REV'IT! Challenger Cooling Vest Insert
The saddest way to throws $99 out of the window.
So it always starts like that, you read reviews and see the video and everything sounds so great , I mean the concept sounds quite intriguing. then reality kicks in. and sometimes isn't pleasant.
So here it is:
After purchasing the AMAZING Revit GT R Air jacket, I checked the video for the Challenger vest and was sold.
The vest arrived, super quick as usual and I tested immediately on my 40 miles return commute. was a good day for the test:
86F a tad humid, and mixed traffic condition, open highway, congested freeway and cramped city traffic.
I soaked and squeezed the vest before zipping it on the jacket (do not trust the review that says it is a pain in the a**, everything is smooth and take less than two minutes, unless you have an impediment of some kind) and once on the road wasn't really surprised by its performance or better the lack of, but thought it wasn't too hot or some r.
The day after: some nice dry and hot day. While stuck in traffic on the FDR expressway I felt very uncomfortable for being wrapped in a wet cloth. and while taking some speed I noticed that actually the vest blocks the airflow from the 3d mesh panels of the jacket. the air won't
'filter" through the vest, as simple as that.
Re-tested on the way back and I was actually missing the nice cooling airflow of the jacket.
End of the day I tested this in mixed traffic situations and speeds from a range of 76F to 90F on a total of 160 miles and let me tell you that this vest is a pointless waste of money.
It is unless you live in a desert or very hot area (100F+) and you jump on a bike with unobstructed roads, but to be honest at that point your wallet is better off just with a sweatshirt soaked in cold water worn under your jacket…
Installing the vest will also make the chest pockets unusable, while exposing your cell phone to excessive humidity even when inside the side pockets...
This vest is a refined bonafides product (I really like Rev'it) that is the outcome of some abstract over-thinking but very far from what SOLID design is.
Verdict: useless product.
July 24, 2015
Kind of a pain ...
This vest sounds like a great idea until you find yourself in a rest stop in the Utah desert trying to re-soak it. Getting it in and out of your jacket on the go is a bit of a pain. It works great once it's soaked and installed, but I wish I'd gotten the version that does not zip into the jacket.
In its defense, if you're ride starts and finishes at home and only lasts a few hours, it's awesome.
I wish there were a "No, but ..." option for whether I would recommend this product. It's actually quite nice. Just not for me.
July 6, 2015
An add comfort in the heat of the day
I commute 20 miles a day on my bike. Being August its hot out side, not to mention I live in Arizona. So pretty much every day I have had this liner for me Rev'it GT AIR has made the 100+ degree days so much better on the blistering freeways. Its not the quickest thing to pull off and put on the jacket, but the work is well worth it. Just get the back side wet, and ride, your instantly cooled off. Couldn't imagine commuting any other way.
August 14, 2014
Excellent for an hour, still good for several more
Like others, I found the product "slimy" the first few times. Eventually that (whatever it is) washes away.
The vest snaps and zips into the Revit Sand 2 Jacket nicely. The elastic side panels are smart -- you want this to have maximum contact for the cooling effect to work. I generally wear a very thin, non-cotton, tight-fitting shirt under this vest. Both ultralight wool and ultralight polyester shirts work well. Those materials never really get nasty and wet the same way cotton does. But the vest is releasing most of its moisture in the other direction, anyways.
I found the cooling vest was really useful from about 25°C to 35°C. Below that, it could actually become uncomfortably cool with all the evaporation going on! Above that and, well, it didn't hurt but it also didn't feel cool at all anymore.
I paired this with the Revit Cooling Collar. Loved the combination.
If the vest was still wet or damp by the end of the day then it actually took a *long* time, just hanging up, to eventually dry off. i.e. overnight is not enough for it to dry on its own. So take a big ziplock or plastic bag if you're packing this with other things on a trip.
I would say this cools well for 2 to 3, maybe 4 hours. It's really good for the first hour. On long days, it has been easy enough to detach from the jacket, re-soak in a gas station sink, and then re-attach. (Ew, yes, beware the sinks!)
In desert conditions, I found I did *not* have to open up the zips of my jacket very much for this vest to work. I have only tested this in dry heat. I understand it may not work as well in humid conditions quite as well because it relies on evaporation.
April 12, 2014
Can't wait for a real test.
It's been far too cold to really try this out but I did soak it and wear it in front of a fan to see if I notice the difference and I certainly did. With the vents open on my jacket and riding I'm sure it will work even better. I hope this vest will be the lifesaver I think it is.
I know Rev'it makes a separate vest and isn't just an insert but I would have loved to have a couple snaps on the front so I could close the vest and use it in another jacket. I will probably sew something on some of the extra zipper things to make it work though. That said, it fits very well in my Sand II which is where I'll probably use it most of the time.
March 31, 2014