Best Cooling Shirts
What are cooling shirts?
What sort of futuristic technology do these shirts use?
The answer may not be so complicated as it seems. From the realm of science fiction, cooling shirts use advanced materials in order to wick excess heat from your body and spread it over the shirt’s entire surface area. This allows cooling shirts to more efficiently disperse the heat from your body, thus cooling it down.
A similar product which uses advanced material science to help cool down the body is a cooling towel. These towels can actually be used in tandem with cooling shirts if you really care about cooling yourself down, or if you’re particularly sensitive to the effects of heat. Wrap the cooling towel around your neck to experience the best cooling possible when using it with a cooling shirt. If you also want to know what the science behind cooling towels is, then click right here.
Cooling shirts make use of a technology that embeds microscopic particles which are hydrophilic, meaning they’re materials that are attracted to water. These hydrophilic beads then swell up into a three-dimensional because of its molecular structure. This expansion requires energy to proceed, which the beads take from your body heat. This is mainly how cooling shirts cool your body.
Top 4 Shirts That Keep You Cool In The Heat
We may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through our links. Read our editorial & disclosure policy to learn more.
Arctic Cool Men’s Crew Neck Instant Cooling Moisture Wicking Performance UPF 50+ Short Sleeve Workout Shirt
This Cooling Shirt from Arctic Cool offers more than moisture wicking. As you begin to sweat, the proprietary HydroFreeze X fabric starts to wick moisture away from the skin, cooling it down. This wicking effect, combined with continuous airflow, essentially makes this shirt act like a radiator, continuously taking heat away from your body.
This shirt is very lightweight, breathable and comfortable, which are things we really liked about this shirt. It’s not everyday that we encounter a cooling shirt that is effective, stylish and practical making it perfect for many, many activities that you engage in. This shirt is suitable for sports, running, lifting, or just everyday use. It’s also available in standard American sizes from S to XL for their casual shirt and from XS to XXL for their formal shirts. Did we mention this shirt also offers kid’s sizes?
- Fit is athletic
- Cooling fabric blocks 98% of UV rays
- Rated as UPF 50+ for sun protection.
- Antimicrobial/anti-odor and easy-to-clean
- Brand:Arctic Cool Brand:Arctic Cool
- Size S,M,L.XL,XXL,XXL,XXXXL
- Weight 9.6 Ounces
- Pre-moisten the shirts for instant cooling
- Make a big difference in keeping you cooler
- It also fits well and is very comfortable
- The shirt washes well
- Air dries quickly and hold it shape
- Heavier material than expected making the shirt hot to wear
- Hotter than regular t-shirt
Dickies Men’s Short Sleeve Performance Cooling Tee
This offering from Dickies is made from a 50/50 polyester and cotton blend giving this shirt a very nice, athletic quality which feels cool to the touch. It’s machine washable, which is a huge plus if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time for laundry. Just chuck it in and it’ll come out just fine, unlike other cooling shirts made from less durable materials.
Their exclusive wicking technology keeps you dry and they tout about the superior breathability and durability of this shirt.
- 50% Polyester/50% Cotton
- Temp iq intelligent cooling for advance temperature control.
- Wicking technology to move moisture away from the body, keeping you dry.
- Raglan sleeves for improved mobility.
- Brand: Dickies Brand: Dickies
- Imported from USA Imported from USA
- Weight 10.44 Ounces
- Superior Breathability and exceptional durability.
- Material is soft, sturdy, moisture wicking, and has #30 UV protection.
- Solid construction and well sewn.
- Fabric is airy and cool
- Non Fading Color
- Shirt is cut a bit too small.
- Poor fabric quality that is really uncomfortable to wear.
ONNO Men’s Bamboo T-Shirt
ONNO is a company known for its use of organic materials. Their ONNO brand of shirts is made from bamboo fibers that are sourced from sustainable farms from around the world.
Their blend consists of 70% bamboo fibers and 30% organic, untreated cotton, which is also sustainably sourced. This makes for a blend that not only breathes very well, but also is durable enough to make the shirt perfectly viable for outdoor use.
Take note, however, that this shirt line is “fitted” meaning they’re cut a little slimmer than regular shirts so consider that when you’re picking your size option.
- 70% viscose from organic bamboo & 30% organic cotton
- Softer than softest cotton shirt
- Made from the fastest growing plant on earth
- Shirts will shrink a size if heat dried after washing
- Brand: ONNO Brand: ONNO
- Sizes XS, Small, Medium, Large, XL, 2XL, 3XL
- Weight 5.28 Ounces
- Packs smaller and does not shrink like cotton.
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Keeps you cool and is super soft
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Perfectly fit and even after several washings it is in great shape.
- Bad tailoring
- Sleeves are extremely short.
BALEAF Men's UPF 50+ Sun Protection Golf Polo Shirt Long Sleeve Tennis Quick Dry Shirt Performance Active Workout Shirt
Rounding out our list for the top best cooling shirts to beat the heat is the BALEAF Men’s UPF 50+ Golf Polo. From the name of the product itself, it’s stated that the primary use of this shirt would be for golf games out in the sun. The long sleeves offer more protection from the harmful rays of the sun.
