Gear Spotlight: Techniche Self-Contained Cooling Vest

By Winding Road Staff

July 30, 2014

Avoiding fatigue while behind the wheel of a race car is a difficult task to accomplish. Racing is a physical sport and race cars inherently generate a lot of heat. The high temperatures of racing during the summer make this even more difficult. Recently we posted a guide to driver cooling systems, as these systems make a huge difference when you're behind the wheel, but the Techniche Cooling Vest, in particular, is a bit of an outlier in that realm due to its unique design and lower price point than the box-based systems, making it an interesting consideration for those looking to make enduring the heat on track more manageable.
What Is It?
Unlike box-based systems like those from F.A.S.T. and CoolShirt, the Techniche Cool Vest is a self contained system which consists of a vest that holds multiple cooling packs on the front and back. The cooling packs, which stay cold for up to three hours per use, contain a special fluid that freezes at 58 degrees F, a temperature that is more comfortable against the skin than 32 degrees F and also allows for quick refreezing by plunging the packs into a cooler between sessions.
What's Special About It?
Since the Techniche Cool Vest is a self-contained system, it has no lines to hook up that would normally feed into a box. This feature is of particular importance to those in single seat race cars where there might not be sufficient space to install the box, as well as those using track day cars who might not want to install such a system in their car. Additionally, while the use of a box-based system would not be feasible for drivers or instructors who find themselves in other people's cars on a regular basis, these self contained vests go wherever you go without installation or the need to hook anything up.
Why Would You Want It?
While the Techniche cooling vest isn't as effective as a box-based solution, it does work and will still keep you cool. It's also surprisingly comfortable, both due to the 58 degree freezing temperature of the pack fluid and because as the "ice" packs conform to your body as they get slushy. Also, because of the vest's relatively low amount of bulk, they aren't cumbersome to wear when strapped into racing harnesses.
You also might not want the additional weight involved with installing a box-based system in your car, and the expense of this solution is a fraction of the price of those other systems as well.
Where can I get it?
You can find the Techniche Self-Contained Cooling Vest in the Winding Road Racing Store.
Be sure to check out our Driver Cooling System Buyer's Guide to get an in-depth look at all the options you have for cooling systems, too.