Cooling vest manufacturers are continually upping their game, and Glacier Tek’s new Flex Vest, introduced in 2016, improves in all the right areas on a perennial ActiveMSers favorite. Their original Concealable RPCM has always been a standout performer in our tests, even though it lacked the comfort and concealability (despite the name) of other vests. The Flex Vest is an about face, easily one of the most comfortable vests on the market today and arguably one of the better ones to wear under clothes. The fabric is fantastic, with a bit of flex so the vest stays tight to the body, essential for a proper cooling vest. The neckline is cut a bit lower so the vest can be worn stealthily under clothing, but it looks great and stylish on its own, a rarity in all of our testing. Twelve thinish cooling packs tuck into myriad pockets around the inside of the vest, providing ample cooling coverage, considerably more than their original vest. As with all phase change packs, they recharge quickly in ice water (or freezer) and stay dry regardless of humidity. A niggle: the cooling packs can fall out if the vest is tilted upside down, a negative for trapeze artists (or when not taking care when putting it on).
To achieve comfort and concealability, the Flex Vest had to make a sacrifice in cooling endurance. Instead of lasting as long as four hours like their other RPCM vest, the newest offering from Glacier Tek cools effectively for about two hours. But that is a minor drawback, especially since the manufacturer includes an extra 12 packs with every vest purchase, so when cooling is exhausted, a fresh set of packs can be swapped in. If that’s not enough to convince you, I’ve got a “But wait, there’s more!” coming. The vest comes in four sizes, with the smallest being kid friendly (even the cooling packs are smaller). Thoughtful, quality design and dependable performance pushes the Flex Vest into a stratosphere to rival any vest on the market today.
Cold Sensitivity: 4
Weight: 4 lbs 10 oz
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