Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

COOLING VEST bonus reviews for members

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Review: Polar Products Kool Max Zipper Front Vest

    Review: Polar Products Kool Max Zipper Front Vest

    Polar Products has been a source for MS cooling for years, and their Kool Max vest has been their most popular offering for good reason. For users who like the sensation of cold, this Polar product delivers, and does so more safely than earlier editions. After our 2011 testing of their torso wrap, which we found too cold, Polar revised their ice vests (and wrap) to include a light layer of insulation around the ice packs to better control temperature. In doing so, they also better control condensation as the packs melt, keeping the user dryer.

    This is a straight-forward vest with a straight-forward design flexible enough to work with many different body types. The multiple ice pack locations (8-12 depending on vest size) allow the wearer to better customize cooling and weight, a nice feature. The disadvantage? The more ice packs that need to be inserted/removed each time the vest is worn nicks the convenience score (of course, like all the vests in our testing, the entire vest can be frozen) while the fact that they can only be recharged in a freezer dings portability. And the packs, which are rock solid, do little to conform around the body. Our testers questioned the position of the packs along the spine, which felt uncomfortable to some. But with such an aggressive sale price, those shortcomings can be overlooked, as the Kool Max is one of the best bang-for-the-buck cooling vests on the market.

    Design: 3

    Fit: 4

    Adjustability: 5

    Endurance: 4

    Comfort: 3

    Convenience: 2

    Concealability: 1

    Versatility: 3

    Sports: 2

    Portability: 2

    Quality: 3

    Cold Sensitivity: 2

    Dryness: 4

    Weight: 4 lbs 6 oz (9 packs)
    Dave Bexfield
    ActiveMSers

    Comment


    • #17
      Review: Polar Products Kool Max Fashion Vest

      Review: Polar Products Kool Max Fashion Vest

      The Polar Products Fashion Vest for men and women is a conundrum. It cools far too well in some areas (requiring those sensitive to cold to remove it) and not at all in others (there is zero cooling on the upper chest). It touts fashion in its name (always a risk), but it is decidedly plain despite its pockets. It boasts discretion, but cannot overcome the mere fact that wearing a vest in the summertime is not terribly discreet. The men’s version features eight cooling packs while the women’s version features five, and unfortunately one of the cold packs randomly sprung a leak, reminiscent of our 2011 testing. Curiously, the insulated lining surrounding the cool packs on this vest is different than the one found on the Kool Max standard vest, perhaps contributing to its lower cold sensitivity score.

      In terms of fit, the arm holes seem cut wrong, being a touch too tight along the front of the arms, pinching the upper arm (see side photos). Sizing of the vest is quite large, so it draped the torso rather than hugging it, diminishing cooling efficiency. And surprisingly therein lies this vest’s most attractive attribute. We tested the Kool Max Fashion on various body types, and comfort for those plus sized was praised over other, snugger-fitting vests (which probably wouldn’t get worn for that very reason). The vest also can be left unzipped for maximum comfort. The loose fit helped prevent overcooling in testing--indeed for that reason we preferred the power of the ice packs, which we would tend to avoid with snug-fitting vests. Still too cold? Toss it on the back of a chair for 15 minutes and then toss it back on (with no awkward Velcro straps to get in the way). This makes it easy to wear in a workplace environment. And while it is not concealable in the traditional sense, it doesn’t appear to the layperson to be a cooling vest, either, although the ice packs along the spine in the back (seated this was not terribly comfortable) give the secret away.

      Design: 2

      Fit: 2

      Adjustability: 1

      Endurance: 4

      Comfort: 4

      Convenience: 3

      Concealability: 3

      Versatility: 3

      Sports: 1

      Portability: 2

      Quality: 3

      Cold Sensitivity: 1

      Dryness: 3

      Weight: 4 lbs 5 oz (8 packs), 3 lbs (5 packs)
      Dave Bexfield
      ActiveMSers

      Comment


      • #18
        Review: SteeleVest

        Review: SteeleVest

        Steele has been in the cooling business for nearly two decades and has an established industrial and military following, as well as fans in the multiple sclerosis community. And based on our review, there’s a reason their vests appeal to those trying to stay cool in harsh conditions. Two things would likely survive a nuclear apocalypse: cockroaches and Steele vests. They are that beefily made. Even the gel ice cooling packs are of such high quality they would probably survive being driven over by a pickup laden with kegs of beer. Those cooling packs—a mixture of starch, water and other ingredients—“have a similar cooling capacity as ice” when frozen, and therein lies our biggest concern with their vests.

