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Frequently Asked Questions: Veskimo Personal Cooling Systems

What is a Veskimo Personal Cooling System and what does it do?

A Veskimo Personal Cooling System is composed of a lightweight Body Cooling Vest through which ice-chilled water is circulated from either of these Chilled Water Reservoirs:

  • A 4.4 Quart Hydration Backpack with internal battery-powered circulation pump. The backpack also serves as a source of chilled drinking water (hydration pack).
  • A 9 Quart Hand-Carry Cooler with internal circulation pump, powered either by a battery or an external source.

The system provides the wearer relief from heat stress, even when worn under heavy, insulating clothing and is sure to appeal to a wide variety of people who work and play outdoors, for whom no other practical & effective personal cooling solution exists. See our How It Works page and Buyer's Guide for more details.

Who will benefit from using a Veskimo Personal Cooling System?

In general, anyone who works or plays in a hot environment, particularly those people who need to be mobile, active and unencumbered by a heavy or wet cooling garment. Some specific examples are:

  • Athletes of all types, including auto racers
  • Outdoor adventurers and tropical tourists
  • Motorcycle riders, especially those who wear jackets or full racing leathers
  • Bicycle riders, especially mountain bikers and long-distance riders
  • Construction and event workers, costumed mascots and security guards
  • Welders, miners, foundry workers and other "hot" occupations

What makes the Veskimo Cooling Vest better than any other water-cooled garment on the market?

As part of our product development process we have tested most of our competitors' offerings and strongly feel we have a vastly superior product in terms of cooling effectiveness, ease of use (particularly taking on/off), durability and value. All Veskimo Personal Cooling Products are Proudly Made in the U.S.A.  See our Why Choose Veskimo page for more details. Feel free to email us at if you would like to discuss the comparisons in more detail.

How do I fill or "recharge" the system with ice?

For the Backpack, simply unzip the flap on the back to access the internal bladder. Slide the blue plastic bar at the top of the bladder to the right to remove it, then unfold the flap underneath to open the bladder. The backpack can be filled with your choice of ice cubes, round ice blocks, or four 1/2 liter frozen water bottles + 32 ounces of chilled water. Frozen bottles provide the longest cooling duration, but with less cooling intensity than small cubes or chips, which don't last nearly as long. We recommend that you experiment to find what works best for you. For more detailed information please download the Backpack User Guide.

For the Cooler, simply unzip the top to access the internal tank. Pull up on the four locking tabs to remove the lid from the tank. Fill with your choice of ice cubes, frozen water bottles or block ice (for greatest cooling duration). For more detailed information please download the 9 Quart Hand-Carry Cooler User Guide.

How long will the ice last?

For the Backpack, the ice can last as long as four hours or more, or can melt in as little as 90 minutes in extreme cases. For the 9 Quart Cooler, the ice will last about twice as long under the same conditions. The actual duration depends on many factors which can be divided into two groups: How much "cold" you start with and how rapidly heat is absorbed.

It takes more heat to melt a pound of ice just removed from a deep freezer than a pound of ice that has been sitting out and is beginning to melt, thus the colder the ice you start with, the better. When you add water to that ice (which is necessary for circulation through the pump and vest), it causes some of that ice to melt, so adding only a minimal amount of the coldest water possible (ice water) is best.

More body heat is generated by a person rigorously exercising than at rest. More heat will be absorbed when the vest is worn tightly against bare skin as compared to loosely over a shirt. In addition, more heat will be absorbed from the surrounding environment when the ambient temperature is high and there is nothing worn over the vest. This is why we recommend wearing at least a lightweight windbreaker-type jacket over the vest to minimize loss of cold to the atmosphere.

The heat absorbed by the water circulated through the vest is transferred to the ice, causing it to slowly melt. You will obtain the best cooling performance if you start with the coldest ice, the coldest and least amount of water and minimize your loss of "cold" to the atmosphere by wearing a lightweight garment over the vest. A more detailed discussion can be found on our How It Works page.

Additional tips on how to make the ice last longer can be found in the Backpack User Guide and 9 Quart Hand-Carry Cooler User Guide.

How long will the batteries last?

The water circulation pump in the backpack or cooler can run for eight hours or more continuously on a fully charged set of AA batteries, or for six hours or more continuously on a fully charged Lithium-Ion Battery. If run intermittently, the total run time can be even longer. When required, the batteries can be easily changed by removing the Quick-Change Power Pack or recharging the Lithium-Ion Battery. See the "Changing the Batteries" section of our downloadable Backpack User Guide for more details.

Won't this feel like pouring ice water on my skin?

No, not at all. When the water is circulating, the temperature inside the tubing is just above 32° F, but the outer surface of the tubing is approximately 60° F. There is a "temperature gradient" through the wall of the tubing which controls the heat transfer rate from your skin to the water. The 60° F tubes feel refreshingly cool against your skin, not uncomfortably cold.

How do I control the temperature or amount of cooling?

The Power Switch on the backpack's left shoulder strap can be used to turn the pump on & off as needed (see the Backpack User Guide for more detail). An optional Adjustable Cooling Controller can be used to cycle the pump on & off in a remotely mounted cooler, to reduce the amount of cooling intensity as needed.

How do I make sure I order the right size vest?

