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Rukka Announces New M-Clima Vest With Integrated Heating & AC

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We’ve all been there, sweating buckets while swaddled in our ATGATT ensembles, watching in near delirious fascination as the sun beats the road’s edge in a mirage of shimmering liquid. Riding in intense temperatures — hot or cold — not only wears on the body, depleting mental cognition and increasing reaction times, it just plain sucks.

Enter the M-Clima Vest, a new solution from Rukka, that’s engineered to overcome weather conditions as much as it is for impact protection. The M-Clima is intended to quickly cool a rider’s core in hot temperatures and during exertion, as well as heat it when temperatures drop.

Climate Management Vest


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Two completely separate systems are at work in the M-Clima Vest. For heating, the vest uses flexible, silicone panels that heat to roughly 113 ºF. There are no heated wires, so no worries about hot spots, though the system’s on/off only toggle doesn’t allow for linear adjustment.

So yeah, whatever, there are a multitude of heated e-vest options out there. The big news is the cooling potential of the M-Clima, especially for adventure riders, who’re not only out in the heat, but often riding hard in it.

The basic concept is forced evaporative cooling. Yup, swamp cooling. You know that pleasant chill you feel when air rushes through the open vents of your sweaty kit? It’s like that, but with way more air being circulated. Rukka claims 7 liters of cooling air can be drawn into the vest per second, which is then delivered via small holes in the garment’s lining to circulate at 5 meters per second. So, it’s not cool air exactly, but rather a huge amount of ‘outside air’ being drawn in and distributed to wick away perspiration, keeping your skin dry and your temperature regulated.

Rukka Climate Management Vest

Climate Management Vest

A remote control lets the rider easily switch from cooling to heating.

It’s not magic, just a mechanical blower that’s powered by attaching either the unit’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to two hours of cooling, or by wiring the vest to your bike’s battery for an endless breeze. (The heat function works only when powered by the DC current on your bike.) We like that the vest comes with the untethered battery option so it can be used for extracurricular activities like bicycling or hiking. And since swamp cooling can be a stinky affair, it’s also nice the vest is washable.

The plastic blower unit hangs down from the left side of the vest and must be kept outside of your gear for air flow. It’s not a small device, and for those concerned about impact in the case of a fall, Rukka wants you to know it’s backed by D3O armor.

Personal Climate Management Vest

One test monitored one everyday rider in mediocre shape and one pro enduro rider in top shape as they sped across a hour+ long on/off-road course in Spain’s Pyrenees with and without the M-Clima Vest. The results were interesting. Both riders saw a significant reduction in body temperature during the run with the vests despite wearing Gore-tex lined jackets and Cordura pants. In fact, neither rider even reached the threshold for perspiration (temps were in the high 70s) and both saw an averaged heart rate decrease of 10 bpm with the vests on, so not only were they dry and comfortable, their bodies were notably less stressed.

Climate Management Vest

Last summer, as I rode through California’s high desert in temps as high as 118 ºF, wetting my base layer and stuffing frozen ice pop tubes in my jacket at every stop, I would have given my right arm for an M-Clima vest. The ice pops were cheap, but the cooling effect only lasted about 15 minutes.

Rukka’s new cooling/heating M-Clima Vest (available in late July), is definitely not a budget item at $1200, but it could definitely put a little superhero in your step, while widening the window of your riding season.

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Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

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