I rode over to a buddy’s house to try on a Compcooler Cooling Vest that he had recently purchased for our planned trip to Fort Davis, TX. MY THOUGHTS: The vest fit snug, as intended, and it definitely works to cool your core in high temperatures. The size M actually is sort of a one size fits all, as the vest is stretchy and the backpack has plenty of room with the adjustment straps. The ice pack itself will melt after a few hours in the heat, so we wouldn’t consider this an end all solution for long distance rides. Greg used the vest on a trip from Texas to Arkansas for Father’s Day, and he said that it lasted about two hours before he needed to stop and add ice to it. I purchased similar sized ice packs from my local Target store to use as replacements when the ice pack melts. Although I ended up purchasing the vest for the Fort Davis trip, I never got to use it as intended. I found that my 3-liter camelback hydration pack fit perfectly inside of the insulated backpack, so I chose to use it for hydration as the heat was not as unbearable as we’d originally thought it would be. I packed the ice packs and some bottled water and snacks in my cooler in the trunk in case I did need to use it. Good thing we started our journey at 6am! We made it to Fort Davis just before the temps reached 102 degrees.
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