        Worn atop a single T-shirt, the coldness of the vest (as low as 28 °F in testing) matches or exceeds temperatures commonly used in icing an injury. The Mayo Clinic recommends applying ice no longer than 20 minutes to prevent frostbite. Based on our ice control test, with temps ranging from 27 to 33.8°F over a half hour, ActiveMSers strongly advises all users of Steele vests to wear an additional layer of clothing for protection. Read more details on our full test of this vest from 2011 (photos, including my bright red chest from the intense cold, are from that test). Although the Steele vest gets demerits for its coldness from our safety testing, that is easily remedied by an extra layer of clothing, which can then be removed as the elements begin to thaw. And for those MSers who feel coldness is next to godliness, you can't get much closer to those heavens than with this chilly vest.

        Design: 3

        Fit: 4

        Adjustability: 4

        Endurance: 4

        Comfort: 3

        Convenience: 2

        Concealability: 1

        Versatility: 2

        Sports: 1

        Portability: 2

        Quality: 4

        Cold Sensitivity: 1

        Dryness: 2

        Weight: 5 lbs 11 oz
        Dave Bexfield
        ActiveMSers

        Comment


        • #19
          Review: Maranda Enterprises FlexiFreeze Ice Vest

          Review: Maranda Enterprises FlexiFreeze Ice Vest

          With a price on Amazon spotted as low as $58, the FlexiFreeze vest excels in exactly one category: price. And with so many MSers on razor-thin budgets, this benefit cannot be discounted, as the vest is half the cost of many on the market and nearly six times less expensive than some. That said, there are few other areas where this cooling apparatus excels. It should be noted this ice vest with 96 small cubes of “100% purified USA water” (their words, not mine) failed our cold safety test, matching temperatures commonly used in icing an injury. ActiveMSers strongly advises all users of FlexiFreeze vests to wear an additional layer of clothing for protection if the vest is going to worn for more than 20 minutes.

          The 96 cubes are divided into three sheets—one large panel for the back and two for the chest—and when fitted snuggly, directly contact the clothing layer. All three cold packs attach by Velcro strips, which is somewhat ponderous to line up correctly. The vest is then sealed vertically with another line of Velcro, which does not always stay closed and may be tricky for bumbly MS fingers. Unlike its ice packs, the vest itself is hardly flexible—think Trojan warrior chest plate—so if you sit, your lap will act as a table, causing the vest to tilt up into your chin or shift awkwardly to one side (I am sitting rather straight in the photo below). For this reason, fit on smaller individuals is problematic. Even so, reviewers on Amazon (over 70 of them!) gave the FlexiFreeze vest an average rating of four stars. Why? It's a perfectly serviceable, inexpensive vest that is a cooling boon if you are mowing your lawn in hundred degree temps or watching your kids play at the pool. But I question its functionality and durability when using this vest day-in, day-out. If saving money is paramount, this vest is a significant improvement over duct taping a few bags of ice to your shirt, but there are better options if budget allows. If not, this vest will do the trick for a song.

          Design: 2

          Fit: 1

          Adjustability: 3

          Endurance: 4

          Comfort: 1

          Convenience: 3

          Concealability: 1

          Versatility: 2

          Sports: 1

          Portability: 2

          Quality: 1

          Cold Sensitivity: 1

          Dryness: 2

          Weight: 3 lbs 13 oz
          Dave Bexfield
          ActiveMSers

          Comment


          • #20
            Review: EZ Cooldown Complete Performers

            Review: EZ Cooldown Complete Performers

            NOTE: This review was completed in June 2020, so it does not mirror the reviews of our past tests.

            So after testing this vest more, there are some significant plusses but also some significant drawbacks that give me pause.

            Fit and Comfort: it's okay, but even the size of medium feels too big. The vest just didn't feel snug even with all the adjustments. The packs higher up infringe on arm movement more than I'd like. Not bad, but other vests are better.

            Endurance: I used the 70-degree thin PCM packs (they offer thicker ones that last longer, but they lack the comfort). In 90-degree heat, it was totally depleted in under an hour and a half. Not bad, but not great.

            Comfort: Mmm. These vest were designed to be worn under mascot uniforms. As such, they are designed for people who are standing; I use a wheelchair. The bottom bunched up on me, causing the chest area to lose contact, which lessens cooling.

            Construction: the material is lightweight and is supposed to be durable. But I wasn't crazy about the Velcro straps. They come extremely long, and have to be trimmed. And I've discovered in testing that front zippers are meh in general, as it's the Velcro that gets things tight.

            Overall: a decent performer, and probably ideal for "furries," but for MSers there are better options.
            Dave Bexfield
            ActiveMSers

            Comment

            Working...
            X