There’s a lot of wearable products out there offering to track statistics on you like calories burned, paces taken, distance run etc. but very few that do much to keep you cool in the heat of the action. That’s where the Porticool 2 shirt comes in.
The Porticool 2 Complete System is a combination shirt and liquid CO2 container, pumping the icy cold fluid around the interior of the garment and cooling you down. Representing the world’s first active cooling shirt, the Porticool is designed to help drop your temperature in hot environments and during intense exercise to make sure you don’t overheat. Similarly it’s recommended for fire fighters or others with jobs that involve working in high temperatures, thereby preventing heat exhaustion and other nasty ailments.
In combination with the CO2 cooling, the materials used to make the Porticool 2 come equipped with moisture wicking abilities, thereby stripping the sweat off you faster than air cooling can and keeping you cooler in turn.
To comply with international standards, the Porticool 2 is also fire rated by ISO 17025 and NFPA 2112 tested.
CO2 tanks are said to last up to an hour at a time and can be easily replaced or refilled.
The Porticool is not a cheap garment. Just buying the vest itself will set you back $800 USD, which works out to almost £470. That’s not to mention the CO2 tanks which cost another $50 each, though if you were planning to use this shirt a lot, you could potentially refill your own cannisters from a much larger storage container.
Cost is going to be a real problem for the Porticool, considering it’s more than 10 times what you’d be likely to spend on your average moisture wicking garment. On top of that, if you need to buy a new CO2 cannister every hour (and that doesn’t account for emptying the shirt of air first) then you’ll need to spend at least another $50 per workout. That’s very expensive when a simple air conditioned room would probably have a similar effect.
Since reports on the actual performance of the Porticool aren’t great and it’s so expensive, it’s a very difficult product to recommend to anyone. It might be lightweight and of a very simple design, but without a method of maintaining the cooling over a long period of time and a much reduced price tag, I can’t ever see this one catching on.