Best Cooling Vests – 2021 Buying Guide

Lathering up with sunscreen might be a top priority, but we often forget that there are other accessories available that can keep our body temperatures cool. The last thing you want to do while you are out on your run is pass out from heat exhaustion—especially if you are racing.

Cooling vests are a great asset to help keep your body temperature within a safe range while you run, as well as prevent dehydration from excessive sweating. If you enjoy running in the heat, take a look at our favorite cooling vests below and perhaps consider adding one to your summer kit.

Standout Picks

TechKewl Hybrid
Designed specifically for sports use, HyperKewl's TechKewl Hybrid Cooling Vest has a a better fit to active use. This water-repellent vest uses both evaporative material and phase change packs to help regulate body temperature.
Amazon Link
TechNiche Ultra Evaporative Vest
Unlike the HyperKewl Hybrid above, the TechNiche Ultra Vest is a pullover. This may be a more comfortable option for some people. The ultra-breathable mesh panels aid the HyperKewl material in regulating body temperatures to safer levels during extreme activities in hot conditions.
Amazon Link
New Home Innovations Cooling Vest
This is one that we really like a lot for post-race, recovery, and even emergency overheating situations. The overall fit and function are a bit challenging to run many miles in, but we think it's a great pick for when you really need to get cooled down afterward.
Amazon Link
Ergodyne 6665 cooling vest
This cooling vest uses evaporative cooling to keep the user's core body temperature down. Simply soak it in water for 3-5 minutes and it's ready to go. Users felt it was very effective at keeping them cool although several stated that the 4 hours of cooling the company advertises is an exaggeration and that it kept them cool for closer to about 2 hours.
Amazon Link
Flexi Freeze ice vest
This option is designed for workers in hospitals, construction, and other occupations, and is also great for use at home while working in the yard or other chores as well as those who suffer from MS. The fit is snug and the cooling vest is machine washable.
Amazon Link
TechKewl 6626 cooling vest
TechKewl makes a thermally lined cooling vest that uses ice pack inserts to ensure coldness on your body. It has the capability of keeping you comfortable for 2-4 hours in extremely high temperatures. The solidly frozen ice packs become more flexible as they progressively melt.
Amazon Link
TechNiche International cooling vest
TechNiche International makes a cooling vest that uses an evaporative temperature reducing system which allows for water to slowly evaporate and simply take the high temperature away. You will really be impressed by this option, it is low maintenance and evenly distributes weight well so when you are in the blazing hot sun, this one won’t weigh you down but it will keep you refreshed. It is easy to use, simple product that anyone can use and enjoy.
Amazon Link
ThermApparel ice vest
ThermApparel makes a really nice vest that can be worn under your clothing. It is one of the lightest options available so it is easy to carry and wear. It is a perfect option for medical needs, industrial safety, emergency services, military, athletic or outdoor recreation.
Amazon Link
Glacier Tek Sports cooling vest
Made for athletes and highly active individuals, Glacier Tek has a cooling vest that is designed to keep you comfortable while allowing you to get moving. It is fully adjustable and has two designs for adults and for children. This company boasts about its pride in manufacturing their cooling vests in the USA.
Amazon Link
COMPCOOLER ice vest
This is a terrific cooling vest that can be worn under your clothing which makes it nicely concealed. COMPCOOLER designs a backpack that can easily be detached. It has made of soft materials that also has a nice amount of flexibility and stretchability for a firm and cozy fit.
Amazon Link
Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool vest
This ice vest is specifically designed and aimed to be a custom piece of essential gear for football players. Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool is used under the shoulder pads for extra protection during impact. The air-flow design allows for additional comfort and breathability to keep players dry and refreshed.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

Whether you're in the market for a cooling vest for men or women, remember that the way you will use your cooling vest will play heavily into the choice you make.

Products that aim to reduce your body temperature were originally created for labor type workers who are in extreme environments for long periods of time every day. This obviously makes sense. Construction workers, miners, factory workers really need every support they can get to be able to perform these tough and physically demanding jobs.

These types of jobs require people to operate in conditions that have excessive heat. As discussed earlier, when a person gets overheated, not only are there serious health concerns that can arise, but other symptoms can arise. Irritability, frustration, impatience, lack of focus, excessive thirst, and foggy thinking all arise.

When you are able to combat excessive heat so that your body can be in balance and be comfortable you will be thinking clearer and you will be performing better. Your endurance also increases and your risk of injury from such temperature stress decreases.

Effectiveness

You want to spend your money on something that works well to keep you cool. There is one thing that these ice vests are designed to do and that keeps your body’s temperature comfortable in hot, humid environments. Outside of this main purpose, there are some special features that make some options better for specific activities over others.

