15 Best Cooling Vests

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Are you looking for the best cooling vest on the market? Well, look no further! This article will tell you everything you need to know about what a cooling vest is, where to purchase them, and their benefits. 

As the saying goes, “good things come to those who sweat.” However, while our gains may be increasing with each superset, so is our core body temperature. Racking up a sweat quickly is uncomfortable as ever in the hotter months.

To help reduce your heat stress, a lightweight cooling vest is a perfect addition to your workout fit. Not only will it keep you cool during an intense cardio session, but it also supports your cool down.

We searched all over for the best cooling vests available on the market, so keep scrolling to shop the perfect vest for your needs.

15 Best Cooling Vests

1. TechNiche International Adult Hyperkewl Cooling Sport Vest Picture of the TechNiche International Adult Hyperkewl Cooling Sport Vest 

Our first offering uses evaporative cooling to keep you comfortable. Meant to be worn over your shirt as you workout, it’s lightweight and one of the least expensive cooling vests on this list.

Pros

  • Features a simple V-neck with a zipper closure for easy use and versatility.
  • Offers 5-10 hours of effective cooling per soak.
  • Made of a breathable quilted nylon exterior and a water repellent nylon inner.

Cons

  • Due to evaporative technology, it cannot be worn underneath clothing.
  • Not ideal for high humidity since it won’t be as effective.

2. Climafusion Cooling Vest for Women & Men Picture of Climafusion Cooling Vest for Women & Men 

Available in two colors, this durable and affordable cooling vest delivers unbeatable performance. By using evaporative technology, this vest is easy to activate and reliable.

Pros

  • Its lightweight design is perfect for any type of exercise.
  • Features adjustable velcro straps.
  • Its cooling effect lasts for 3-6 hours after activation.

Cons

  • Once activated your clothes may be dampened a bit.
  • Since it’s unisex, it fits large.

3. HyperKewl 6530-RB-L Evaporative Cooling Vest Picture of HyperKewl 6530-RB-L Evaporative Cooling Vest 

The use of patented Hyperkewl fabric makes this a consistent star across numerous ice vest reviews. Featuring a modern fit, this is particularly suited for outdoor use on long hikes or runs.

Pros

  • Hyperkewl technology keeps you cool for 5 to 10 hours.
  • The design includes a zipper and two zipper pockets for functionality.
  • The nylon exterior is quilted for optimal comfort.

Cons

  • When wet it’s not as lightweight as other vests.

4. FlexiFreeze Ice Vest Picture of FlexiFreeze Ice Vest

Don’t be fooled by the industrial look of this vest, its neoprene design is lightweight, thin, and flexible. Instead of using toxic gel packs, ice sheets provide the main source of cooling here.  This just might be the best cooling vest for high humidity available on the market.

Pros

  • Vest and panels are washable when ice sheets are removed.
  • Panels are interchangeable to prolong cooling time.
  • Ideal for all environments and physical activity.

Cons

  • Only available in an adjustable (velcro), one size fits most design.

5. Ergodyne Chill-Its 6665 Evaporative Cooling Vest Picture of Ergodyne Chill-Its 6665 Evaporative Cooling Vest 

Ergodyne’s Chill-Its Evaporative Series is designed for those working up a sweat in the outdoors. It’s affordable and the cooling vest configuration will fight heat stress, keeping you comfortable and making it one of the best cooling vests available right now

Pros

  • The polymer-embedded fabric will keep you cool for 4 hours.
  • Naturally shorter and fitted with mesh side panels for a full range of motion.

Cons

  • Hand washes only.

6. The Coldest Ice Pack Picture of The Coldest Ice Pack.

As you’ll notice from the design, this is less of a vest and more of a multi-purpose icepack. This innovative design easily molds to your body to deliver cold therapy for sore muscles. We suggest using this during your cool down to help bring your body back down to your optimum temperature range.

Pros

  • The ice pack will mold to your back, ankles, calf, thigh, and chest.
  • Great for back pain, muscle pain, stomach aches, stiff neck, calves, quads, and sports injuries.
  • The flexible design helps to distribute coldness evenly.
  • The gel pack is ready within 2 hours.

Cons

  • The suggested use period is 20 minutes. However, if not completely frozen, you may prolong application or alternate between areas.

