Although cooling clothes have been available for some time, it was in the summer of 2010 that awareness took a big jump, and many more people started wearing this type of clothes to stay cool.
Cooling clothes is affordable and effective. People wear them if they don’t deal well with heat – or just don’t like it – or if their environment puts in them in high heat. For people with MS, this clothing is a great blessing.
Cooling vests are the most effective type of cooling clothes. However, hats, skull caps and scarves are also available. These have the advantage of being small and light, so you can carry them more easily. However, cool vests deliver the greatest impact in keeping cool. Many people find that cool vests with a high collar are best of all.
There are two primary categories of cooling clothes. One is evaporative cooling. This is the less expensive type. Clothes of this style works by putting it in water for a very short time; as you wear it the water evaporates. Cool vests help a great deal. Wherever you are, when you need to recharge your vest, you just put it in water for 10 seconds to 3 minutes, depending on the brand. Evaporative cooling vests can wet your shirt somewhat. Some don’t like that idea, but once they use them and feel how much more comfortable they are, they don’t worry about that anymore! Some people like to wear them without a shirt, especially athletes. If the humidity is high, some don’t want this type of vest. Others however, find it suits them fine regardless of the humidity. It still has a cooling effect. Kitchen workers usually favor evaporative cooling because they are less bulky, and the folks have good mobility and ready access to water.
Most evaporative cool vests are not too great-looking, but there are now cooling clothes available in a beautiful range of colors and styles, and are much more tailored. They of course cost more than the basic styles.
The other type of cool vests goes by different names, but the idea is that you have cool packs that you put in the freezer, and then insert into pockets in the vest, or accessory. These are dry, and have the advantage of holding a steady cooling temperature until you refreeze or replace them. These are more bulky than the evaporative cooling vests. The cool packs normally freeze in 45 minutes or so. Many buy an extra set of cool packs so they can swap them out.
The cool pack cool vests are used often by motorcyclists, by people working in very high heat factories, some who live in areas of high humidity, and by those who favor the dry approach and aren’t troubled by the additional bulk.