Lightweight cooling vest with flexibility and ability to be stored easily are design features for products that are better for gardeners. Flame resistance would be a great feature for electricians. Flexibility and ease of motion are great for athletes. Gear Pro-Tek Z-Cool uses extra padding, breathable materials and quick-drying abilities that are perfect for football players. Extra durable materials and stitching is a necessity for heavy construction. Some people will require the best cooling vest for high humidity, etc.

Ease of Use

You want a vest that is easy to use in any situation so pay attention to ease of use as you make your choice. You want to be able to have easy wearability. Adjusting your product to fit you properly is another thing that should be easy to understand and do. Reactivating or re-hydrating your packs should be able to be done with little time and have the ability to last the length of time you need.

Products worn on the skin and under the clothing should have a pleasant feel and a good amount of give or flexibility in their materials. Some of the most pleasing options are designed using flexible inserts. There is nothing better than being able to just throw your product itself or the inserts into cold water to rejuvenate its performance especially when you are in environments that aren’t possible to have electricity for freezers and fridges.

Fit

A cooling vest for men can't be a good fit for women and vice versa. Also, some cool vest models are one-size-fits-all. So make sure you research everything regarding the fit and size.

It is critical that your vest fit well so you get the best results possible on the hottest days. A lot of products will be one-size-fits-all. For these, it is important to have adjustable features or stretchability in the materials so that more body types can fit into them well. For those products that are meant to be worn underneath clothing, soft materials and won’t irritate your skin is very important.

Great drying abilities are also important for products that are worn on the skin because you want to make sure that they will have properties that will cut down on bacterial growth for better health. Many still, will have varying sizes along with adjustable features so that you can get a more custom fit. Last, most are made for adults, but Glacier Tek Sports makes sizes for adults and children.

Durability

Durability is an important point to consider when you are asking yourself what cooling vest is right for you. If you are looking for a durable vest to wear outside for a long workday you are going to want one that will have a long-lasting performance with minimal downtime. Many of the products listed above have options to have back up bladders or packs so that you can just switch out old packs with newer ones so there are no gaps in wearing the support gear.

Most of these can have their packs or bladders easily reactivated with the freezer, refrigerator, even cold water in minimal time. Alpinestars MX is a model that you literally just throw the whole thing into cold water for 5-10 minutes and then squeeze out the water and itself -regulates and slowly releases the coolness onto your skin over time. For most people, 1-2 hours at a time with backup if longer is needed will work fine. For hardcore users, professional athletes, campers, working outdoors for long days, 4-7 hours with backup support is best.

11 Best Ice Vests & Cooling Vests Reviewed

1. TechNiche Hybrid

Where to buy
Amazon Link
TechKewl Hybrid
Amazon Link

Designed specifically for sports use, HyperKewl's TechKewl Hybrid Cooling Vest has a a better fit to active use. This water-repellent vest uses both evaporative material and phase change packs to help regulate body temperature.

Read more

Effectiveness
The overall effectiveness is great. The Hybrid vest does exactly what it was intended to do. The length of time the cooling panels stay actively effective does vary some, mostly based on body temps and the climate the vest is being used in, so total results will differ slightly.

Ease of Use
All you have to do is prepare the cooling inserts and add the panels to the vest. These vests are all pretty easy to use and wear. The panel inserts fit easily into the vest, which makes it as easy as it could be.

Fit
The fit of this vest is what got our attention. The cut and design are clearly meant more for sports, and even running, rather than a design that appears more familiar to work apparel. The only area where we see mixed opinions are with the zippered closure. People either like it or they don't

Durability
Overall, the vest is well made, especially since it's intended for active use. The breathable panels are not exactly heavy duty, so hardcore sports could damage, but the materials are made more than well enough for running.

Amazon Link

2. TechNiche Ultra Evaporative Vest

Where to buy
Amazon Link
TechNiche Ultra Evaporative Vest
Amazon Link

Unlike the HyperKewl Hybrid above, the TechNiche Ultra Vest is a pullover. This may be a more comfortable option for some people. The ultra-breathable mesh panels aid the HyperKewl material in regulating body temperatures to safer levels during extreme activities in hot conditions.

Read more

Effectiveness
The effectiveness of this particular vest is a bit different from one that uses ice packs or cooling panels. The method of releasing moisture is one that many people either like or not. The vest is effective overall, but how much really depends on your personal criteria.

Ease of Use
Like most cooling vests, this too is not a very complicated system. The vest, by design is very simplistic overall.

