Can your clothes help you stay cool in the hot summer months? Hygroscopic fabrics wick away moisture from sweat where it evaporates fast to keep you cool and dry. Many Japanese clothing makers have developed special shirts using innovative fabrics, so it's difficult to know which ones are the best.
Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites like Amazon, Rakuten, and Yahoo! Shopping for the 10 most popular men's cooling undershirts. Then we put them to the test!
We tested each one for the following 3 criteria.
How well does it wick away sweat?
How breathable is it?
Does it feel cool to the touch?
Finally, we created a buying guide to help you choose the best undershirt to keep you cool. So, which innerwear will stand out above the rest? Use this article as a reference to help you make your purchase.
We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for moisture-wicking ability, breathability, and if they had a cool feeling. Then, based on our tests, we ranked the top 15 Japanese men's cooling undershirts available online.
Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.
|Material||Polyester 88%/triacetate 12%|
|Deodorizing feature?||Anti-fungal deodorizer|
|Material||Polyester 94%/polyurethane 6%|
|Material||Rayon 55%/polyester 45%|
|Deodorizing feature?||Anti-fungal deodorizer|
|Deodorizing feature?||Anti-bacterial deodorizer|
|Color||Navy blue/sky blue/grey/black/yellow/red/orange/white|
|Material||Polyester 88%/polyurethane 12%|
|Deodorizing feature?||Anti-bacterial deodorizer|
|Color||White/light grey/black/navy blue|
Ice Touch Quick Dry Undershirt - V-Neck (Short-Sleeve)
AIRism Mesh Crew Neck T (Short-sleeve)
Cool Magic V-Neck T-Shirt
Crew Neck Undershirt (Short-sleeve)
AIRism Crew Neck Alexander Wang Undershirt (Short-sleeve)
|Features||mybest's Top Men's Cool Und...||The Perfect Mesh Undershirt...||A Breathable Undershirt Tha...||A Good Choice if you Prefer...||Perfect for Those Who Want ...||A Cooling Inner More Like a...|
|Material||Polyester 88%/triacetate 12%||Polyester 94%/polyurethane 6%||Rayon 55%/polyester 45%||100% polyester||100% polyester||Polyester 88%/polyurethane 12%|
|Deodorizing feature?||Anti-fungal deodorizer||N/A||Anti-fungal deodorizer||Anti-bacterial deodorizer||Deodorizer||Anti-bacterial deodorizer|
|Color||White/charcoal/grey-beige||White/black||White/black/beige/light blue||Navy blue/sky blue/grey/black/yellow/red/orange/white||White||White/light grey/black/navy blue|
|Design||V-neck||Crew neck||V-neck||Crew neck||V-neck||Crew neck|
And why they didn't quite make it.
Black Daruma's Inner-wear For Summer received an all around average score in terms of functionality. The material is dense and elastic, giving it an almost tight feel to it. They run a bit small in size and the length is shorter than desired, so even slimmer people might find them a bit tight in some areas.
Gunze's YG DRY & COOL V-Neck T-shirt has the image of being cool, but in reality, we found it to be warmer than average. The shoulder areas as well as the sleeves were smaller than other undershirts we tested, but the body and length were just right.
It has a bit of elasticity to it, making it adaptable to different body types. Since it tends to stick to the body a bit, the sleeves get all bunched up when wearing a t-shirt over it.
MUJI's Cooling Mesh V-neck T-shirt is made of a rough mesh material giving it more of a gritty feel to it. It could be good if you're looking for a shirt with some texture. Although it ranked high in terms of breathability, it didn't feel cool to the touch. Sizes run a bit large, causing it to stick to t-shirts worn over it, but we found the length to be suitable.
AOKI's Deodorizing V-Neck T-shirt has a nice, thick feel to it, perfect for men who don't want see-through fabrics even in the summer months. It lacked in cooling touch and conversely gave more of a warm feeling. It ranked average in both the moisture absorbency and breathability categories. Overall, the fit was a bit slim and a little tight in the shoulder and torso areas.
Then we gave them a score from 0.5 to 5 and ranked them.
First, we tested each shirt for its transpiration properties (in layman's terms, that's how well it could absorb sweat and wick it away from our skin.) Moisture should be absorbed by the inner side of the fabric and wicked through to the outer side where it can evaporate.
With the help of outside specialists, we tested the inside of the undershirts for their level of moisture absorption. We let them absorb water for 20 minutes then checked the condition of each.
