Cooling Vest Reviews – What’s All This Hype about Ice Vests?
updated February 1, 2018
Purchasing a cooling vest for your work out routine is without a doubt the quickest, and most cost efficient way to decrease recovery time and increase calories burned. In this article we will go over the types, benefits, and uses of cooling/ice vests.
If you are in a hurry and are just looking for some quick cooling vest reviews we have made it easy for you and listed our best cooling vests below:
A Quick Glimpse at the Top 5 Cooling Vests
To make it easy for you to compare and contrast the best cooling vests, we have rated each of the Top 5 on the basis of price and durability, and then give each one an overall rating out of 5. In the next section, we provide in depth reviews of each product.
The Top 5 In Depth
The FlexiFreeze Ice Vest is an impressively thin, lightweight, durable and functional cooling vest. It makes use of flexi freeze re-freezable ice sheets in conjunction with 96 ice cubes housed in 3.5 pounds of containability. This pure water option is a more effective cooling system than gel packs, so the FlexiFreeze will keep you cooler for longer. The neoprene fabric of the vest provides a soft, lightweight and flexible insulator.
The lightweight make-up of the vest, which is less than one inch thick, provides a great deal of flexibility and mobility. Three removable panels are attached to the vest. When the ice sheets are removed, the vest can be machine washed. All of this makes the Flexifreeze the ideal choice for sports and exercise.
- Uses pure water
- Very thin and lightweight
- Neoprene fabric vest
- Velcro front fastener inadequate
The Techniche International HyperKewl Cooling Sports Vest makes use of the unique patented HyperKewl evaporating cooling material. It slowly releases water to cool your body through evaporation. This process super charges the body against heat stress. Cool Pax technology allows you to enjoy pre and post exercise cooling. The Techniche vest is extremely lightweight, flexible and durable. It has a v-neck and zipper, rather than velcro, enclosure so you get a secure front closing system.
Techniche International HyperKewl Cooling Sports Vest simply needs to be soaked for 5-10 minutes in order to provide 5-10 hours of cooling relief. It features a quilted nylon outer, and a Hyperkewl fabric inner. A water repellant nylon inner and black polyester trim provide a stylish finish.
- Hyperkewl evaporating material
- Cool Pax technology
- Water repellent inner
- Cooling effect diminishes over time
The Polar Gel Cooling Vest is lightweight, slimline design that incorporates four PCM cooling packs that each weight 230 grams. The soft to the touch, durable material is breathable and moisture resistant. The cooling packs can be rapidly frozen in ice cold water in 20-25 minutes.
The Polar Gel Cooling vest comes with an insulated carry bag, which is ideal for keeping your packs nice and cool and ready to use when you need them. This product comes with a 100% lifetime warranty.
- Moisture resistant
- Cooling effect reduces with time
The Mountain Hardware Fluid Race vest provides you with a running vest with a built in hydration system. An easily accessed fluid sleeve gives you the choice of an over the shoulder routing tube or access to water from a lower pack. The vest is made from cool wicking mesh at the key contact areas with your skin.
Mountain Hardware Fluid Race has been ergonomically designed to provide you with extra wide shoulder straps and through the back panel. This distributes the weight of the vest evenly across the upper body. The Mountain Hardware vest is a lightweight, minimalistic vest that is offered at an affordable price that offers a superior shape, construction and fit. You also get plenty of cargo storage.
- Choice of hydration routing tubes
- Weight distribution
- No built in cool storage
The Ultimate Direction PB 2.0 is a multi purpose adventure vest that is ideal for running, hiking and skiing. It features four gel packs pockets to keep you cool and burn extra calories. There are two GPS and phone pockets, four electrolyte pockets and and a pair of fully adjustable sternum straps. You’ll also appreciate the super soft Velvetex no-chafe binding material.
The Ultimate Direction PB 2.0 has a quick reservoir access zipper in the back, along with an internal bungee and gear separation panel. You also get secure lat pockets with secure stretch panels. The use of stretch mesh has greatly enhanced the durability of the vest, making it stronger and more durable.
