7 cool ways to stay cool this summer
Great products to keep you cool from head to foot, and the sensitive parts in between
Face it: Summer is a three-month stretch of sweaty, browbeating discomfort. And often, to avoid the heat, people sacrifice some of the most fun parts of summer in favor of air-conditioning and a dark room. But heat-haters, rejoice! There are plenty of ways to stay chill. Take a look at some of the newest products available for cool-down, before your forfeit the rest of your summer.
(Editor's note: The Week has affiliate partnerships with certain retailers and may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.)
1. Cooling scarf
The cooling scarf, inexpensive and simple, has become the standard utility for quick cooling. You soak it in water and wring it out, which leaves it damp but not wet. The cooling happens by means of slow evaporation. The Mission Multi-Cool ($14 and up), listing a two-hour cooling time before needing to be wetted again, has a flexible design that allows it to be worn 12 different ways. If you'd rather something a little colder and continuous, there's the Black Ice Personal Cooling System ($54). Black ice boasts a constant 57-degree output against you neck for one and a half hours, without using evaporation or electricity. The system comes with two cooling packs that are "charged" within 20 minutes in ice water or a freezer. Buy it at Amazon.
2. Cooling socks
If you want to learn how to keep your poor feet as happy as possible during the heat of summer, look to those who know the most about hot, sweaty, uncomfortable feet: people who run. Voluntarily. They are privy to a lot of information we Normals might not know about. For instance, the Thirty48 Running Socks ($12 per three-pack) could be the most complex piece of clothing you'll ever wear, and that includes your wedding dress. Many of the socks' attributes are specific to runners, but those designed to keep the foot cool and dry can apply to anyone. These include the wicking action of the trademarked Cool-Max Fabric and the "patent-pending CatalystAF™ Design which creates airflow within the fabric, an air flow that enables your skin to breathe." Buy them at Amazon.
3. Cooling hats
Most cooling hats work on the same principle as cooling scarves: Wet it, wring it, wear it. One fashionable example (a term applied to any hat that does not have a little fan built into it) is the Mission Cooling Bucket Hat ($18.25), which can be used for evaporative cooling but also functions as a regular sporting hat with strong wicking ability. If your sun activities are more intense, there's the HyperKewl Evaporative Cooling Ultra Sport Cap. Its detachable neck shade allows you to choose between the baseball cap look or the rogue Egyptian archeologist look. In either style it tops time charts of evaporation cooling technology, claiming five to 10 hours of relief per wear. Buy it at Amazon.
4. Cooling vests
TechNiche International Women's Deluxe Sport Vest ($36 and up) takes the basic male/unisex vest design and adds a few tucks and darts to make it favorable for the female figure. Ranging in size from Small to 2x, the Woman's Deluxe offers five to 10 hours of cooling evaporation per soaking, and you won't feel the actual moisture through the waterproof inner lining. Buy it at Amazon.
5. Cooling athletic cup
"Defend it. Guard it. Protect it," declares the Original Ice Cup ($34.99). When alerted to the existence of this product, a male friend responded in sincere awe, "Oh, what a time to be alive!" I am told this product fills a very real need. The cooling packs that fit into the cup have a short use, only 45 minutes from each chilled gel pack. But in the heat of a ninth inning beer league game, those 45 minutes could make all the difference in the world. Buy it at Amazon.
6. Pad coolers
For the female equivalent of the cooling athletic cup, we have SmartChoices Feme Pad ($24.50), a product primarily intended for postpartum relief from swelling and pain. But there is no fine print stating you must be recovering from an episiotomy to use the product. The product consists of two gel pads that can be cooled, placed in gauze padding, and put directly against the skin. The cooling relief lasts about 20 minutes. Buy it at Amazon.
7. Car seat cooler
A car with beautiful leather interior. An expensive shirt or blouse meant to impress. Combine them with a humid 98-degree day and you can say goodbye to the pleasures you once took from them. The leather scorches and the sweat soaks you through. That's where the Viotek Cooled Seat Cushion ($139.99) can make it all better. It's an electric powered system that dehumidifies your back and hip area while circulating cool air though the pad. Or, for a simpler more natural solution, try seat cushions made of bamboo and rattan ($129.99), materials that naturally wick moisture and shun heat. Buy one at Amazon.