Cooling towels have grown in popularity over the past few years due to the comfort they provide. If you’re outdoors on a hot day, one of the best accessories to have with you is a cooling towel. The best cooling towels are lightweight and convenient, providing you with an instant solution to bringing down your body temperature.
They’re designed with materials that use the concept of ‘evaporative cooling.’ It’s basically the same mechanism that works with sweating. Moisture from the surface of the towel evaporates much quicker than from other fabrics which helps bring down the body temperature. While you want to make sure that you have the best water filter bottles for traveling, a good accessory for travelers and sportspersons is a good cooling towel.
How To Choose The Best Cooling Towel
As with anything that you buy, there are certain things that you need to keep in mind when looking out for the best cooling towels. While the most important aspect is the purpose of the towel, (the size and weight will depend on this) there are a few other things that you should look out for.
It’s important to get the right material for so many different reasons. For one, you want to be sure that you’re not allergic to the fabric. Apart from the allergy aspect, it’s important that the towel achieves the purpose of cooling. Cooling towels are of two main types, PVA and microfiber. PVA towels tend to have a longer cooling effect than microfiber towels. Though microfiber towels are soft and comfortable, they feel a little damp to the touch. They’re best for sports events or the gym. PVA towels on the other hand are extremely absorbent and excellent for those who prefer something that feels drier.
The size of the cooling towel will depend on your requirements. If all you’re interested in is cooling down your neck while you run, the smaller size would be more practical. A small to medium size is great for a workout or run. However, you’ll definitely need a much bigger cooling towel if you want it for the whole body.
Since you’re probably going to be washing your cooling towel plenty of times you’ll want something that is easy to wash. Many of the best cooling towels cannot be washed in the machine so that’s one aspect that you’ll have to watch out for. Also, another thing to note is that PVA dries to a hard finish. You’ll need to fold or roll your towel before it dries for easy storage. Another thing to look out for is a storage pouch. Some of the best cooling towels for sports come with storage pouches or hooks for easy transportation.
Do cooling towels work?
Cooling towels do work in keeping you cool but they are not as outstanding as sometimes claimed. That being said, they are an asset for travelers who are going to be outdoors a lot in hot climates. They employ the concept of ‘evaporative cooling’ which is designed to lower the body’s temperature. When you’re out exploring the sights on a hot day, there’s nothing better than to feel a little coolness on your neck or head to give you that extra burst of energy!
How do you use cooling towels?
Cooling towels can be used in a number of ways. While one of the most common uses is draping it around the neck, bigger towels can be draped around the shoulders or body too. To activate the cooling effect, the towel needs to be soaked in water, wrung to remove excess water, and then snapped before its ready. However, not all towels need to be snapped.
What is the best way to care for a cooling towel?
All cooling towels can be hand washed but you cannot put all towels in a washing machine. It’s better to hand wash PVA towels as they tend to dry stiff and can get damaged in the machine. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the longevity and durability of your towel. Make sure to dry your towel well before packing it away as moisture causes molds and mildew. With towels that dry stiff it’s a good idea to fold or roll them before they’re completely dry so storing them becomes easier.
Syourself Cooling Towel
Syourself Cooling Towel is one of the best cooling towels in the market. This eco-friendly towel is easy to use with no fears of allergies as it’s chemical-free. Crafted from Softcool Extreme fabric, the towel dries soft and doesn’t drip water. This means that it’s easy to store in the portable pouch that it comes in.
Available in a pack of four different 40″ x 12″ towels, it quickly cools down. All you need to do is soak it, wring the water out, and snap to use it. The cooling lasts for several hours, depending on the prevailing conditions. This versatile towel can be used as a towel, scarf, bandana, or headband.
- Dries soft without dripping
- Smoothly finished edges prevent corners from unraveling
- Comes with a carrying pouch
- Doesn’t stay cool for as long as expected
Balhvit Cooling Towel
If you’re on the lookout for the best cooling towels for the neck, the Balhvit Cooling Towel is one of the best there is. The 32″ x 12″ towel helps reduce the body’s heat with its evaporative chill technology. High quality, functional apathetic fabric ensures that the towel is durable, breathable, and absorbent. Since it’s crafted from microfiber fabric it feels silky soft to the touch. An added bonus is the waterproof carrying pouch that comes along with it. Featuring a carabiner clip, the pouch is easy to transport.
