Beating the heat can get tricky, especially when it’s summer and all you want to do is spend time outside. Whether you’re running up that devil of a hill on your regular route, on a long hike through the woods in August or sweating your heart out in a hot yoga class, by the end you probably want to dump your head in a bucket of ice water. That option may be available to you, but if you want something a bit quicker and more environmental, try out a cooling towel instead.
What is a Cooling Towel?
Cooling towels are designed to maximize the cooling powers of evaporation and cool you down with just a bit of water anywhere. They’re convenient, built for sport and are an inexpensive way to bring an instant temperature decrease with you as you move. They’re useful for those with disabilities that are more affected by heat, those recovering from surgery and need cooling therapy, women going through menopause and even pets who need a quick way to cool themselves off on longer walks!
As we move through the ebbing and flowing of August heat waves — some of us may have access to a lake, pond, beach or pool that we can jump into to beat the summer heat. Some of us, however, don’t have that option and need more inventive ways to regulate our temperatures on our adventures or right at home. Cooling towels are a great way to do this, and, like regular towels, can be used again and again. No battery power, no additions to your electric bill, just a quick dunk in the sink and you’ll be feeling cooler by the second. Here are the best cooling towels for beating the heat this summer and beyond.
1. FROGG TOFFS Chilly Pad Cooling Towel
FROGG TOGG specializes in cooling towel technology and this towel is made with their exclusive hyper-evaporative material that’ll retain the water you dunk it in, keep you cool and remain dry to the touch. Wetting it instantly activates it quickly and triggers a cool down of up to 30 degrees. It’ll provide three to four hours of cooling relief depending on the conditions, even in intense outdoor heat or high levels of physical activity. It can be used over and over again, and can absorb up to eight times its bodyweight in water alone.
2. Ergodyne Chill 6602 Cooling Towel
This cooling towel provides instant relief from hot, sticky weather and lasts up to four hours on one soak. All you’ve got to do is run it under water for one minute and wring out the excess water to activate it. It’s made of PVA material that absorbs the water and creates a cooling sensation as it evaporates. The towel stiffens up once it dries and all you’ll need to do is re-wet it to make it soft again. Used properly, this towel can prevent the effects of heat exhaustion, help fight fatigue and may help with fevers, hot flashes and night sweats.
3. MISSION Lite-Knit Cooling Towel
This towel is made to help you stay cool while being activate, and won’t weigh you down a bunch and affect your performance. It cools down to 30 degrees below the average body temperature in as little as 30 seconds once activated, and stays cool for hours afterwards. You can wrap it around your neck while playing sports, grilling, running or spending time at the beach. The material is ultra-lightweight and has a super fine knit texture that’s super comfortable.
4. Bogi Cooling Towel
This cooling towel is made from bamboo fiber and has a breathable, mesh structure for maximum evaporative benefit. All it takes it a quick dunk and squeeze in water to activate, as well as snapping it 3-5 times. It’s got anti-UV properties so draping it over your neck is a good idea to prevent sunburn, and it comes in an eco-friendly carrying bottle with a clip for easy attachment. It’s perfect for gym rats, beach goers and even pets!
5. Chill Pal 12 in 1 Cooling Neck Gaiter
BEST FOR RUNNING
If you’re a runner this neck gaiter is the perfect cooling towel to bring with you on your next trek down the pavement, beach or up into the mountains. This band gets cool and stays cool while it wicks sweat away from your body and keeps you comfortable. There are 12 different ways you can wear this gaiter — as a bandana, face covering, headband, etc. If it heats up, just dunk it in water and wring it out once again to reset.
6. Callaway Golf Performance Towel
BEST FOR GOLF
You could use any cooling towel for golf, technically, but this one from Callaway is specially branded, so why not use it? It’s great for those hot, humid days on the links when you’re trying to focus but sweat keeps getting in your eyes. It’ll stay cool for hours, is machine-washable and can even be embroidered with a custom logo if you’d like to give it as a gift.
7. Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel
BEST FOR SPORTS
This Chill Pal towel is one of the highest performance chilling towels out there due to its high-grade, extra thick PVA fabric that has evaporative technology built in that holds way more water and keeps it cooler than your standard cooling towel brand. It has no chemicals or cooling agents, but instead uses the basics that work to cool you down and doesn’t question them. There’s no secret or hack here, just a super high-quality towel that has a thin, dynamic design great for wearing during your run, hike, beach day or session on the golf course. This cooling towel also has a smaller design than others, making it easier to bring with you and carry around without getting too heavy or bulky, and it comes in three different color choices for variety.