- 4 gel pack pockets
- Quick reservoir access zipper
- Stretch mesh
- Phone pocket not large enough
Types of Cooling Vests
Phase Change Cooling Vests:
These types of cooling vests typically 'freeze' at a much higher temperature usually between 50-65 degrees. Because they freeze at such high temperatures they can actually stay relatively cool for long periods of time sometimes up to 4 hours. These vests are typically filled with non toxic fats and oils that solidify at medium range temperatures
Gel Pack Cooling Vests:
These vests work by freezing sheets that come with the vest. Once the sheets are frozen you can easily slip them into your vest to start cooling. These vests typically get much colder than phase changes vests but not as cold as ice pack vests. These will typically stay cold for up to 3 hours.
Ice Pack Cooling Vests:
These vests are the most basic in design and simply use ice packs that you can remove from the vest and freeze. These vests should not be worn directly on skin and really should not be worn without at least 2 layers of clothing below. These vests get the coldest and can last 5 or more hours depending on the outside temperature.
Evaporative Cooling Vests:
These vests work by dipping them in water and ringing them out. They cool you as the water evaporates. It's that simple! These vests typically don't get too cold and don't last very long either. However, they are the cheapest vests out there by far so they are definitely an option for someone who does not have a budget for one of the more effective vests
Cooling Vest Benefits
Being cold has a ton of advantages. Cooling vests for athletes can introduce an entirely new aspect to training. Wearing a cooling vest while training can greatly reduce injury and post workout soreness. It has also been proven to cause weight loss as we will explain below.
Another fantastic use for cooling vests are the benefits it's bring to those that suffer MS (Multiple Sclerosis). MS tends to flare up during hot days and on those days using a cooling vest for MS has been proven to reduce discomfort time and time again.
What to Expect
Just so that you’re prepared in advance, you will feel cold when you put your ice vest on for the first time. It won’t be intolerable, but certainly cold enough to get you second-guessing about what you’re doing. You’re going to feel numb and this will be on both shoulders and go down your back. You’re bound to start thinking, “There’s got to be a better way”. Yes, of course there are plenty of other ways to lose weight, but when you wear the ice vest as an adjunct to following a healthy diet, there is a definite advantage.
The Theory Behind the Weight Loss
This is a solid heavy garment loaded down with ice packs, which was inspired by a recent theory gaining traction in the scientific community, which is that weight loss can occur as a result of devising ways to use environmental thermodynamics. The fundamental theory is that since your body expends energy in maintaining your normal body temperature, being cold will cause you to expend more energy, thus calories. Wayne B. Hayes invented the ice vest. He’s an associate professor at UCI, the University of California at Irvine. His claim is that wearing the ice vest for one hour can burn as many as 250 calories, however his data is very vague. Just over a year ago he started selling the ice vest, which he named the “Cold Shoulder”, from his apartment in Pasadena. Even without the name, you will certainly not go unnoticed when wearing it.
Work done by former NASA scientist, Ray Cronise, was Hayes’ original inspiration for the ice vest. Cronise’s expertise at NASA was in materials. He now spends his time researching cold exposure and its benefits. In 2008 when Michael Phelps was having his gold-medal streak at the Olympics, Cronise heard the claim that Phelps was consuming 12,000 calories per day. Struggling to lose weight himself, he couldn’t believe it. Phelps was consuming over five times the calories of the average American, and thousands and thousands of calories more than other elite athletes consume during training.
Some Interesting Results...
Intrigued, Cronise started taking winter walks wearing no shirt and regular cold showers. In six weeks time he lost 26.7 pounds. Once he started measuring his rate of metabolism after exposure to very cold temperatures, he discovered that he was burning a ton of energy. His body had ceased storing energy in the form of fat, and instead was expending it to maintain his core temperature.
The theory that environmental temperatures affect human metabolism goes back to studies done at the end of the 18th century by Antoine Lavoisier, a French chemist. But just in the 20th century has it actually become relevant in our daily lives. Cronise thinks that our reasoning about the widespread increase of metabolic disease, such as diabetes and obesity has not considered the fact that almost no one is cold in this day and age. Many people live in a constant environment of 70+ degrees. And when we’re outside in the cold, we make sure we pack on more clothing. If the room we’re in starts cooling off, we reach for the thermostat to turn up the heat.
Cooling vests for athletes have been proven time and time again to reduce the time of post workout soreness and greatly reduce the recovery time. Up to 75% of an athletes energy expenditure can be used to maintain proper body heat. When wearing an ice vest the body can use it's energy resources on other body function.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Cooling vests for MS have recently began increasing in popularity. When summer hits and the MS starts to flare up, cooling vests are the perfect option.
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