The 8 Best Cooling Running Gear Products of 2020

Devices and attire that can help beat the heat

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Our Top Picks
"Can be worn as a neckband, headband, and more."
"Absorbs sweat and provides cooling for hours."
"Feature a trim athletic cut for optimum mobility and stretch."
"Cooling zones absorb water and perspiration."
"You don’t have to worry about them slipping down."
"Wet it before your run and it’ll stay cool for hours."
"The compression provides a snug fit to reduce chafing."
"Have a zippered back pocket so you can stash your cash and keys."

Best Overall: Chill Pal Multi Style Cooling Neck Gaiter

An excellent gear item for anyone who enjoys running in hot weather, the versatile Chill Pal cooling band can be worn as a neckband, headband, and more. The soft, breathable fabric cools when you wet it, wring it out, and snap it, and it then stays cold for up to two hours. It’s particularly effective when worn on your neck, since it’s one of your body’s quick-cooling spots. Put the Chill Pal on and it will bring down your body temperature.

Runners swear that the Chill Pal helps them feel more comfortable and prevents overheating even during very hot runs. On top of that, it’s inexpensive and comes in three different fun colors. Even if you don’t want to wear a Chill Pal band while running, you can use it to pre-cool before a race or to cool down after.

Best Budget: Frogg Toggs Chilly Mini Cooling Towel

If you’re not quite sold on the effectiveness and technology of cooling gear, these mini cooling towels are an inexpensive way to give it a try. Just wet the towel and wrap it around your neck before, during, or after a run to feel instantly cooler.

Unlike a large towel, it’s a convenient size (3” x 29”), so you can stash it in a running pack or tuck it in your waistband until you need to use it. It absorbs sweat and provides cooling up to 30 degrees lower than body temperature for hours. It’s also washable and reusable, making it a great value for the money.

Best Shirt: Arctic Cool Women's V-Neck Instant Cooling Shirt

Once you start sweating in this Artic Cool shirt, you’ll start to cool down. The secret is the shirt’s HydroFreeze X technology, a moisture-management system that disperses moisture and optimizes the natural evaporative cooling process. Made from fabric that’s fast-drying, soft, and cool, these shirts feature a trim athletic cut for optimum mobility and stretch.

Beyond the cooling effect, they also have a lightweight construction, UPF 50 sun protection, and mesh sides for more ventilation, making them ideal shirts for hot weather running. Additionally, they’re anti-microbial and machine-washable, so they’re easy to care for.

Best Hat: MISSION Performance Cooling Hat

Keep your head cool on the run with this Mission Enduracool Cooling Performance hat, made with proprietary fabric that cools instantly when wet. Just soak the hat before wearing, wring it out, and then snap it in the air to activate the cooling properties. How does it work exactly? Cooling zones in the hat’s sweat band and front panels absorb water and perspiration and then regulate the evaporation of moisture for a prolonged cooling effect. The technology is completely chemical-free and long-lasting, as it’s made with natural fibers that don’t wash out or degrade.

The fabric also features UPF 50 protection, which helps to shield your head from the sun’s harmful rays. After a hot run, you can just toss this durable hat in the washing machine to clean and it will retain its shape. Available in several different colors, it has an adjustable hook and loop closure, so one size fits most. If you’re looking for a reasonably-priced running hat to help keep you cool and protected, you can’t go wrong with this one.   

Best Socks: Balega Hidden Dry Moisture-Wicking Socks

Wear the wrong socks on a summer run and you’ll definitely end up with hot feet and most likely some blisters, too. But these durable socks from Balega will keep your feet cool and dry, while still giving them the protection they need. Made from a lightweight microfiber, they cool your feet by wicking away moisture from sweat. The perfectly-placed support and grippy elastic in the arch and heel provide plenty of support and help with blister prevention. And you don’t have to worry about them slipping down, as the tab design keeps them in place. You’ll pay a bit more for these socks, but Balega fans say they’re well worth the price and are the ideal go-to running sock for hot weather runs.

Best Headband: MISSION Enduracool Reflective Cooling Headband

If you prefer not to wear a hat when running in the heat, but still want to keep your head cool, this cooling headband from Mission is an excellent option. Wet it before your run, put it on your head, and it’ll stay cool for hours, thanks to the chemical-free Enduracool technology. You can also use it dry, as a soft, absorbent headband that keeps the sweat out of your eyes and your hair off your face. These headbands also come in handy to ease discomfort and cool your head when you’re dealing with a post-run headache. Once you’re finished, you can clean it in the washing machine and use it for your next run in hot conditions.

Best Sports Bra: Under Armour Medium Impact Crossback Sports Bra

Female runners know how a sports bra that’s ill-fitting or made of the wrong material can make a hot run much more uncomfortable. This Under Armour sports bra is designed to keep you feeling fresh and comfortable, and well-supported, of course. Its signature HeatGear fabric is lightweight and smooth, to help you feel cool. UA’s moisture transport system wicks sweat away from the body to enhance the cooling sensation. The compression provides a snug fit to reduce chafing, while the four-way stretch fabric allows for superb range of motion. Available in several different colors, this sports bra is an excellent addition to your summer running wardrobe.

Best Shorts: MISSION Men's VaporActive Fusion Athletic Shorts

The VaporActive technology in these shorts rapidly evaporates sweat, keeping you dry and cool on the run. The ultra-drying technology, which doesn’t degrade or get washed out, also control odors, so you can run stink-free. Made of a stretch-woven fabric, these shorts allow for excellent range of motion and have a drawstring waistband for a custom fit. They even have a zippered back pocket so you can securely stash your cash, keys, or other items while running.

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