One of those fabrics is Coolmax, a type of synthetic polyester fabric designed for high moisture-wicking properties and breathability. Why does that matter to you as a rider?
Coolmax is used for high-performance sportswear because of its unique ability to absorb and evaporate moisture preventing discomfort, odors, and chafing. It is now widely used in manufacturing motorcycle apparel for the same reasons. Motorcycle jeans, shirts, and base layers are often designed with integrated Coolmax material to ensure maximum comfort while riding, and it’s a superior, highly breathable fabric providing rapid sweat-wicking while on the go.
In other words, it’s all about keeping you comfortable while riding, whether you’re just zipping about town, heading for the racetrack, or going on a gnarly off-road session out on the trails.
What’s the secret behind the Coolmax formula, how is the technology developed, and why should you look for gear with Coolmax fabrics? Let’s explore some of the basics:
Coolmax fabric was originally designed for apparel used by high-performing athletes doing extreme exercise, but because of its properties, it was soon adopted in other sportswear and products. Coolmax is used in sportswear aimed at professional athletes, cyclists, and mountaineers, as well as underwear, socks, bedding products, and motorcycle apparel. Absorbing and evaporating moisture five times faster than natural cotton, Coolmax is now one of the most popular choices among gear manufacturers across a variety of disciplines.
Unlike natural fabrics like cotton or merino wool, Coolmax is an artificially engineered fabric made from a specific blend of polyester fibers. These fibers have a unique property: instead of being round, Coolmax fibers have an oval shape and feature tiny grooves running alongside the threads, which is what gives the fabric its exceptional breathability and allows moisture and sweat to be drawn away from the wearer’s skin quickly.
Because of the unique shape and grooves of the polyester fibers, the moisture is wicked through the material and out to the surface area, which allows for fast evaporation – in other words, it helps keep your skin feeling dry, cool, and fresh for a longer period of time.
Surprisingly, Coolmax was invented as early as 1986 in the United States. Originally, the fabric was developed by DuPont Corporation, a company known for its innovative engineering of synthetic textiles (think Kevlar). In 2003, DuPont Corporation broke into two different companies – Invista and DuPont Textiles & Interiors – and today, Coolmax exclusively belongs to Invista rather than DuPont.
The innovative Coolmax polyester yarn invented in the nineties was set to compete with merino wool, a natural fabric commonly used in sportswear as a quick-drying, moisture-wicking material. Ever since Coolmax has surpassed its competitors and is now widely used among various tactical sports and motorcycle gear.
What makes Coolmax stand out from other plain polyester textiles is its unique physical features like the aforementioned shape and grooves of the fibers and the patented synthetic blend. Coolmax formula is impossible to duplicate with any other fabric, natural or synthetic, and it remains one of the most popular fabric choices among sports and motorcycle wear manufacturers.
While the main attraction points of Coolmax clothes are the high breathability and moisture-wicking properties, the features do not end there. Coolmax fabric is exceptionally lightweight, helps prevent odor, and has a light, soft feel on the skin. It dries faster than other materials and wears much slower than natural fabrics. In addition, it’s resistant to fading and wrinkling and is soft and stretchy, allowing for freedom of movement.
When you’re researching motorcycle gear, make sure to take a peek at the list of fabrics used in the garments. Suppose you see the Coolmax trademark in the mix. In that case, it means your gear will be both protective and highly comfortable, especially for summer riding and those hectic moments negotiating busy city traffic on hot days.