Kool Ties still Cool

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What if something you wear, could help you stay cool as we prepare for another toasty weekend. 3TV shows us why one local entrepreneur's cooling product is such a hot item.

“It seems like once a month, we're going my god, look what it's doing for these people, look what it does for these people,” Steve Kafka said.

Kafka has been keeping people cool since 1991 with his product, Kafka's Kool Tie. The Valley entrepreneur came up with the idea after a friend introduced him to something called polymer crystals.

“He gave it to me and said. ‘If anyone can do anything with this, you can,’” Kafka said. “It's really strange stuff and it absorbs a large amount of water.

“If you touch them like this, their actually cold to the touch because they’re evaporating,” Kafka continued. “They've never been in ice water.”

Kafka put two and two together and with the help of his wife Pam, took those polymer crystals and stuffed them into scarfs made of high quality fabric.

“She made the first 3500 in her sewing room, in our house for a year,” Kafka said.

Now almost 20 years later, thousands of Kool Ties are for sale at the Kafka's Phoenix store, online or in REI. So how does it keep you cool?

“We take this [Kool Tie] and just submerge it in water,” Kafka said. “Now, I’m just going to leave this [Kool Tie] in here for about 45 minutes. You will start to see how it will swell up.”

“After 45 minutes you would pull it out of the water like this and squeegee excess water out like this,” he continued. “Hang it up for five minutes and it starts the evaporative process and the tie will look like this when all full.”

Kafka said it should last between two to three days before having to do the 45 minute hydration process all over again.

“When it warms up to your body temperature all you do is rotate the tie like this because the outside is always evaporating,” Kafka said.

Among his best clients, firefighters, police officers, athletes and those battling medical conditions from menopause to migraines.

“We actually make a scarf and tie set that's being used by the Toronto Institute for Migraine Research,” Kafka said. “It totally encapsulates the cranium and the carotids and it takes the work off your heart to pump the blood to the extremities. This cools the blood.”

The scarf and tie set are just one of many products under the Kool Tie brand. Kafka has also created one for race car drivers and even horses.

“It does reduce the heart rate and blood pressure of an animal,” Kafka said.

And even in this tough economy, people apparently still think the Kool Tie is cool.

“This has been our best year in 20 years,” Kafka said. “I don't know when it's going to end, but I'm grateful.”

For more information call (602) 943-8119 or go to Kool Tie.