Frequently Asked Questions
- Are these products only for motorcyclists? No, anyone who is subjected to heat can benefit from our products. Factory and construction workers, bus drivers, welders, warehouse staff, or anyone else who is warmer than they want to be.
- Phase Change vs Evaporative cooling. The Evaporative cooling process: When water changes from a liquid to a gas, energy is consumed and a cooling effect is achieved through evaporation. Polymers within our products absorb water, which then evaporates along with your body heat. Our evaporative products can remain hydrated, and effective, for hours or days, depending on conditions. The products are recharged just by adding water. Evaporative cooling products are good for wearing on their own or under textile or perforated or ventilated protective clothing. Effectiveness can be reduced by high humidity conditions. The Phase Change cooling process: Cooling energy is created from a unique Phase Change Material (PCM) mechanically sealed in durable inserts. Our PCM Cooling Products deliver a constant temperature of 58F/14C for 2-3 hours. The Phase Change material can be recharged in 20 to 30 minutes by placing in ice water, cooler, or freezer. Phase change products can be worn on their own or under leather or non-ventilated jackets. Phase Change products are excellent in environments of high humidity or limited airflow.
- How about sizes? The Ultra, Sport, and Deluxe Vest is available in several sizes, and custom sizes are available by special order. A spandex panel on each side assures a comfortable fit. Our Sizing Chart:
The Phase Change Vest comes in two sizes, medium/large for people 100 to 175 pounds, and large/extra large for people 175 to 250 pounds. Velcro panels allow adjustments at the shoulders. Two adjustable straps on each side allow a custom fit. Larger and custom sizes are also available.
* You can download our complete size chart below (see attachments)
- How long will the Vests cool my body? The Evaporative Vests will remain hydrated for several days. How long you feel the cooling effects depends on the conditions. Soaking the vest in water during a rest or fuel break can rejuvenate it in just a few minutes. Naturally, exposure to high winds will cause the water within the vest to evaporate much quicker. High humidity can also lessen the cooling effect.
- How should I wear the vest? Our products can be worn alone, or under protective clothing. When riding with a protective jacket or suit, the vests should be worn under the jacket. Allowing some air to enter the jacket through the sleeves and vents will enhance the cooling effects of the evaporative vests. Without protective clothing I recommend that a loose fitting shirt be worn over the vest when riding, to minimize the dehydration of the vest. The Phase Change vests maintain its 58 degree temperature longer when protected from the wind and sun.
- Are the vests washable? Yes. Completely dehydrate the evaporative vests by hanging in open air and then hand wash. The vest may take several days to completely dehydrate. Hand wash and rinse quickly using only mild soap. Do not use harsh detergents. The Phase Change vests can be washed normally after removing the phase change inserts.
- How about storage, on and off the bike? The evaporative vests may be hydrated and stored temporarily in a closed bag for those times when you don't need it quite yet, and the bag is handy for a quick recharge. After the ride, hang in open air until completely dry.
- Is any special care required? Store by hanging in open air until completely dry. Do not store in a closed container or plastic bag, as these may cause mildew. Do not spill salt water, gasoline, diesel fuel, alcohol, or other chemicals on the vest. The Sport vest can be placed in Freezer or ice-water.
- Who needs a TechNiche vest? If work, leisure activities or medical conditions make you uncomfortably hot and/or affect your performance, you could benefit from a TechNiche Vest.
- What is heat stress? Heat stress occurs when the body's reaction to the environment causes its core temperature to rise above safe limits. This can result in a racing heart, profuse sweating, dizziness, reduced energy and slowed reaction times. This reduces safety, decreases efficiency and lowers productivity.
- How and why does the vest work? During periods of heavy exercise, the body can generate ten to fifteen times the amount of heat that it does at rest. Extra heat is transferred from the body core to the skin, where it is released through sweating and evaporation. Evaporation is the body's major mechanism for heat dissipation. High humidity reduces the body's ability to cool through evaporation and contributes to dehydration. Cooler skin has many physiological advantages: Less of our heart's output has to be directed to the skin. Our body takes longer to reach critical limits. Dehydration is delayed because our body conserves fluids.
