Introduction: Cooling Vest

If you work outside this time of year, the heat can get unbearable, even dangerous in a short time. This Cooling Vest will help you to "keep your cool" while working outside.

Step 1: Step One: Find Someone Who Can Sew.....

First of all, I'd like to give credit where credit is due. My dear wife of 38+ years of marriage (6 of them happy) did all of the construction of this vest. I just came up with the idea.

The downside is that she comes up with all kinds of stuff for me to do outside now.

Step 2: The Cool Part...

The lining of CLEAN UNUSED adult diapers is, by design, highly absorbent and becomes a gel when "activated". If you take the lining from several diapers and a mixture of water and alcohol you can create a mixture that doesn't get rock hard, but is more like a slushy soft drink when frozen. The alcohol to water mix ratio is kind of up to you. You might want to experiment. We're trying 50/50, and 25(alcohol)/75 mixtures now.

Step 3: Preparing the Cooling Packs...

Scoop out some of the alcohol and water gel into standard size sandwich bags and place flat on a rack in the freezer for 24 hours. Double bag the sandwich bags (one up, one down) to prevent leakage.

Step 4: The Vest

We tried to find a fabric that was both breathable and somewhat water resistant so that the vest would cool me but not soak my clothes from condensation from the cool packs.

Step 5: Time to Get to Work.

The pockets on the vest are just the right size to slip the frozen cool packs into. A small Velcro patch keeps the flaps on the pockets closed and keeps the cool packs from falling out.

Step 6: Off to Work

My wife wanted to Velcro the front of the vest as well, but the pockets filled with cool packs made it a little too snug to wear that way. We used some nylon straps with plastic buckles left over from another project for the front closure.

I jokingly told her that I needed a cool pack for my hat too. It looks like that's going to be another Instructable.

Oh well, off to work.

Comments

author
blakehx (author)2015-07-18

So what ratio of water and alcohol works best? I'd assume that you want as little alcohol as possible without it freezing solid!?

author
bnaivar (author)blakehx2015-07-18

2 parts gel with 1 part alcohol. Yes, the solid blocks are uncomfortable to work with as you move in the vest and can actually tear the pockets.

author
BigRed1973 (author)2015-07-14

This is an awesome idea, especially for those of us who dislike hot weather!! Excellent ible!!!!!

author
bnaivar (author)BigRed19732015-07-15

Thanks!

author
mtabasco (author)2015-07-14

What a great idea. Bravo!

author
bnaivar (author)mtabasco2015-07-15

Thank you. :)

author
ouchyspecialist (author)2015-07-14

Thank you so much for this instructable. I have MS and must use this daily. The one I have is too small and I needed another. Didn't know where to start. This is a life saver! Thank you.

author
bnaivar (author)ouchyspecialist2015-07-15

You're welcome!

author
justfluffyme (author)2015-07-15

What fabric did you end up using?

author
bnaivar (author)justfluffyme2015-07-15

I hate to tell you this, but neither my wife not I remember. :( We went to our local Jo-Ann's store and asked the ladies there for help based on what we were doing.

author
kristiehatton (author)2015-07-13

how long did it stay cold for? and what was the temperature like on the day you were wearing it

author
bnaivar (author)kristiehatton2015-07-14

I've never let it completely thaw. Usually I work for a couple of hours and then come in for a rest. While I'm resting I'll put the entire vest back in the freezer. After about an hour I'll put it on and go back outside. The temperature when I was wearing the vest was in the mid 90's.

About This Instructable

3,434views

86favorites

License:

More by bnaivar:Pop-up Cover AnchorCooling Hat (For Working Outside in Summer or if you're a Hothead)Cooling Vest
Add instructable to: