Updated: May 29, 2019
Many people wonder what the difference is between water-based (evaporative) cooling solutions vs. Coolture CoolPak technology. Is one colder than the other? Does one last longer than the other? Well, there is a difference, and that difference is how we came to select our technology over others.
Humidity Level Matters
The biggest factor when determining your cooling solution is humidity. If you live in an arid region of dry heat and low humidity (think Arizona) then evaporative, water-based cooling solutions might work for you. Just keep in mind that the water itself will eventually become warm, compromising the sensation of cool. Evaporative cooling only provides a "feel-good" sensation, and is too passive to affect thermoregulation.
On the other hand, water based products do not work well in humid environments! Humid conditions, like in the south, the northeast, and in higher elevations, will cause the moisture to build and become warm, actually making you feel worse (like wearing a warm, wet blanket).
Cooling products that are activated by ice work in any environment, humid or otherwise. And the ice-based, phase-change CoolPaks used by Coolture offer a colder-than-ice experience with a longer-than-ice cooling time.
According to Dr. Douglass Casa, Professor of Kinesiology at University of Connecticut and COO of the Korey Stringer Institute “Humidity becomes a large factor because once ambient temperature rises above skin temperature, cooling by radiation and convection is lost and now contributes to heat gain as opposed to loss. This leaves only evaporation as a means of cooling,. Ultimately the rate at which the body can cool through this last method decreases as humidity rises.” (Casa, Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity, p. 55).
Which is Easier to Activate?
Water-based, evaporative products will win in this category, as they require nothing more than a water source. But in this contest, the prize doesn't go to the swiftest, it goes to the coolest. The solution is to always have a ready resource of cooling packs in the freezer, and an insulated tote for spontaneous, on-the-go use.
Which Lasts Longer?
In the presence of humidity, water-based (evaporative) products will last less than 20 minutes. Ice-based products will still provide enough cooling to affect thermoregulation on humid days, and may last as long as three hours -- but humidity will definitely abbreviate cooling effectiveness. Coolture CoolPaks fall into the ice-based category, but are enhanced by polymers that contain the cold for longer than ice-based products alone.
Which is Best for You?
Like most product decisions, your personal preference will come into play. So first and foremost, identify your environment, then search for the best options in that category.
Coolture conducted scientific testing of three cooling packs to determine which would provide the superior cooling experience. It was the ice-based, polymer cooling technology that is incorporated into every cooling garment. To learn more about our cooling products go to www.coolture.net.