What is the Black Ice Cool Collar CCX?
The Cool Collar CCX is a patented two-piece personal cooling system you wear around your neck. It consists of an insulating neoprene CoolSwap™ wrap and a special cooling element, the Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack™. This cooling pack recharges in ice water, a freezer or refrigerator. It attaches to the wrap via built-in hook-and-loop fasteners, and it sits directly against the back of your neck once you put it on. The Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack is unique because it produces a regulated temperature output of 57°F–a temperature that is cool, refreshing and much more safe and comfortable to apply to skin than ice or frozen gels.
What's inside the Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack?
Smart Ice, the coolant contained inside the Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack, is a molecular alloy formulated to produce a 57°F temperature output once "charged." The material is chemically classified as a light mineral oil, so if you were to break a pack open (please don't do that), you would find a very thin, oily liquid.
Is the coolant toxic?
The coolant is neither toxic nor carcinogenic. It is a light-grade mineral oil, so, like most oils, some people may be sensitive to the liquid should it come in contact with their skin. In the unlikely event of a pack leak, immediately wash any skin exposed to the liquid with a grease-dispersing soap (liquid dishwashing soaps work very well). Also remove any wraps or clothing exposed to the liquid, and wash them before wearing them again.
How do you recharge Black Ice?
You can recharge Black Ice Personal Cooling Packs in any of three ways*:
Refrigerator (approximately 3 hr. recharge time)
Freezer (approximately 1 hr. recharge time)
Ice water (approximately 20 min. recharge time)
*Do not charge at temperatures below -5°F
Why does it only take 20 min. to recharge a Black Ice in ice water? Since the freezer is much colder, shouldn't the freezer charge a pack faster?
Good question–and there is a massively complex answer. But since heat transfer is a job we leave to the engineers and their annoying little calculators, we're going to paraphrase here (Please don't tell the engineers–They really hate the term paraphrase. . . .): Thanks to the physics of heat transfer, water transfers heat much more efficiently than air. That means heat is pulled from the pack faster in ice water, which makes it charge quicker.
Super Fun Home Science Project! (adult supervision not required . . . unless you tend to be clumsy): Leave a large plastic bowl of water on the kitchen counter for an hour, then stick your hand in it. Though the water is the same temperature as the air around you, it feels colder because it's pulling more heat from your hand as compared to the air around you.
How do you use the Black Ice Cool Collar CCX?
Charge the Personal Cooling Pack, attach it to the CoolSwap wrap, then place so the pack surface (not the neoprene wrap) fits comfortably around the back of the neck. Adjust fit with the hook-and-loop tab at the end of the wrap.
Wow! The pack feels super cold! What's wrong?
Not a thing. If you pull your charged pack from the freezer, it will have an internal temperature identical to that of the freezer. So, since most freezers are set to about 0°F, the moment you pull the pack from the freezer, it's going to be 0°F. There are a couple of advantages to that–which we will get to in a moment. Once the pack is removed from the freezer, it will immediately begin to warm up. In a few minutes, the temperature of the pack will rise to operating temperature (about 57°F), then it will remain at that temperature until the pack is discharged. If your skin is sensitive to colder temperatures, we recommend you leave the pack out for a few minutes before putting it on.
Now those advantages–Since the charged Personal Cooling Pack comes out of the cooling medium at the same temperature as that medium (whichever that is–freezer, fridge or ice water), it is storing quite a bit of "extra cooling power". That cooling power gives you two advantages–First, it gives you an extra jolt of cooling, which feels really good when you're hot and looking for immediate relief. Second, the colder temperature accelerates the drop in your skin temperature, so you feel cooler faster.
Why cool the neck?
Good question. One way humans cool themselves is to simply radiate heat. The interesting bit is that different areas of our body radiate heat at different rates. To be effective, we need to place a personal cooling system in an area where it will remove as much heat as possible as quickly as possible. Places like the palm of the hand, bottom of the wrist, the groin and the back of the neck give off the most heat, but it would be inconvenient to place a cooling pack on the inside of your thigh or in the palm of your hand–especially if you're playing tennis or mowing the lawn.
So, the reason Black Ice chose the neck is because that area radiates a good deal of heat, and it's much easier to design a product that will be comfortable to wear in that location.