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Durable, breathable, absorbent fabric
- Comes with a waterproof carrying pouch
- Silky soft touch with good wicking qualities
- 10 colors to choose from
- The carabiner on the pouch is a bit too small
Mission Original Cooling Towel
Made from 90% polyester and 10% nylon, the Mission Original Cooling Towel is perfect for someone looking for a small, soft, durable cooling towel. Chemical-free cooling fabric technology ensures you won’t have to worry about allergies. In addition to cooling your body down by 30 degrees in under 30 seconds, it also provides UPF 50 sun protection. The towel is easy to activate and keeps cool for up to two hours. At 10″ x 33″, the towel is easy to store and handy for quick cooling.
- Feels soft to the touch
- Chemical-free cooling fabric
- UPF 50 sun protection
- Cools the body down by 30 degrees
- The cooling effect does not last as long as expected
Qik-Labs Cooling Towel
Providing cooling within seconds, the Qik-Labs Cooling Towel should definitely figure at the top of your buying options. Made from hyper-evaporative, breathable mesh, the 40″ x 12″ towel stays cool for hours. The comfortable, silky fabric is comfortable on the skin as it’s also chemical-free. Storing the bag is easy as it comes in a waterproof plastic pouch with a carabiner clip. The towel can be used in multiple ways; around the neck, head, or body. To ensure lifetime usage of the bag, the manufacturer recommends hand washing it.
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Feels comfortable on the skin
- Comes with a waterproof plastic pouch
- Available in a set of four different colors
- It may not last long if washed in the machine
Tough Outdoors Cooling Towel
Beat the heat within a few seconds with the Tough Outdoors Cooling Towel. The pliable, soft towel can be worn around the neck or as a bandana for comfort. It also provides additional sun protection with the UPF 50 feature. A standout feature of this towel is that it folds up so compactly that it can fit in the palm of your hand. When dry it still feels soft to the touch since it’s made from a blend of polyamide and polyester. The lightweight, fast-drying towel can be machine washed. Smooth hems ensure the fooling effect remains intact for a long time.
- Soft and pliable
- Folds up as small as the palm of your hand
- Lightweight and fast-drying
- Can be machine washed
- Smooth hems ensure the longevity of the cooling effect
- Not very effective in humid conditions
Your Choice Cooling Towel
Available in a pack of four unique colors, Your Choice Cooling Towel is a soft, lightweight towel that ticks all the right boxes. The polyester cooling fabric that the 12″x 40″ towel is crafted from makes it soft and lightweight. Similar to the other towels on our list, this one is also extremely easy to use. The high cooling mesh fiber that is used for the towel makes it super absorbent, breathable, and hyper evaporative. What makes this towel extra special is the 12 Month Full Money Back Warranty.
- 12 month full money back warranty
- Soft and easy to use
- Polyester cooling fabric
- Loses its cooling capacity much faster than most towels on our list
Way 2 Cool Microfiber Cooling Towel
Backed by a 90 day 100% money-back guarantee, the Way 2 Cool Microfiber Cooling Towel is definitely worth it. The powerful UPF 50 sunscreen makes the towel even more effective. Besides bringing your temperature down by up to 30 degrees, it also blocks out 98% UV radiation. The multipurpose towel is easy to store and safe for kids and pets. It can be washed in the machine and stays soft despite multiple washes.
- UPF 50 protections
- Lowers the body temperature up to 30 degrees
- Dries soft
- Machine washable
- 90 day 100% money-back warranty
- Dries off quite fast
A cooling towel that’s easy to drape around your neck is the Ergodyne Chill. The towel that is crafted from moisture management performance fabric can stay cool for up to four hours. All you have to do is rewet it if you feel the cooling effect wearing off. Thicker than most cooling towels due to the PVA fabric, the 13″ x 29.5″ towel retains moisture for a longer time. However, given the PVA material, the towel dries stiff so you’ll need to fold it before that happens. You don’t have to worry about washing this towel as it will safely go into the machine.
