Summer is the perfect time for long motorcycle rides, but the heat can sometimes make it uncomfortable. For this reason, cooling vests have become a popular choice for motorcyclists. In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive into why you need a cooling vest, how they work, and the different types available. We'll also provide some key factors to consider when making your purchase, as well as detailed reviews of our top picks for the best cooling vests on the market. Finally, we'll give you some tips on how to properly use and maintain your cooling vest.
Why You Need a Cooling Vest for Motorcycle Riding
Motorcycle riding is a blast, but it can also be incredibly uncomfortable in hot weather. Heat exposure can lead to dehydration, fatigue, and even heat stroke. A cooling vest can help regulate your body temperature by providing a constant source of coolness to your torso. This allows you to ride longer, more comfortably, and with less risk of heat-related illness.
How Cooling Vests Work to Keep You Cool
Cooling vests work in different ways, but the most common type uses a special material that absorbs and retains water. When you soak the vest in cool water for a few minutes, the material absorbs the water and traps it inside. As the water evaporates, it cools the vest and, in turn, cools your body. This process can last for several hours, depending on the temperature and humidity.
Different Types of Cooling Vests for Motorcycle Riders
There are several types of cooling vests available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The most common types of cooling vests for motorcycle riders are:
- Evaporative cooling vests: These vests use the process described above to cool your body. They are lightweight, low-maintenance, and affordable, but they do require access to water.
- Phase-change cooling vests: These vests use special materials that absorb heat when they melt, and release heat when they solidify. They are more expensive and heavier than evaporative vests, but they provide longer-lasting cooling and do not require water. However, they can take longer to recharge (usually in a freezer).
- Hybrid cooling vests: These vests combine evaporative and phase-change technologies to provide the best of both worlds. They offer faster cooling and longer-lasting relief, but they are also the most expensive type of cooling vest.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cooling Vest
Choosing the right cooling vest for your needs can be overwhelming. There are several factors to consider, including:
- Material: Look for lightweight, breathable materials that are comfortable to wear and easy to clean.
- Size and fit: Your vest should fit snugly around your torso without being too tight or too loose. Make sure to measure yourself and check the manufacturer's sizing chart.
- Weight: Depending on your riding style and preference, you may prefer a lightweight or heavier vest. Keep in mind that heavier vests may offer more cooling power but can also be more cumbersome to wear.
Top Features to Look for in a Cooling Vest for Motorcycle Riding
When shopping for a cooling vest, look for the following features:
- Fast cooling: A good cooling vest should provide quick relief from heat and not take too long to activate.
- Long-lasting cooling: Look for vests that can provide several hours of cooling relief.
- Easy to use: The vest should be easy to activate and wear, without requiring any special tools or knowledge.
- Portable: The vest should be easy to carry with you, especially if you plan on taking long rides.
- Durable: Look for vests that are made from high-quality, long-lasting materials.
How to Choose the Right Size and Fit for Your Cooling Vest
Choosing the right size and fit for your cooling vest is essential for maximum cooling power and comfort. Follow these steps to choose the right size and fit:
- Measure yourself: Take accurate measurements of your chest, waist, and hip circumference, and consult the manufacturer's sizing chart.
- Try on the vest: Always try on the vest before making a purchase, if possible. Check that it fits snugly but comfortably around your torso, and that it does not restrict your movement or breathing.
- Adjust the straps: If the vest has adjustable straps, adjust them until the vest fits comfortably and securely.
Cooling vests are a must-have accessory for motorcycle riders who want to stay cool and comfortable during hot weather. Whether you prefer an evaporative, phase-change, or hybrid cooling vest, there are many options available to choose from. By considering the key factors and features we've outlined and choosing from our top picks, you can stay safe, comfortable, and cool on your next ride.