Fit
As mentioned, the design and cut is quite similar to the hybrid vest above, however this one does not have a zippered closure. The vest simply slips on over your head. The design is a more fitted cut, making it more ideal for running than some that look more like a safety vest you might wear around a construction site.

Durability
The mesh panels are more durable than they seem from a picture. The vest, overall, is made well.

Amazon Link

3. NHI Cooling Vest

Where to buy
Amazon Link
New Home Innovations Cooling Vest
Amazon Link

This is one that we really like a lot for post-race, recovery, and even emergency overheating situations. The overall fit and function are a bit challenging to run many miles in, but we think it's a great pick for when you really need to get cooled down afterward.

Read more

Use

We would recommend this vest for after your run, especially if you pushed the envelope with regards to heat buildup and need relief before it turns bad. The design doesn't really seem to be geared toward running, and those ice packs may flop around a bit as you go, which is why we think this one is used better as post-run recovery.

Effectiveness

You basically freeze the ice packs, stick them into the interior pockets, and cool yourself down. For that task, this vest from New Home Innovations works great. In all, the construction and functionality are great. The pockets are well placed to position the cooling packs where they're needed the most.

Fit

As mentioned above, the fit is a bit too loose to run a bunch of miles in. The vest is adjustable, so it can be fitted to different size people, which makes it handy for pretty much anyone who wants to use it. The design is very basic, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The role of a cooling vest, though important, is pretty simple. The design should be that way as well. The vest goes on, ice packs are tucked away in the pockets where you need them, and that all you really need.

Durability

We really haven't seen any major durability issues. And since all you really need to do is put the vest on and get cooled down, there isn't much wear and tear that you need to worry about too much. If you're looking for a reliable, simple to use, and effective cooling vest, we recommend this one for after the race.

Amazon Link

4. Ergodyne 6665

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Ergodyne 6665 cooling vest
Amazon Link

This cooling vest uses evaporative cooling to keep the user's core body temperature down. Simply soak it in water for 3-5 minutes and it's ready to go. Users felt it was very effective at keeping them cool although several stated that the 4 hours of cooling the company advertises is an exaggeration and that it kept them cool for closer to about 2 hours.

Read more

Use

This is a great option for runners, motorcyclists, and bikers who may not have consistent access to a freezer or want a cooling option that is lighter in weight than those with freezer packs. It does a good job of cooling the user, but the company says it cools for 4 hours while users said that by that time the ice vest was completely dry and was useful for only about 2 hours at a time.

Effectiveness

This cooling vest will ensure you that you stay cool for short distances, so if you are a long-distance runner you will definitely want to take a look at some other ones on our list. This is a good one to have for training days shorter than 2 hours.

Ease of Use

The operation of this is super simple, all you have to do is soak it in water for about 5 minutes and then put it on.

Fit

We didn't find any complaints about the size of this cooling vest, and it seems suitable for most people and will go over your clothes easily.

Durability

Several users did note that the lightweight fabric tore easily when it got snagged on something and that you should be careful and aware of this while you're using it.

Amazon Link

5. FlexiFreeze

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Flexi Freeze ice vest
Amazon Link

This option is designed for workers in hospitals, construction, and other occupations, and is also great for use at home while working in the yard or other chores as well as those who suffer from MS. The fit is snug and the cooling vest is machine washable.

Read more

Use

This product is good for people who suffer from MS, construction and hospital workers, and anyone else who needs to stay cool while being able to move freely. Users were very happy with how cool this kept them.

Effectiveness

This cooling vest is a great option for those of you who are outside a lot and need to stay cool. If you work outside or like to take walks in the middle of a blistering day this may just be the vest for you.

Ease of Use

Since all you need to do is put the removable freezer packs in the fridge and then insert them in the vest once they're frozen this is simple to operate. The packs are filled with water and not gel, so they take longer to freeze than other options, about an hour, and some users found this unsatisfactory.

Fit

Some female users found that it wasn't suited for their bodies but for the most part it is suitable for most different body types. Check the sizing chart before ordering.

Durability

We did find several complaints about this factor, so we recommend taking it easy while wearing this.

Amazon Link

6. TechKewl 6626

Where to buy
Amazon Link
TechKewl 6626 cooling vest
Amazon Link

TechKewl makes a thermally lined cooling vest that uses ice pack inserts to ensure coldness on your body. It has the capability of keeping you comfortable for 2-4 hours in extremely high temperatures. The solidly frozen ice packs become more flexible as they progressively melt.

