You’ve seen them at the gym, you’ve seen them at the beach, and you’ve probably even seen people wearing them on their Disney vacations. Cooling towels are a great way to stay cool when the temperature is high.
Why buy cooling towels?
Cooling towels can help you enjoy your workout or time outside without worrying about overheating. They help you avoid heat exhaustion and potentially fatal heat strokes by drawing heat away from your body to the towel. The heat is lost through evaporation, and you’re left cooled off. The process is similar to how sweat works, except instead of using your body’s water supply, you use the moisture in the air around you. Many cooling towel brands are activated by first wetting them, wringing them out, and then snapping or swinging them before use to maximize circulation power.
What should you look for in cooling towels?
- Material: Consider what the towel is made from, as it will impact its absorbency. The small threads of a microfiber towel are great for retaining large amounts of water.
- Dry Time: Determine if the towel dries out quickly and can be reactivated with water to cool. If you are traveling with the towel, getting access to cool water to freshen it up might be difficult. Those going to sports events or spending long periods of time outdoors should consider towels that cool for over two hours.
- Care Requirements: Most cooling towels are machine washable but must be air dried. However, you may find some that specify hand washing only, which may become an inconvenience. Since you want your cooling towel to be ready for the job when you are, check the care directions to ensure that the material will be easy to clean.
How long do cooling towels stay cool?
When you’re looking for the best cooling towel, one of the most important things to consider is how long it stays cold. These towels have a range of cooling durations, and many products list the maximum duration in their specifications. Several cooling towels claim to be able to provide relief for about one to five hours.
Our Picks for the Best Cooling Towels
Sukeen Cooling Towel
A set of four hypo-evaporative mesh cooling towels.
Pros: These reusable cooling towels are made with a hyper-evaporative breathable mesh material. Simply soak the towel, wring it out, and snap it to get the unique cooling system started. The towel uses moisture to draw the sweat away and keep you cool. It is even pet-friendly, so you can cool down your animals on extra-hot days.
Cons: While having a carrying bag is a convenient feature for traveling with your towels, the bag material is somewhat flimsy and can tear easily. You may want to handle them with care and consider having a backup carrying option on hand in case the bag tears.
Bottom Line: With its lightweight material, carrying pouch, and carabiner clip, this set is a good option for those on the go. These wallet-friendly cooling towel sets are available in 12 color combinations, so you can choose your favorite or get one to match your workout gear.
Alfamo Cooling Towel
A large cooling towel that is pliable enough to fold up into a bag or wrap around your body.
Pros: This large cooling towel measures 40 inches long by 13 inches wide and works like a charm to cover your head or neck. The silky soft material is pliable and easily folds to fit into a gym bag. This towel is perfect for athletes as it stays cool for up to three hours and reduces body temperatures by up to 30 degrees. It comes in a waterproof bag with a carabiner clip and is easy to use on the go.
Cons: The colors on this towel can bleed and transfer onto your clothes while you’re using it. You may want to be sure to wash it well before your first use.
Bottom Line: Consider this large cooling towel if you want a sizable option with the versatility to wear it over your head, around your neck, or even across your shoulders. If you want something smaller, this towel is also available in small and medium sizes. If you want even more coverage, there’s an extra-large 60- by 29-inch option as well.
FROGG TOGGS Chilly Pad Instant Cooling Towel
A chilling towel made for repetitive use.
Pros: The FROGG TOGGS Chilly Pad is made from hyper-evaporative material that retains its chill while remaining dry to the touch. To activate the towel, it must be wet with water, and then it will quickly work to cool you off up to 30 degrees for three to four hours. The towel can be used repeatedly and stored in the included hard plastic tube. This little green towel can absorb up to eight times its weight in water and sweat while also providing UPF 50+ UV Protection.
Cons: This towel is tough for repeated use, but as a consequence, it gets stiff when dry.
Bottom Line: FROGG TOGGS is a go-to trusted brand in cooling towels for workouts, outside jobs, vacations, and more. It comes in eight colors, so you can choose your favorite for hours of cooling and UV protection on the go.
Ergodyne Chill Evaporative Cooling Towel
This towel's unique material fights heat exhaustion and fatigue for up to 4 hours.
Pros: This evaporative cooling towel provides a long-lasting four-hour chill with its cooling PVA material. It reduces the effects of heat exhaustion and brings down fevers. It can also work in conjunction with cooling pillows or sheets to soothe hot flashes or night sweats. The towel is reusable, machine washable, and should be air-dried.
Cons: This cooling towel is one of the heavier options when wet. Also, some users noticed a chemical smell upon opening the package, so you’ll want to wash the towel thoroughly and allow it to air dry before use.
Bottom Line: Consider this towel if you’re looking for lasting coolness for long-term protection against the hazards and discomfort of high temps. It comes in five vibrant colors to match your favorite team or style.
Tough Outdoors Cooling Towel
This lightweight cooling towel comes with a compact mesh pouch for easy travel and storage.
Pros: The Tough Outdoors Cooling Towel is so compact and travel-friendly that it can fit in the palm of your hand while tucked away in its convenient mesh pouch. It’s made from patented Evapocool fabric, which evaporates moisture from the fabric to keep you cool. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this towel for its UPF 50 protection that blocks damaging UVA and UVB rays. The towel is made of breathable, machine-washable mesh made from a polyamide/polyester blend, which makes it soft, lightweight, absorbent, and fast-drying.
Cons: This cooling towel is not the longest-lasting option. Some users mentioned that it kept cool for minutes instead of hours before they had to rewet it.
Bottom Line: This cooling towel is a great option if you want to travel light while protecting yourself from heat, sweat, and harmful UV rays. It’s available in 10 colors and your choice of singles or sets of three.
Keeping cool when you’re working out or spending time in the sun is not just a matter of comfort but also of health and safety. While staying hydrated and using sunscreen are the well-known important things to do in the heat, wrapping up with a quality cooling towel is another great method to help keep your body temperature regulated and even protect your skin from damaging UV rays. One of our picks for the best cooling towels can help you chill out and enjoy your exercise and outdoor activities while staying safe.