Some high-end products even felt a bit more rough, but after absorbing moisture, the material wouldn't stick to the skin, so it gives you a continuously comfortable feeling.
As for the results of this test, the average of the fabrics we tested was about 30% moisture absorption after 20 minutes. However, much to our amazement, Uniqlo's AIRism Mesh Crew Neck T-shirt soaked up a whopping 71.1%, almost two and a half times more!
Next, we tested each shirt for breathability. Did the fabric let our skin feel some cooling air? Could our body heat escape? We had a specialized outside organization help us measure the results for this test.
Specifically, our specialists were measuring something called air resistance. This is how fast air can pass through the fabric. Without getting too technical, it's defined as how many seconds it takes a set volume of air to pass through one square centimeter of fabric.
50 seconds per square centimeter is a general standard for breathable fabrics. But Gunze's Cool Magic V-Neck T-shirt clocked in at 320s/cm2, a mind-blowing 7 times more!
Konaka and Mizuno's fabrics also performed well at around 300s/cm2 each, making them great choices for those looking for undershirts that release body heat and let cool air in.
Lastly, we checked each shirt to see if it provided a cooling sensation as soon as we put it on. With the help of outside specialists, we tested the inner material of the undershirts and gave each a score out of 5. Our results showed that you can often tell how cooling it will be when you first touch it, so use your own fingers as a guide before buying.
Here are 6 points we recommend considering when purchasing your men's cooling inner.
Sweating profusely in the summer often means a wet shirt that sticks to your skin. Hygroscopic quick-drying shirts are made from fabrics that are good at transpiration, so sweat evaporates quickly.
Be on the lookout for undershirts that are labeled moisture-absorbing or dry. Not only will these shirts protect against stickiness, but they could also stave off sickness brought on by cold sweats.
With an undershirt that releases body heat and lets in cool air, you'll get a feeling of comfort that lasts all day. So how can you tell which fabrics are breathable? We recommend looking for shirts made of mesh, or ones that are layered, with a coarse-woven inner layer so you can see through to the other side.
If you're one who likes a rush of cool, then we recommend an undershirt that feels cool to the touch. These shirts all have a cooling sensation built right into the fabric which you'll be able to feel the moment you put one on.
You could either check them by feeling them yourself at the store or check the packaging for words like cool or refreshing feeling.
This cooling touch we tested for is only regarding how it feels the moment one puts it on. Take note that most products can't guarantee how long this feeling will last.
For those of you who are worried about body odor and its effect on the people around you, we recommend purchasing an undershirt with deodorizing capabilities. These shirts can reduce a number of different odors to give you a fresh, clean impression.
If your shirt comes with not only deodorizing capabilities but also the ability to protect against bacteria and fungus, you'll be able to curb the spread of bacteria caused by sweat and the like. We don't just recommend these products for people concerned about odor, but also for those of you that hang your clothes to dry inside your homes.
For those who sweat more than others or find themselves roaming about outside in the blazing sun, we're positive you worry about underarm sweat stains.
Look for shirts equipped with underarm pads that absorb more moisture and protect against stains. They won't just provide you with a feeling of cleanliness but will also protect your clothing from deterioration, killing two birds with one stone. This will save you time by not having to go out and purchase separate underarm pads yourself.
Lastly, here's something to consider for those of you not wishing to compromise your fashion sense.
Some of you out there might be concerned about your undershirt being seen from underneath your work shirts or other shirts worn over them.
If you purchase a seamless undershirt, the raised hem around the collar and sleeves won't be noticeable through the shirt you wear over it. These seamless shirts are a must have for men who are particular about their fashion.
For the vast number of you out there wearing collared shirts to work, a major point to consider is whether or not you mind your undershirt peeking out.
If you are one of those people, make sure to check the shape of the neckline of the undershirt before purchasing. We recommend V-necks since they will almost undoubtedly stay hidden under your collared shirt.
It's also possible for crew neck undershirts to stay hidden depending on the design or how you wear your collared shirt, so keep that in mind when you make your decision.
Getting through the hot summer months without compromising your style is hard, but these shirts can help. Take a look at the articles below for a list of more products that can keep you looking great year-round!
This time we ranked the top 10 best Japanese men's cooling undershirts! Use the results of our investigations and the keywords we've suggested to choose the inner-wear T-shirt that's best for you and stay cool this summer!
Author: Sayako Suzuki/Translation: Andrew Tinkler/Photos: Koichi Miura, Yuuki Inagaki, Saaya Iwakami
Home electronics, PC, camera
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones
Investment and asset management
Credit cards and loans