7. TechKewl 6626-RB-L/XL Phase Change Cooling Vest 
Picture of TechKewl 6626-RB-L/XL Phase Change Cooling Vest 

If you struggle with humidity during your workout, this is one of the best phase change cooling vests out there. Designed to be 30% lighter than its competition, its insulated interior is perfect for wearing underneath your clothes.

Pros

  • Will provide 2-3 hours of consistent cooling in the harshest temperatures or humidity.
  • Packets are ready in 35-4o minutes.
  • Comes with an insulated carrying case.
  • Washable outer material.

Cons

  • Placing the freezer packs into the vest when frozen is a bit of a challenge. We suggest freezing the vest with the packs inside.

8. New Home Innovations Cooling Vest Picture of New Home Innovations Cooling Vest

Created for the active person in mind, this vest promises to maintain a stable core body temperature through the use of phase change cooling. It’s lightweight, even with all 4 packs inserted into its pockets, making it great for a run.

Pros

  • Features soft mesh for maximum ventilation.
  • Adjustable shoulder and torso straps.
  • Can keep you cool up to 2 hours.

Cons

  • Needs to be worn over clothing.
  • You’ll need to replace the freezer packs if you’d like additional cooling time.

9. TechNiche International Ultra Evaporative Cooling Sport Vest 

Picture of TechNiche International Ultra Evaporative Cooling Sport Vest 

Another offering from the popular TechNiche brand, this vest is meant specifically for sports use. Outfitted with a side zipper, this is a pull-over designed with mesh side panels for remarkable comfort.

Pros

  • HyperKewl material on the inside keeps you cool for 5 to 10 hours.
  • Easy to activate. Just soak in water, squeeze the excess and it’s ready.

Cons

  • Not ideal for high humidity.
  • Must be worn over clothing.

10. TechNiche HyperKewl Cooling Sports Vest Woman’s Picture of TechNiche HyperKewl Cooling Sports Vest Woman's 

This is for all the ladies that like to exercise in style. With a fitted seam and cinched waist in the back, HyperKewl technology brings scientifically proven performance to this cooling vest. Most cooling vest reviews will not leave this one out.

Pros

  • This vest has front pockets and a zipper for accessibility.
  • Will provide 5 to 10 hours of cooling per soak.
  • Made of lightweight quilted nylon fabric.
  • Features a high collar for extra sun protection.

Cons

  • Needs to be worn over clothing.

11. KewlFit Performance Enhancing Vest Picture of KewlFit Performance Enhancing Vest 

This is a standout. A hybrid of evaporative and phase change cooling, the extended cooling this vest provides can reduce heat stress & fatigue while increasing productivity and performance.

 Pros

  • Features a classic design with front zipper closure, side mesh ventilation and a scoop neck.
  • Has an adjustable side gusset.
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • This vest is pricey, but worth it for its versatility.

12. HyperKewl 6529-KH-M Evaporative Cooling Vest Picture of HyperKewl 6529-KH-M Evaporative Cooling Vest

This classic zip-up is waiting to be an exercise essential. It’ll keep you cool for 5 to 10 hours and the combination of nylon and poly-cotton adds the perfect amount of comfort and ventilation.

Pros

  • Made of lightweight materials.
  • Durable design holds up over time.
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • Not suitable for high humidity environments.

13. AllTuffUSA Self Charging Cooling Vest

Picture of AllTuffUSA Self Charging Cooling Vest

This durable phase change cooling vest uses proprietary wax inserts to keep you cool. Made from a lightweight fabric, its design is intentionally rugged while providing solid comfort.

Pros

  • Wax inserts can be frozen infinitely so you don’t need to buy new ones.
  • Torso and shoulder straps will help contour vest to the body.
  • Features a front left pocket.

Cons

  • It only comes in a universal size.
  • More expensive than most phase change vests on the market.

14. HyperKewl 6530-HV-M Evaporative Cooling Vest Picture of HyperKewl 6530-HV-M Evaporative Cooling Vest 

If you like to go for a run at night, this hi-visibility lime-colored evaporative vest is perfect for you. The quilted fibers promote rapid absorption, stable water storage, and enhanced evaporation to initiate the cooling effect.

Pros

  • Contributes 5 to 10 hours of cooling per soak.
  • Crewneck design will protect from sun exposure.
  • Machine washable up to 104°F.

