This week's "Operation: Grassroots Alaska" focuses on a product that is made in Fairbanks, AK: Polar Breeze Bandanas.
What are "polar breeze bandanas". Well, they're a bandana that has a built in pocket in it that stores hydration crystals. You soak the bandana in water for about 20 minutes to hydrate the crystals (it gets a lot more "swollen" than the pic above because I was wearing it for a while), wrap it around your neck (after patting it dry like a smart person) and the coolness rests against your neck to lower your body temperature during hot days. The crystals dry out slowly but surely and then, once dry, you can store it to use on another hot day or you can rehydrate for hours more cooling power.
It would NEVER have crossed my mind to go searching for a product like this, honestly, if not for the fact that Mark, one of the owners of Polar Breeze Bandanas had contacted me about "Operation: Grassroots Alaska".
Here's what he has to say about the business and product...
"We started Polar Breeze Bandanas in 2007 because we were familiar with and believed in their simple cooling benefits and wanted to offer a better quality product while adding some serious “pizzazz.” We now offer the largest selection anywhere. We are an internet and live event based business located in the Golden Heart city. Our products are certified "Made in Alaska" and come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.Seen above is me wearing the bandana that Mark sent me to try out after a hard day last week working in the yard and playing with the kids during the hot weather we had (and yes, I wore it all day to give it a good "test drive"). I also tried out the Boob Toob, but you couldn't pay me enough to show you a pic of that sorry to say, although I will say for the sake of female readers that those suckers work and they work well ;).
Two years ago after receiving comments and concerns from a client, we expanded our product line and created the one and only BOOB TOOB which is inserted in the underside of the bra, (works on the same principals of evaporation) and designed to cool the mid-torso area."
I'll tell you what, this product DOES work and will help to keep you cool. Honestly who WOULDN'T want to run around with a nice cool wash cloth on the back of your neck all day in hot weather? And hey, this stays cool a LOT longer (you can even put them in the fridge to get them "icy chill" if you want), helps to protect your neck from mosquitos (double bonus) and it looks a lot better than wrapping a wet towel around your neck too. Especially with the sheer VARIETY of patterns available on their site. Trust me you'll be blown away with how many patterns you can choose from.
You can place orders for these online at Their Online Store and their prices are really reasonable (about 8 to 10 dollars per bandana + shipping of course :). They are also running a promotion right now where if you "Like" them on Facebook you can get a 10% discount. Just mention the Facebook discount code (look on their wall to find it :) when you place your order.
The only downside I found with these is that you DO have to hydrate the crystals and it does take 20 minutes or so of your time, so if you are just wanting to run out the door to do something and realize you want to keep cool it might put a slight kink in your plans (I'd suggest doing what I did. Put the bandana in water to hydrate while you're taking a shower and getting ready for the day. If you are relatively normal in your hygienic habits the bandana should be nice and hydrated about the time you're dressed and ready to get out the door :). Honestly, though, for the benefits, I'd say that the downside is very very minimal. I can see where this invention would be very appealing to joggers/runners to help keep your body temp cooler as you were out running.
And if you have family in the Lower 48 that live in REALLY hot climates (I'm going to be so tempted to send one of these to my mom to help her with her yard work since they are boiling in PA this year), this would probably be the most appreciated gift you could give next to central A.C.
So, if you'd like an invention that'll help you keep cool this summer, go forth and Order a Polar Breeze Bandana to help you beat the heat this summer.