The human body already has a highly efficient cooling system: As perspiration evaporates, it draws heat away from the body. Wicking fabrics facilitate this process by distributing sweat evenly over the fabric, so that it dries more quickly. Despite devising cheats, such as menthol-like chemical coatings added to fabrics, companies have never actually improved upon the body's natural cooling process. Designers at Columbia Sportswear have now made a fabric that does.
The wicking polyester base of the Omni-Freeze ZERO T-shirt is embedded with thousands of 0.15-inch hydrophilic polymer rings (a men's medium has more than 41,000 of them). As the base spreads sweat, the rings absorb moisture and expand into three-dimensional doughnuts. In order to swell, the rings require energy, which they gather as body heat. In tests, the shirt was up to 10 degrees cooler against the wearer's skin than shirts made from any other material.
Columbia Sportswear Omni-Freeze Zero Freeze Degree T-shirt
Weight: 4.8 ounces
Material: stretch polyester
Sun Protection Factor: 50
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Designers at Brooks worked with a team at the Loughborough University Sports Technology Institute in the U.K. to ensure runners wearing the Nightlife Jacket III remain visible to drivers in any light. The darker the surroundings, the more heavily eyes rely on contrast to pick out objects, so the team added black stripes to the arms and shoulders to offset the fluorescent base and better outline runners. Brooks NightLife Jacket III $115
Nice shameless unrelated jacket plug at the end popsci.
The body perspires at a certain rate. I wonder if we exceed this rate of perspiration or cooling a consequence might develop we had not thought of, especially in extreme long distance runners? Though the concept seems like a great idea, I suppose real life testing will tell the story.
I'd be interested to know how long the cooling effect lasted. You said it works by the rings absorbing body heat as energy. At some point the rings would hit saturation point and no long absorb. Wouldnt it act like a jacket then bc the now inflated rings wouldnt allow air to pass as easily... Berne, would you be able to clarify on this??
I'll take a long sleeve version. I'm interested in trying this out. Where I live summer temps approach 120 degrees, it is nearly impossible to stay in marathon shape through the summer. 10 degrees is pretty huge and would make a very noticeable difference.
Sounds like a useful piece of clothing to have in your drawer, but...
PopSci loves to have articles declaring the 'First' of some product... but they never really seem to check if it is actually the first...
It's even more ironic that PopSci already reported on a previous approach to a thermal regulative shirt. The writers must not talk often.
I have one concern: bacteria. Bacteria is the reason why you stink after you get all sweaty. Wicking fabrics resist the stink of sweat because the sweat is evaporating too quickly for the bacteria to grow. If you trap the sweat in little absorbent rings, wouldn't they be the perfect little homes for bacteria to grow?
Yes, I was thinking the same thing. It would seem that the cooling effect is a one time thing (until all the sweat evaporated). And if the rings absorb energy while they swell, wouldn't they release energy as they contracted?
You give them too much credit. That same article is linked in the article itself. The headlines are intentionally misleading. Essentially, they lie to you to try to get you to read the article.
I like the jacket. It may be a plug, but the design is generous.
I wonder how the Omni-Freeze was tested?
Does anybody think of the working stiff who's up on a roof in 100F or more for hours at a time. Where's the model that solves that problem and many more just like it? And is affordable on laborers' pay.
I'm thinking that menopausal women who are alternating between feeling hot and cold will love this shirt. It needs to be a bit more stylish, though. I've never been clear about the hot flash problem - does the female skin temperature really change, or do they just FEEL hot, then cold with no actual change in skin temperature? If the polymer rings can be fine tuned to have a cooling effect when the women has a hot flash, followed by a heating effect when the women enters the cold cycle, that would sure save a lot of wear and tear on the thermostats in my house.
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I moved in Ita and I discovered a much more better product ... More functional than this .
See the link for more info
I''m using ...and works for all my outdoor sports....and is not expensive .