Several cooling vests are available on the market, including PCM based vests provided by Kappler, Another type is offered by Texas Cool Vest and Glacier Tek. The later is offering a five pound vest designed to maintain a constant temperature of 59-degree F for up to 2.5 hours. The vest uses a patented RPCM ‘Cool packs’ which can be recharged by dipping for 20 minutes in ice water. First Line Technology’s SWEDE Cooling Vest also utilizes PCM elements.
The vest uses 21 elements cooling the wearer for up to two hours (minimum duration 45 minutes). The PCM packs are activated at a temperatures ranging from 82 to 90 degrees F., optimized for environmental conditions. A different PCM application is used by Steele, Inc. in their SteeleVest product, using frozen gel Thermo-Strips inserted into the vest to provide up to four hours of cooling. However, endurance comes with a cost – the SteeleVest weighs between eight and 12 pounds.
In this series Defense Update covers the following topics:
- Body Armor Suites
- Ergonomic Body Armor Designs
- Ballistic Helmets
- Physiological and Physical Challenge of Body Armor
- Eyewear Protection for the Warfighter
- Tactical Benefits of Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK / PRK)
- Cooling with Phase Change Materials (PCM)
- Improving the Combat Survival Rate Among the Wounded
- Load Carrying Systems for the Infantry