MXA PRODUCT TEST:
INNER COOLER PERFORMANCE WRAP
WHAT IS IT? A quilted material that is filled with a water-absorbing gel and acts like a radiator for your body. The gel is made of a polyacrylamide polymer that absorbs water at a rate of 500:1 and uses convection to control a racer’s body temperature. You wear it like a cape under your jersey. It sits against your skin and draws heat out of your body. It is not the same as placing a cold towel on your body.
WHAT’S IT COST? $69.95.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Inner Cooler Performance Wrap.
(1) How to use it. The first time you use the Inner Cooler it is best to soak it in cold water for about 20 minutes. This allows it to absorb as much moisture as possible. The MXA test riders place the wet Inner Cooler into a Ziploc plastic bag and throw it in our ice chest (we also store them in the refrigerator for consecutive test days). When dry, the Inner Cooler is flat and feels just like a piece of cloth. When wet, the gel swells up and the Inner Cooler is puffy and looks like bubble wrap.
(2) Colors. Don’t get too misty about the colors, because the Inner Cooler is designed to be worn under your jersey. However, after a moto is over you can throw an Inner Cooler on to cool down even more. They are available in tan, blue, black and navy blue.
(3) Sizes. The Inner Cooler comes in small/medium and large/extra-large. If you are normal size, order the large/extra large. It covers a larger area, fits better under your chest protector and isn’t tight around the neck. We would prefer an extra-extra-large.
(4) Performance. It works. How does it work? Because water absorbs heat 25 times more efficiently than air, the Inner Cooler uses the polymer gel to suck the heat out of your body (much like the water in a radiator). The polyacrylamide cross-linked polymer inert plastic gel absorbs liquids and stays cool for up to five days. It sounds crazy to get cool by wearing more clothes, but it works. Weirdest of all, the Inner Cooler is dry to the touch. Oh, by the way, you don’t have to refrigerate it if you don’t want to (it will still work). And it doesn’t have to be soaking wet (it only has to have the gel inserts bloated with water).
(5) Options. In the future, Inner Cooler plans to build an underprotector with the polymer gel built in. This will allow a rider to wear a functional piece of riding equipment while still getting the benefits of lowering his body’s core temperature.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Three quibbles: (1) A small amount of polyacrylamide gel oozes out of the threads of the quilted stitching. It is nontoxic and can be brushed off. It stops oozing out after the third or fourth use.(2) As the humidity increases, the Inner Cooler becomes less effective. (3) It lifts a Leatt brace up about a half inch, which could be a problem for riders with short necks.
The Inner Cooler is a lightweight, relatively unnoticeable garment that helps keep your body’s core temperature in check.
KTM Motorcycle tests