Do synthetic fabrics ("moisture wicking", nylon, polyester) keep YOU cooler and/or prevent chaffing?

  • I don't notice a difference, they're about the same as anything else, just more durable

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    7

C SiCK cada

Newbie
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
14
Location
how do I turn this off lmao
I've been trying to figure out what clothes would be best to pack to keep cool when its hot. I've read many articles from multiple different sources (REI, Bustle, and various other hiking and traveling related blogs) about the best clothes to wear for hiking and traveling and such in hot weather.

Problem is... every source seems to say something different.

Many sources say that synthetic materials, such as nylon and polyester, are ideal for hiking in hot weather. They site that those materials are good for "wicking away sweat".
(Hot-Weather Hiking Tips - https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/hot-weather-hiking.html)

But from my personal experience, synthetic fabrics fucking SUCK. anytime I wear that bullshit "moisture wicking" underwear or shirts, I feel like the sweat just sticks to my body. it just stays on my skin and doesn't get absorbed or dried off by my "athletic" shirts or underwear.

and so I tried to look into it on my own and see of maybe I'm full of shit, but there's quora discussions and articles written by other sources
(Sweat a Lot? 5 Fabrics to Avoid When the Weather Gets Warm - https://www.bustle.com/articles/17873-sweat-a-lot-5-fabrics-to-avoid-when-the-weather-gets-warm Is Nylon Breathable? (Is Nylon Good For Hot Weather) - https://sewingiscool.com/is-nylon-breathable-hot-weather/)

and while these seem less reliable than REI, which seems to be some sort of god in the hiking world, they make good points and back up my previous experience with synthetic fabrics.

So mostly I'm confused. Why are there so many things advertised as "moisture wicking" and why do these things get the label of "good to prevent chaffing" when it seems that a lot of people have the opposite experience?

And don't even get me STARTED on the light colors vs dark colors to keep cool debate I will have a fucking fit.
 
Click here to buy the Anarchist's Guide to Travel!

DreeMort143

Newbie
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
7
Location
USA
From my experience it depends on the material, what you're doing, and the fit

If it's skintight or really lose I've had it where it makes me freeze when I want to be warm and make me sweat my balls off when I'd like to be cool

You need it where there's some air between you and the clothes, in my experience at least. So make sure the fit is good for you. Make sure the material is decent too, though I'm not sure what it is. Cheap shit is.. shit. Again though, not sure of the ratio/brands that are good.
 

C SiCK cada

Newbie
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
13
Reaction score
14
Location
how do I turn this off lmao
From my experience it depends on the material, what you're doing, and the fit

If it's skintight or really lose I've had it where it makes me freeze when I want to be warm and make me sweat my balls off when I'd like to be cool

You need it where there's some air between you and the clothes, in my experience at least. So make sure the fit is good for you. Make sure the material is decent too, though I'm not sure what it is. Cheap shit is.. shit. Again though, not sure of the ratio/brands that are good.
ah ya know? that makes sense. I'm gonna look into reviews of various brands and ratios and such to see if there's any themes there. thank you!
 

ali

Hobo
Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
160
Reaction score
661
Location
BC
To be honest, i never figured this out either. I don't think that i sweat a lot (at least not in a way that stinks) but every time i wear anything synthetic it stinks almost immediately. It's great that synthetics dry super-fast, but i'd rather not be washing all of my clothes every day when i travel, just underwear and socks is enough of a pain.

I have bought some fancier clothes over the years but i've always ended up feeling awkward in them, or they tore up way too fast to be worth the money i spent. I keep coming back to a plain old pair of jeans and a handful of cotton tanks. They're super heavy when wet and take ages to dry, but at least i'm comfortable in them. I also have a pair of cargo/work shorts that are a polyester/cotton blend for when i know i'm going to be hiking in very hot and humid weather. The bigger size helps them to breathe better than sport/activewear, i think, plus you can stash more stuff in the pockets. I might try getting some work pants when my current jeans wear through, but it's tough to find a cut that fits me well so it's always tempting to just re-buy the same pair.

Of course every single "pro" hiker website disagrees with this theory of wearing regular clothes when you're out and about. I wonder if it's just me that's weird, or if the way i travel is just a bit more laid-back than these sporty, outdoorsy types. I think the calculus might be different when whatever you're wearing is literally all of the clothes that you own, it's not like you have a car or a house with another dozen outfits for different occasions.

The biggest problem i found with traveling in regular clothes is if you are somewhere hot in the daytime and cold at night, and you have a pack on all day, then your top will get soaked, which is fine, but as soon as the sun goes down you're freezing. Better to try get wherever you're going before the sun goes down, i reckon.
 

Stiv Rhodes

Burrito fund contributor
StP Supporter
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
121
Reaction score
579
Age
37
Location
Bremerton, WA
Cotton is moisture wicking. The synthetics marketed as moisture wicking don't do a better job of absorbing moisture than cotton, they are only called that to distinguish them from other synthetics.
 

julianface

Wanderer
Joined
Jun 13, 2021
Messages
30
Reaction score
103
Location
Edmonton
If you want cheap comfortable synthetic pants look for polyester pyjama pants. Hiked and camped in my stupid shark pyjama pants all over the place from warm to cold they are amazing. They just aren't marketed towards roughing it and they'll be less durable but super comfortable. But some rain pants over top and you're golden
 

seabeer

Lurker
Joined
Aug 11, 2021
Messages
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Canada
Website
theskilledsurvivor.com
Synthetics, wool are typically prime choice. Cotton is good in hot weather, but it tends to absorb moisture.

I always hike in lightweight long sleeved wool. Not only does it provide sun protection, but it is the best balance of keeping wet enough when you sweat to keep you cool and drying fast enough so you don't have to put on wet cloths. It also has a benefit of being antibacterial.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

About us

  • Squat the Planet is the world's largest social network for misfit travelers. Join our community of do-it-yourself nomads and learn how to explore the world by any means necessary.

    More Info

Support StP!

Total amount
$10.00
Goal
$100.00

Monthly Goals

  1. Paying the Bills
    $10.00 of $50.00
    The first $50 in donations go towards paying our monthly server fees and adding new features to the website. Once this goal is reached, we'll see about feeding Matt that burrito.
  2. Buy Matt a Beer
    $10.00 of $75.00
    Now that we have the bills paid for this month, let's give Matt a hearty thank you by buying him a drink for all the hard work he's done for StP. Hopefully this will help keep him from going insane after a long day of squishing website bugs.
  3. Feed Matt a Burrito
    $10.00 of $100.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt has a beer in his hand, how about showing him your love by rewarding all his hard work with a big fat burrito to put in his mouth. This will keep him alive while programming new features for the website.
  4. Finance the Shopping Cart
    $10.00 of $200.00
    Now that the bills are paid and Matt is fed, perhaps it's time to start planning for those twilight years under the bridge... if only he had that golden shopping cart all the oogles are bragging about these days.