Does Black Ice require batteries?
Nope–just a bath of ice water (or freezer/ fridge). Just dunk your Personal Cooling Pack in the ice water (make sure it's completely submerged), wait about 20 minutes, and you're ready to go.
Will the Cool Collar CCX fit my neck size?
Generally, the Cool Collar CCX will fit neck sizes 13 ½" to 18 ½". The Extender EX1 can increase the neck size to approximately 21". You may increase that further by "piggybacking" EX1s. Fit varies slightly with individual neck shape.
Can children use Black Ice?
Absolutely–With a couple of obvious considerations. Never place Black Ice on an infant.
Children can wear Black Ice, but not without adult supervision. Some children (and adults) are sensitive to cooler temperatures, so Black Ice may not be the best solution for them. Since the CoolSwap wrap is adjustable, it is very important to make sure the collar is not too tight.
Sometimes the collar makes me itch. What's wrong?
Some people are extremely sensitive to cool temperatures, so Black Ice may not work for them. It is also possible foreign material has found its way onto the pack surface. If you are experiencing discomfort, try washing the pack in soapy water (dishwashing liquid works best). It's always best to wash your Personal Cooling Packs once you finish using them for the day.
Can I use my Cool Collar CCX for a sore neck?
Certainly. The Cool Collar CCX delivers a comfortable level of cooling that can help sooth sore muscles and even reduce swelling. If neck pain is your primary concern, check out the NTX CoolTherapy System. It delivers a temperature that is cooler and much more effective for therapeutic use.
How long does Black Ice last?
The cooling duration of a fully charged Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack is generally dependent on two things: ambient temperature and the amount of heat your body is producing. Since individual metabolism and activity level vary between any two people, it is impossible to guarantee how long a single pack will last before it is completely discharged. In general use (watching a ball game, fishing, etc.), you can expect up to 1.5 hr. of cooling before you need to recharge your pack. If you are working hard in very hot conditions, that time will be reduced somewhat. Conversely, you may see more than 1.5 hr. per charge if conditions are right. Regardless, if you have that extra pack that comes with the twin-pack CCX-S System, you can always have a fully-charged Personal Cooling Pack waiting for you in a cooler of ice water.
Does humidity level affect the cooling output of Black Ice?
Unlike cooling bandanas, evaporative vests, fans, misters and battery-powered gizmos and contraptions, Black Ice does not rely on evaporation to produce cooling. It is therefore unaffected by humidity level. You get 57°F if the humidity level is 60%, and you get 57°F if the humidity level rises to 85% or beyond.
I've been wearing my Black Ice for an hour, but it doesn't seem cool anymore. What's the deal?
Black Ice maintains a stable temperature of about 57°F, but once you put the CCX on, you will actually experience two different types of cooling. We call them Phase I and Phase II.
Phase I cooling includes that initial "jolt" of cooling, when you first put the collar on, and it continues as your neck (skin) temperature drops from approximately 93°F to somewhere in the 70°Fs. This is where you will find yourself saying, "Wow–This is really cool!" This sensation usually lasts for anywhere from about fifteen minutes to half an hour–depending on the sensitivity of your neck.
Phase II cooling is more subtle than Phase I, but it is actually more effective in helping you stay cooler. The subtlety is caused by a physiological phenomenon we refer to as SPE (Swimming Pool Effect). SPE is the easiest term we have found to describe how the human body adapts to its environment–On a hot day, if you jump into a cool swimming pool, you're going to get an initial "jolt" of cold. The effect lasts for a few minutes, and then you begin to realize you don't feel cold anymore (unless the water temperature is so low your brain detects danger). Your skin is still in contact with the water (and it's cooling you down), but your brain has recognized that the temperature is not a threat, so it begins to ignore the cool sensation. This is exactly what can happen with Black Ice–Your brain gets used to the cool feeling, it recognizes the temperature is not threat, so it simply begins to ignore the sensation.