- Are the chemicals in the PCM inserts non-toxic? Yes, PCM, Phase Change Material inserts are non-toxic,
- Are TechNiche vests comfortable? TechNiche Vests come in three designs to meet your cooling needs: Industrial vests are fully adjustable to fit almost any body type. TechNiche Sport Vests are available in sizes ranging from XS to XXXL and can easily be worn under or over clothing. All TechNiche styles fit the body closely and provide maximum comfort. They are designed with a thermal barrier between the PEF layer & between the PCM inserts and your skin for comfortable and stable cooling.
- How long will the vest keep me cool? Cooling time depends upon the ambient temperature and the amount of BTU's being produced by the wearer. In most situations, the vests provide 2+ hours of cooling per PCM insert set. By keeping spare PCM inserts in a cooler, users can easily keep core body temperatures at comfortable levels for many hours.
- Will the activated vest make me feel wet? No. The two-sided inner layer in all the garments, which can be worn against the skin or over clothing, has a conductive, breathable lining on one side and a water-resistant barrier on the other to keep the skin dry. There should be very little water on the inside of the vest after a soaking because most of it will run off. While the components of the fabric work to keep the moisture that is added to the vest away from your skin, it is common that water drops will bead on the surface following activation. When this occurs, you can shake out any of this excess beading water and towel-dry or hang it up to drip dry. *One of our customers contacted us with a great way to avoid this excess moisture: "After the vest is soaked, roll it in a towel to get rid of the excess. Works great.
- After soaking the item for 2 minutes, the outside of the product becomes "slimy" and leaves a sticky residue. Is this normal? Yes, TechNiche evaporative cooling products have a comfortable, quilted nylon outer fabric with a Polymer Embedded Fabric inner, and water-repellent nylon liner to keep moisture away from your skin. When the PEF is first made wet, there is a residue that comes out of the vest. You should squeeze out the excess water from the vest after each soaking. After one to two wet/dry cycles, there should be little or no residue coming out.
- How long does the cooling action work? / What do you guarantee as the time for staying cool? While we do not guarantee a particular amount of time that the vests will remain cool (it varies depending on the activity and other conditions), we do guarantee your satisfaction with the garment. The good thing about the fabric in our vests is that it offers subtle cooling that reduces your body temperature without setting your body in that "panic mode" those ice packs and frozen vests stand the potential to do. Freezing the vest or adding ice packs may enhance the cooling feeling but will not increase the cooling benefits.
- How much will the garments reduce my body temperature? The cooling depends somewhat on the ambient air temperature, the air flow, and the amount of humidity. In many cases it's about 20 degrees cooler under the fabric than the outside air, so it's a gentle cooling.
- How much to the vests and hats weigh when they are activated? Don't they get heavy? All of our vests are lightweight and does not gain bulk when activated. This is a result of the two kinds of polymers that compose the material's inner batting: one that absorbs water, and one that repels water. Because of this design, only the right amount of water will be absorbed to enable maximum cooling without drippy wetness. The precise weight depends on the size and type of vest. The weight of a size large zip-front vest is less than one pound. The interior batting generally absorbs no more than 16-18 ounces of water, leaving the activated vest-weight at approximately 1.5 lbs. This would be about the same or less for the Deluxe Vest.
- Can TechNiche garments be chilled in a refrigerator? Refrigeration will result in an initial coldness that will dissipate fairly quickly. The products are designed to provide gentle cooling for hours through evaporative cooling without requiring refrigeration.
- Can TechNiche garments be frozen? / Can I put those small frozen Ice packs that you use in coolers under my Vest? No. TechNiche evaporative cooling products should NOT be frozen. Freezing temperatures can cause vascular constriction and can affect the body's ability to shed heat. Freezing the vest or adding ice packs may enhance the cooling feeling but will not increase the cooling benefits.
- Can I embroider, sew, or silk-screen onto TechNiche garments? Yes. All of our products are unaffected by the puncturing process of adding patchwork and embroidery, as we use a specially blended batting as the core of our evaporative cooling fabric rather than crystals or gels. Additionally, all of our vests and blankets can be altered as desired without compromising their effectiveness.