Read more

Use

This ice vest not only works when it is first used but can offer long-lasting comfort in the high temperatures. The inserts are easy to rotate so that you can have no gap in your cold coverage. Included is a cooler bag which is very nice for reactivation. You will be able to enjoy long hours of comfort when you are in excessively warm environments.

Effectiveness

There are 4 phase change inserts that you can use all at once or just a couple at a time to achieve the amount of coldness you desire. These ice vests allow you the ability to comfortably engage in the hottest of temperatures, and when your ice packs melt all you have to do is refreeze them and reinsert for continued use. You could easily use some of the packs while the others stay frozen, then rotate the packs for no stoppage of use. You could look forward to segments of 2-4 hours of comfort in the heat.

Ease of Use

The inserts are easy to freeze and a simple wipe keeps them clean which is not bad at all. The outer layer is machine washable. So you got yourself a quick fix for freshness and cleanliness which makes it super practical. The adjustability allows for a wide range of body sizes that can benefit from the instant cooling effect.

Fit

This ice pack vest provides a comfortable and loose fit--although it is not too loose so you won't have to worry about any chafing or blisters from it rubbing you the wrong way.

Durability

This cool vest is really durable and its lining is reinforced to ensure it holds its own no matter how far you decide to run. This is a great option for those of you who want an ice pack vest you can rely on for the long haul.

Amazon Link

7. TechNiche International

Where to buy
Amazon Link
TechNiche International cooling vest
Amazon Link

TechNiche International makes a cooling vest that uses an evaporative temperature reducing system which allows for water to slowly evaporate and simply take the high temperature away. You will really be impressed by this option, it is low maintenance and evenly distributes weight well so when you are in the blazing hot sun, this one won’t weigh you down but it will keep you refreshed. It is easy to use, simple product that anyone can use and enjoy.

Read more

Use

There is nothing not to like about this cooling vest. It lasts for hours, is easily recharged and has a flexible fit. The price range is fair, it won’t break the bank. This one will make all the difference for anyone who either lives in extremely hot environments or is going on a hot adventure and wants to be extra sure that they pack smartly. Give this one a try, it's got the stuff to keep you replenished.

Effectiveness

If you are looking for an effective cooling vest then you will love this one. It is really easy to use and a perfect one to have for those extra hot summer days.

Ease of Use

You really can’t get any more efficient or simple in use than this product. You can take it anywhere and use it anywhere. If you are out in blisteringly hot weather and as the day goes on, if this one starts to lose its strength, all you need is a bathroom, a water fountain, any water source really.

Fit

There are different sizes that you can utilize to find the right one for your body. The great thing is if you choose too small, don’t worry, the flexible and stretchy sides give you some room for error. Maybe it fits you well but your partner needs it in a pinch; there is a good chance that the flexibility offered through this product will allow them to use it too.

Durability

You could be on a hike and use a stream if you wanted, it is going to work. Dip it, wring it out, wear it, repeat. Done. Who can complain about that?

Amazon Link

8. ThermApparel

Where to buy
Amazon Link
ThermApparel ice vest
Amazon Link

ThermApparel makes a really nice vest that can be worn under your clothing. It is one of the lightest options available so it is easy to carry and wear. It is a perfect option for medical needs, industrial safety, emergency services, military, athletic or outdoor recreation.

Read more

Use

Almost anyone can use this ice vest and enjoy it. It is so light and flexible, you will almost forget you have it on. Your movement won’t be limited while wearing it which is very nice for active people who need some refreshing throughout their day or during hot activities. It is machine washable so maintenance is a breeze.

Effectiveness

If you are looking for a cooling vest that will remain lightweight while also effectively cooling you down, then you will love this one. It is perfect for runners, athletes, and anyone out on a hot summer day--so, check it out because this one comes highly recommended by actual users.

Ease of Use

The materials that are used are 88% Nylon with 12% Spandex. This makeup is a perfect combination for strength and flexibility allowing you to have maximum movement and range of motion while wearing. The packs are designed so that they are also pliable which help in a better movement when in use.

Fit

Weighing in at under 2lbs., it is easy to see why this versatile option is comfortable and useable for the widest variety of people. Worn under your clothing, you can enjoy the benefits of the cold unseen to the public. The lightweight along with the flexible spandex in the material, make it a most comfortable option.

Durability

Thanks to the high-quality materials this vest is made of, it is safe to say that it is incredibly durable. This cooling vest is definitely built to last and will last you mile after mile for years to come if you take care of it right. If you want a machine washable option, this is one you can throw in your washer--just make sure that you air dry it.

