The Shirt That Cools You Down


For ages, we’ve expected clothing to provide warmth by trapping body heat. Now we’re seeing garments that do the opposite, for athletes who like to go hard in the heat. Take Columbia’s Freeze Degree, a shirt covered with 41,000 polymer rings. When in contact with sweat, each ring swells to absorb 300 percent of its weight in moisture, initiating an endothermic reaction that lowers the actual temperature of the garment. In hot weather, it can knock temperatures down 10 degrees. “Cooling just wasn’t something you could do with garment material until now,” says Woody Blackford, Columbia’s VP of Global Innovation. You have one less excuse to stay in. [$60;]