- Is the chemical in the PCM™ Inserts toxic? No. The phase change material in the PCM™ Inserts is unique among phase change materials used for cooling. It contains no hazardous ingredients or materials. It is also non-toxic, safe, and environmentally friendly. Should the PCM™ Inserts become punctured and leak onto your skin, it may be washed off with soap and water and will cause no irritation.
- How many times can the PCM™ Inserts be used? If the PCM™ Inserts is not punctured or torn, it can be used indefinitely. It has no shelf life.
- How long do PCM™ Inserts take to recharge? Typically 20 minutes in ice water, and slightly longer in a freezer. They recharge more quickly in ice water because of the conductive method of chilling. In a freezer, they chill convectively, which takes a bit longer. They can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer indefinitely without damage or loss of functionality.
- What are the benefits of PCM™ Inserts over ice or frozen gel packs? There are three key benefits: PCM™ Inserts operate at a much more comfortable 59° F (15°C) temperature. That means they won't cause skin or tissue damage, or cause extreme discomfort. PCM™ Inserts will be effective for a longer period of time between charges. The reason? The difference in temperature between ambient (surrounding) air and the phase change product is much less than the difference in temperature between ambient air and ice. That means more cooling is absorbed by the body and less is lost to the air. PCM™ Inserts are cooled to a temperature that is above the dew point. That means they won't condense or sweat against your body or clothing. Ice and frozen gel packs are below the dew point, so they sweat, making them uncomfortable to wear and adding to the weight of the vest or jacket. Condensation also robs the ice pack of efficiency because condensation creates heat, which is absorbed by the pack, further reducing its efficiency.
- How do PCM™ Inserts compare with evaporative-type products? PCM™ Inserts provide much greater efficiency and better performance. Evaporative-type products, by their nature, retain water, so are always wet. And it means they can mildew over time, if they never dry out. Further, evaporative-type products can't operate in high humidity, because the atmosphere is already saturated with water, so there is no place for the evaporation to go. PCM™ Inserts, on the other hand, are unaffected by humidity.
- Will PCM™ Inserts reduce body core temperature? Yes, they will. But keep in mind that our products are worn to maintain core temperature. The purpose of phase change cooling technology is to maintain a comfortable core temperature and prevent that temperature from increasing. It's our goal to help you avoid heat stress in the first place.
- Isn't water a phase change material? Yes. A phase change occurs whenever matter changes from one form into another. Water can change from a solid (ice) to a liquid, as well as to a vapor. Water changes into a solid at a specific temperature: 32ºF (0°C). But PCM™ Inserts change into their solid form at 59º F (15°C). Since water changes into its solid form at such a low temperature, it loses more of its cooling ability to ambient (surrounding) temperature. It's also below the dew point, so it causes condensation as it warms. Further, it's uncomfortable and requires a freezer to refreeze.
- Will PCM™ Inserts cause vasoconstriction? Not at all. That's one of the beauties of PCM™ Inserts: They function within a comfortable cooling range that doesn't allow vasoconstriction of blood vessels, unlike ice. This is an important benefit, as non-constricted blood vessels allow your circulatory system to freely move blood throughout your body, and then release heat at the skin surface. With ice, the body is fooled into thinking its cold. It reacts by constricting the blood vessels near the skin, limiting the body's natural cooling system. The heart then works harder, expending extra energy in the chest cavity and creating yet more body heat.
- During cardiovascular exercise, will PCM™ Inserts help slow the heart rate? Yes. These products will slow the rise in your heart rate so that you can exercise longer and with more intensity, allowing for higher calorie burn. Of course, it's important that you check with your doctor before undergoing an intensive exercise program.
- Where can I purchase TechNiche products? TechNiche- Intl is a manufacturer. Unfortunately they only sell their products through authorized dealers. Core-Comfort.Com wishes to offer you the most expedient service possible. and allows you to choose from several ordering options: Order from us on-line, or e-mail our customer service representatives with a purchase request at Info@Core-Comfort.Com