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High Tech Fabrics

Looking4suggestions

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello everyone - I've recently been made aware of some new fabrics that actually keep you cool. I'm planning to walk in the summer and easily get heat stroke (no judgement please - I really do love the summer). I'm not talking about fabrics that just wick away sweat and moisture - fabric that keeps you cool. I'm thinking of T-shirts/long sleeve T-shirts. Has anyone got any recommendations or suggested brands to consider? I hate buying new 'stuff,' but if this can keep me cool when the temps soar above 30C, then I'm all in. :cool:
 
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2012
OK, so I just surfed that and it’s just another brand using recycled plastic fiber to create a wicking fabric. On site reviews are naturally effusive. Having made a comfortable living writing paid reviews I guess I’m a natural sceptic. Like what I said, in a cotton shirt sweat evaporating has a cooling effect, provided the latent humidity is low enough, otherwise it’s all just hot, wet and steamy.
 
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BombayBill

Still Learning
Year of past OR future Camino
2021

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hello everyone - I've recently been made aware of some new fabrics that actually keep you cool. I'm planning to walk in the summer and easily get heat stroke (no judgement please - I really do love the summer). I'm not talking about fabrics that just wick away sweat and moisture - fabric that keeps you cool. I'm thinking of T-shirts/long sleeve T-shirts. Has anyone got any recommendations or suggested brands to consider? I hate buying new 'stuff,' but if this can keep me cool when the temps soar above 30C, then I'm all in. :cool:
I have tried several shirts that were made from "cooling" fabrics, but I was still hotter with the shirt on than with bare arms. I've tried Columbia's Omni-Freeze, and Duluth Trading Company's Armachillo shirts, but they didn't work for me. Lots of people seem to like them though.

That said, I'm always willing to try something new in hopes that it will work for me, because I know that I should try to cover up more.
 

Kimtom

Wannawalk
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances on bike (2014)
Frances on foot (2019)
Frances on foot (2020)
Hello everyone - I've recently been made aware of some new fabrics that actually keep you cool. I'm planning to walk in the summer and easily get heat stroke (no judgement please - I really do love the summer). I'm not talking about fabrics that just wick away sweat and moisture - fabric that keeps you cool. I'm thinking of T-shirts/long sleeve T-shirts. Has anyone got any recommendations or suggested brands to consider? I hate buying new 'stuff,' but if this can keep me cool when the temps soar above 30C, then I'm all in. :cool:
Whenever I’m out in the hot sun I wear a thin white cotton button down long sleeve shirt. It reflects away much of the sunlight so you don’t heat up as much, and when you do get hot you can soak it in water and put it back on if you really want to cool off. This same principle of evaporative cooling is at work in a swamp cooler 🌞
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Since a skin cancer scare a few years ago, I now always wear long sleeve tops. A few years ago I bought some long sleeve merino t shirts from Aldi and have found them surprisingly good in hot weather. The fabric is very thin and rather stretchy, so a loose weave.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Since a skin cancer scare a few years ago, I now always wear long sleeve tops. A few years ago I bought some long sleeve merino t shirts from Aldi and have found them surprisingly good in hot weather. The fabric is very thin and rather stretchy, so a loose weave.
I would rather wear a light merino wool long sleeve top than synthetic, because although I get sweaty, I know that the merino won't get stinky so fast.
 
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Moorwalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
I would rather wear a light merino wool long sleeve top than synthetic, because although I get sweaty, I know that the merino won't get stinky so fast.
I find merino far too hot. It might not get stinky but I absolutely boil in warm conditions.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Oct 2016
I used a rohan merino fusion (merino/polyester) hoodie top, its very lightweight and the hood goes over my hat to give me lots of shade all round. I havent found anything better than merino and believe me i have looked. Also currently using a Rohan linen / polyester mix shirt which is good
 

Moorwalker

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The Saint's Way, Cornwall
Hello everyone - I've recently been made aware of some new fabrics that actually keep you cool. I'm planning to walk in the summer and easily get heat stroke (no judgement please - I really do love the summer). I'm not talking about fabrics that just wick away sweat and moisture - fabric that keeps you cool. I'm thinking of T-shirts/long sleeve T-shirts. Has anyone got any recommendations or suggested brands to consider? I hate buying new 'stuff,' but if this can keep me cool when the temps soar above 30C, then I'm all in. :cool:
I'm currently wearing several different makes of garments described as sun hoodies because I recently completed radiotherapy for cancer and it leaves you sensitive to UV for some time afterwards. Sun hoodies have become popular amongst US long distance trail walkers especially for desert sections.

The coolest I have is made by Outdoor Research but it doesn't give a lot of UV protection. My favourite is the Patagonia Tropic Comfort. Amazon sell much cheaper ones which are not bad but they are noticeably warmer to wear.

I dislike merino wool garments generally, I find them itchy and far too hot. Some people swear by it of course, it's like anything else, very individual and the only way to find out is to try it.
 
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Stewart K.

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
APril 2016
For hot weather, I like synthetic shirts that have multiple vents. Kuhl makes some good ones. In super hot weather, I wrap a damp bandana around my neck, which usually does the trick.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
My personal feeling is that cotton when really wet traps evaporating sweat. In cold weather wet cotton sucks away heat. In the mountains we say “cotton kills”.

