Our sweat plays an important role in regulating body temperature. For athletes who get into really intense workouts, or who have to perform in hot climates, it would be a dream come true to be able to amplify the cooling power of their own sweat. In a way, athletic gear company Mission has figured out how to do just that.
Reggie Bush and George St-Pierre model Mission cooling products.
There are lots of technical fabrics and cooling solutions on the market, ranging from those kerchiefs you buy at the state fair and soak with water to wear around your neck, to shirts that wick moisture away from your skin. Mission creates towels, arm sleeves, helmet liners, hoodies and skull caps. That all sounds pretty standard, but what makes it a bit different is the high-tech fabric involved.
Every fancy fabric needs an impressive name. Mission went with "EnduraCool", which has "Coolcore" technology. What that translates to is that fibres with hollow cores that absorb moisture. Snapping the cloth allows air to flow around the fibres. The water then very slowly evaporates from the fibres, giving off a cooling effect that is easy to reactivate. Just keep sweating.
The company claims it can drop the fabric's temperature by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit below average body temperature. Given that a normal body temperature is around 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit — or 37 degrees Celsius — that means dropping the fabric's temperature down to just 20 degrees Celsius. The technology is not so much fancy as it is clever. The best part, really, is that you can use your own sweat to activate the fibres. Sure, you could pour water on it, but it's much more macho to use your own hard-earned sweat.
Prices for the Mission products range from US$14.99 for a towel up to US$43.99 for arm sleeves. Athletes are always looking for any way they can to keep cool and still perform at a high level. Mission may be one more competitor in a crowded athletic gear market, but it's an interesting one.