Joe Rocket Sahara cooling vest
While this might not help alot of you, those of us in the arid South West listen up. For years I have used the old trick of soaking my shirt with water for the evaporative cooling effect on hot days. The Sahara vest just takes this principal one step better. I tested it this weekend on a 5 hour ride this weekend with the temps between 95 and 116 degrees and dry, humidity wise. Short and sweet...it works. While it "feels" like you should be hotter with tight fitting vest on so your not getting direct air circulation on your skin, the coolness of the vest actualy does a good job of pulling the heat out of your torso. The thinner the shirt, the better. I was wearing a cotton T shirt, but something like Underarmor would have been better. Above 105 deg the cooling effect would last a good half hour, then taper off till it felt like it wasnt working after one hour. An on the fly mid-ride recharge with a waterbottle with a squirt nozzle helped, it never was as effective as a full charge by soaking it well under a faucet. I would recomend bringing a large freezer bag to put it into to wet it down properly if your just using a waterbottle. Fill the bag with water untill the vest cant hold any more. I tried just folding the vest into a cup shape and pouring water on it, but it was time consuming to get it all saturated and never was fully wet. The more air you can get to the vest the better it works so naturaly a mesh jacket and unfaired bike are the best setup. Overall, well worth the $70 if your going to be riding in 100+ heat for any length of time, and can carry enough water to keep it charged.