Understanding How Cooling Hats Work

Understanding How Cooling Hats Work

Picture this: the mercury reads 95º and you're feeling it, but you're only halfway through the back nine: do you tuck tail and head for the clubhouse for some iced tea, or do you don that cooling hat you bought last week and hope for the best? The answer might depend on how well you're shooting today, but the reality is that you and your buddies are having a great time other than the heat, so you decide to tough it out. But what if you didn't even need to tough anything out?

Mission cooling hats are specifically designed for people like you who want to keep doing what they love, even when the temperature is soaring. So you pull yours out of your golf bag, pour some water over the hat, wring it out, wave it around, and that's the magic combo — now your hat is 30º below your body temp and keeps you comfortable for the rest of the round. Unfortunately, there's no magic dust in our hats that will knock a few strokes off your score, but that's okay.

How does it work? It's all about the material and the design. Our hats are made from a lightweight, quick-drying fabric that's enhanced with evaporative cooling technology. The secret is in the millions of tiny pores that are woven into the fabric — when you wet the hat, those pores open up and allow evaporation to occur. That process pulls heat away from your head, giving you relief from the scorching sun and keeping you cool, dry, and comfortable.

The science behind our cooling hats is actually pretty simple. They rely on the principle of evaporative cooling, which is the process of evaporating water to cool an object. When water evaporates, it takes heat away with it, which is the same way that sweat helps us regulate our temperatures naturally.

How Other Fibers Work

So why couldn't you just dunk any old hat in water to keep cool, you ask? To understand the answer to this question, we first need to compare traditional cotton clothing with modern, quick-drying synthetics.


By its very nature, cotton is full of nooks and crannies — basically, inconsistencies in the fibers that increase the surface area of the fabric. This is why cotton is such a great material for absorbing sweat or drying off after the shower, but it's also why it takes so long to dry. Those same nooks and crannies that make cotton good at absorbing water are what make it bad at releasing it.

In other words, once cotton gets wet, it stays wet, which doesn't do you any good when you're trying to keep cool. It also stretches, and a floppy piece of clothing does nothing to help your performance.

Traditional Synthetics

On the other hand, quick-drying synthetics are made from smooth fibers that repel water rather than absorb it and are layered in a way that moves moisture from the inside of the material to the outside, where it will evaporate faster. This means that they dry very quickly, which is obviously a major advantage when you're trying to stay cool in hot weather, but if you were to dunk a traditional synthetic hat in water, it would only provide relief for a short time. They also get supremely stinky, which gets two thumbs down from anyone within sniffing distance.

HydroActive™ Wet-To-Cool Technology: It's All In the Weave

Mission's hats are made from a proprietary synthetic material that's enhanced with evaporative cooling technology. This means that they dry evenly and slowly to provide evaporative cooling for up to 2 hours, making them the perfect solution for people who want to stay cool in hot weather.

By harnessing the power of cotton's ability to absorb and retain water and combining it with the quick-drying nature of synthetic fabrics, we've created a fabric that's specifically designed to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.

VaporActive™ Heat-Release Technology: An Ejection Seat For Excess Heat

If you think our cooling technology is enough, think again! Our fabric is also designed using our VaporActive™ technology that works to release heat even when you haven't wet, wrung, and waved your gear, giving you an added layer of protection against the heat.

This technology uses a combination of ventilation and wicking to move heat away from your body, keeping you cool and comfortable even when the temperatures start to rise. By creating a network of tiny pores in the fabric, we've created a material that's designed to release heat as soon as it starts to build up, giving you the power to regulate your temperature no matter how hot it gets.

But what about the smells, you ask? Our special fabric also is antimicrobial, meaning that it helps prevent the growth of bacteria, which can cause odors. This design helps to keep your hat fresher for longer, so you can wear it more often without having to worry about it getting stinky.

The Cooling Effect Of Your Mission Hat

Ok ok, so all of that science sounds great, but let's get back to the golf course and put this baby into action!

When you pour water over your hat before you tee up on the 14th hole, the fabric in your hat absorbs the water into all of those little spaces we talked about in the last section. Once it's fully saturated, you can wring it out, so you don't have excess water dripping into your eyes while you're putting for a birdie, and then give it a wave to evenly distribute the rest of the water across the fabric.

Within a minute, your hat will lower by up to 30º below body temperature, and will stay cool for up to 2 hours. Once you feel the heat creeping back in, just wet, wring, and wave again!

Mission In Action

Take a look at this video we shot using an infrared camera to track changes in temperatures with our cooling towel, and here's a video all about our cooling bucket hats in action! If you take a look at the temperatures in the first video, the towel clocks in at over 120º, but after 30 seconds has cooled down to below 60º. That's a huge difference, and you don't need to worry about this benefit washing out of your clothes over time — Mission's gear has proven technology woven right into the fibers, meaning you can wash your hat over and over again without worrying about losing that sweet, sweet relief.

Or Is It Magic?

As fun as it would be to tell you that we cast a cooling spell on every piece of Mission gear that we ship, that would take away from the very real, very sciency truth of it all: that our proprietary fabric is designed using cutting-edge technology to provide you with the best possible cooling experience.

So whether you're out on the golf course, at the beach, or just trying to beat the heat, make sure you've got a Mission hat on hand to help you stay cool, dry, and comfortable all day long. Now that you know the science behind the magic of our cooling hats, all that's left to do is grab your gear and get out there to enjoy the summer sun!