Arizona company MiClimate says their lightweight wearable air-conditioning unit for riders is expected to be available in the middle of this southern summer.
MiClimate was unveiled in April 2016 and has been a long time in the development stage. Now MiCli 1 is expected to ship in December at $US399 (about $A540) plus shipping.
For a limited time, US riders who pre-order will get a 20% discount. The company says that discount may soon extend to other countries as they ramp up production.
There have been many passive cooling solutions for riders over the years. They include Ventz that send cooling air up your sleeve and wet vests that cool your torso.
There have also been various active air-conditioning units for the bike and personal use such as this InstantCool vest.
MiClimate is an active cooler that you wear like a cowboy’s gun belt with a couple of six-shooters.
One of the “six-shooters’ is the 1.5lb (0.68kg) AC unit and the other is the rechargeable 12V lithium-ion battery.
The unit’s “belt” simply pumps cold up into your jacket. It’s reverse cycle too, so it can also pump hot air in winter. You can also turn it upside down and blow air down your trousers!
Battery charge lasts about four hours, or you can connect it to your bike’s battery, saving about $20 on purchase price.
The invention comes from a company based in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s in the desert where temperatures vary from around 100°F (37°C) in summer to 50°F (10°C) in winter.
MiCli 1 is based on a Personal Wearable Climate unit used by the US Navy in 2009.
Rather than using a bulky compressor it uses electronics. Therefore, there is no Freon, liquid, ice or chemical used.
There are button controls on the nit or you can buy a Bluetooth remote that attaches to your handlebars.
MiClimate may still be a bit bulky, but it could mean you don’t have to sacrifice safety by not wearing a jacket in extreme heat.
The manufacturers claim it will reduce ambient temperature by 18°F (10°C) or increase it by 36°F (20°C).
The effect may depend on your jacket’s fit and whether you have vents for the air to escape.
Without having tried it, we think it could deliver cool/warm air where it enters the jacket, but you could still be hot/cold at the other end of your jacket, creating an uncomfortable imbalance.
But at least it shows a willingness to battle the problem of temperature which can have an effect on the concentration level – and therefore safety – of a rider.
The makers also advertise the MiCli 1 for use in other summer outdoor activities such as cycling and hiking.