The 7 Best Cooling Towels to Buy in 2018

Beat the heat with an inventive sports towel

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Professional athletes know a lot of things that the rest of the public is dying to know, including how to stay comfortable when working out in the hot sun all day. Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is definitely part of the equation, but using a cooling towel to keep body temperatures down can also make hot temperatures or an intense workout more bearable.

To use most cooling towels, all you need to do is soak the towel in water and ring it out, and the lightweight material will keep you cool. But like most sports accessories, there are a variety of brand options available, making shopping a bit daunting. Below, find the best cooling towels that will keep you chill all day, no matter if you're playing tennis, golfing, or anything in between.

Best Overall: Alfamo Cooling Towel

Alfamo Cooling Towel

Courtesy of Amazon

With nearly 1,000 five-starred reviews on Amazon, this Alfamo cooling towel is definitely a fan favorite. It’s available in four sizes ranging from small to extra large, so you can choose from one that will be small enough to hang from your neck, or you can select one large enough to cover almost your entire body.

The Alfamo Cooling Towel is super easy to use. Simply soak the towel, ring it out, and snap it for up to 3 hours of chill time. When it dries it will stay soft and pliable, unlike other towels that harden after use. Another amazing feature is that the fabric provides SPF 50 sun protection, so you’ll not only be safe from the heat, but your skin will also be safe from the sun's harmful rays. The prices for the Alfamo towel range, depending on the size and color combination you choose. With more than 15 colors to choose from, you will definitely be able to find a shade that fits your personal style and looks as cool as it’s keeping you.

Best for Golf: Balhvit Cool Towel for Instant Cooling Relief

When you’re standing out in the hot sun on a golf course all day, feeling cool and comfortable can be the difference between an average game and a strong one. When you need reliable protection from the heat and the sun’s harmful rays, reach for this top-rated cooling towel from Balhvit. Each towel is 40’’ x 12’’ so you can use it as a standard towel or get creative and wear it as a bandana, neck scarf, or headband to really cool yourself off.

The towel comes in nine color options, ranging from a royal blue to pink to lime green. The best part? Each towel is packaged in a waterproof pouch with a carabiner so you can clip it to your golf bag for easy access while you play a round.

Balhvit is so sure you'll love their cooling towel, they offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

Best for Yoga: SYOURSELF Cooling Towel for Instant Relief

After sweating it out in a steamy Bikram class or a fast-paced vinyasa flow, what you really need is a dependable towel that will soak up your sweat and help cool your body down. Instead of reaching for a traditional yoga towel, which can be much more difficult to clean, we recommend these SYOURSELF Cooling Towels.

Like other cooling towels, you simply just soak, wring the water out, and snap it to activate hours of cooling time. But what makes these towels stand out are their super trendy patterns, with everything from different shades of camouflage to starry patterns to funky geometric shapes. The 100 percent polyester towels are the right size to use as a scarf, headband, or bandana, so you won’t be stuck carrying something super bulky when you’re running to and from your favorite yoga studio. For the price, you’re getting a great deal for a fashion-forward towel that you can use over and over again.

Best Budget: Perfect Fitness Perfect Cooling Towel

Perfect Fitness Perfect Cooling Towel

Courtesy of Walmart

We get it: fitness equipment can be expensive, and once you start adding on accessories like stainless steel water bottles and trendy workout clothes to the cost of a gym membership, the numbers really add up. If you’re looking for a super low-cost cooling towel, try this Perfect Fitness option.

Skip the fancy name brands and opt for this basic cooling towel. It’s definitely among the cheapest options on the market, but you won’t be skimping on quality. To activate, all you have to do is get the towel wet with cold water, no snapping or wringing required. And like its competitors, the Perfect Fitness towel will stay cool for hours.

Best for Hiking: Chill-Its 6602 Evaporative Cooling Towel

When you’re packing for a strenuous hike, the last thing you want to do is weigh yourself down with unnecessary gear. This cooling towel from Chill-Its is a must-pack item, especially when it’s dreadfully hot. Plus, at only 6.2 ounces, you will barely feel it in your bag.

Chill-Its are made with PVA material that will hold more water and keep you cool for much longer than a regular hand towel. Like other cooling towels, activation and re-activation are as simple as can be, and despite their great reputation (with nearly 1,000 five-starred reviews on Amazon), Chill-Its are still very reasonably priced.

While each towel is treated with antimicrobial to prevent molding, you can also throw your Chill-Its in the washing machine after a particularly sweaty climb. Choose from your favorite of five different colors: blue, gray, orange, pink, and green.

Best for Tennis: Mission Enduracool Techknit Cooling Towel

You’ve probably seen this brand of cooling towel draped around Serena William’s neck when she’s winning grand slams on the tennis court, and now you can get a matching one to wear when you’re intimidating your tennis competition. Made from a chemical-free blend of polyester and nylon, Mission’s unique technology keeps the towel up to 30 degrees below your average body temperature when used correctly.

To use the cooling towel, simply get the towel soaking wet, ring it out and snap the towel three times. The cold technology will then activate and work for up to two hours at a time (you can follow the same steps to reactivate it after that). With more than a dozen pattern and color options, you’re sure to find a towel that fits your personal style.

Best for Travel: Chill Pal The Original PVA Cooling Towel

When you’re on the road running from place to place, the last thing you want to deal with is carrying a large, bulky towel, especially when it is damp. For a cooling towel that is perfect for packing for on-the-go use, we recommend the Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel.

While this top-rated brand previously used a bulky tube package design, they updated the product this year to instead fold into a sleek pouch packaging. In addition to receiving the Amazon’s Choice seal for this product category, more than 1,000 five-starred Amazon reviewers were impressed with the noticeable difference using this cooling towel makes.

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