7 Best Cooling Towels in 2020

The best cooling towel we tried was easily the Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel. It’s made from ultra-thick PVA that boasts superior evaporative technology, which can effortlessly keep you cool for hours at a time. It is on the larger side, at 12 x 32 inches, and comes in a wide variety of colors to suit different tastes, in addition to offering a simple and fuss-free setup procedure.

To help you find the best cooling towel for keeping comfortable during hot days, we have tried out a multitude of top products, testing them for cooling effectiveness, preferring items made from polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and other high quality components, and the ability to hold plenty of water at one time, so they’ll lower body temperature for long periods of time. We also liked larger-than-average models that easily covered necks, shoulders and other parts of the body. Keep reading to learn more about the Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel and the other models on this list.

Top 7 Best Cooling Towels

 #1  Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely easy-to-use cooling towelmade from ultra-thick PVA that keeps you cool for up to 8 hours at a time, thanks to unique evaporative technology, with the capacity to be cut to be formed into multiple smaller items.

Pros
  • Ultra-thick design
  • Allows for cutting to make multiple towels
  • Evaporative technology ensures long-lasting use
Cons
  • Some items on list come in more colors
  • 12 x 32 size is decent, but there are larger products on list

The Chill Pal PVA Cooling Towel is extremely easy to use. Just soak it in cold water and wring it out and let the high quality polyvinyl acetate (PVA) materials do the rest. This is a thick product complete with unique evaporative technology, so it stays cool for up to eight hours, though results may vary depending on how hot it is outside. We also loved that this product can be cut with scissors, allowing one to create multiple smaller towels out of one purchase.

Though this is available in four cool colors, there are some products on this list that offer many more color options, including our number two pick. Additionally, the 12” x 32” size is decent, though we feature slightly larger items on the below list. If you need something for your next camping trip, take a look at the best emergency blanket to pack along.

 #2  FROGG TOGGS Chilly Pad Cooling Towel

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: Made from a unique blend of hyper evaporative materials, resulting in a light and effective product that also provides UV protection, in addition to its cooling properties, and is available in multiple color options.

Pros
  • Absorbs 8x its weight in H20 and lowers temps by 30 F
  • 10 color options
  • Provides UPF 50+ UV protection
Cons
  • Stays cool for 4 hours, which is slightly less than top pick
  • Can be placed in washing machine but not dryer

This FROGG TOGGS Chilly Pad Cooling Towel is manufactured using a proprietary blend of hyper evaporative materials, which makes for a light and effective product that can keep you cool for hours as you traverse the outdoors. The ten color options are fantastic and we loved that this towel also provides UPF 50+ UV protection, in addition to its cooling properties. Pack this alongside your best survival knives so that you’re ready for anything on your next camping trip.

Though this does a great job at keeping you cool, with the ability to lower temperatures by up to 30 degrees, it only works for around four hours, which is slightly less than our top pick. Also, these towels are machine washable, but be careful as they can be damaged if placed in the dryer. We’d recommend air drying.

 #3  Ergodyne Chill-Its 6602 Evaporative Cooling Towel

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: An extremely lightweight and budget-friendly cooling towel that is made from high quality PVA that can keep you cool for hours at a time, with a machine washable design and availability in 5 color options.

Pros
  • Works for 4 hours on one soak
  • Extremely lightweight, though heavier once in use
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • 13” x 29” size is slightly smaller than top picks
  • Stays cool for around 4 hours, which is great but less than top pick

The Ergodyne Chill-Its 6602 Evaporative Cooling Towel is a budget-friendly item that still retains several high end features, including a consisting solely of polyvinyl acetate, the same material used in our top pick, that does a fantastic job at cooling the human body down. It is extremely lightweight and highly portable before being used and is machine washable, though take care to air dry instead of placing it in a dryer.

This towel is negligibly smaller than our top picks, however, coming in at a size of 13 inches by 29 inches. Additionally, this product stays cool for around four hours, which we found to be suitable for most endeavors but is still slightly less than our top pick. This isn’t necessarily something you’d think to add to your best survival gear, but it is an important piece to add.

 #4  Sukeen Microfiber Cooling Towel

Award: BEST MULTIPACK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Great for MS sufferers, thanks to being made exclusively from microfibers without the use of additional chemicals, shipping in a large multipack of 4 units, each with their own clip-on waterproof pouch.

Pros
  • Great for ailments such as MS or hot flashes
  • Machine washable
  • Comes with clip-on waterproof pouch
Cons
  • Max cooling length of 3 hours
  • Polyester materials not quite as effective as PVA

This Sukeen Microfiber Cooling Towel ships in a multipack of four units, with each towel stored in a waterproof tube that also features a carabiner clip, making it easy to affix to a sports bag or even a belt loop. The microfiber materials are free of any and all chemicals and the form factor is light, making this the best cooling towel for MS sufferers that we tried. The machine-washable design is also extremely convenient, though be sure to air dry.

These towels feature a maximum cooling length of around three hours, which is lower than our top picks. Also, the polyester microfiber materials do a decent job at keeping you cool, but is not quite as effective as the PVA used in our top pick. If you like outdoor gear, take a look at the best earthquake kit too.