This shirt is made from a pure 100% Polyester blend, giving the shirt a very athletic, light, sporty, and cool feeling. This shirt definitely feels cool to the touch and stays cool even during the back nine of a game.
The shirt has a button-up collared design giving it more of a formal look. You can definitely rock this to a night party or for an evening get together with some friends. It also comes in your standard size options giving you plenty of options to choose from and ensuring that you find the right size for you.
- Rib cuffs for a snug, comfortable fit.
- Ergonomic seams and vented hem let you move freely from set-up to swing.
- 30+ UPF work polo shirts protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.
- Foldover collar and three-button placket for classic polo style offers you adjustable coverage.
- Brand: Baleaf Brand: Baleaf
- Material 100% Polyester
- Weight 7.04 Ounces
- Lightweight, cool and fit just right
- Versatile piece of clothing
- Comfortable, smooth and good for sun protection
- Quick-drying & Breathable
- Well made and high quality.
- One wash and the thread in the left hand wrist is falling to pieces.
- Fabric rip easily.
Buying Guide & FAQs
What To Consider When Choosing a Cooling Shirt
With all the cooling shirts you’ve seen on this site, it may become confusing and difficult to choose the right one. There are a lot of things that you gotta look out for when looking at cooling shirts, one of which is sizing options. The last thing you would want is to receive the shirt that you’ve been waiting a couple of days or weeks for and realizing that it’s either too loose or too tight fitting.
Aside from size, here’s some other things that you should be wary of when choosing your next cooling shirt.
- Material – the materials of the cooling shirt varies from brand to brand. You may be allergic or uncomfortable to some of these. Taking the time to look and verify the materials either on the product page or by asking the manufacturer can mean the difference between a cool you and a rashy you.Some if the materials that cooling shirts are made of are listed below:
- Linen – is a popular choice for summer wear. Is very durable and easy to take care of. Excellent breathability. Downsides include that it absorbs moisture, which prevents evaporation. Also wrinkles quite easily.
- Merino Wool – often used in winter wear. Very breathable but tears relatively easily.
- Cotton – a very obvious choice because of it’s breathability and ability to be woven with a variety of different fabrics.
- Summer blends (light fabrics)
- Rayon – known for its wicking ability and has a silky feel, promoting the cooling effect. Cons are that it doesn’t wick away moisture as much as nylon and other synthetic fabrics.
- Nylon – superior moisture wicking abilities due to the very small fiber diameters. They’re not as soft or as breathable as other fabrics, however.
- Silk – the softest among all the other fabrics. Excellent choice for linings. It’s less durable than most other fabrics so if you’re planning to be active in your cooling shirt, silk may not be the best choice.
- Sizing and Cuts – if you’re unfamiliar with the different cuts that shirts come in, you’re not the only one. You may see on product descriptions terms like: dry cut, fit cut, slim cut, loose cut, and other cuts. They just describe the particular silhouette of the shirt. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory (slim cut means the shirt is relatively form-fitting). Just make sure that you know the type of cut that fits you best. There are usually pictures that accompany the type of cut on the product’s pages.
- Stitching and General Quality – these can often be checked in the reviews for the products. Check if the cooling shirts you’re looking at has a lot of reviews that indicate the quality and durability of the shirt. You may also contact the company if you have more technical questions regarding their product.
FAQS About Cooling Shirts*Click on one of the questions below to show the answers.
You most certainly can! Not only can cooling shirts help cool you down while performing strenuous activities, it can also lower your body temperature during sleep. The wicking and cooling effects of the shirt still work continuously throughout the night. We recommend a loose fitting shirt or a long-sleeve cooling shirt if you're planning to wear one of these to bed.
In hotter areas where you might sweat during the night, the active cooling effect of the shirt will still activate giving you that extra boost in cooling. Rather than buying expensive and gimmick-y cooling solutions, you can instead invest in a good quality cooling shirt to cater to your nightly cooling needs.
Again, a big yes. There are many brands that offer kid's sizes for their cooling shirts. Brands make their shirts in sizes for children as young as three years old, making this the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon walks home from school with your kids if you want to beat the heat.
Surprisingly, we've found that kids actually like wearing cooling shirts rather than a normal, cotton blend shirt. They said it was "very cool" and "feels awesome", both very apt descriptions. If you want to keep your kids cool during hot days, and keep them safe from the sun's harmful rays, pick cooling shirts that specify that they have UPF+50.
As long as you're wearing it.
Because of both the passive and active cooling effects of these shirts, as long as you wear them, sweat in them, or move around in them, cooling shirts will keep working. The only time cooling shirts won't cool you down is when you take it off.
The more the shirt gets wet, the better the cooling effect is. This is because of the previously mentioned hydrophilic beads embedded into the weave. As more and more of the shirt gets damp with sweat, the more energy the beads in the shirt require to remain swollen. This, in turn, increases the cooling effect of the shirt quite significantly.