Most of us ride when it’s hot out. If that’s you, how do you like to keep cool on the road? Some people might wear a technical base layer, soak it in water, and wear it under their mesh or perforated leather to let the airflow from your road speed work its evaporative magic. If it’s a long trip, you could always re-up your coolness factor at rest stops along the way. It’s a dead-simple solution, and requires you to carry nothing extra on your trip. What’s not to love?
Apparently, this method just wasn’t complicated enough for the folks at RS Taichi. Instead, they’ve come up with an alternative solution called LiquidWind, which involves no less than five separate necessary components you need to purchase in order to make it work. Worst of all, if you also choose to wear a CoolSmile G2 cooling balaclava, you’re going to have two separate water-holster belts around your waist at the same time. Let’s, um, take a look.
RS Taichi teamed up with Japanese men’s cosmetics company Mandom Corporation to create LiquidWind. Much like the soaked base layer example we gave above, the LiquidWind system relies on strategically soaking your base layer with liquid. Then, you let evaporative cooling through the mesh outer layer do its thing. The difference here is that Mandom came up with a special Cooling Water pouch that you wear on the bike. It’s fragrance-free, but also includes deodorant and menthol in the water to amplify the cooling sensation and keep you smelling fresh all day long.
How does this Cooling Water pouch do its thing? There’s a special undershirt, a little hose that routes up along the undershirt and around your neck, and a spritzer bottle that you load the contents of the Cooling Water pouch into. The bottle also mounts to a waist belt. You actuate it with your fingers, like any spritzer bottle. The water then flows up through the hose and thoroughly douses your upper chest with water from the hose around your neck. There’s also an added mesh vest that Taichi sells, that it says will amplify the airflow effect because it creates an added air pocket between your jacket and the base LiquidWind shirt you’re already wearing.
The full LiquidWind system uses the LiquidWind undershirt, bottle pouch/belt set, spray bottle kit, tube kit, and Gatsby Liquidwind Water. Now, you can purchase everything listed here except the undershirt in the LiquidWind Starter Kit. The LiquidWind Air Flow Vest isn’t a requirement to get the system to work, but is available separately as an add-on.
What’s all this cost? The undershirt is ¥4,730, or about $44. The Starter Kit is ¥6,050, or about $56, so it’s $100 if you want to get started with LiquidWind. The Airflow Vest add-on is another ¥5,830, or about $54. Replacement individual components for the kit range from ¥660 ($6 or so) for another Cooling Water pouch up to ¥3,300 (about $31) for another spray bottle kit.
This kit is currently being sold at RS Taichi retailers all over Japan, and it’s unclear whether it will be sold elsewhere. Do you want one, or do you think it’s a fine example of overengineering the answer to a question no one asked?