I put the Cool Comfort Crown Cooler to the test, taking advantage of the 80+ degree weather we've been having here in Massachusetts lately.
Here's a tip: The first time you use the Crown Cooler, you're supposed to soak it in cold water for 20 minutes. If you're like me and you're easily distracted (okay... so I'm downright forgetful), set a timer or an alarm so that you remember to take the Crown Cooler out of the water 20 minutes - and not 2 hours - later. Because if you leave the Crown Cooler submerged in water for two hours, it will become seriously oversaturated to the point where it's bulging at the seams and you won't stand half a chance of fitting it - and your head - into a helmet, a hat, or any other headwear.
I tried a few different things with the Crown Cooler. Initially I'd been hopeful that I could wear it in my riding helmet, but that didn't work out too well. The Cooler is a little bit too thick to fit comfortably in my regular helmet. I did dig out my show helmet which has some extra room left for my hair, and it did fit more comfortably (but now I have no place left to put up my hair). Still, the Cooler did fit and it was comfortable and cool, though I didn't notice a huge difference in how it helped me battle the heat.
Next I tried the Cooler in a baseball hat, thinking it could be worn while mucking stalls and doing barn chores. It was a very tight fit, and didn't work too well. However, Polar makes a baseball hat specifically to be used with the Cooler, so that might be a better route.
The Crown Cooler is definitely effective, but it takes a little work to find a suitable way to wear it with some sort of headwear. I found it most effective when it was refrigerated, and it can also be reactivated by putting it in cold water for a few minutes, which makes it easy to use while around the barn. The Crown Cooler does depend on evaporative technology, so using it in the muggy Massachusetts heat may have diminished its effect to a point. Still, refrigerating or freezing the Cooler can increase its effect. At a very reasonable price ($8.95) it's well worth adding the Crown Cooler to your summer barn kit.
You can buy the Crown Cooler directly from Polar. Be sure to visit Polar Products on Facebook, and keep an eye out on The Equine Insider - we'll have reviews of three more Polar cooling products coming up shortly!