Now that can be a real issue if the temperature output of a cool pack is too cold (personal cooling products that use ice or gels). Why? Because medical studies show you can develop frostbite if your skin is exposed to ice or frozen gels for more than 20 minutes at a time. To eliminate that possibility, we have formulated the Black Ice Smart Ice Matrix to produce a temperature output of 57°F–a temperature that is well above the levels that are considered dangerous. That is why, in most cases, Black Ice is safe enough to use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So if that second stage of cooling is so subtle, how do you even know Black Ice is really working?
Simple. All you have to do is reach up and put a finger to the back of your neck–underneath the pack. When you do that (assuming the pack hasn't completely discharged, of course), you will be able to feel that your skin is considerably cooler than you realized. In the long run, you may also notice you feel more comfortable in the heat–you can work a little longer, walk a little quicker, ride a little longer, and you will probably smile a little brighter.
Will Black Ice lower my core temperature?
A very, very good question, and we can give you a very simple answer. Black Ice will not lower your body temperature–and believe us, unless you are in very big trouble, you don't want it to.
We humans are homeothermic critters, and that means we need to keep our body temperature right at that magic 98.6°F. In fact, every second of our life, our body is constantly working, sometimes very hard, to remain at 98.6°F. When we get hot, we perspire, and the air that blows over our body causes the perspiration to evaporate–which cools us off. When it's cold, we begin to shiver, thus generating heat and warming us up (wearing a coat doesn't hurt either!). So, unless you are in a state of hyperthermia (elevated body temperature due to fever, extreme heat exposure, dehydration, etc.) you don't want to lower your body temperature–What you really want to do is find a way to stay at 98.6°F. Black Ice helps you do just that.
So, if Black Ice doesn't work by dropping my core temperature, what the heck is it doing?
We get hot because we do two things–We produce heat (muscle movement, cellular activity, etc.), and we absorb heat from the sun and surrounding air. When it's cold, holding in that heat and absorbing a little extra is a good thing. The problem arises when it's hot outside, and we want to play tennis or work in the yard. In that case, we end up creating excess heat–and absorbing even more excess heat. When that happens, our body must work extra hard to shed that heat. Again, we do that by perspiring (which requires increased heart rate and respiration), but sometimes we just can't cool ourselves off fast enough–especially when it's humid, and the moist air just can't absorb any additional water. That's where Black Ice comes to the rescue, because it absorbs some of that excess heat, which reduces the overall heat load on your body. When you reduce the heat load on your body, two things happen–you feel a bit cooler, and you feel a bit less fatigued because your body doesn't have to work quite as hard to shed that extra heat. To put it simply, Black Ice works by, quite literally, taking some of the heat for you.
So the next time you hear about a personal cooling product that "lowers your body temperature," first ask yourself if that's what you really want, and, second, ask yourself if the producer of that product really knows what they're talking about. Chances are they don't.
24/7 cooling? What is CoolSwapping anyway?
Black Ice has many traits that set it apart from other personal cooling products. The ability to quickly CoolSwap recharged packs is just one. Because it only takes about 20 min. to recharge a Black Ice Personal Cooling Pack, if you keep a spare pack in cooler of ice water, you can theoretically CoolSwap Personal Cooling Packs forever by just rotating packs in and out of the cooler. The only thing that would limit the number of times you can CoolSwap would be the amount of ice water you have. So when Black Ice promises 24/7 cooling–We really do mean it.
If I use the Black Ice UltraCooler, how many times can I CoolSwap my packs before I need more ice?
The Black Ice UltraCooler is, by far, the best soft sided cooler we have ever seen. It is so heavily insulated that our Personal Cooling Pack testers were able to CoolSwap Black Ice for nine hours straight without adding ice. Of course, your results may vary somewhat depending on the number of times you CoolSwap your Personal Cooling Packs.
What's the best way to store Black Ice?
That's easy–Store your Black Ice Personal Cooling Packs in the freezer (or fridge) year-round. In this way, you have 24/7 access to personal cooling. Whether you have to mow the yard, or you have a hot flash, or even if you have a sore neck, if you store your Personal Cooling Packs in the freezer, Black Ice will always be there to take the heat for you.
How do you care for the Cool Collar CCX?
