Top positive review
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Comments on Different Brands
on June 13, 2010
I bought the HeatMax EverCool set of three, as well as the MiraCool set of four, both on the same day. I did not realize it when I purchased them here at Amazon that both were sold by the same vendor, Meyers Custom Supply. A day or two after ordering, I received an email from them that one of the patterns in the MiraCool set was not currently available. They gave me the option of choosing a substitute pattern from their website. I made a first and second choice, just in case my first choice was also unavailable. To my surprise and delight, when I received the shipment, they had included BOTH of my choices, sending a free fifth bandanna with the set. This was great customer service and I would not hesitate to order from this vendor again.
There are minor differences between the two brands. I also own one of a third brand, Kerchiller, which I purchased earlier directly from the Kerchiller website. The Kerchiller is almost twice as expensive as the HeatMax and MiraCool brands. All appear to be equally effective at what they do. All three brands are about the same length, 34 inches. The biggest difference between the Kerchiller and the other two is that the Kerchiller has a longer area for holding the polymer beads, thereby making the ends that you tie in front of your neck shorter than HeatMax and Miracool. This presents both an advantage and disadvantage, depending on how you like to use the product.
The longer puffed up ("inflated") area of the Kerchiller makes it easy to wear that one around your neck without tying it. It is not as easy to do with the other two brands because most of the weight is behind your neck (not that these things are heavy or anything). The Kerchiller is balanced better with more weight hanging in the front than the others, so it stays around your neck without being tied.
On the other hand, the HeatMax and MiraCool look nicer when they are tied because of the longer ties. Untied, they don't hug the sides of your neck as well as the Kerchiller, and initially felt like they wouldn't stay on unless they were tied. Depending on the size of your neck, this may well be the case. But I think the Kerchiller looks a little dorky when it's tied because of the shorter tie straps. So, pros and cons for each.
Now for the other differences. Between the MiraCool and the HeatMax, the MiraCool inflated faster, but not enough to make a big difference. You'll want to leave them in the cold water at least 30 minutes, no matter which one you have. Forty to 45 minutes is more my experience for the beads to swell up and fill the tube properly. I find a large diameter serving bowl to be good to use for soaking them in, with the ties draped over the edge of the bowl so they don't get wet. Soaking them directly in the sink would work great, too, but it might be harder to keep the tie ends dry. In the larger bowl or basin, the beads expand without any crimps or folds in the bandanna tube, allowing expansion throughout the length of the tube.
The MiraCool and the Kerchiller are about the same width of fabric (and same diameter when expanded). The EverCool is narrower and doesn't get as big around as the other two. However, this might be more comfortable and more desirable for smaller necks.
Finally, we also have a fourth brand, but I don't know what the brand name is, except that it was made in Australia. It is similar to the Kerchiller, but the tie ends of the fabric were not doubled and sewn together, so it is basically just a one-sided fabric. It does not look as "finished." Works just fine, though.
If you've been wearing it for awhile and don't think that it feels as cool as it was, simply rotate it on your neck (like a rolling pin) so that a different part of the fabric is contacting your skin and it will feel cool again. If you wear it tied, you'll have to untie it to do this. It does last an amazing long time.
Ladies, these are a Godsend for hot flashes. When I use it only in the house, taking it on and off as needed for hot flashes, it lasts three or four days. If you put it in the refrigerator when not using it (I put it in a plastic bag first), it will last even longer before needing to be "re-puffed" in water, and be icy cold, too! I also carry it with me, in a plastic bag or Ziploc, in my purse when I go anyplace. If I'm walking around a store, sitting in a restaurant, or at church, and I get a hot flash, out comes my cool bandanna! They are great.
Who would have thought one person could have so much to say about pieces of bandanna material stuffed with polymer beads!