Adidas is one of the most iconic sportswear brands in the world. For decades they have created innovative fabric technologies to help athletes perform at their best. Two of their most recognized innovations are Climalite and Climacool. But with so many overlapping features, what exactly sets these two technologies apart?
In this in-depth guide, we’ll explore the key differences between Climalite and Climacool. You’ll learn the specialized engineering behind each one and how to choose the right technology for your needs. Let’s dive in.
Climalite Technology: Keeping You Dry
First released in the early 2000s, Climalite was designed to be an upgrade over Adidas’ own ClimaCool fabric. It aimed to take moisture wicking and quick drying performance to the next level.
Climalite Fabric Construction
The main goal of Climalite construction is to keep sweat away from the skin. It does this through three key elements:
1. Fiber Choice
The fabric contains specialty polyester and microfiber blends designed for moisture wicking. These synthetic fibers resist absorbing sweat while efficiently moving it away from the body.
Polyester forms the backbone of Climalite fabrics. Its hydrophobic quality prevents sweat from being absorbed into the garment itself. Microfibers further enhance the moisture management performance.
2. Knit Patterns
Strategic knitting patterns are used throughout Climalite apparel. Tighter knits on the interior sweep sweat away from the skin. Loose exterior knits allow quick evaporation.
The knit geometry maximizes surface area for evaporation while preventing clinginess and dampness. This clever construction accelerates drying time.
3. Fabric Finishes
Special hydrophilic fabric finishes assist the moisture movement as well. These finishes essentially make the fabric “attract” water on a microscopic level.
This pulls sweat away from the skin towards the outside layer. Combined with the fiber blend and knit patterns, Climalite has excellent wicking power.
Where Climalite Excels
Thanks to its industry-leading moisture wicking abilities, Climalite shines in these areas:
- High sweat activities – Heavy sweating can’t overwhelm Climalite. The fabric keeps working to move moisture outward. You stay drier even during intense training.
- Stop and go sports – The wicking effect keeps going even when you do. Sweat doesn’t accumulate during rest periods. You avoid that damp, clammy feeling.
- Warm and humid climates – Climalite provides cooling dryness without over-ventilating. It’s ideal for keeping you fresh in muggy conditions.
- Base layers and t-shirts – Skin-hugging shirts benefit the most from moisture wicking. Climalite base layers and t-shirts keep you dry without clinginess.
- Socks and underwear – Sweaty feet and chafing are no match for Climalite’s moisture managing capabilities.
Real World Example – Adidas Climalite Long Sleeve Tee
A perfect example of Climalite in action is the Adidas Climalite Long Sleeve Tee.
It uses Climalite fabric on the front and back to pull sweat away and accelerate drying. The polyester and elastane blend resists clinging while providing stretch for full range of motion.
Flatlock seams eliminate chafing from skin contact and raised stitching. The tee fits close to the body to maximize moisture wicking surface area.
Overall, it’s a versatile base layer that keeps you dry without ever feeling soggy or damp.
Climacool Technology: Staying Cool
Developed alongside Climalite in the early 2000s, Climacool took a different approach. Instead of only wicking sweat, Climacool focused on using moisture to create a cooling effect.
Climacool Fabric Construction
Climacool fabric construction comes down to three main components:
1. Strategic Ventilation
Climacool apparel incorporates mesh ventilation zones throughout each garment. These highly breathable areas allow fresh air to flow through.
Mesh panel placement is carefully calculated based on sweat rates in different body zones. This ventilation setup optimizes evaporative cooling.
2. Moisture-wicking Fabrics
While the interior favors mesh, moisture-wicking polyester and microfiber fabrics are used in other areas. These sections whisk sweat away from the skin towards the vents.
This moisture evaporation combines with the ventilation to create a chilling effect. The wicking fabrics also stop sweat from accumulating.
3. Open Knit Patterns
Specialized open knit constructions allow maximum airflow within the fabric itself. Wider openings between yarns enhance breathability and evaporation.
This internal ventilation supplements the external mesh zones. Together they enable cooling airflow across the entire garment interior.
