Your workouts don’t stop when hot, humid weather strikes -- at least not if you’re a dedicated athlete. Many fitness buffs log miles on their sports watches, chase opponents across the field or slam balls over the net when temps are in the high 80s or 90s.
Some athletes even train or compete in triple-digit temps although high-heat sessions create extra work for their bodies. When you’re physically active in hot weather, you can easily become dehydrated, dizzy, or nauseous. You may even faint or succumb to heatstroke.
That’s why many athletes use cooling towels during or after a workout. A cooling towel does exactly what the name implies: cools down your body after an intense workout. Cooling towels look like sheets of cardboard when they’re dry, but they transform into smooth, soothing fabric after soaking in water.
And while cooling towels are certainly popular during summer, athletes also use them during colder seasons. After all, your body can overheat any day of the year.
Reinforced stitching makes these SYOURSELF cooling towels more durable than similar options. The extra-long length lets you wear this cooling towel in a number of ways.
Some users warn that these towels don't get as cold as other towels on our list. The chill also doesn't last as long as some of our other faves.
SYOURSELF cooling towels get the job done, but not as well as Alfamo towels or the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. Results last up to 1 or 2 hours, which is half the time some of our other faves keep you cool. Expect to re-soak these towels frequently if you've got a long workout or game planned.
Soft, ecofriendly, and versatile. The edges are smooth rather than rough or jagged. Reinforced stitching helps hold these cooling towels together during an intense workout.
Bid sweat-activated stench farewell when you stick this cooling towel in the washer. Lay it flat to dry when you're done washing.
You get 4 or 6 towels for about the same price as one towel from competitors. However, you may find that you go through these towels quickly especially when compared to other brands.
Available in approximately 10 colors, including blue, purple, and gray. Soft and breathable, with built-in sun protection.
This cooling towel only comes in one size. Some fitness buffs complain the material frays easily.
Lower your body temperature quickly with this Way 2 Cool mesh cooling towel. Using it is simple: Just soak the cooling towel in water, wring out some of the liquid, and wear it around your neck.
Users say this inexpensive towel generally stays cool for an hour or so, sometimes longer.
Lightweight, breathable mesh offers UPF 50 sun protection. The mesh is chemical free and super absorbent, so it holds a generous amount of water.
Users say it's okay to toss this cooling towel in the washer, but don't put it in the dryer. Lay it flat to dry.
For around $8 shipped you can cool down quickly during workouts or after games.
Made from thick yet lightweight material that keeps you cool for hours. Includes a portable pouch for on-the-go cooling sessions.
Doesn't stay cold as long as some of the other towels on our list, but it's reusable. Just give it another dip in cool water when it stops working.
You may not get 3 to 4 hours of neck-chilling goodness with this towel, but it gets the job done for shorter sessions. This is a great cooling towel for hikers, bikers, and anyone who gardens or does yard work.
It's easy to use this cooling towel. Just soak it and wring it - no snapping required.
Thick, resilient PVA that's surprisingly lightweight and breathable. The cooling towel comes with a small pouch rather than the case that the company originally offered.
When your towel gets stained or develops an unpleasant odor, toss it in the washer. Lay it flat to dry, and make sure you don't store it while it's still damp.
Price wise, this Chill Pal falls somewhere in the middle on our list of faves.
Lightweight, flexible material cools down your head or neck quickly. Chemical-free material regulates evaporation for up to 3 hours of consistent cooling.
Some users constantly have to reactivate the towel to stay cool even though others claim its chill lasts for hours.
Mission towels perform well, as evidenced by the brand's towels tennis phenomenon Serena Williams wears during matches. The towels lower your body temperature by up to 30 degrees, and results last for approximately 3 hours.
Soft and flexible. This cooling towel is lightweight enough that you can wear it comfortably for hours. The material twists and turns easily, making it ideal for athletes who want a versatile cooling accessory.
Hassle free, as with most of the best cooling towels available. Just toss it in the dryer and then lay it flat to dry.
Somewhat pricier than many of our faves, but still budget friendly and worth the price.
Quickly lowers your body temperature by as much as 30 degrees. Made from resilient mesh that offers UPF50+ UV protection.
Your towel may start to stink if you store it before it's fully dry. You can solve this problem with a bleach and water soak.
Athletes and regular folks alike appreciate the dependable performance of this Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad. It activates quickly, releasing a chill that lasts up to 3 or 4 hours. You can lower your body temperature by up to 30 degrees with this cooling towel.
Like many of our other faves, this cooling towel is made from mesh. However, it's a bit heavier than the Alfamo towel. Feel free to cut off some strips from the top or sides if you need a shorter, lighter towel.
The mesh provides UPF50+ UV protection, making this towel a hit without outdoor exercisers.
Machine washable, as with most cooling towels. And unlike many cooling towels, these don't fray or fade after just a few washes.
Unfortunately, some reviewers warn that the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad cooling towel develops a funky odor after a while. You can tackle this issue by combining 1 tablespoon bleach with 1 gallon of warm water and soaking the towel for an hour or two.
For a little more than $10 you get a dependable towel that lasts through numerous workouts and washings.
Available in 15 colors and 4 sizes. Folds easily for quick, convenient storage in the included carrying case.
Watch out for fading when you wash this vibrant cooling towel.
This cooling towel delivers a refreshing blast of heat-fighting power that lasts for up to 3 hours. It can reduce your body temperature by up to 30 degrees, making it ideal for summer workouts or hardcore athletes who work up a major sweat.
This cooling towel also offers UPF 50 sun protection.
Soft and pliable. We almost chose the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pad as our top pick until we realized how heavy and inflexible it was compared to this Alfamo cooling towel.
Wearers love that you can easily twist this towel into a head wrap or bandana if a traditional neck cooling towel isn't your thing. It's long -- longer than most towels we've researched -- and stretches generously.
As with most other towels on our list, you can toss this one in the washer. Be careful, though; some users report that it fades easily. Use a gentle detergent and avoid hot water if you want to keep this towel looking bright.
This is nearly the cheapest cooling towel we've found, yet it still works better than pricier options.