As spring and summer temperatures rise, many would appreciate an innovative way to stay cool. An Indiegogo campaign for a product called an “InstantCool” vest offers one solution: a heat-reducing-garment with a design based on liquid-cooling tech first developed by NASA. While other cooling vests exist, this model from China-based Volcanoes-Electronics aims to be easier to use, more effective and cheaper than many on the market. The campaign description claims other affordable vests “require you to soak them in water, either become slimy or do not perform well in high humidity, or use packets of frozen liquid that are bulky, heavy and quickly lose their effectiveness.”
“Active cooling vests have so many advantages over passive cooling vests, except they are too expensive and easily cost you several hundred dollars. We’d like to bring a practical and comfortable cooling vest for everyone to use in daily outdoor tasks,” Volcanoes-Electronics Founder Eddy Yue said.
The makers of the active-cooling-vest InstantCool imagine it being used in a variety of al fresco situations, including exercise, recreation and labor. Its method of circulating chilled liquid was first developed by NASA in the 1960s to cool spacesuits and is currently utilized by the military.
According to the InstantCool team, this type of gear can be very expensive when it uses a compressor-based refrigeration unit. In contrast, InstantCool uses simple ice packs or ice to cool the water, simplifying the system and making it more affordable – the crowdfunding promotion is providing them for $119 and the post-campaign price is set for $159. A special offer on the InstantCool website also advertises a $99 deal.
InstantCool can be controlled with a button and the refreshing effects can be noticed within 10 seconds. Each unit contains a power bank, water pump and ice pack. Ice packs can also be traded out for regular ice, or ice can be added directly to the water bladder. Microtubes run throughout the vest, distributing the cooling water.
This garment is said to be effective in the summer heat even with other layers on top. The company recommends wearing a shirt under the vest but assures customers that the cooling tubes would not touch the skin directly, in any case. The vest weighs about 3 pounds when full of water and ice. It is advertised as comfortable to wear because the weight, rather than being centered on the shoulders alone, is distributed across the chest and around the body with a “snug fit” for whole-torso cooling. The size can be adjusted at the waistline.
This comfort-inducing piece of clothing can charge in four hours and, when pumping continuously, works for over three. If it is turned on and off, as recommended, it lasts twice as long. InstantCool can be hand-washed after its components are removed, including the power bank, ice pack, water pump and USD port. The campaign site claims it will not leak, has a one-year warranty, and can be used for about five years.
Campaign backers can expect their vests to ship in June 2018 or within 15 days of Volcanoes-Electronics receiving 2,000 orders.