Gear + Gadgets: Visors to keep you cool

Real X Gear Cooling Caps and Visors
Real X Gear Cooling Caps and Visors

The “air-conditioning” technology behind Real X Gear’s Cooling Caps and Visors is as basic as this: Wet it, wear it, and let good old evaporation do the cooling. The trick is in extending the cooling evaporation time as long as possible.

The headband area of Real X Gear’s head wear is lined with a strip of highly absorbent and water-retaining non-woven spongy fabric called Poly-Vinyl Alcohol. Embedded alcohol beads chemically react with water to lower the temperature of the material and slow down the drying process. The idea is to keep the temperature-sensitive pressure points along your forehead and back of the head cool longer. The rest of the cap/visor is made of quick-drying fabric, so you don’t have water dripping all over your hair and face.

This all sounds way too low-tech to be any more effective than dunking any old hat, but a test run on a recent hot summer day showed Real X Gear’s caps and visors do indeed stay cooler substantially longer than standard head wear. Keep an extra “wet” cap or visor in a cooler (perhaps along with picnic food) to switch off when your head-wear runs out of cool.

The caps and visors come in blue, black, white, camouflage, khaki, red or pink.

Real X Gear Cooling Caps or Cooling Visors are $20 at