As one of our most popular cooling/heating safety vests with optional hydration, IceVest Black users have started to ask us how to get the most from their purchase. Other users have had some questions about functionality and daily use, so we consolidated a number of these tips that we share with customers into this single blog article to help.
First, before reading any of this article, make sure you have watched the IceVest Black Instruction video all the way through. This is an important step in helping you use IceVest Black correctly to maximize performance for you.
Continual moisture is the enemy of most fabrics, and in particular Velcro interfaces, so keeping the hook-loop interface (and IceVest Black overall) as dry as possible is key. Especially when not in use. We highly recommend freezing your IcePlates separately and keeping IceVest Black with plate bags empty and hung in a dry location overnight / when not in use.
Though the plate bags appear to be “reversible,” they are not. IceVest Black was designed to have the velcro flap wrap around the front of the IcePlate (The side with IcePlate embossed on it), not tucked underneath. There are a couple of reasons for this design decision:
1. Easily adjust the IcePlate retention flap from the outside of the carrier, enabling quick change of IcePlates without digging underneath your kit.
2. Keep the Velcro section drier. When Velcro, especially loop, gets wet, the micro-loops can straighten out and fray, meaning that the hook portion of the Velcro has reduced purchase. The key is to keep the hook-loop interface dry as much as possible.
If you attempt to use the IceVest Black plate bags in reverse, with the bottom flap rolling under IcePlate and terminating on the interior part against your body, the hook-loop interface will be especially vulnerable to getting wet, since it is against your body at the bottom of where any moisture (condensation/sweat) would travel to. Rolling the flap under also leads to the loop field bunching up when you attempt to seal the bag. This bunching of the flap leads to less contact between the hook and the loop, which you want to maximize.
It is definitely best practice to keep the Velcro connection to the outside, dry, and away from the body with IceVest. The Velcro on the wraparound Elastic ToolBelt can also help add security in this configuration.
You may also notice that there is a strip of black OneWrap overlaid on the hook Velcro flap. It can be difficult to even discern it is there. This 7.5" x 2" OneWrap piece is removable and adjustable. We install this to give users a little more flexibility with their hook panel setup . Removing it entirely will expose a stronger hook panel underneath; adjusting it slightly upward will provide additional overlap between hook and loop interfaces.
IceVest's cooling power makes such a difference to some of our commercial users that for especially rigorous applications, we have seen them add a snap or button interface to support the Velcro to extend the lifespan. While we don't have an official procedure for this, it's a route that one of our largest customers takes to keep IceVests in continuous, daily use for 18+ months.
We hope those tips were helpful, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any additional questions by either leaving a comment below or shooting us an email here.