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Cooling Vest Recommendations

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  • Cooling Vest Recommendations

    Hi everyone. I am reaching out for recommendations- I'm starting a new job and am also new to cooling vests.

    I am a teacher, MS diagnosis in 2012, and heat can be a major issue for me. The new job is a full-time Foods teacher in a commercial kitchen environment. I am 5'9" and 120-125 lbs with a lean and straight body type and will be wearing cook's attire (non-slip shoes, long pants, chef's jacket, hat).

    I wonder if I'll have to layer underneath the jacket for food and FR safety issues and to get the cooling effect- or would I get any relief if worn over a thicker cotton chef jacket?- and I'm pretty sure ice-pack cooling will be too much for me most times. But is there a vest I could use phase-change inserts most days but change out for ice-pack inserts on days I know will be heat-intense? I need for my clothes to remain dry (safety again) but need to regulate my core temp- if I get too far being too hot nothing works for recovery except a cold shower, which won't be possible.

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I have a couple months to figure something out.
    Last edited by Jennaren; 06-30-2019, 10:05 PM.

  • #2
    Jennaren, I think the chef's coat will be a bit too bulky to efficiently cool. I would lean to the Thermapparel vest, as it is light, will last potentially a couple hours indoors, and will feel great. If you need to recharge it, tossing it in the freezer during lunch should do the trick.

    Yes, you'll have to partially disrobe, but chefs have to take bathroom breaks. If the vest works well, you might want to consider getting another so you can rotate. My 2 cents. Thanks for asking!
    Dave Bexfield


    • #3
      Thanks for your response Dave- do you think an UnderCool would still hold up well enough in a hot kitchen? Yes, it's technically 'inside'...but I'm just not sure if cooling packs only on the back would regulate me enough.

      I'm wondering if something like a Glacier Tek Flex Vest might be better, especially with extra packs to switch out if necessary, or maybe a First Line Tech Cooling Vest (Mesh or Standard?) would work. I am definitely intrigued by the First Line Tech products for regular day to day management, but unsure about how they'd do in the heat-assault of a commercial kitchen.

      I know some women have problems with the bust-to-waist ratio causing issues with cooling packs not being against their body- that is not me. No curves in sight here.

      I've been reading your blog and know that you have an idea of what kitchen heat is about, so I was just wondering if you have any insight on these concerns. I have been home with kids for the past 7 years so I'm very nervous how this foray back into work will go, especially about how my heat intolerance and being full-time in a kitchen will pan out.

      Also, is it a thing for companies to offer trials of their vests to non-celebrities? Yes, I'm talking about you! It'd be super handy to test some of these before dropping the money with the weak Canadian exchange rates.


      • #4
        Most vest companies do have a trial period so you can return the vest. If your budget can afford it, the First Line Technology vest is pretty darn awesome. I was wearing mine yesterday in 95-degree temps on a bike ride. Again, it's not going to feel very cold, but it absolutely kept me from bonking. Felt fresh for the full two hours. Again, since it absorbs body heat, the closer to your skin the better.

        The Flex Vest is the coldest, but it is heavier, and doesn't recharge as quickly. So, hmm. All three are solid choices. But the FLT might be the winning combo for your situation.
        Dave Bexfield


        • #5
          Cooling vest

, i have sport vestino,just got it. Worn once for 1hr, 85&humid mowing. Ice packs were still solid. It fits like a back work belt. I didn't want big or bulky,so i went with this. Like it. Sizes are posted, suggest going 1size or 2 larger. Ordered size 1, email owner, she changed it to size 2. Glad she did, size 1 would've been too small. Ice pack needs cut to fit sleeve. Should be done before plumping. I didn't. I got 6 vertical, 6 horizontal. Wore it on outside shirt, shirt slightly wet, can't see that until vest taken off. Can email owner Luanne about her vests, she replies quickly. Got a headband today, get to try it Friday when mowing. Vest is $68, $5 ship, dicount code BEX15 gets $5.10 off. Check it out.
          Last edited by Gregory; 07-11-2019, 04:40 PM.