Cons

  • Runs a bit shorter than some other vests on this list.

15. FlexiFreeze Professional Series Ice Vest Picture of FlexiFreeze Professional Series Ice Vest 

Want a cooling vest that works just as hard as you do? This is the one for you. Created for use in industrial or occupational environments, it’s also perfect for an intense weightlifting session. It weighs in at 3.5 pounds and is lightweight enough that it doesn’t restrict mobility.

Pros

  • The ice inserts are swappable for extended cooling.
  • The vest is machine washable.
  • Outfitted with adjustable sides and shoulder straps.

Cons

  • Costly, but worth it for the quality.

Best Cooling Vests: Why Do You Need One Anyway?

Everyone responds differently to heat, but hanging out in the heat is generally uncomfortable on principle. This is especially relevant when working out. As our heart rate rises, so does our body temperature and warmer environments apply more stress to our cardiovascular system.

Heat stress can be dangerous in these scenarios. You may mistake the common signs of heat exhaustion- such as heavy sweating, dizziness, and pale skin, for simply working hard. But since our bodies aren’t cable of sensing a high core body temperature, your risk of heat exhaustion during the summer months is higher than ever.

Staying cool at higher temperatures is very important if you want to keep yourself safe and boost your exercise tolerance. No one wants to take extra rest days or cut their workouts short because the heat is making them ill.

In addition to hydrating often and taking enough breaks to regulate your breathing, wearing a lightweight cooling west will help you avoid overheating and maximize your performance by keeping your cool and comfortable.

Benefits of Cooling Vests

1. Fights against heat stress and fatigue.

The primary goal of a cooling vest is to keep your core body temperature cool, thus avoiding heat exhaustion and other negative effects of overheating. Regulating your temperature keeps you safe and helps maintain normal levels of productivity, despite humidity levels.

For this reason, cooling vests aren’t just popular with athletes but race car drivers, motorcycle drivers, construction workers, and even theme park workers.

2. Scientifically proven to improve performance in athletes.

Studies taken of runners who participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics proved that wearing an ice vest as part of their warmup routine helped with their overall performance. The runners registered lower heart rates after their races, lower core body temperatures, and improved running time.

Increasing temperature directly correlates to thermal strain which can lead to heat exhaustion. Wearing an ice vest helps reduce those effects by increasing blood flow and oxygen to your muscles. As our muscles are nourished by the oxygen in our blood, our energy is stabilized and we can finish our workout strong.

3. Helps with recovery.

A quick scan of most cooling vest reviews online will find that most users champion the ability of these vests to help them cool down after exercise. Cooling down after a workout or any type of strenuous physical activity helps to regulate blood flow and relax your muscles.

In addition to focusing on your breathing and stretching during this phase, the use of an ice vest will bring you back down to your optimum temperature range faster and elevate some of the stress on your body as it attempts to drain the lactic acid out of your muscles.

4. Aid with Multiple Sclerosis symptoms.

A common side effect of MS is heat intolerance. When it’s hot or humid, symptoms often worsen due to the overload on the body’s central nervous system. Those with MS may suffer from temporary bouts of fatigue, muscle spasms, vision impairment, or cognitive dysfunction, also known as a flare-up.

Cooling vests are a popular method of garment used to help restore the body back to its normal core temperature. You’ll notice MS patients on many evaporative cooling vest reviews offering their experiences in how a flare-up was reduced by the use of a cooling vest.

Types of Cooling Vests

There are 3 different types of cooling vests on the market. Their prices are usually dependent on the type of cooling vest configuration.

Evaporative Cooling Vests

These are the most simple and inexpensive vests on the market. Made with a unique blend of fibers and fabric, they rapidly absorb cool water, and through the process of evaporation, provide a cooling effect to the wearer.

All you need to do is soak the vest for a couple of minutes, squeeze out the excess water, and wear it over your clothing. As the water evaporates, energy is consumed and a cooling effect is generated.

The cooling time will vary depending on the weather conditions and the type of vest. Generally, you can get 2 to 10 hours of cooling, but expect less if you work in extreme heat or humid environments. Not to worry though, once the vest is dry you can soak it and immediately use it again.

