The Porticool II was unveiled recently at the American Society of Safety Engineers 2011 conference held at the McCormick Center in Chicago Illinois. At under 800 grams (1.8 lbs) the Porticool II is the “World’s lightest untethered active cooling garment” on the market; making it ideally suited for demanding applications where phase change, water cooled or portable heat pump solutions are not a viable option. Examples include HAZMAT, fire fighters, industrial (nuclear, welding, etc.) and military applications. 

One advantage to the Porticool II system is that it is modular; providing complete flexibility to the customer allowing optimization between cooling time, cooling rate, weight and system cost to meet their specific need. The secret to the Porticool II is its patented two phase liquid CO2 approach. “By using readily available canisters of liquid CO2, a non-flammable, non-carcinogenic gas, the work and subsequent waste heat typical of portable heat pump systems is removed from the enclosed environment; allowing for a much lighter and more efficient system then others currently on the market,” according to Porticos president Greg Patterson. 

The advantage compared to phase change solutions are several fold. Because it is an active system, the Porticool II can be turned on or off as needed by the user; eliminating the immediate “cold shock” of the phase change and allowing the system to sit dormant until it is needed. The modular approach results in a garment that is extremely light (330 grams or 0.73 lbs), thin (1/8” max at the tubing) and flexible. No electrical or moving mechanical components allow for cooling in an intrinsically safe environment. Quick disconnects to the tank line allow for the garment, sewn of FR rated self wicking cotton based material, to be worn comfortably even when cooling is not needed. 

Independent testing conducted at the University of Alabama and published in the Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health confirmed the superior performance of the Porticool II; extending the average work duration by 32% as compared to standard heat stress prevention methods. According to the report, while other cooling solutions (ice vests, cooled air vests and liquid circulated garments) tested have shown favorable responses, none provide the flexibility and mobility afforded by the Porticool II. Nor could they compete with the light weight and thin garment size that the Porticool II has achieved. 

“When we were first contacted by Porticos and made aware of the Porticool II technology we were intrigued by the potential,” claims Tony Blackburn, VP of Sales and Marketing at Cool Shirt. “But after evaluating the prototypes along with some of our key customers, we immediately realized that this technology could be a game changer in the industry and provide a great compliment to our existing systems.” As a result, Cool Shirt entered into a licensing agreement with Porticool for the technology and trademarks. Working with Porticos, a product design and engineering services company that originally conceived and developed the technology, Cool Shirt is targeting November of this year to have production units available.

About Porticos 

Porticos, Inc. is a mechanical engineering and product development company located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Established in 2003, Porticos continues to produce innovative and effective solutions for its clients and the markets they serve. Porticos, Inc. provides mechanical design, analysis, research and development services to clients including Dell, Motorola, Raytheon, and many others. For more information on how Porticos “turns good ideas into great products,” please visit

About Cool Shirt 

Since 1987, Shafer Enterprises has grown exponentially to become the world leader in personal cooling systems for surgeons, racecar drivers, football players, fire/emergency services/hazmat, military and industrial workers. Using NASA study guidelines, Cool Shirt® active cooling systems help people manage body heat in extreme environments using circulating temperature-controlled liquids. 

The employee / owners of Shafer Enterprises, LLC have over 70 years combined experience in the medical field, holding 24 different patents. The company operates from two facilities: a 65,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Loudon, Tennessee and a 12,000 square-foot distribution center in Stockbridge, Georgia. For more information visit our website at,, or call 800-345-3176.