WHAT IS IT? In light of the Josh Lichtle tragedy at the 2011 Red Bud National, interest in heat stroke is at an all-time high. The HyperKewl vest is an evaporative cooling vest designed to keep athletes cooler.
WHAT’S IT COST? $41.99.
CONTACT? www.techniche-intl.com or (888) 823-2665.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with HyperKewl’s Ultra Sport vest.
(1) Tech. The concept of evaporative cooling isn’t rocket science. We’re reminded of its effectiveness every time we step out of the shower while still wet.
(2) Design. The HyperKewl fabric is made of cellulose fibers, bi-component binders, absorbent polymer fibers and process aids. We don’t know what those are, but they sound high-tech. The material is designed to quickly absorb liquid but release it slowly. The vest uses the material on the entire chest and back panels, inside and outside, with mesh panels and a zipper entry on the side.
(3) Comfort. The HyperKewl material is just thick enough to take away the sting of roost, and it works well as a light underprotector. It holds in the moisture and doesn’t saturate the things it comes into contact with. This means that it doesn’t stick to your skin like a wet T-shirt, and it doesn’t wet your jersey and attract dirt.
(4) Use. To use the HyperKewl vest, you soak it in water (ice-chest water was too cold for us), squeeze out the excess, put it on next to your skin, and put your jersey and chest protector over it.
(5) Performance. Techniche claims five to ten hours of cooling per soaking, but that’s very optimistic. Our HyperKewl vest stayed damp through long motos on hot days, but we felt that the effective time limit was about one hour for maximum cooling.
(6) Options. The Ultra Sport model is available in all sizes in black, silver or blue.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Even though we haven’t had a failure with the vest, we would opt for a larger, more rugged, easier-to-handle zipper.
A cooling vest has to work extremely well to overcome the mud, wind, and extra layers of clothing and protection involved with motocross. Techniche’s Ultra Sport vest met our expectations.