Most evaporative cooling vest reviews will highlight how lightweight they are, even when wet. Another reason why these are so popular. However, it’s important to note that they’ll eventually need to be replaced because the cooling fibers will disintegrate within the fabric structure. The average lifespan of most vests is 100 wet/dry cycles.

Phase Change Cooling Vests

Phase change cooling vests contain special packets of proprietary liquid (salt solutions, oils, or petroleum bi-products) that generate a cooling effect. Once these packets are frozen, you insert them into the vest and enjoy the benefits of cool air against your skin.

The reason these vests are so popular is because of the inserts. They melt at a slower rate than regular ice and freeze at a faster rate than water. Most will keep you cool for up to 2 to 3 hours.

This is also one of the best cooling vests for high humidity because the packets are concealed within the vest and don’t rely on evaporation to activate the cooling effect.

Since these vests need to be made out of quality material to protect your skin from direct contact with the packets, they tend to be more expensive than the affordable evaporative cooling vests. However, the packets can last a lifetime, making it a worthwhile investment.

Ice Pack Cooling Vests

As the name suggests, these vests use ice cubes or cold packs, to generate a cooling effect. It’s a non-toxic alternative to gels or oils, and much more versatile. You can freeze multiple packs and interchange them throughout the day once the old ones have melted.

If you’re someone who’s on the go, you’ll have to remember to freeze your insets well ahead of time as water freezes at a slower rate than the gels. Most ice vest reviews seem to note an average cooling time of just 2 hours, possibly less if you’re in a humid climate.

In terms of price, these are comparable to phase change cooling vests as they are made of the same durable fabrics to contain the inserts and protect your skin from the ice.

Cooling Vest Reviews: Conclusion

If you’re someone who struggles with the heat or if you’re just interested in upgrading your training experience, then a cooling vest should be your next investment. Many people swear by them across numerous cooling vest reviews for their comfort, practicality, and overall cooling effect.

Depending on your budget, you can purchase an affordable evaporative cooling vest or more heavy-duty vest that uses inserts to keep you cool in harsh temperatures. They can be used before, during, and after any type of physical exercise to help support your performance and protect against heat intolerance.

So, instead of dreading a workout because it’s too hot, why not get excited about it?

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do you buy a cooling vest?

Amazon.com currently has the largest, most comprehensive inventory of cooling vests with tons of customer reviews so you can compare and contrast against models.

The TechKewl 6626-RB-M/L is Amazon’s best phase change cooling vest according to customer reviews. 

According to evaporative cooling vest reviews on Amazon, the TechNiche International Adult HyperKewl Cooling Sport Vest is the leading favorite. 

How much does a cooling vest cost?

Evaporative cooling vests are the most affordable. The price depends on the quality.

If you want one of the best cooling vests for high humidity you’ll have to shell out more money.

What is a cooling vest used for?

A cooling vest is a piece of clothing made to keep its wearer cool by stabilizing your core body temperature. The best cooling vest will reduce your risk of heat stress and fatigue, help boost athletic performance, aid recovery, and lessen the symptoms of an MS flare-up.

They’re often worn over your clothing and come in different configurations depending on your budget and needs.

What is a phase change cooling vest?

A phase change cooling vest uses packets of organic or inorganic liquid designed scientifically to freeze at specific temperature points. These vests are intended to be more comfortable against the human skin in comparison to an ice vest. The inserts will freeze faster than water and provide 2-3 hours of cooling.

Don’t be fooled though, these are still some of the most lightweight cooling vests on the market thanks to the inserts being designed to be lighter than ice.

The New Home Innovations Cooling Vest is the best phase change cooling vest available at its price range.

What should you look for in a cooling vest?

You’ll want to understand what level of cooling you’re in search of. If you’re exposed to extreme heat and high humidity,  look into phase change cooling vests and ice vests. Evaporative cooling vests are ideal for all other climates.

Once you know which type of configuration you’re in the market for, then you can see what your options are and find the vest that offers the longest cooling time for the most comfort. That’s how you’ll find the best cooling vest for your needs.

We also suggest reading carefully through the ice vest reviews so you can get the owner’s insight on the product quality.

Last updated on September 29th, 2020

aaom.org Team

Academic Association of Medicine is the go-to resource for all health-related issues. We are an independent body that seeks to offer general information on various health topics and unbiased reviews on health products.

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