- Machine washable
- Thicker than other towels
- Stays cool for up to four hours
- Easy to use
- Although it works it doesn’t cool down as much as other brands
One of the best cooling towels for the neck is the Alfamo Cooling Towel. It works well as a cooling bandana, neck wrap, or headcover. The 33″ x 11″ towel is perfect for sportspeople on the go. Made from a mix of polyester and polyamide, the towel is silky soft, and pliable. You can enjoy its cooling properties for up to three hours with your body temperature dropping by up to 30 degrees. It also comes with UPF 50 sunscreen protection, ensuring double security.
Another great feature of these cooling towels is that they are available in four different sizes and a variety of colors. A waterproof case with a carabiner clip makes it convenient to carry around. The icing on the cake with the Alfamo Cooling Towel is the ‘Lifetime Money Back Guarantee’ that the company offers.
- Lifetime Money Back Guarantee
- Soft, and pliable
- UPF 50 sunscreen protection
- Anti-bacterial carrying pouch with carabiner clip
- Available in four different sizes
- Not as absorbent as PVA towels
U-Pick Cooling Towel
Sports enthusiasts will love the U-Pick Cooling Towel with its prolonged cooling effect. The super absorbent fiber weave technology helps retain the coolness for up to three hours. Available in a set of four different towels, the 40″ x 12″ towel is one of the best cooling towels for sports. It can be used for a variety of activities such as golf, yoga, or the gym. Since it’s made from soft, ultra-light fabric, the towel is easy to take along with you anywhere.
- Lightweight and comfortable to drape around the neck
- Soft, pliable, and easy to fold
- Super absorbent fiber weave technology
- Cools for up to three hours
- Multi-purpose towel
- Machine washable
- Dries out much quicker than other towels
Sukeen Cooling Towel
The Sukeen Cooling Towel is available in a pack of four different 40″x 20″ towels. These soft, hyper-evaporative, breathable mesh towels stand out among the best cooling towels for sports. Made from super absorbent fiber weave technology, the mesh towel regulates the water inside. Depending on the conditions, the towel can retain its coolness for up to three hours. You don’t have to worry about allergies with this one as no chemicals have been used.
Like most cooling towels this one is also simple to use. Just soak, wring it and shake the towel and its ready for use. The towel can also be washed in a machine in a gentle cycle. However, be careful not to use softeners or bleach, and air dry it.
- Machine washable
- Super absorbent fiber weave technology
- Easy to use
- Long-lasting coolness
- Reusable pouches for storage
- Color-coded carabiner clip
- Can dry out quite quickly
- Doesn’t come with instructions
Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad Cooling Towel
Crafted from hyper-evaporative fabric, the Frogg Toggs Cooling Towel sits high on the list of best cooling towels. The reason that it is so highly rated is that the towel remains dry to the touch despite retaining water. It also stays cool for a longer period of time up to three to four hours, depending on the conditions. Additionally, the towel provides UPF 50 sun protection and can reduce body temperature by up to 30 degrees.
This 33″ x 13″ towel is machine washable and comes with a hard plastic storage tube. It dries hard so this one has to be folded before it dries.
- Cools up to 30 degrees
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with clear and detailed instructions
- Absorbs eight times its weight in moisture and sweat
- Available in ten different colors
- Becomes stiff after drying until washed again
Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel
One of the best cooling towels is undoubtedly the Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel. Made from high grade and extra thick PVA with evaporating technology, you can be sure that this towel will help you stay cool for a long time. The 12-inch by 32-inch towel is easy to drape around the neck or over the shoulders. All you have to do to get the towel ready for use is to soak it in cold water and then ring it out. Repeat the procedure if it starts to feel warm.
The towel is machine washable but obviously cannot be dried in the dryer as it dries stiff. It also comes with a storage pouch and carabiner which clips onto your bag. A great feature of this cooling towel is that it won’t soak your outfit. You could consider this towel for work too.
- Retains moisture for over an hour
- Does not feel drenched
- Comes with a storage pouch and carabiner
- Dries stiff so make sure to fold it before it dries
- Tends to bleed initially so make sure to wash it before use
- Can cause irritation to the skin for those with allergies