Wash the Personal Cooling Pack in soapy water, rinse and towel dry (dish washing liquid works best). You can wash the CoolSwap wrap the same way (rinse it thoroughly), letting it air dry. You may also wash your CoolSwap wrap in a washing machine using cold water. Air dry. Do not place your CoolSwap wrap or Personal Cooling Pack in a dryer (or microwave for that matter–but you weren't going to do that anyway, were you? Were you? Hello? Is this thing on???).
I use those bandanas you soak in water, but they don't seem to work very well. Why?
Cooling bandanas work by the "passive" process of evaporation–just like our own skin.
Super Fun Home Science Project! (adult supervision not required. . . unless you are particularly clumsy): Wet your arm and then blow on it. The cooling effect you feel is the result of simple evaporation.
To get any cooling effect, you must rely on the ability of the air around you to absorb the moisture from the bandana. If the humidity is too high, evaporation can't take place because the air just can't absorb any additional moisture. In that case, all you get is a hot wet rag flopping around on the back of your neck–yuk. That's why we feel so miserable in high humidity–the perspiration normally effective for keeping us cool doesn't evaporate–it just starts dripping everywhere. Using a bandana just makes it worse at that point. More bad news for bandanas–the "break even" point where they begin to loose their effectiveness is a mere 75% humidity.
Super Fun Home Science Project! (adult supervision not required-unless you are mildly clumsy): When it's 90°F and the humidity is high, go outside, sit in a chair, and place a few drops of water on your arm. Time how long it takes the water to evaporate (bring a calendar).
To make an ineffective product even worse, bandanas tend to emit "slime" after a time, and they have an affinity for mildew.
So what makes Black Ice so different from a cooling bandana?
Instead of relying on the passive process of evaporation, Black Ice uses the much more effective theory of thermal energy storage and conductive transfer. By storing "cooling power" in much the same way a battery stores electricity, and then releasing that power in a regulated process, Black Ice actually transfers active cooling to your skin. Since Black Ice has programmed the Smart Ice matrix to output a temperature of 57°F, users typically see a measurable drop in the skin temperature on their neck of about 20°F. Such a temperature drop is simply not possible using a cooling bandana.
I've been trying to find one of those battery-powered fan collars. They work, right?
Techie-looking fan collars and other small battery-powered personal cooling contraptions generally fall under the category of evaporative systems, and as such, they have the same general shortfalls as bandanas–except they don't get slimy. Of course, they have their own set of problems. For instance, they're bulky and uncomfortable to wear (especially if you're doing much more than your best impression of a mannequin–which is probably quite good, we're sure. . . .). They are also noisy, and they use batteries–lots of batteries. . . .
I'm hot now! How long does it take to ship Black Ice?
We generally ship on the same day we receive the order, but our policy is 48-hr. shipping from the next business day. Weekend and holiday orders don't enter our system until the next business day, but they are generally shipped within 24hr. of the next business day. Please be aware that USPS Priority mail delivery predictions are not always accurate.
Will the Black Ice Cool Collar CCX work on my dog?
Dogs do most of their cooling by panting, so placing a Cool Collar on Fido won't help him out much. He'll certainly look cool at the dog park though.
Why does everybody else say their product "cools for hours"?
There are loads of personal cooling products available, and it seems like they all make the same wild claims. If you believe them, a little wet rag will keep you cool–even if you're stuck out in the middle of the desert in the middle of the summer, in the middle of the day.
Sorry–Not gonna happen.
Soak a rag in cold water and it will certainly be cool for a short time, but stick it out in the hot sun, and it's not going to be cool for much longer than a few minutes. In this case, the claim of "cools for hours" simply means the bandana will remain wet and therefore have some capacity for evaporation. Are you going to actually feel cooler for hours? We think not.
The truth of the matter is that Black Ice tested these products and found them sadly lacking in their ability to fulfill their promises. In fact, Black Ice was founded with the sole mission of creating a personal cooling product that would actually deliver on the promise of providing refreshing, comfortable, convenient cooling at a cost effective price.
I want to sell Black Ice. What do I do?
Black Ice is always looking for qualified resellers to join our team. If you are interested in distribution, please send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be sure to include some general information about your company and website info if available.
I want to put our company's logo on the CoolSwap wrap.
Can you do that?
Yes–Custom logos are available. Please send us an email to inquire about pricing and lead times: email@example.com