8. U-pick Cooling towel 4-Pack
GREAT COLOR CHOICES
These cooling towels are made of ice hyper-evaporative material and will stay chilled for up to three hours at a time. The fiber weave is super absorbent and retains the water so you stay cool. They’re made of comfortable, pliable material that’s soft to the touch and lightweight even when holding water. They’re also great for wiping sweat as they cool and provide 50 SPF protection against the sun’s rays. They’re also very easy to use and activate, it only takes one minute of soaking and wringing out excess water before they’re ready to use. You can also reuse them again and again after the water has evaporated fully and the cooling effect has subsided. This 4-pack comes with four towels of varying colors, each of which come with their own carrying case and carabiner for easy attachment and portability.
9. Sukeen Cooling Towel 4-Pack
This 4-pack of cooling towels from Sukeen is another great option if you’re looking to try out the cooling towel trend. They provide instant cooling relief through breathable mesh material that uses moisture to draw heat away from the body. These towels are chemical-free and perfect for use during sports to prevent heat stroke, wipe up sweat and provide some sun protection during your outdoor adventures. Each towel comes with its own waterproof plastic pouch, just like in the option above, and the towels stay chilled for up to three hours pending extreme temperatures or conditions. You can wrap one around your neck, forehead, lay the towel over your shoulders or even drape it over your face for an instant cooling effect.
10. Cool Pup Cooling Pet Towel
BEST FOR PETS
We’re not the only ones who get hot during outdoor activities — our furry friends do too, and they have a full coat on! This cooling towel is made very similarly to the ones for humans, and is perfect for draping over four-legged bodies for an instant cooling effect. Slow the panting and give them the relief you’re craving as well so you both can relax and enjoy you time spent in the sun.
11. Ailawuu Cooling Towel 6-Pack
These cooling towels are made of thinner, lightweight material and are great for travel as they won’t take up too much space in your suitcase. Each towel is made of evaporative material that amplifies the cooling effect of your standard damp towel and is high-performance and built for activities like hiking, running, yoga and time spent in the gym. Each towel in this 6-pack was also made to be worn in a variety of ways including as a headband, over your shoulders, tied around your neck and across your forehead. Each towel measures 39″ x 11″, slightly smaller than other options on this list and provides UV protection along with the cooling effects.
12. Mission Original Cooling Towel
BEST FOR YOGA
This cooling towel from Mission Original is great for all activities including yoga, as it’s perfectly sized and built to spread out across your yoga mat and keep cool during class. Simply dunk it in water, wring it out and snap it a few times before you bring it into the studio with you or onto your mat at home, and you can enjoy the evaporative effects each time to rest your forehead on the ground in child’s pose or during your final resting posture at the conclusion of class. The material is durable and soft, so you’ll still enjoy the feel of it even after many washes and classes, and the towel activates in under 30 seconds so you won’t be rushed at the beginning of class. It also stays cool for two hours, so there’s no need to worry about it warming up before class is over.
13. MISSION Cooling Hoodie Towel
BEST FOR SUN PROTECTION
MISSION also took the cooling towel design to the next level by actually making a hood that’s made of the same refreshing material. It’s great for UV protection as it covers your head, the back of your neck and sides of your face so you can stay cooled off and active longer. Once properly activated, this cooling hood activates in as little as 30 seconds and drops to 30 degrees below the average body temperature for optimal cooling effects. You can drape it over your head or tuck it up and under a hat for a more performance-oriented position. It’s machine-washable and fully reusable, only taking an additional dunk in water to reactivate once it’s warmed up and the evaporative qualities have worn off.
14. SYOURSELF 4-Pack Galaxy Cooling Towels
Want to mix it up a bit? Take your cooling towel accessory to the next level with this galaxy pattern 4-pack from SYOURSELF. They’ve got the same cooling effect as other towels on this list and come in a large size of 40″ x 12″ so you’ll be covered even on the hottest of days. These towels have also been RoHS approved for being eco-friendly and contain Softcool Extreme material that dries soft and won’t drip water as it cools you down. The cooling effect of these towels lasts for several hours at a time and can also be used with pets who want to rock an outer-space aesthetic for the day.
15. MISSION Cooling Tapered Headband
If you’re planning on using your cooling towel as a headband you might as well get something that’s designed specifically for that purpose. This cooling headband is made of MISSION’s same cooling material and has an athletic design for keeping hair out of your face during intense activity or time spend in hot temperatures outside. This headband tapers from 4″ to 1″ for an athletic fit that’s comfortable to wear for long periods of time. It also stays cool for up to 2 hours and works with your body’s natural cooling mechanisms to absorb sweat and stay activated throughout your workout.