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Absolute power does what?
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All,

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.

-Ross
 

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Link of what you got and where you got it from would also be nice...

It sounds like you could hand a cargo net type of thing behind your seats and make it more permanent... but, since we don't know, we can't help out.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry I didn't think to include links, here you go:

6qt CoolShirt Bag Cooler

Hooded CoolShirt Shirt

Temperature Control
(I have a slightly different unit but this is essentially the same)

As for hanging it behind the seats for a more permanent install that wouldn't work as you need to pour out the water once the ice melts and refill. As it's not that hard to cram it back there it's not a big deal to just do that. As my car is still in the trailer I'll snap some pictures and update my original post once I've unloaded it. It may be tough to show though as it's really rather simple, just slide the driver's seat all the way forward and jam it back there. Oh, I should point out that I've done a full interior delete so I don't have the speaker/light panel back there anymore and I'd have to guess that it most likely wouldn't fit if you did as it's fairly tight without it. I'm also using Tillet B5 carbon fiber seats which may also factor in given how thin they are. I then just tapped 12V from where the stereo head unit was.

-Ross
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #7
Ross,

Just a heads-up, be vigilant -- the inner "zip-lock baggie" developed a small leak in mine after several months of use. ;)
I have to admit for something so expensive I was rather surprised and somewhat disappointed to see that it was a standard zip lock baggie top and not even one of the nicer zipper style bags. With moderate use I could see that becoming an issue.

Just out of curiosity did you replace the inner bag or come up with another better solution?

-Ross
 

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Wow. This thing arrived today with ground shipping -eek- Very compact and nice. I can run it with the battery which means I can take it to other cars, or plug it into power. I ordered the SFI 3.3 Rated 2Cool FR (SFI 3.3 Certified)

 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #9
Where do you plan to mount yours? Please post back here once you've used it as I'm curious of your thoughts on it.
 

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I did a bit of conversion work 2011 Lotus Exige S260 Final Edition - CoolShirt System Conversion so it can be used both with the battery or through the lighter plug.

My bag is a bit larger so for now I will be mounting it on the passenger seat with the harness around it. It also has a strap that will go around the back of the seat to hold it in place.

I am going to test the system when I go to Road America and COTA this month. I am thinking if it works well I may make a custom box and place it in the trunk out of the way.

Now I have to mend my suit :facepalm. Need to make an exit path for the hose. This became a project :D
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #11
Now I have to mend my suit :facepalm. Need to make an exit path for the hose. This became a project :D
Does the front of your suit not have a double zipper? If so the idea is that once you zip it up you and unzip the bottom near your waste to put the hoses through there. I've only owned a couple suits but all mine have had that feature.
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #12
Just checked out your page with the pictures of you modification, great job man. Question about the bottles, is the idea you fill those with water, freeze them, put them in the bag and pour water around them? Interesting idea - BTW one little tip (that's probably obvious) I cut a Gatorade/water bottle and use it to get the melted ice water out of my cooler. Cuts down on the water sloshing around in the cooler and puts the coldest water possible in the bag.

And damn, now I want that black shirt you have - those things must be made of unobtainium given how incredibly expensive they are. Does yours have a hood? I got the hooded one and have to admit that's my favorite feature as it keeps my head cool and I don't have to wear a balaclava.

-Ross
 

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Does the front of your suit not have a double zipper? If so the idea is that once you zip it up you and unzip the bottom near your waste to put the hoses through there. I've only owned a couple suits but all mine have had that feature.
My suits have the double zipper however I am not sure that it will be comfortable. I ordered some NOMEX thread and cloth. I am going to try to make an opening on the side so it is out of the way. If it works well I will post some pictures :facepalm

Just checked out your page with the pictures of you modification, great job man. Question about the bottles, is the idea you fill those with water, freeze them, put them in the bag and pour water around them? Interesting idea - BTW one little tip (that's probably obvious) I cut a Gatorade/water bottle and use it to get the melted ice water out of my cooler. Cuts down on the water sloshing around in the cooler and puts the coldest water possible in the bag.

And damn, now I want that black shirt you have - those things must be made of unobtainium given how incredibly expensive they are. Does yours have a hood? I got the hooded one and have to admit that's my favorite feature as it keeps my head cool and I don't have to wear a balaclava.

-Ross
The instruction says to place water in the bottles and freeze them or place ice and water in the bag. I will have to test and see which one work better.

They don't make the black shirts with the hood but as long as the core body is cool then the rest should be good. I think these are more expensive because of the certification.

I will be going to Road America, then COTA and TWS back to back so I will have plenty of time to test this contraption :D
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #14
They don't make the black shirts with the hood but as long as the core body is cool then the rest should be good. I think these are more expensive because of the certification.
Well in a way that's good as it'll keep me from buying a new one just because it's black. While you're right that cooling the core does a lot to help keep you cool for me at least the hooded shirt was far better. I'm the most sweatingness guy you've ever met, if I think about getting hot I break out in a sweat. Hot days at the track and I can damn near wring sweat dripping off my balaclava after a 30 minute session. One day I hope to have the electric system that works like AC and doesn't need ice water. I'll do that with a cooled helmet blower, both of which sound like heaven. That setup is just shy of $10k so it's a splurge that's fairly low on the list. After cage, dry sump, sequential, BBK, air jacks, etc. Hopefully life never forces me to sell my car as I still have big plans for her.

Enjoy the track trip, there aren't many that I'm jealous of when it comes to track time, you're near the top of that list!

-Ross
 

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Absolute power does what?
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Discussion Starter #16
Well done my friend, well done. And huge kudos for all the documentation you've done as you've modified the car.

When do you get to try it out?
 

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I mounted the big cooler in the boot. Wired it to the battery. Ran the hose down the left side of the engine compartment, double foam insulated and foil taped the line. Since I have a rear Kevlar panel and not a window I entered there, down the back of the seat over to the left side. Used some sticky Velcro to secure the hose. Have a switch on the hose by the connectors. No controller as hot as it gets here I want it wide open!













 

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Well done my friend, well done. And huge kudos for all the documentation you've done as you've modified the car.

When do you get to try it out?
Next weekend I should be able to try it at Road America. But the main test will be the following weekend at COTA and TWS.

BTW - If anyone needs some BLACK NOMEX FABRIC and thread PM me. I have a lot of leftover...
 

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I mounted the big cooler in the boot. Wired it to the battery. Ran the hose down the left side of the engine compartment, double foam insulated and foil taped the line. Since I have a rear Kevlar panel and not a window I entered there, down the back of the seat over to the left side. Used some sticky Velcro to secure the hose. Have a switch on the hose by the connectors. No controller as hot as it gets here I want it wide open!
:facepalm Thank you for creating another project for me when I have absolutely no time for it.... :D

But seriously,

  • The Momo shirt looks nice. Do you think it works better than the CoolShirt tubing system?
  • That is a nice setup and these pictures are going to be very helpful when I get around to do it. Do you have an accusump?
 
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