The Cool Cape: A Nature-Inspired Wearable Water Bottle That Cools You Down

Student | Elizabeth Lee
Faculty | Tetsu Ohara
School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Sustainable Design Certificate Program

Increasingly frequent heatwaves put many at risk of heat-related illness. In this project, I used the principles of biomimicry to design a low-cost, low-energy intervention to aid with personal cooling. I applied thermoregulation techniques used by animals in the natural world to create a wearable water bottle that lowers basal body temperature via augmented convective cooling, while encouraging regular hydration, addressing two important factors that contribute to heat-related illness.

This wearable water bottle fits like a cape around the shoulders and neck, key areas for heat dispersal in humans. It can be filled with cold water from tap or refrigerated source. Wearers drink from a bite valve without removing, and holes/lining allow moisture to wick away from the skin.
Users fill the water bottle with cold water from the tap or refrigerated source and bite output valve to drink.
Inspired by blood flow patterns that help animals cool themselves, this cape increases temperature differential in the vascularized neck area.
Holes are necessary for the evaporation of sweat; here they mimic the structure of blood vessels that maximize surface area exposure.
Water must be below a certain temperature to effectively cool. Color helps signal whether that’s the case.
Clay model shows how the cape will sit when filled on the human form.