cooling towel
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The Top-Rated Cooling Towels Keep You Comfortable in the Heat

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When you go camping, hiking or spend a lot of time outside — especially during the summer months —  it can be easy to overheat and start to feel uncomfortable. This can be especially frustrating when you're in an area with no running water, no air conditioning, and no easy way to cool yourself down. However, there are options, and the best cooling towels will keep you cooler for longer, and are perfect for any and all outdoor activities. A cooling towel is one of those simple but brilliant inventions: Soak them in cold water for about a minute, then wring them out, snap them a few times, and experience the instant relief they provide. They'll stay around 20 degrees cooler than the air around you, and you can use it to quickly cool yourself down. The effect will last for hours (if it starts to feel like it's warming up, just twirl it around and it should cool down), and you can even stick it in the freezer to get a chilly head start.

The cooling relief from these towels is incredible, and they're perfect for spending time outdoors in hot weather (especially good for avoiding heatstroke!) or keeping in your gym bag for a post-workout cooldown. Once you try one, you'll never leave the house for an outdoor adventure without one. Check out our picks for the best cooling towel below:

1. Our Top Pick

Chill Pal Mesh Cooling Towel - Amazon, $10.97

This is probably the most recognizable cooling towel out there, and for good reason. This Chill Pal used to be made out of PVC that was hard to fold down, but the new and improved version is made of soft mesh material and is much more comfortable to wear. All you need to make them work is some cool water and you're on your way to cooling relief — and they'll last for at least an hour without having to rewet them. One reviewer writes: "The material is lightweight and even when they dry out, they still cool when a breeze catches them. They don't dry stiff and they are much easier to wrap around a head or neck."

2. Best Extra-Large Option



Alfamo Cooling Towel (60" by 29") - Amazon, $22.99

This cooling towel is the largest option on the list, so you can use this as a full-body towel. It comes in a flat zip-up carrying case with a carabiner clip for convenient carrying to the golf course, campground, or hiking pack. It offers a sun protection rating of UPF 50, making it great for all sorts of outdoor recreation. This one cools you down around 30 degrees for up to three hours.

3. The Best Cooling Towels in a Multi-Pack

Sukeen Cooling Towels (4-Pack) - Amazon, $19.99

This four-pack of towels is a great option for a family. They all come in individual zip-top bags with carabiners, and will all work for around three hours before you need to rewet them. These are incredibly versatile and soft towels. One reviewer sums it up easily: "Not sure what type of magic it takes to make these towels but they are a gift from heaven."

4. A Unique Cooling Towel For Extreme Heat


Mission Cooling Hoodie Towel - Amazon, $19.99

This is an incredible option for intense heat or if you work outside all day. It's a hoodie towelwith UPF 50 that can fit comfortably over your head, and it's great for sports, too (hence why Dwayne Wade endorsed it above!). It works in 30 seconds, and will keep you 30 degrees cooler than the air around you. Mission is a trusted brand that's on our favorite cooling hat round-up, too.

This piece was published in March 2022 and has been updated by Alida Nugent.