Tuesday, August 29, 2006

In the news: Cooling products, better late than never

Just in time for the dog days of, um, autumn, WaPo brings us a comparison of several products intended to keep the body cool. Doesn't sound like any of these products is a slam-dunk solution, but I might look into the evaporative-cool vest, though not as a part of the Village People ensemble pictured here.

Something like the vest might have come in handy this past Sunday. I went for a paddle with my dad and my brother on a crisp, cloudless day, and got warm enough that by the end up the trip I was partially discombobulated, wobbly, and ready for bed. Snip:
We pulled the canvas-colored vest ($34.99, on sale from $69) out of its bag and couldn't figure up from down. The hook-and-loop straps took a little untangling (and still we didn't know which way was inside out). It looked like it might inflate into a raft; instead, it expanded into something a nattily attired highway flagman might wear.

After soaking the garment in cold water (the greedy polymers in the lining lapped it up), we strapped it on. It felt cool but not wet; the added pound of weight was hardly noticeable. The cool effect lasted more than 50 minutes, or else we just got numb.


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