What You Need To Know
- Another woman-owned brand, hell yeah!
- Custom-sized cooling packs for hours of comfort
- Vests, headbands, and cuffs, too
- Available now for $22-$250
HOLLY: Running in the Mojave Desert in the middle of the summer is terrible, and I’ve tried almost every piece of gear to make it slightly more enjoyable. When I lived on the East Coast, I used to “somewhat” enjoy summer running — or at least survived it. In the desert, on some days in August, the low is 95, and the high is 120. All of that is to say the weather makes running hard. I’m looking for any way to keep myself off the treadmill and outside. That’s when I discovered Oro Sports.
When I heard about the Maximo Cooling Vest, I was excited. It’s like a better-designed version of me stuffing ice cubes in my clothing before going for a run. Plus, Oro Sports is woman-owned, and I’m all about lady power!
How do the Oro Vests fit? There are several sizes depending on your weight. I am an average but tall woman and found the size 1 to work well. For reference, size 1 covers weight from 110-175 lbs. The size 3 accommodates weights of about 300 pounds, so there are options for almost any runner.
HOLLY: The Oro Sports Maximo Vest is the vest that will keep you the coldest for the longest. It’s the cream of the crop. When you first see it, it doesn’t look too heavy and bulky, and you think, “that’s not too bad.” Once you stuff the custom Oro Sports ice packs in there, it gets heavy fast. Or maybe my upper body is weak, which is also 100% a possibility. It’s not as heavy as using grocery store ice packs, though.
I was also nervous to start running with the Maximo Cooling Vest because I was worried it would bounce, but it doesn’t — at all.
Easy runs. Fast runs. workout sand dunes
There’s no bounce. None.
It took me several runs to get comfortable in the Oro Sports Maximo Cooling Vest. It feels like you’re running in an ice pack armor, and that gets heavy, fast. After my first several runs, my upper body was sore. That might not be the worst, as I’ve been lazy lifting weights. Maybe this is my sign to get back in the gym.
The other thing I didn’t love was how snugly the Maximo Cooling Vest fits. I don’t enjoy wearing tight clothing, especially during the hotter months, so the snug fit isn’t my favorite. However, it makes sense because you don’t want the ice bouncing around while running. That’s just a personal preference, though.
HOLLY: Oro Sports claims the Vestino is so stealthy and discreet you’ll forget that you have it on. This is it if you’re looking for a light and noninvasive cooling vest. plus, inside bright yellow, it can double as a safety vest. What I like about the Vestino is that it’s lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy on my body. Unlike the Ultimo Cooling Vest, I don’t feel like I’m getting an upper body workout when running with it. The downside is there is less cooling, but for me, I think the lightweight and just general comfort outweigh it.
Right now, I’ve been using my Oro Sports Destino Cooling Vest on the treadmill. But Hollie, you live in the desert. Shouldn’t it be “perfect” weather now? No. The winter months plummet to 10 degrees and add 30-mile-an-hour winds. So sometimes I want the treadmill, but my house is hot.
The only thing I recommend is an easy way to clean up your mess. The ice packs will eventually melt everywhere, and then it looks like the area around your treadmill lost a battle in the super soaker contest.
If I run another marathon (which is doubtful in the foreseeable future) and the weather is forecasted as hot, I’ll wear the Vestino Vest for at least part of the race. If I had raced New York City this year, you better believe I would be rocking the Oro Sports Vestino before and during the race.
Oro Sports Headband
HOLLY: Let me preface this by saying I can’t wear anything tight around my head because it will trigger a migraine. Sadly that also includes headlamps. I was worried the Oro Sports headband would do something similar. Plus, having a bunch of ice packs near your head seems one way to a ticket to brain freeze. The Oro Sports headband ice pack sits on the back of your head, so it keeps the back of your head and neck cooler, thus avoiding brain freeze.
The Oro Sports Headband size fits, but there’s also velcro in case you need to adjust it. I have a reasonably average-sized head, and it works fine. I like the velcro because I can make it looser and not worry about it being too tight and giving me a headache.
I like to wear my Oro Sports Headband slightly looser than recommended but even then, it doesn’t bounce around or bother me. It just keeps my head cooler. The one guesses I wasn’t expecting (which, why wouldn’t I be… gravity, duh) is that when the ice starts melting, it gets everywhere. I finish running, looking like I went for a swim (that would be hard in the desert). I am impressed with the comfort of the Oro Sport Headband because I wasn’t expecting to like it all.
Oro Sports Wide Cool Cuffs
HOLLY: Ok, who doesn’t want to rock something called the Cool Cuffs? Just putting them on, I feel like Wonder Woman. Of all the Oro Sports gear I tried, the Cool Cuffs are my favorite. The name rocks, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a way to cool yourself without wearing a vest or headband.
The Cool Cuffs are also a great option for a hot race. Maybe you don’t want to wear a vest for an entire race. Perhaps you want your fellow competitors to be intimidated they are racing a superhero. Whatever your reason, it’s a low-profile option on race day.
The only thing you need to worry about with the Cool Cuffs is your watch. The cuffs cover it. I’m hesitant to put them over my Coros Pace 2 , even though it would probably be fine. Thus, I wear it higher than the watch on one of my arms.
So, how long does Oro Sports gear stay cold?
HOLLY: Even after 90-minute runs on some of the year’s hottest days, I found the ice packs were still cool to the touch. The Maximo Vest stayed cold, and some ice packs were still half frozen when I was done.
You don’t have to live in the world’s hottest area to use Oro Sports gear. If you find yourself overheating during runs or find out it’s going to be hot at your goal race, you need Oro Sports. It’s a great way to cool off while running inside too!
Ryan currently runs (and resides) in Amish country and spends his non-running hours writing for Android Authority (we forgive him). He runs exclusively to podcasts and is currently accepting suggestions.