Please see our Vest Sizing Guide (also downloadable). If the vest you receive is the wrong size, we will gladly exchange it for you. Please do not flow water through the vest if you plan to return it. We can swap your vest for a different size after we receive your returned vest, or you can purchase another size and we will refund the price of the original back to you when we receive it. In either case, you pay only the shipping charges. Please see our Return Policy for more details.

How tight should the vest fit?

It is necessary for the tubes to be touching your skin (or a thin garment in direct contact with your skin) to take heat away. There is no cooling where the tubes don't touch. Tension or "stretch" in the adjustable-length elastic straps on the sides of the vest help to keep the tubes in contact with your body. We recommend that you adjust the straps so as much of the tubing as possible is touching your skin, but not so tight that it feels uncomfortable or limits your movement. See the "Adjusting Your Vest" section of the downloadable Cooling Vest User Guide for information on adjusting the vest to fit you correctly.

Why are there flaps (shirttails) at the bottom of the vest?

These are designed to tuck into your pants to keep your vest securely in place during all of your work & play activities. Of course, you don't have to tuck them in if you don't want to.

Can I wear a T-shirt underneath, or do the tubes have to touch my bare skin?

You will get maximum cooling when the tubes are in direct contact with your bare skin, but a thin T-shirt underneath is fine as long as you wear something else (another T-shirt or something thicker) over the vest. Otherwise, you may cool the surrounding air more than you cool yourself. See the next question for more information about wearing clothing over the vest.

Can I wear clothing over the vest?

Certainly! That's what it was designed for and how it works best. By placing a layer of clothing over the vest you insulate it and yourself from the surrounding air, thus keeping more of the cold inside to cool your body. We recommend that bicyclists wear at least a thin jersey over the vest. A jacket, jump suit or leathers worn by motorcyclists are ideal.

Isn't that hose coming from the vest a little large in diameter to fit under my jacket?

The 3/4 inch diameter sponge rubber covering of the hose serves as thermal insulation. It's soft & supple, allowing it to comfortably bend or twist as needed to easily connect to the backpack or cooler. It's so flexible you'll forget it's there.

I wear a one-piece jump suit or racing leathers. How do I get the hose to the outside?

If your suit has pockets, you can cut a hole in the bottom of the left pocket to create a passageway for the hose to exit from. If you don't have a pocket, you'll need to cut a "buttonhole" or make a "fly" in the side of your suit, just below waist level. The vertical slit should be about 2-1/4" high. On the inside, back up the slit with a 3" high by 1" wide piece of Velcro Loop (the soft part, not the scratchy) material. In winter, when not using the cooling vest, you can simply place a 3" x 1" piece of Velcro Hook material over the Velcro Loop piece before putting on your suit to ensure that the slit stays shut.

Will the Veskimo Cooling Vest work with other brands of coolers?

If you already have a recirculating chilled water supply made by another company and would like to use our vest with it, that's certainly possible. Simply purchase a pair of our Quick-Disconnect Adapter Fittings to adapt your chilled water supply to work with the Veskimo Cooling Vest. Remove the existing fittings from your chilled water supply source and replace with the Veskimo fittings and you should be ready to go!

Will the Veskimo Cooling Vest work with a HANS device?

The Veskimo Personal Microclimate Body Cooling Vest has been specially designed with no water circulation tubing over the shoulders. Drivers who wear a HANS Device will experience no compression or constriction of the water circulation tubing, and no discomfort from pressure placed on the tubing by the restraint device. The Veskimo Cooling Vest has been certified "HANS Friendly" by HANS Performance Products, which ensures that it has been qualified "to work perfectly with the HANS Device."

What maintenance is required?

Only periodic cleaning of the water circulation system. See the "Care & Maintenance" or "Cleaning" section of the Vest User Guide, Backpack User Guide and 9 Quart Hand-Carry Cooler User Guide for more information.

If you wish to drain all the water from your vest, backpack or cooler prior to long-term storage, a pair of our Quick-Disconnect Adapter and Drain Fittings is recommended.

What is the length of the warranty and what does it cover?

One year on all materials and workmanship. See our Policies page for more details.

What is your return policy?

Full refund (less shipping) for returns of unused items within 30 days. Please read the entire Return Policy on our Policies page to avoid any possible misunderstandings. Please email or call us before shipping any product(s) back to determine if there is any way to resolve your concern prior to returning the product. Our number one goal is complete customer satisfaction.

What are your shipping costs?

Please see the shipping rates on our Policies page. For orders shipped within the US, the shipping charge will be displayed during checkout, before payment and confirmation of your order.

For international shipments we will contact you by email with the shipping cost after you have placed your order (we need the total weight of all items to determine the shipping cost). We will only ship after you have given us your approval to add the international shipping charge to your order total. We collect payment for orders only after they have shipped, never before.

Why didn't my order go through?

There could be a number of reasons: If you are outside the US, if your payment method was not approved, or for any other reason that may have prevented you from completing your order online, please contact us either by email at or by phone, toll free at 877-MY-VESKIMO (877-698-3754). We will be happy to serve you.

How can I view the status of my order?

Go to the Order Status page. Enter the Order ID from your confirmation email and the email address you used for your order and click "View Order Status." Please feel free to contact us at regarding any concerns you may have.