Cooling Vest

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Intro: 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.

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    13 Discussions

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    blakehx

    3 years ago

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

    1 reply
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    bnaivarblakehx

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    BigRed1973

    3 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply
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    ouchyspecialist

    3 years ago

    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.

    1 reply
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    bnaivarjustfluffyme

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    kristiehatton

    3 years ago

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

    1 reply
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    bnaivarkristiehatton

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    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.