Last week we ranked the 12 ways to wear the Coolcore Multi Chill, to test their claims that the techy buff was in fact as multi as they claimed.
They were. But how about the chill factor?
To get to the bottom of this we delved into the sorcery behind cooling fabrics. “Just add water” sounded too good to be true. Then we checked in with our Explorers, who’d been doing some field testing, to see how they went.
How does it work?
After some digging, I found out that the key to Coolcore’s chemical-free cooling lay in
pacts with the devil evaporative cooling.
The structure of the fabric on a microscopic level wicks moisture away from the body, in a process not unlike capillary action, to keep you feeling dry. The material is constructed with “hollow fibre cores” that soak up moisture, transport it through the fabric to stop it wetting out and finally allow “regulated evaporation”.
It’s the regulated evaporation that causes the cooling effect. To keep it really simple: evaporation requires heat – when water evaporates it takes some of the heat with it and voilà, you feel cooler. In fact Coolcore recommend pre-wetting the fabric to hack straight to the cooling instead of filling it up with sweat first.
Sure, your skin and sweat already uses evaporative cooling, but techy fabrics like the Multi Chill turbocharge the process, leaving you feeling up to 30% cooler. It also won’t become less effective over time like chemical-based cooling fabrics.
This is all well and good but you can do some pretty crafty shit in a lab with marketing in mind. What we wanted was real-world experiences, so we sent them out to a bunch of our Explorers.
Is the cooling effect noticeable?
“It definitely kept me cool. For the multi-chill to work best it requires both moisture and airflow and I found I had to rearrange it after a couple of hours to maintain the cooling benefit.” – Natalie Hardbattle
“We were high above the cool canyons, attempting a particularly arduous summit of Mt. Owen. With the heat beating down on us we vied for possession of this gloriously cold neck-tube of life. Safe to say it was a hit. I can’t quantify the exact percentage of skin cooling but it felt great.” – Rachel Dimond
“I find it works best as a headband/sweatband or neck buff. It feels like you have aircon blasting straight onto your face while you’re pounding trails, just make sure you keep it nice and wet with a squirt from your water bottle while you’re running or you’ll miss out on its magical cooling properties.” – Pat Corden
“The material is otherworldly, freakishly chilled, converting all air into a cool breeze. Adding water to the material is akin to sticking your head in a freezer on a blazing summer day.” – Jean Baulch
How well does it manage sweat?
“Whether you’re sweating up a storm or caught in an actual storm, the Coolcore will absorb all that moisture and allow you to enjoy your outdoor adventure without feeling like you need a mop and bucket. I found it incredibly effective.” – John Feeney
“I mostly use it as a headband and it stops the sweat from beading in my eyes, I’m genuinely stoked about it.” – Scott Runacres
“It soaks up water like the proverbial sponge and, as a bonus, keeps the sun off your neck/head since it’s rated UPF 50. Once it’s on, you barely notice it.” – Jame Stuart
“The buff stays wet for hours, which is great if you are spending the day at the beach or going on a hike. However because the buff stays wet for so long, it isn’t great for multi-day hikes as it never fully dries.” – Xavier Anderson
“My only qualm is that is seems a bit tight on the old noggin – hopefully it will mould and stretch like a threadbare pair of favourite jocks, given time.” – Joel Johnsson
Overall, the Explorer crew loved the Coolcore Multi Chill. I actually had to remove a bunch of sentences when I put this piece together that were so gushy with praise that they’d probably have made you sick. We totally recommend picking one up for the scorching summer ahead – or head here to enter our Coolcore comp.