The CoolShirt System
I was looking for cooling apparel, and I just came across a product that I think is really cool…no, I mean really cool. It’s called the CoolShirt®, and it’s designed to keep you cool when you’re in a seriously hot environment and heading for heat stroke. It’s a simple idea, really, but simple ideas are usually the best.
The CoolShirt people take almost 50’ of medical grade capillary tubing and sew it securely to the front and back of a shirt in kind of a looping pattern that ends up covering nearly 40% of the body. Then they take an insulated supply hose and attach one end to the tubing on the shirt and the other end to a cooler full of ice water. A pump in the cooler pumps the ice water through the supply hose and into the tubing on the shirt, where it circulates around and cools you off, maintaining a temperature of between 50°F and 65°F. The system connects to any standard 110V outlet, or it can run off a 12V battery.
Since cool water transfers body heat 28 times faster than cool air alone, results come fast. As soon as that ice water starts flowing through the shirt, you’re going to cool down quickly.
There’s different ways you can use the CoolShirt. Since they’re so comfortable, you can wear one all day, stay hooked up to the cooler and stay cool. Or, if that’s inconvenient, you can set up the system in some nearby shade, come over on your break, plug your CoolShirt in and sit there and cool off for a while, then go back to work.
The people who make the CoolShirt have a lot of different CoolShirts you can buy, and different systems as well. They have a multi-person system that can cool up to six people at once, great for construction crews! They have portable systems where you carry the cold water around with you in either a small bottle, a larger water bag, a waist pack, or even a back pack, so you don’t have to be hooked up to the supply hose. They have CoolShirts that are flame-resistant. They even have Cool Pants!
Heat stress and heat stroke are nothing to mess with. Heat stroke can kill you. So if you find yourself working under really hot conditions, like maybe in a steel mill, or in a foundry, or just out in direct sunlight on a hot, humid day, don’t take any chances. Try out the CoolShirt system. It will help you maintain a safe core body temperature, and you’ll live to work another day.