Manufacturer: Hobby Hill Farm
Model: Cooling Cap Liner
Category: Barn and Stable Misc
Purchase: I saw an ad for Hobby Hill Farm's cooling apparel (vests for humans and horses, caps and cap liners) in Trailrider magazine. I telephoned to inquire about the product and the woman who answered was informative and enthusiastic about the products. I bought a cap liner to wear inside my helmet and ball cap; I also wanted a small item just to give the technology a trial run. The cap liners are available in several colors and cost $9.00, which seemed very reasonable. The woman I spoke with gave me a 50% reduction on the cost of shipping.
Likes: Several different types of technologies are now being used for "cooling apparel". Race car drivers have long worn suits with tubing incorporated into the material through which cool liquid circulates (not applicable for mounted riders or any athlete); some use fans as well. Newer technologies being used for athletes and other non-stationary personnel (chefs, firefighters, road-workers) include evaporating materials, frozen packs, and phase shift products. Products using evaporation to cool the body are probably the most lightweight, but don't work well unless air is moving over the product's surface; they also perform poorly in humid environments. The Hobby Hill Farm products use polyester fibers to absorb water; the wearer is cooled as the water evaporates. I liked the choice of colors, the light weight of the product and its flexibility (fit easily inside my helmet). The cost was appropriate. The instructions were easy to follow and it was easy to use. It can be used at home, at a barn or on the trail.
Dislikes: Sadly, the product did not seem to work very well in my situation. This is probably because, under my ball cap or riding helmet, there is no air circulating over it to evaporate water and hence no cooling effect! Also, it is very humid where I live.
Quality: It was light, flexible and well constructed. It should stand up to heavy wear and repeated reactivation.
Summary: Learn about the various cooling technologies available before choosing to purchase an expensive cooling vest. Vests incorporating frozen packs are heavy and not easily recharged; you might need to carry extra packs. Apparel utilizing phase shift materials might offer the best compromise for riders--not as heavy as frozen packs nor as light as evaporating materials, but they work regardless of air circulation/humidity, they are flexible and they can be easily recharged. I do not recommend Hobby Hill Farm's ball cap or liner BUT, having used the product, I think their human or equine cooling vests using the same evaporating technology could be effective for those living in windy areas with low humidity.
Author: Stephanie Herdre
Usefulness Rating: 3 out of 5.
8 reader(s) voted.
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