What is it? Simply put it’s like having Air Conditioning in your jacket which cools you down if the summer sun gets too much. It’s made of HyperKewl material which sounds very high tech, but I think it’s called that to help you get over the rather shocking price tag.
How does it work?
The HyperKewl material locks in the moisture and stores it for “supposedly” up to 8 hours, reducing heat by around roughly 5-8°C compared to the ambient temperature.
Does it actually work?
Well I’ve been riding around Spain now since April, as I write this it’s mid July and it’s around 30°C (90°F) in the shade and closer to 38°C (100°F) in the sun on the roads off the coast. Suffice to say it’s fecken hot made interminally worse with my bike gear on, and yes, even in this heat I wear the full kit. I’ll leave the riding around in shorts and t-shirt to those who like to make EMT’s earn their pay cheque.
I ordered the BMW Cooling Vest from Jason Griffiths Motorcycles on the Isle of Man around February before heading to Spain and I got some very curious looks. No doubts Jason thought I was a mad Irishman with some very optimistic ideas of the prevailing weather patterns of summer on the island. Summer there lasts about 3 days on average before it switches back to Autumn mode lol
And yes, the BMW HyperKewl Cooling Vest most definitely does work! Once the temperature get’s up to 30°C my Celtic blood which is more used to northern climates starts to overheat and I get very uncomfortable, worse I get very tired very quickly. The Cooling Vest is “for me” one of the best bits of kit I’ve bought in a long time as it definitely lowers my upper body core temperature and 30°C + (86°F) becomes a pleasure again. It’s as valuable to me as a heated vest in sub-zero temperatures. Everyone has a different tolerance for heat and cold, where I’ll ride happily without heated gear in temperatures as low as 0°C, temps above 30 wear me out very quickly which is why I bought BMW Cooling Vest in the hope it would help me.
For best results with the BMW Motorrad Cooling Vest I wear:
- A light mesh t-shirt underneath or Level 1 Base Layer
- And a jacket with good ventilation
The Cooling Vest works very well in my BMW Rallye 3 Jacket and even better in my Klim Badlands Pro Jacket. However, BMW’s claim that it works for up to 8 hours is a bit of a stretch. At around 30°C I found the vest starting to dry out around the chest area after 3 hours. Not a big issue, I just sprinkle a bit of water on it when I pull over for a drink/break or stick the vest in a sink at a petrol station toilet when I pull in for fuel.
Is it worth the money?
Well it’s not cheap, I paid around £65 GBP for it and to be honest I can’t get my head around the steep price. But if my BMW Cooling Vest got lost or stolen I would certainly buy another simply because I suffer badly in higher temperatures and I won’t ride without my full kit on. Wearing the vest is like having AC in my jacket. Also considering I spend a big chunk of the year living in Spain the Cooling Vest becomes invaluable. Usually at this time of the year “July” I’m off the bike along with a lot of ex-pats here in Spain, it’s too damn hot to ride. But no more, this year I’m still happily riding around.
So, in regards of usability and function I’m giving the BMW Motorrad Hyperkewl Cooling Vest an 8/10 for those like me who can’t handle the heat.
Value for money
That’s a tough one, it seems seriously overpriced, althoough it may be expensive to manufacture like Gore-Tex, but for riding around southern Europe in summer it’s invaluable for me. If it was around €45 EUR or £40 GBP I’d also give it a 8/10, but like most BMW kit it’s excellent, but pricey.
Safe riding folks..