The Best Cooling Headwear
You don’t have to spend the warm weather months with your face 2 inches from the fan, rubbing a cold washcloth on your neck while cursing the sun. Instead, you can invest in some of the best cooling headwear and go about your day uninterrupted by bouts of heat-induced discomfort.
It turns out, there's a huge amount of cooling headwear available, including everything from evaporative sun hats, to water-activated headbands, to cooling skull caps, and beyond. Unlike other articles of clothing, headwear can be an especially effective method of cooling yourself down, largely due to its location on your body. Your head is one of your quick-cooling spots where pulse points around your neck, temples, and ears can cool your system down rapidly via blood vessels close to the surface of the skin.
So what makes for good cooling headwear? Most cooling accessories work by either holding cold moisture next to your skin or evaporating heat and sweat from it. Some of the best headwear even does both. In addition, while headwear in and of itself protects your skin from the sun, many items on this list also offer UPF sun protection to prevent your head and shoulders from sunburn.
So call off your search. Here is a list of the best cooling headwear to keep you cool all summer long.
1. The Best Headband: A 12-In-1 Band That Cools Your Skin Down 30 Degrees
Mission Multi-Cool 12-In-1 Headwear
This ultra-versatile cooling band works with special technology that cools your skin roughly 30 degrees below its average body temperature when you get it wet. Simply dunk it in water, wring it out, and wrap the band into any of its 12 styles including a headband, scarf, neck gator, hood, balaclava, cap, face mask, and others. Once wet, it will stay cool for hours. The band is pre-shaped into a full circle which means you'll never have to fuss with tying or adjusting it. As a bonus, its made with fabric that offers UPF 50 sun protection so you won't burn either.
2. The Best Baseball Hat: A Double-Layered Cap That Stays Cold For Up To 10 Hours
HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Sport Cap
Made with dual-strategy cooling technology, this sporty baseball cap combines an inner layer of HyperKewl fabric with an outer layer of water-repelling nylon. The result is that the inside portion next to your skin cools you down while the outside section keeps you dry and less sweaty. The blend of fabrics makes it perfect for active pursuits such as running, biking, hiking, and other activities where you work up a sweat. Each time you soak the cap in water, the material stays cool for an impressive five to ten hours. One Amazon reviewer praises it, saying, "was looking for a hat that would not only reflect the hot sun, but also cool your head. Wore it over the weekend on a 12-hour fishing trip out in the Gulf of Mexico. Kept my face from burning and my head cool. Would highly recommend."
3. The Most Coverage: A Multi-Featured Cooling Hat With A Built-In Neck Shade
Outdoor Research Activeice Cap
Although this high-tech hat is slightly pricier than others on the list, it has literally everything you need to stay cool and protected from the sun. The innovative fabric is made from a system called "Activeice" which is triggered upon contact with water. The cap's top portion features cooling mesh panels while the sturdy brim keeps the sun off of your face. A thin, lightweight neck guard encircles your neck, protecting the area from sunburn. On top of that, the fabric wicks sweat while simultaneously delivering UPF 50+ protection. This top-grade headwear is also made specifically for active sports and intense sun activities such as hiking, biking, rock climbing, or other adventures.
4. The Best Towel: A Set Of Lightweight Cooling Towels You Can Drape Or Tie Off
MidaFit Sport Cooling Towel
These easy-to-use, effective cooling towels are simple, practical, and affordable. The most basic use is to soak them in water, wring them out, and drape them around your neck. However, they can also be tied, wrapped, or wiped into nine different styles and functions including a cross scarf, front knot scarf, headscarf, shawl, and others. Unlike the headband which is shaped into a full ring, these are rectangular towels that you tie off like scarves or bandanas. The budget-friendly towels come in a three pack that makes them even out to only $5 a piece. They also come with a handy carry pouch and carabiner to clip to your backpack or gym bag.
5. The Best Brimless Cap: A Super Thin Skull Cap That Fits Under Helmets
Mission VaporActive Cooling Skull Cap
If you're not into baseball caps or brimmed hats, this sleek skull cap offers a thin, low-profile way to keep cool. It achieves its stellar cooling system via VaporActive fabric, a patented 37.5 technology that draws sweat into the material and quickly absorbs it, keeping you cool and dry. The material is built with active fiber particles that trap odor-causing molecules, reducing smells and bacteria, as well. It easily fits under helmets which means you can still protect your head without overheating on hot days.
6. The Best Ice Hat: A Cooling Gel Hat That Also Treats Headaches
FOMI Migraine Gel Ice Hat
Although made for soothing migraines and headaches, this ice gel hat is also a superb way to stay cool when you're lying around your house. It works via special ice gel inserts that you store in the freezer and stick inside when you're ready to use, offering wearable cold therapy. The liquid gel packs retain temperature exceptionally well, delivering a cooling sensation against your skin long after you remove them from the freezer. As an extra perk, you can use the head cap year-round to treat head colds, fever, stress, muscle aches, stiffness, sinusitis, inflammation, and other ailments. While it isn't ideal headwear for running errands or participating in sports, it's the perfect accessory to wear when watching television or hanging out at home.
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