VISTA, Calif. — Unlike most most parts of the country, San Diego can get very warm on a winter day. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Vista to visit a company called TechNiche. The little business is the largest manufacturer of cooling vests in the world.
"This is the vest we designed for the US Rowing team that we hope they get approved," said Yani Anastasakis, TechNiche's President.
"This area is our warehouse, phase change production and shipping area all in one," said Yani as he gave me a tour of the company that sells vests to companies like Harley Davidson, BMW and Adidas. "I think what we are excited about is the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.".
With hot weather expected in Japan, TechNiche is shipping their cooling vests to athletes all over the world.
"We've supplied the Canadian Olympic Team, Australian Olympic Team, Israeli Olympic Team," said Yani.
I asked, "You're not going to give them an edge are you?"
Yani responded, "Well, here is the disappointing part, we are trying to get in touch with the US Olympic team. So, we are disappointed that we can't get in touch with any of the American teams."
One type of vest starts working the second you put it on.
"What is all of that bulky stuff in there," I asked as I tried the vest on.
Yani said, "Those are called phase change inserts."
They are cooling packs to absorb heat away from your body.
"This is like wearing a little air conditioning unit [at] 58 degrees for two to three hours," said Yani.
From Motocross riders, to race car drivers, to Alberto Contador, the two-time winner of the Tour de France, athletes are using these vests to gain an edge. But you don't have to be a world-class athlete to enjoy a ten to fifteen degree cool down. TechNiche's marketing manager Andrea Thill says the vests work great on dogs and horses.
"My competitions are in Temecula so it gets really hot there's been a couple when it's been 109 and 110 so it's pretty hot out there," said Andrea.
She showed us how their second type of vest works by submerging it in water.
"And then once you are done soaking it then slowly squeeze out the excess so it's not dripping all over you," said Andrea.
Even soaking wet, the vests only weigh about a pound each but they can keep you cool for five to ten hours. The vest costs about $60 and can be reused hundreds of times. If you'd like more information or would like to buy a cooling vest go to staywarm-staycool.com.