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Harley cool vest | Riding Gear + Equipment | Tested

With summer here and the mercury inching ever upwards, it’s time to swap those winter warmers for something cool and comfortable that won’t sacrifice protection.

We’re not here to pass judgement on those who ride through the warmer months in shorts and T-shirt. Hey, if you fancy becoming a big flesh crayon as you slide along a hot road surface, that’s your choice. But for those who prefer to keep the gear on, staying cool while remaining well protected can be a challenge.

Faced with two long, energy-sapping days of riding in dry, 40-degree-plus California heat during the recent Softail launch, I grabbed Harley-Davidson’s latest cooling vest. It was my first experience wearing a cooling vest, and I was impressed with its effectiveness.

The lightweight nylon vest features an embedded HyperKewl lining that absorbs water, then uses it to keep the wearer’s chest and back cool as the water slowly evaporates.

You simply soak it in a bath or sink of water for a few minutes, then slip it on next to your skin just before you go riding. The water is retained in the HyperKewl lining and doesn’t leak – instead it slowly evaporates as the wind moves across it for a cooling effect that lasts around two hours.

If you want to be super-chilled, soak the vest in ice water, or leave it in the fridge for a few hours. The vest can be rehydrated up to 100 times.

I wore the cool vest all day for two days, and even when all the water had evaporated the mesh panels on the sides allowed the energy-sapping heat to escape.

Two styles of vest are available from the H-D Australia webpage – the standard cooling vest and the Dual Cool vest, which comes with a handy cool bag you can store the vest in, – or use it to keep your drinks cold.


  • Super cool
  • Ease of use
  • No batteries


  • Not a fashion item

Cooling vest

RRP $94.64

Dual Cool vest and cool bag

RRP $313.91


1300 885 355

As published in AMCN (Vol 67 No 11)