Accessories you take on a hike you want to keep to the bare minimum, no hiker wants to carry more than they need to so you want to pick right. I always choose multi purpose items as well like the bandanna. I would use for a buffer for the wind, protection from the sun, wear over my head when cold as a hat. I would also use it as an eye mask for sleeping, hang on my sternum strap of my pack and here it would become a sweat cloth, a holder for items like my guide book or snacks and even a sling for my arm when I hurt it. At the end of the day I would use it as a wash cloth.
Now you probably all own a bandanna of some sort and there are many different styles out there on the market. I personally have quite a collection and love the versatile use that they give. I use mine not only various ways on my head to keep cool or warm, protect my face if the wind is extreme or even if the rain turns to icy cold hail, I also use it as a wash cloth, eye cover for sleeping, loop it on my sternum strap of my pack and have it as a pouch to carry stuff. I have even used it as a sling for my arm and also wear as a fashion accessory when I have hiked into a town and need to look a little bit more decent the list goes on.
So what makes this Coolcore so different that I need to review it? Easy it really is COOL!
I have often wet my bandannas to try to cool down when hiking only for them to heat up quickly and this one didn’t heat up, in fact it stayed icy cold! Just wet, wring and wear is what they say and it will do the rest. As you sweat the fabric of the Coolcore starts to activate and reduces the surface temperature up to 30% and the best thing of all is it is chemical free! Unlike a lot of other products that claim to have cooling technology that comes from adding some type of chemical into the fabric that only is temporary as it will eventually wash out and surely can’t be good for you, Coolcore uses their performance fabrics that promote great moisture wicking.
The Coolcore multi-chill can be used well for hiking, running, working outdoors, cycling and anything that makes you work up a sweat.
- Chemical Free
- Up to 30% cooler than skin temperature
- It is UPF 50+
- dries softer
- Cooling effect never washes out
I have to say this is a winner and I am now going to look at the other products that they put out, so keep an eye out for more reviews.
Arm Sleeves by ExOfficio
When hiking you are always wanting to protect yourself especially your skin. You are out in the elements for hours at a time and exposed to sun, wind, rain and insects. Not everyone likes to wear long sleeves, sun blocks and insect repellent can only go so far so what else can we do? Easy answer is wear sleeves! You can pull them on whenever you choose without having to change your top. Take them off when you choose again without having to change your top. The sleeves not only protect you from the sun but also insects, wind and cold as well as keep you cool when you need to.
We gave these a great road test for a month-long walk in Norway then a week walk in Scotland and they passed with flying colours. It was summer in both places, yes we did get a few quite warm days, and you could feel the ‘’air conditioner” from the fabric kick in. We also had cold windy days especially through the mountain passes and they just really helped keep that icy wind from making us cold. I am keen to give these a try now in the Aussie sun and see how they perform so I will get back to you on that.
So what makes them so good?
- They are rated UPF 50+,
- Built in Air Conditioning using Xylitol, this is woven into the fabric fibres to create a cooling effect on contact with moisture (sweat). This is a compound that occurs naturally in Birch trees.
- Silicone grip on the inside for the upper arms. While they held up well we did find them to be a bit tight and left marks on our arms.
- Thumb loops.
Worth a try, and they are easy to pack weighing next to nothing. We certainly have got our money worth from them.