Gear Review: Chill-Its Evaporative Cooling Bandana


As a runner, I depend on certain lightweight and essential pieces of gear once I hit the trail. When the heat is on- and as my miles increase- I value comfort and safety along with light-as-a-feather utility. When all three are combined into one versatile product, it catches my attention. Over the years, I have reviewed Ergodyne’s evaporative cooling bandanas for the workforce, the Boy Scouts, and the running trail.

On today’s 7-mile training run, I used the Ergodyne 6700CT, an evaporative cooling bandana with a built-in cooling towel. During my 90-minute run, the temperature rose to 75 F, which is mild by California standards.

Sweat Matters
With exercise, your core temperature increases and your body begins to sweat. The sweat evaporates and you cool down. That’s how it works. Simple, right? Well sort of.  Your body does its best to maintain a stable temperature by transferring heat through thermoregulation (blood flow to the skin). When evaporation is compromised your body’s temperature continues to rise, causing heat-related illness.

Enter Ergodyne and their family of absorptive and evaporative products. The 6700CT  is designed to use the principle of evaporative cooling. Runners tie it on their head or around their neck. I prefer wearing it loosely around my neck because it feels much less restrictive and keeps me just as cool.

Website Claims
Ergodyne’s website professes that you can “slap ’em on for hours of sweet cooling relief and comfort,” and they will “keep cool comfort on tap for hours.” Today’s run was only 90-minutes in length so in order to evaluate the claim, I took it off after the run and put it back on a couple hours later and it was indeed still cool to the touch.

The site says the 6700CT is lightweight and low profile. Employees in the workforce can place them under a hard hat; as a runner I put mine under a baseball cap. While noticeable, the bandana’s cooling towel was not at all bulky or uncomfortable. Once it was saturated, the stiff feel of the towel disappeared and it wrapped snug and remained light on my head.

Fit-ness
The bandana is one-size-fits-all. I have a big head and there is plenty of material to easily tie it off. For runners the patented towel is a substantial improvement over the model with the activated polymers. It’s not as bulky and there is no slimy, slippery feel upon the initial activation. 

Care
The 6700CT has one significant advantage. You can put it in the washing machine. I tested the ‘tenaciousness’ of the bandana by washing it five times, with other fitness gear. The stitching and colorfastness of the material held up relatively well, while the cooling towel showed some stress. By the final washing, the towel began to thin a bit and I noticed tiny balling in the material, which was noticeable but not irritating against my skin.

If there is one disadvantage to the 6700CT when pitting it against its gel-filled counterpart, it is admittedly shrouded in vanity. After about an hour of wearing it during my run, I wanted to flip it over and use the out side against my skin (like flipping your pillow to feel “the cool side”). Because the cooling towel is made of different material and is a different color than the bandana, I didn’t want to wear it on the outside; a decision made strictly based on superficial vanity.

All-in-all, this product holds its own among Ergodyne’s successful product line. Its lightweight profile, coupled with its ability to cool the skin for hours, lives up to the claims made on the website.

Finally, a full disclosure: I was provided one Ergodyne 6700 Chill-Its Evaporative Cooling Bandana by a marketing coordinator with the company. This, in no way influenced my review of the product.

Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Grainger.com
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3 thoughts on “Gear Review: Chill-Its Evaporative Cooling Bandana

  1. I was just talking to another runner on wordpress about using this product. I cannot sweat when it’s warm outside. I can sweat indoors when I get home and when I run in the winter…but not in heat or humidity. It poses serious problems for me and especially since my marathon training will take place during the summer. I will be trying this product.

  2. I have one and the first time I used it there was a slimy liquid. After washing it the slime has been present every time I use it. It caused me to break out in bumps. It does cool me down but is very slimy every use and the rash is horrible.

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