My preference for a tech brand is LuLulemon and for non tech I use linen shirts. Linen fibers are more suited to hot weather.
See biased citation here https://temperaturemaster.com/does-linen-keep-you-cooler-than-cotton/
I like linen. Have a long sleeved white linen shirt that keeps too much sun off, keeps too-chilly breezes off, and would absorb a bit of sweat if I should need that. Usually wear short sleeved nylon T under it. I am rarely too hot..
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I'm not good with hot weather. My first camino was from Porto in October 2018 and it was VERY hot! Pharmacy signs said 36C I found the best solution was to soak my hair and also my mini microfiber towel at every water fountain. I folded the towel and placed it on top of my head, under my hat. The slow evaporation kept my head comfortable and made all the difference in the world to me.
 
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Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances June/July 2014
Camino Aragones August 2015
Camino Sanabres (Ourense-SdC) August 2015
VdlP 2017
Some research on the matter could be found here: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/151161995.pdf
and yes, those high tech fabrics do work, whatever the brand name is.
One disadvantage of some cheaper ones is they tend to be somehow abrasive, so the combination of a wet shirt and cooling fabric causes nipples contracting (for the most of people) and rubbing against abrasive material make them bleed 😡.
Anyway, nipple taping is a must before long distance running/skiing/skating.
 

Jo Jo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, July '14 & Sep-Oct '16
Via di Francesco, July '15,
CP Oct. '17, Salvador & Primitivo Sep '19
For summer Caminos, I stick with cotton/linen (or blends with a majority cotton). I have those high-tech nylons for backpacking in the US mountains where hypothermia is real and dangerous if you get wet, and I would never use cotton in those environments. During the summer, most Camino routes are just not that climate. The are far closer to the a desert, where cotton is king. The "wicking" "breathing" nylon is just more breathable or wicking than nylon without the fancy tech. But it still is no where near as good as cotton. So I carry one set of mostly cotton clothes (Patagonia Steersman shirt (now discontinued); RailRiders beachwatch pants) and one pair of nylon for the days when it rains or the mountains. Note: cotton can be heavy, hence why I will sometimes go with the blends or very light, loose weaves to cut weight. Do not read this to say "jeans and a T shirt"--those are just too heavy in my opinion.
 

Vancouver Islander

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fingers Crossed - April (2020)
Hello everyone - I've recently been made aware of some new fabrics that actually keep you cool. I'm planning to walk in the summer and easily get heat stroke (no judgement please - I really do love the summer). I'm not talking about fabrics that just wick away sweat and moisture - fabric that keeps you cool. I'm thinking of T-shirts/long sleeve T-shirts. Has anyone got any recommendations or suggested brands to consider? I hate buying new 'stuff,' but if this can keep me cool when the temps soar above 30C, then I'm all in. :cool:
We walked through Slovenia in 30+C degree weather. I purchased cooling towels online (retailer starts with "A"). You wet them, wrap them around your neck or head and they stay cold the entire day. If they do happen to dry out and your sweat doesn't rehydrate them :), just pour a little water on them, squeeze them out and wrap them again. They are reusable and washable. I washed mine every night, hung to dry and then re-wet in the morning.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
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Vancouver Islander

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fingers Crossed - April (2020)
I was just a bit curious about why a "cooling towel" was better than a wet towel so I did a web search. This might save someone else some trouble.

The ones I used are the 2nd ones with the waffle weave. They come in a package of four and there were four of us. My kids ended up keeping theirs because they liked them so much and one of my sons uses his on every hike and bike trip.
 

Looking4suggestions

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
The ones I used are the 2nd ones with the waffle weave. They come in a package of four and there were four of us. My kids ended up keeping theirs because they liked them so much and one of my sons uses his on every hike and bike trip.
We walked through Slovenia in 30+C degree weather. I purchased cooling towels online (retailer starts with "A"). You wet them, wrap them around your neck or head and they stay cold the entire day. If they do happen to dry out and your sweat doesn't rehydrate them :), just pour a little water on them, squeeze them out and wrap them again. They are reusable and washable. I washed mine every night, hung to dry and then re-wet in the morning.
Thanks from an Albertan ;-)
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
I like an oversized merino longsleeve shirt ( also from Aldi), and on my baldy bonce and around my neck a loose shemagh. Plus loads of factor 50. Pa in L got skin cancer on his head having been a driver for years when wagon windows didn't give any protection from UV. Seeing the agony he suffered during treatment, which basically involved scalping, made me understand the necessity of prevention. I also have a foreign legion type cap which I wear intermittently., but in really warm weather it just soaks out, I find that sweat running into my eyes is actually painful.
 

CarolamS

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I was just a bit curious about why a "cooling towel" was better than a wet towel so I did a web search. This might save someone else some trouble.

Very interesting and explains why I found such benefit from my folded wet microfiber towel placed on top of my head but under my wet hat. My solution might not have been quite as effective as a proper cooling towel but it had the advantage of lightness when dry and it was never stiff. I find my tiny towel has lots of other uses too so I tend to always carry it when hiking.
So many solutions, so much information, I love this forum :cool:
 
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Vancouver Islander

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Fingers Crossed - April (2020)
Very interesting and explains why I found such benefit from my folded wet microfiber towel placed on top of my head but under my wet hat. My solution might not have been quite as effective as a proper cooling towel but it had the advantage of lightness when dry and it was never stiff. I find my tiny towel has lots of other uses too so I tend to always carry it when hiking.
So many solutions, so much information, I love this forum :cool:
The pack of four towels don't get stiff when dry and remain wet and cold almost for an entire day. They are also very light, don't really have any weight to them unless soaking wet with water, don't take up any space. My adult kids were very skeptical about them (they actually laughed at me) but when they tried them, they stopped laughing. I also have a microfiber towel, handkerchief size, but don't like it as much as the cooling towels.
 

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