Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Summer Run "Cooling" Tech: Adidas Climachill, Now 2nd Generation is Even More Chill

This is an update of a 2014 post. Effective in 2014 ClimaChill fabrics now are made of a lighter knit making them even more effective and are my go to tops for summer heat for the 2nd year in a row.

I tend to sweat a lot and have often struggled in the heat. Over the years I have tried several technologies that claim to "cool". Here adidas Climachill is in my view a true innovation, maybe on par with the Boost run shoe midsoles I like so much. The way I understand it there are two ways to cool or provide a sense of cooling: accelerating evaporation from the body and fabric or conducting heat away from the body.

First a bit of science on how it may be possible to cool or provide a sensation of cooling

There are 3 ways to accelerate evaporation:

  • the structure of the fabric fibers and  then the make-up of the garment with the trick to have as much surface area as possible in contact with the body to evaporate moisture.
  • use of printed polymers that absorb and dissipate moisture, Columbia Freeze Zero and related Mountain Hardwear Way to Cool use this approach. I find they tend to work better in dry climates tending to get overwhelmed in very humid conditions.
  • use of carbon in the fibers as carbon absorbs the least moisture of any element, Cocona such as found in the Salomon Sense Tank and Sense Shorts (review here). Ashmei  with a blend of carbon and merino which I have found incredibly effective in socks and not so much in clothing in warmer temperatures.
To conduct heat away from the body "metal" with a high thermal conductivity blended into the fiber or as overlays make the most sense but not so much to turn one into a baked potato.

Last year I purchased an adidas Climachill Tee Shirt as well as a singlet and was delighted. The results, a comfortable if not cool sensation in hot humid NH weather have been by far the best of anything I have tried including the NorthFace Way to Cool, Salomon with Cocona, Ashmei Carbon, as well as  innumerable other tech shirts   A distinctly cooler feeling especially with any kind of breeze.

This year I got the second generation fabric, a tee and a sleeveless. Instead of a woven fabric it is now knit, far lighter, and even more effective.

adidas Climachill is made up of 3 cooling components both conductive and evaporative.

  • The cooling spheres are printed on the inside of the garment and provide a pleasant but small cooling sensation. Do they conduct a significant amount of heat away? Not sure.
  • The SubZero fabric yarn fibers are claimed to be flat thus increasing contact with the skin and surface. The shirt is a very fine mesh. I feel a distinct cooling coverage, even at the end of a long run in the full sun. I truly believe this mesh is pulling away moisture and providing evaporative cooling far more effectively than anything else I have tried.
  • Further "titanium" is somehow blended with the fabric to conduct away heat.  Hard to judge this one but on my latest run in 80 F heat and 70% humidity I felt far cooler than with any other alternative. 
Here is how the adidas Climachill press release describes the last 2 points:

Using evaporation and conduction methods together for the first time, the ground-breaking SubZero flat yarn contains titanium and is woven throughout the inside of each article of clothing. Flat yarn has more surface area than traditional yarns, which enables it to transfer heat away from your body.
Lighter colors are less heat absorbent. I got white. 

Highly Recommended!

Climachill is available in men's a women's styles for running, golf, and tennis. I purchased my tee from Running Warehouse here, also in women's styles, both on sale now. Also available in singlets but I find the tee and sleeveless even more effective in heat.
Any purchases via this link help support my blog


Marc Schwartz said...

Sam, thanks for the review.

I was just looking at the Holabird site and they have the shirts on a closeout sale for $31 each:

I was wondering what was up with the closeout and checked with Holabird, who suggested that Adidas was stopping production.

However, I contacted Adidas who denied that this was the case and that Holabird may simply be clearing inventory and has put the shirts on sale.

In either case, time to grab some at a decent savings. :-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.