 #5  SYOURSELF Instant Relief Cooling Towels

Award: BEST UNIQUE PATTERNS AND DESIGNS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ships in a multipack of 4 units, with plenty of unique design and style options, with each item providing UPF 50+ UV protection in addition to offering adequate cooling capabilities.

Pros
  • Multipack of 4 is great for families
  • Waterproof carrying pouch with carabiner clip included
  • Provides UPF 50+ UV protection
Cons
  • Max cooling length around 2 hours
  • 40” x 12” size can be awkward

These SYOURSELF Instant Relief Cooling Towels come in a multipack of four units, which is similar to our number four pick, with a large variety of style and design options on offer, including some truly unique and aesthetically pleasing varieties. Each towel comes in a waterproof carrying case complete with carabiner clips, for attachment to gym bags and the like. We also loved that these models offer UPD 50+ UV protection.

We found that these towels effectively cooled us down for a maximum length of around two hours, which is less than our top picks. Additionally, the 40” x 12” size is great for wrapping around the neck, but the sizing is somewhat awkward for other uses. Pack this inside your best disaster backpack for your next camping trip, and you’ll be ready for anything.

 #6  Your Choice Instant Relief Cooling Towel

Award: BEST AS A NECK OR HEADBAND

WHY WE LIKE IT: 12” x 40” size makes it excel as a headband, in addition to several other functionalities, with a machine washable design that provides UPF 50+ protection in addition to keeping you cool.

Pros
  • Provides UPF 50+ UV protection
  • Budget-friendly
  • Machine washable
Cons
  • Polyester microfiber not quite as effective as PVA
  • Max cooling length around 2 hours

The Your Choice Instant Relief Cooling Towel is a relatively budget-friendly product that comes in at a somewhat unique size (12” x 40”), which makes it excel as a cooling headband, in addition to a standard cooling towel. The design is machine washable, though be sure to air dry, and it offers UPF 50+ UV protection, a feature in line with several of our picks.

This towel is made from polyester microfiber fabric, which is not quite as effective as PVA, though it does get the job done. Also, the maximum cooling length on offer here is around two hours, though it can be reused if you have cold water on hand.

 #7  MISSION Premium Cooling Towel

Award: BEST FOR COMFORT

WHY WE LIKE IT: An extremely comfortable microfiber design that excels as a workout towel in addition to a cooling towel, featuring extremely lightweight and stretchable fabric and machine washable components.

Pros
  • Stays relatively light even during use
  • Attractive aesthetic
  • Machine washable, though air dry
Cons
  • Max cooling length 2 hours
  • 33” x 10” slightly smaller than some picks
  • Does not come with carrying pouch

The MISSION Premium Cooling Towel is extremely comfortable, thanks to being manufactured with soft and stretchable microfiber, and equally excels as a workout towel, in addition to a standard cooling towel. The design is machine washable, though be sure to air dry, and the aesthetic is attractive, making this one of the more gorgeous products that we tested.

This is not a PVA towel, however, so the maximum cooling length is slightly lower than our top pick, at around two hours. Additionally, this item does not ship with a carrying pouch, a feature several of our picks include.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we focused primarily on cooling efficiency, ensuring that each item we chose was easy to use, often just by dipping into a bucket of cold water, and that they lowered surrounding temperatures by around 30 degrees, a boon during hot summer days.

We also liked items that lasted a long time, with polyvinyl acetate (PVA) towels offering a slight edge in that department, with our top pick managing nearly eight hours of cooling at a time, thanks to being made with extra-thick material. The average cooling length was around four hours, with some polyester microfiber towels coming in at around three hours of cooling. We tended to also enjoy products that were machine washable, though they still need to be air dried.

As far as additional features go, we liked items that shipped in large multipacks of up to four units and those that were available in a wide variety of styles and colors. We also liked towels that came in reusable and waterproof tubes, often featuring carabiner clips that could easily affix to gym bags and belt loops, among other locations.

Best Cooling Towel Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. PVA vs Microfiber
    The above towels are made from either polyvinyl acetate (PVA) or a unique blend of microfibers, which are usually polyester-based. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. PVA towels tend to stay cool longer, with an average of four hours, though are often much heavier during use, as they retain more water, and can become brittle one dried. Microfiber towels tend to max out at around two or three hours of maximum cooling time, but do not become brittle when dry, thanks to featuring breathable mesh, and can double as standard workout towels or as a yoga towel. Additionally, we would not recommend placing a PVA towel in the freezer in an attempt to turn it into an ice towel, though you can do so with microfiber products.
  2. Machine Washable
    Many of the above towels are machine washable, but with some caveats. Be sure to wash on the lowest setting available and do not throw in any fabric softeners or excessive detergents. In other words, go easy. On that note, machine washable towels must still be air-dried, as placing them in a machine drier can cause damage, rendering them useless toward their primary function of cooling you down.
  3. Additional Features
    As previously stated, microfiber towels make fantastic workout towels or headbands, even when not being used toward their primary function, thanks to extra large designs. Some products also ship with additional features and functionalities, including coming with waterproof and reusable tubes which often come with carabiner clips, allowing them to be affixed to gym bags and the like.

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Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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