cooling fabrics: fact or fable?

6:45 p.m. on April 23, 2013 (EDT)
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Hi,

columbia has a new fabric out right now that is suppossed to lower your body temp. Duluth Trading Co has embeded microscoping pieces of jade that cool you.  Any other technologys/fabrics out there that I am not aware of? Anyone with experience of whether they actually work?

10:41 a.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
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There may be some small benefit, but mostly it is marketing technique.  I like the special SPF clothing as an example of marketing hype to "block the sun."  So does every other fabric.

2:20 p.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
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it's probably a marketing gimmick. unless the shirt has a radiator with a fan on it, it's not going to keep you cool.

9:52 p.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I'm working on a gear review of those Columbia shirts.  Not going to give away the ending here, though.  Review will be up by the end of the month.

10:25 p.m. on April 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I tried Underarmor, which has an odd 'second-skin' effect. When you put it on you feel cold, but when you start warming up you stay cool.

Jade in the fabric, though? Seriously?

12:19 a.m. on April 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Some fabrics are excellent at wicking and as they pull the moisture from your skin they create the same cooling sensation as evaporating sweat.  You have probably seen this somewhere: http://www.coolmaxfabric.com/

-MG

11:13 a.m. on April 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Can't wait for Jim's review.  Trailspace Review Corps WILL get to the bottom of this! lol.

8:59 a.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
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seriously peter. Apparently, in the old days, Asian warriors lined their armor with jade to keep them cool. So i guess the 21st century version is to grind them up into powder and embed them in fabric somehow.

11:55 a.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
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i tend to agree with mumblefords on this.  evaporation cools you off; fabrics that accomplish that more efficient can feel cooler in hot weather.  also, some of the shirts with physical vents can help a little (i'm thinking of an underarmour and a columbia shirt that have mesh in parts of the shirt rather than solid fabric).

jade - that's a new one for me.  looking forward to reading how that works. 

next up - Ben & Jerry's nanotech shirts made out of Chunky Monkey.  It's a shirt and a dessert! 

12:01 p.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
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The use of any more conductive material (even rock) will get rid of more heat than wearing a non-conducting one.

But if you really want to carry the weight use something like gold. It's even better!

Sorry, but jade just sounds like pure matketing hype.

1:52 p.m. on April 26, 2013 (EDT)
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I am always intrigued by new inovations in clothing, whether it is designed to keep you hot or cool. However, I am also aware that much on the market these days is hyped up considerably.

In this case one would also have to take in to consideration the availability of raw materials, cost and longevity of the finished fabric.

Meanwhile, when I hike in hot climates I will continue dipping my t-shirt into a creek and puting it on. You can't beat the effects of evaporative heat loss.

8:06 a.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Yeah i tend to agree with the others here, the cooling effect is largely from evaporation. These "tech" shirts are simply designed to wick effectively and not hold water, so they are constantly evaporating and thus keeping you cooler.

Jade in the shirt though, it probably actually does work, but i cant really see it working any better than just a thin tech shirt. Not to mentioned it would be heavier. Because lets face it, they obviously are not going to be putting large chunks of jade all over the shirt, its probably a power etc bonded to the fabric.

The jade thing IMO kinda sounds like the hype in the hunting market with scent block fabric that has silver imbedded in it. YES, it is true silver will kill bacteria and thus theoretically reduce ones scent, but having it in a fabric is all marketing hype... and i am willing to bet the jade will be the same kinda deal. But woe be unto you that tells a hunter their scent block clothing doesn't work and is all marketing BS!!! lol , But i am sure the big hunting clothing sellers appreciate their business.

1:41 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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jade in a shirt...sounds pricey. I'll stick to my cotton t shirts for desert hiking.

3:34 p.m. on May 9, 2013 (EDT)
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ppine said:

There may be some small benefit, but mostly it is marketing technique.  I like the special SPF clothing as an example of marketing hype to "block the sun."  So does every other fabric.

 Yup. Same with sunglasses.

12:39 p.m. on May 11, 2013 (EDT)
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The SPF rating of fabric that is common nowdays is part marketing and part truth. These ratings are typically on more "tech" fabrics, and as such they are usually very thin, or otherwise very breathable. Some are even almost like a very very small mesh. i.e. you can basically see through them to some extent.

While any fabric will block the sun, with these newer tech fabrics you could still technically get sunburn through some of them, which is why they are given a spf rating. So there is some truth to it, though i do agree that alot of it is marketing.

December 22, 2014
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