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 Cool Shirt Questions 
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:42 am
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Location: Mebane, NC
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I am interested in obtaining a Cool Shirt. Being the frugal type (OK - cheap...) I am considering making my own. Some of the commercial and DIY versions use a cotton T-shirt. Is this OK for use in a race car?

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:17 pm
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Eric:

I am sure that the one I have from Cool-Shirt is cotton, in fact it is a Hanes Beefy-Tee. Do not use one with a synthetic fabric, however.

I think that most drivers who make their own buy the shirt and then make all the plumbing and cooler themselves. There are lots of "tutorials" on how to do it on the Web.

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Mack


Sat Jun 13, 2015 6:30 am
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Mack McCormack wrote:
There are lots of "tutorials" on how to do it on the Web.


Yes, I've been reading them. Buying a ready made shirt seems like good advice - I just wasn't sure about use for racing as some are listed as cotton material.

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Sat Jun 13, 2015 8:58 am
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Eric:

If you are concerned about cotton they can be had in Nomex http://www.ogracing.com/fast-fia-nomex-cool-suit-shirt

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Mack


Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:28 am
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I've seen those. My question is should I be concerned about a cotton cool shirt? Is a cotton cool shirt OK when worn under a 3 layer race suit?

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Eric Russell
Mebane, NC

1961 MGA, 1981 Alfa Romeo GTV6, 1984 Alfa Romeo Spider,
1991 Honda ST1100, 1999 Ford F250, 2006 Toyota Solara


Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:18 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:47 pm
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Cotton is much better then a man made fiber. Nylon and others tend to melt into your skin and then shrink wrap you, while cotton will just burn.


Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:58 am
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Eric, if you decide to make your own, why not use a Nomex underwear top? Then you have the best of both worlds, maybe less expensive than buying one, but still have the protection of Nomex. If your driver's suit is 3-layer, you could use a short-sleeve Nomex top. If your driver suit is 2-layer, you need the extra layer of Nomex undies anyway.

With the cooling in place, the "extra" layer of Nomex shouldn't be a heat concern (body heat).

Steve Hyatt is right, absolutely no synthetic fabrics like nylon, rayon, polyester -- prohibited by our rules.

P.S. if you make your own, pay attention to the melting point of the tubing that you use. I don't know what the Cool Shirt manufacturers use, but it seems to me that you want some sort of tubing with a reasonably high melting point. If the tubing melts you could have two problems: gooey plastic stuck to your skin, and the escaping water might also get hot enough to cause burns. Hopefully if you're ever caught in a fire, you'll be able to get out in 8 or 10 seconds, and maybe that's fast enough that the heat won't be conducted into the cool shirt enough to cause problems ... but it's worth thinking about. Of course, if it gets hot enough to melt the tubing, you've probably already suffered some burns.

None of this is pleasant to think about, but are probably other unintended consequences if you aren't careful about the design of a DIY cool shirt so proceed with caution.

Mark Palmer


Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:43 pm
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There are tutorials on line to make the cooler/pump (I did) but I would buy the shirt. I originally got the cotton version and it has worked well for years and may be coming down in price due to a newer version. The next gen shirt made with some type of performance fabric with the tube sewn in to the inside of the shirt instead of the outside like on the cotton version. I wore the new one in mid July at VIR which is always brutally hot that time of year and my skin was cold after a 40 minute race. With the cotton version that was never the case! Be advised next gen is $$$ but well worth it.


Wed Jul 29, 2015 4:49 pm
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When I bought a Cool Shirt box I originally got the nomex version for the reason that it counts as a layer and at that time I had a two-layer suit.

At some point I purchased a cotton version and I was disappointed at how easily it deteriorated, both from use and laundering. Not only is the material not fireproof, it is much lighter in construction and did not hold up very well to the pulling that is sometimes necessary to get a wet shirt off, esp. when one is tired out and a bit over-eager to shed it.

Go for the nomex version.

Best--Michael Oritt


Fri Jul 31, 2015 6:24 am
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Location: Ligonier, PA
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A word of advice. If you buy the cotton one, go with the dark version. I've had mine for two race weekends and it's already getting a dark ring around the collar. (I'll admit that sometimes I might perspire a little in the car :)) When I win the lottery, I'll get another shirt - probably the fire retardant one.

On another note, they say block ice is better. Next time out, I'm just going to freeze a few water bottles and put them in caps on. Reusable.

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Joe Teplitz - Western PA
Datsun 510


Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:09 am
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