Amazon Link

9. Glacier Tek Sports

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Glacier Tek Sports cooling vest
Amazon Link

Made for athletes and highly active individuals, Glacier Tek has a cooling vest that is designed to keep you comfortable while allowing you to get moving. It is fully adjustable and has two designs for adults and for children. This company boasts about its pride in manufacturing their cooling vests in the USA.

Read more

Use

Designed with tons of flexibility with dual side elastic straps as well as over-the-shoulder construction to allow for a fit that is secure and pliable.

Effectiveness

The cold comes for PureTemp which is a biobased phase change material. This technology is USDA Certified BioPreferred label, which means that it is derived from plants and alternate renewable agricultural, marine and forestry sources. It allows for materials that are sustainable substitutes from traditional products that have a petroleum origin. In repeated research and testing results have shown the effectiveness of this material and this cooling system. It will allow you to enjoy consistent performance through thousands of melting and refreezing cycles.

Ease of Use

In as little as 20 minutes in ice water or 1 hour to be fully frozen in the freezer, you can recharge the ice packs with ease.

Fit

This cooling vest looks a little bulky, but it doesn't really feel bulky. It is available in a few color selections to choose from, however, it certainly is not stylish and is actually designed to be more functional rather than to make you look good.

Durability

The durable front zipper allows for a solid enclosure. It can keep you at a temperature of 59 degrees for up to 2.5 hours while you exercise or work out in heat up to 100 degrees.

Amazon Link

10. COMPCOOLER

Where to buy
Amazon Link
COMPCOOLER ice vest
Amazon Link

This is a terrific cooling vest that can be worn under your clothing which makes it nicely concealed. COMPCOOLER designs a backpack that can easily be detached. It has made of soft materials that also has a nice amount of flexibility and stretchability for a firm and cozy fit.

Read more

Use

This ice vest is made to wear under your clothing. So you can wear it first under your clothes or uniform and then connect it with the bladder. The cool feeling on the skin is a delight. Mesh fabric provides a soft, stretchy element that conforms nicely to the body’s contours. There’s micro tubing within the liner so your skin won’t be irritated and scratched. Adjustable sides and air permeability makes the construction very wearable.

Effectiveness

These are excellent cool vests that will ensure you stay nice and cool while you wear it. It is definitely a lot bulkier than other selections on our list so make sure to take note of that before making your purchase.

Ease of Use

Refreezable bladders allow you to swap in and out for continued use with ease. The battery will last you all day, so you don’t have to worry about it dropping you in the middle of a workday. They are rechargeable too, so you can refresh them at the end of your day and prep them for the next. You can wear this ice vest and barely sweat while you engage in outdoor activity in hot conditions. It is an awesome and durable device that also has a soft, flexible feel for a comfortable and secure fit on your skin and is easily concealed under your clothing.

Fit

If you work outside in a construction type environment and need to wear a tool pouch you can do so without any problems. The battery pack is rechargeable and you can easily get about 7 hours out of it. It won’t limit your movement at all. You can easily climb, walk long distances, bend and kneel, and not have any issues.

Durability

This is a really durable cooling vest. It is reinforced in all of the right places and designed to take more of a beating than some of the other cooling vests on our list.

Amazon Link

11. Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool vest
Amazon Link

This ice vest is specifically designed and aimed to be a custom piece of essential gear for football players. Gear Pro-Tec Z-Cool is used under the shoulder pads for extra protection during impact. The air-flow design allows for additional comfort and breathability to keep players dry and refreshed.

Read more

Use

From decreasing bacteria accumulation and thus improving the health of your gear and you, this cooling vest provides more than one function. It keeps the air flowing through which is essential on those hot days, practicing in the sun and exerting extra physicality. The foam padding not only keeps you drier, but it also adds an extra layer of protection from impact. This piece of gear will help keep you comfortable, healthy and better resist injury.

Effectiveness

A 3-D airflow design allows for extra breathability under all those protective layers. The evaporative foam helps to keep your temperature moderated while also helping keep you dry. This is a real plus because not only does it help your comfort but it decreases the ability for bacteria to build up in your uniform.

Ease of Use

This cooling vest is easy to get on and off once you get used to it, but some users report it can be a little annoying in the beginning since they may not have been used to this type of cooling vest. It is best for contact sports so you may not want to deal with the hassle of this one if you aren't in a contact sport.

Fit

When it comes to fit, this one fits snuggly and securely. You can adjust it to fit you comfortably and to make sure that it doesn't move around while you are wearing it--this will prevent chafing and blisters from occurring.

Durability

This is a very affordable ice vest. It is the same type of professional-grade equipment that college and professional football players use. It is a perfect partner for light contact practice or even game walkthrough.

Amazon Link

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.