Proper care requires you to hand wash the REV’IT cooling products with mild soap and allow them to air dry; they are not machine washable. It’s also worth noting that the fabrics do not offer anti-microbial properties like some of the other cooling vests in this price range, which is a nice feature to have for garments used in warm wet environments.

REV’IT! Cooling Vest Review

I was immediately impressed with the REV’IT! vest. It was lighter, nicely tailored, and felt like better quality materials than my old vest. However, the thinner material had me a little concerned about its ability to work as well as my old vest.

Before putting on the vest, it needs to be immersed in water for a few minutes so that the material can absorb the maximum amount of water. Although the instructions say to wring it slightly to remove the dripping water, I don’t mind if some water gets on my pants since it seems to last longer, and the drips on my pants evaporate in minutes anyway.

Putting on the vest, a few things stood out right away. The multi-panel tailored fabric with elastic side and shoulder panels contoured to fit like a second skin, rather than just hanging off loosely like my old vest. The side zipper makes getting in and out of the vest easy and allows for more cooling material in the front of the vest where the air hits you. The location of the zipper also makes it less likely to cause irritation during active movements you’d experience while riding a bike off-road.

The instructions recommend using the vest over a synthetic active wear T-shirt and I found this to work very well. I also tried using the vest directly against my skin and this seemed to cool me down even better. The REV’IT! cooling vest didn’t cause any chaffing or irritation even when worn directly against my skin.

I tested the REV’IT! personal cooling products in the arid Southwestern U.S., on a 1,000 mile ride between Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas. In the heat of the summer, temperatures ranged from the 90 °F to 100+ °F (32 °C to 38+ °C). Testing was performed using a partial mesh jacket to allow good airflow.

As mid-day temperatures rose, my personal heat index felt much cooler than the exterior temperature. After more than five hours of riding, the vest continued to keep me cool, even when the front of the vest was barely damp. During my testing, the REV’IT! vest seemed to last more than twice as long as my old generic vest; again, this makes sense as the conforming REV’IT! vest is more in contact with your body and the advanced Hyperkewl™ material offers better cooling properties than standard fabrics.

REV’IT! claims the vest will provide cooling for 6-10 hours, but after a couple of hours in the saddle, I’m usually ready for a stretch and like to re-soak my cooling vest anyway. Certainly, the temperature, the speed you’re riding and the humidity in the air will all effect how long the vest works on a single soaking.

REV’IT! Cooling Neck Collar and Wristbands Review

Wearing the REV’IT! cooling neck collar and wristbands was a new experience for me. For years, I’d seen outdoor workers using soaked bandannas around their neck, but never gave it much thought. Apparently, cooling your neck and wrists has a substantial effect on cooling your entire body down.

I was delighted with how the neck collar worked. The cooling that my body felt from the vest was now extended up around my neck, significantly increasing my comfort. The design is thinner in the front but dips down in the back to meet the vest. The band is fastened with a hook and loop system so it can be adjusted to fit anyone comfortably.

The wristbands, however, gave me pause for analysis. The instructions inform you that they need airflow over them to work. With a proper fitting jacket, even with mesh panels, and with protective gloves, there was relatively little air flowing to the REV’IT! cooling wristbands. I tested the bands on a bike that had pretty large brush guards, so a lot of the air flow was deflected as well.

During testing, the benefit from the wristbands was just barely noticeable. Still, any extra cooling is better than nothing on a hot day. I suspect that if you’re riding in the dirt with a motocross jersey and short-cuff off-road gloves, the REV’IT! cooling wristbands should work like a champ.

Combined Cooling Effect

There are other quality cooling vests on the market in this price range, but REV’IT! offers a suite of motorcycle specific cooling garments designed to work together. The combined performance of wearing the REV’IT! cooling vest along with the neck collar and wristbands made me feel 10-15 °F cooler and the cooling effect lasted a long time.

While the REV’IT! cooling vest is one of the more expensive units on the market, I felt the unique design features and maximum approach to cooling made it well worth the price. As for my old cheapo vest, I took it out for a comparison photo and after having used it only four or five times, the zipper broke as I attempted to suit up!

The REV’IT! liquid cooling vest is a must for me on hot days. At $135 it’s a good value, and once again, I learned that getting a better quality item is, in the long run, well worth the money. If you’re going into hot territory, you might as well get as much help as you can. The neck collar ($34.99) and wristbands ($39.99 for a box of two) are worthwhile additions for those long rides in very hot areas.

Shopping Options:

REV’IT! Liquid Cooling Vest ($134.99)
Revzilla MotoSport
 
REV’IT! Fluid Cooling Neck Collar ($34.99)
Revzilla MotoSport
 
REV’IT! Flux Cooling Wristbands ($39.99)
Revzilla MotoSport

Author: Steve Green

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