A cooling vest for working comfortably in a moderately hot environment

Naoe Nishihara*, Shin Ichi Tanabe, Hirofumi Hayama, Masayoshi Komatsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


To alleviate worker's thermal discomfort in a moderately hot environment, a new cooling vest was designed and proposed in this paper. To investigate the effect of the cooling vest and to collect the knowledge for the design of comfortable cooling vest, subjective experiments were conducted. Two kinds of cooling vests, the new one and the commercially available one, were used for comparison. The new cooling vest had more insulation and its surface temperature was higher than the commercially available one. Experiments were performed in the climatic chamber where operative temperature was controlled at 30.2°C and relative humidity was at 37% under still air. In addition, experiment without cooling vest was carried out as a control condition. The results obtained in these experiments were as follow: 1) By wearing both types of cooling vest, the whole body thermal sensation was closer to the neutral conditions than those without cooling vest. This effect was estimated to be equal to the 5.7°C decrement of operative temperature. The subjects felt more comfortable with the cooling vest than without it. They felt more thermally acceptable than that without cooling vest. Wearing the cooling vest was useful to decrease the sweating sensation. 2) The local discomfort was observed when the local thermal sensation was "cool"∼"cold" with the cooling vest. 3) The new cooling vest kept the skin temperature at chest at about 32.6°C. On the other hand, by wearing the commercially available one, it lowered to about 31.1°C. By wearing the new cooling vest, there was a tendency that local thermal sensation vote was higher and local comfort sensation vote was more comfortable than those of the condition wearing the commercially available one. It is important for the design of a comfortable cooling garment to prevent over-cool down from the body.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physiological Anthropology and Applied Human Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Jan
Externally publishedYes


  • Climatic chamber
  • Cooling vest
  • Subjective experiment
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal sensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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