Thursday, August 2, 2012

Product Review: VT Cooling Towel

I thought that I might, every now and then, review a product that is helpful for biking. I wanted to start with the "VT" Cooling Towel, because even though it is not necessarily a "bike product," it is definitely something that has been helpful for me with switching to bike commuting. The claim, as you can see from the picture, is that it will make your body feel "up to 20 degrees cooler." Challenge accepted!

I purchased this towel on a whim at Bed Bath and Beyond ($14.99) with the hopes that it might keep me from getting overheated on long rides. The instructions are to immerse the towel in water to "activate" it. I would advise you to definitely follow these instructions, as simply trying to run a little water over the towel does not do the trick (learned that the hard way). After I actually immersed it, this towel worked very well! Honestly, I was surprised at just how effective this little piece of fabric is (actually, I don't think you could technically call it fabric - it is made of PVA). The other day, I stopped in at the graduate school to fill out some paperwork after riding my bike around quite a bit. I paused in the lobby and draped the towel around my neck. Not only did I get some immediate gratification - I felt cooler instantly - the towel helped bring down my overall body temperature after a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, I actually began to feel chilly, if you can believe it.

So, obviously, I heartily endorse this product! My only regret is that I purchased the white towel. Honestly, I think I grabbed this one because it was the "display" piece by the counter, and also because I was caught up in Hokie fever. But there were other similar products - some called "chilly pads" and "frogg toggs" - that I sort of wish I had gotten instead, only because of the color of the product. The white of this towel picked up dirt quite easily and quickly, and I feel that had I gotten, say, the blue one, perhaps the dirt wouldn't be so obvious. Fortunately, it is machine washable, so hopefully this won't be too much of an issue.

Well, there you have it, folks - my first product review! Hopefully it was helpful. If there is any information I left out of the review that you think would be helpful for future reviews, please let me know!

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