Cooling vest

Kind of an odd question for MS, but I figure we have a lot of folks with a lot of different backgrounds in a lot of different locales, maybe someone would have a suggestion. Working in central Texas, it gets hot, like 112 and 98 percent humidity hot. As an office dweller normally, that’s not a huge deal. However my welding side business has picked up a lot, and it seems everyone wants their fences repaired as it’s heats up. I’m looking for some kind of cooling solution to make working in 100+ degree temps and direct sun if feasible. If anyone has any personal experiences with a product good or bad I’d appreciate hearing it.

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Get wet. A wet hat and a wet shirt will cool you enough to give you a cold :wink:

You will be smelly and you will need re-spraying, but that’s how I do it.

Oh and don’t get naked. Some of my boys drop their shirts and hats when it gets hot, but the amount of skin exposed to direct sunlight only increases that way and they only wear out faster. Better to cover up lile an arab. They do that for a reason.


Tried that today, I got totally soaking wet. In the sun I dried out in about 10 minutes. As a solo operation I don’t have the option of being sprayed down constantly, sadly (well and welding isn’t real friendly with lots of flying water either). The sun is really the issue, I can handle the heat without the sun blazing down. It sucks but it’s workable.

Oh I definitely do, long sleeves and something off the back of my hat to keep the sun off my neck too.


How about you bring a large bucket or something and dunk your headcover (and head) once in a while? Also siestas. Start work at quarter to early and avoid high noon.

look for a hot weather motorcycle riding vest… it folds into a bag, when ready to use, hot part of the day pour water into the bag let it soak for 5 mins, it soaks into the vest… then put on the vest, works best with a little breeze, like you get on a MC… but keeps you cool for about 4 hours… use it all the time to ride in summer, here in Florida.

What about extremely light weight long sleeve fishing shirts and a brimmed hat? Not sure if that would be conducive to your line of work or sufficiently keep you cool, but that is what I see a lot of landscapers wear and what I wear when landscaping. Perhaps the material is too light.

I use craghopper shirts, they come in lightweight and quick dry cotton, the best is the SPF which not all shirts have. it means less chance of sunburn over a conventional shirt.

I use a garden type spray to keep dust down, and make sure sparks don’t light anything off, I was spraying myself down as regularly as I could. I was looking at the customers pool with undisguised jealousy as I was working. 10 minutes in that and I’d have been right as rain. Good point on taking breaks, that was one thing I got myself with yesterday, was working straight through lunch to get finished up. That hour in the AC is a life saver, and I skipped it which was stupid.

I’ll check into that.

So that’s exactly what I was using this weekend, Magellan fishing shirts. They are lightweight and moisture wicking, and I’m wondering if they don’t hold enough water, to go back to @schurem point about dousing yourself. I need to soak one of my old cloth welding jackets (which will about double in weight) and see how that feels.

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Another thing that I forgot it mention that we do cycling in the summer was filling a hydration pack with ice. Cools and hydrates.

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If the air is dry you could hose down the ground generously so at least some of the energy can escape via water vapor. Just an idea, I live in a mild climate so it might not work at all. (Or be a waste of precious water)

Storytime: some years ago, I’m riding the back of the garbage truck. Summer, sweltering 30+.

In .nl we seperate garbage in three or four flows. Different trucks pick up different types of garbage on appointed days. So monday is plastic, thursday is compostable, ie green stuff, food and such. Friday is paper.

You can imagine what dumpsters filled with cat litter, dead flowers, leftover pasta, dog puke and mowed grass do in high summer. Oh yes, they start brewing like a mother.

So here I am, riding that ungodly monstrosity full unspeakably filthy rotting muck. And throwing in gobs and gobs of it on every stop. Filthy truck, filthy load, very filthy men.

Then there’s this lady, inexplicably hosing her front yard at 1130. I walk up and spread my arms calling for a good hosing down. She didn’t hear me over the noise of that big diesel growling up the street besides me, only sees my gesture.

Her eyes go wide, she drops the hose, beams a smile and runs up with arms wide thinking the garbageman wants a hug! I managed to stop her just before her summer outfit would have been ruined by an uneradicable mixture of sweaty dude, composting muck and diesel fume.

Ah to be young and dumb again…

(I did get her to hose me down, and let me tell you, of all the things that lady would have done to me, that was the heavenliest)


I have no idea about international shipping, but these air-conditioned jackets are not uncommon here in Tokyo. I’ve never tried one myself, but I have seen a non-zero number of people wearing them out in the brutal Japanese summers.

So after doing some searching I’m thinking about one of these: COMPCOOLER Backpack ICE Water Cooling System, Mesh Liquid Cooling Vest, 3L Detachable Bladder, Liquid Circulation Cooling Underwear Design, (XS/S) - - AmazonSmile

Though another alternative suggested by a friends was simply a very large source of portable shade: Pipelinerscloud- Heavy Duty Outdoor Umbrella I’d need to figure out a ground mount, but that’s honestly not too hard with all the scrap I’ve got laying around.

I’m leaning towards the umbrella as there’s nothing to break/wear out/forget to charge/etc, and it’s mainly the sun which was kicking my butt the other day. If the pace of work continues the way it has been, then the cooling vest is probably gonna happen to as just a couple of hours of work will pay for it.

For years I used an old rip stop cotton erdl Vietnam era jungle jacket. It was literally the coolest thing I owned. Great for any outside work on the farm in summer.
The kit they can produce now is incredible
Who would have thought you can get cooling integrated into clothes.
Hope it works for you

That jungle bdu blouse is going to be pretty similar to one of my cloth welding jackets. So I’m hoping soaking wet it’ll evaporate over a long enough period to time to work.

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