Absolute power does what?
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Boulder, CO
CoolShirt 6qt Bag Cooler
I figured I'd share a quick review of my new CoolShirt 6qt bag based cooler system. To those of you that aren't familiar with these it's essentially a reservoir for ice water that then pumps it through tubing on a very tight shirt you wear under your shirt of suit. My shirt includes a hood that pumps that cold water around your head as well and for me that's the best part of the setup. Even though I'm from the south I don't do well in the heat and I'll start sweating just thinking about it being hot out so I've been wanting a solution like this for a long while.
I've had the larger 12qt hardshell cooler for a number of years that I've primarily used with endurance race cars where space isn't an issue. While it will fit in the passenger footwell of my Exige rather well that prevents me from taking a passenger. As I instruct quite often and really enjoy giving folks rides I've wanted a solution that would fit in the car while I have a passenger. I know some have installed coolers in the trunk and run the tubing into the car but I both didn't like the idea of having to cut through the firewall (@GunPilot solution by running it where his rear windows was as it's now replaced by a panel looks great for this) and I also worried about keeping the hoses clear of things and the heat that's generated back there anyway.
That lead me to the small 6qt bag solution that's designed for Formula cars, karts, etc. It's essentially an insulated bag with a huge zip lock bag inside with a small pump and connection points for the tubing. I'm very happy to say that if I slide the driver's seat all the way forward I can just cram the bag behind my seat running the tubes behind the seat over to the left side of the seat (as that's where the tubes come out of my shirt). For the original system I had installed a small thermostat/knob already so I just wired to that (just need 12V) and bingo bango everything is ready to go.
I had an opportunity to use it this past Sunday as it was mid-90s in Denver (VERY hot for us) and I was involved with a charity event where we'd give rides to people for a $200 donation to the charity. Usually I just do TT or lapping days so the longest session I get to run is about 25 minutes where this one was 90. We wound up running about 70 minutes or so and I'm happy to report there was still ice in the bag when I finished and it absolutely saved the day. There would have been no way I could have handled doing that long a stint in my car without the cooler.
At just under $500 for the hooded shirt, bag cooler and thermostat/control knob it's not cheap but if you, like me, struggle with heat exhaustion I can't recommend it enough. Simple and effective it makes my time in the car that much more comfortable and therefore fun!
I'd post pictures but there's really not much for me to post as you can't really see it well when it's crammed back there and I'm sure you can all picture what that would look like.
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