Where Climacool Excels
With its advanced ventilation systems, Climacool shines in these use cases:
- Hot and humid conditions – Climacool uses moisture to produce cooling airflow instead of just wicking it. This effect is amplified on sweltering days.
- Outdoor summer activities – Hiking, beach volleyball, outdoor bootcamps – Climacool helps you stay cool and dry for all summer adventures.
- Sports uniforms and jerseys – External ventilation zones allow custom team branding and designs without sacrificing cooling power.
- Ventilated footwear – Mesh Climacool uppers keep feet breathing and eliminate squishy hot spots.
Real World Example – Adidas Climacool Vento Shirt
A prime example of Climacool tech is the Adidas Climacool Vento shirt. It’s engineered from top to bottom for cooling ventilation.
Large mesh panels run along each side for maximum airflow. Moisture-wicking fabric on the front, back and shoulders whisks sweat outwards.
An open knit polyester blend enhances interior breathability. The athletic cut fits close for effective moisture control.
Overall, the Vento shirt uses every Climacool trick – strategic ventilation, moisture management and open knit construction. You’ll stay cool even in sweltering conditions.
Directly Comparing Climacool and Climalite
Now that we’ve covered the technology behind each one, let’s directly compare Climacool vs Climalite:
|Primary Goal||Cooling through ventilation and evaporation||Moisture wicking to keep skin dry|
|How it Works||– Ventilation zones <br>- Moisture-wicking fabric <br>- Open knit construction||– Hydrophobic fibers <br>- Knit geometry <br>- Fabric finishes|
|Ideal For||Hot, humid weather<br>Outdoor summer activities||High sweat activities <br>Stop and go sports|
|Used In||Shirts, shoes, hats||Base layers, t-shirts, socks|
|Fabric Composition||Polyester, microfiber, mesh, spandex||Polyester, microfiber, elastane|
To recap, Climacool optimizes for cooling airflow while Climalite focuses on quick moisture wicking. But there’s room for both technologies depending on your sport and environment.
Next, let’s dig deeper into fabric specifics and construction methods.
Climacool Fabrics Explained
Adidas uses a range of technical fabrics to build Climacool apparel:
The base layer is typically polyester or micro polyester. The hydrophobic synthetic fibers whisk moisture outward while resisting absorption. Polyester also dries quickly and provides stretch.
Open mesh fabrics allow maximum airflow. Mesh panel placement is strategically designed based on sweat mapping studies. Different weave densities balance ventilation and durability.
Thinner microfiber polyester enhances moisture wicking performance. Its finer fibers dry quickly while feeling smooth against the skin. Often used on t-shirt interiors.
Spandex blends provide stretch and recovery. This elasticity allows freedom of movement while retaining shape. Usually 5-15% spandex content.
Nylon adds lightweight durability and structure. Often reinforces high abrasion areas like shoulders without restricting mobility.
Climalite Fabrics Explained
Climalite apparel contains its own set of technical fabrics:
Like Climacool, polyester is the primary backbone. It resists absorbing moisture while evaporating quickly. Provides structure and stretch capabilities.
Microfiber polyester amplifies moisture wicking across the inner fabric surface. Provides next-to-skin comfort.
Nylon supplies reinforcement and abrasion resistance in high wear areas. Helps the garment hold its shape and performance over time.
Elastane stretch fibers replace spandex for flexibility and recovery. Maintains a comfortable fit during movement and activity.
Some Climalite apparel features Polygiene® odor control technology. The fabric treatments inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria on the garment.
This technology comparison shows how the fabric choices align with the overall goals of each system. Climacool optimizes for ventilation and evaporation. Climalite focuses on quick dry performance and comfort.
How to Choose Between Climacool and Climalite
When deciding between these two technologies, consider these key factors:
- Hot, humid environments – Favor Climacool for maximum cooling
- Cool, dry climates – Climalite excels at moisture wicking without overcooling
- High sweat sports – Climalite keeps skin drier as sweat builds up
- Outdoor summer activities – Climacool’s airflow shines here
- Prefer drier feel – Climalite swiftly wicks away dampness
- Want cooling effect – Climacool’s ventilation creates a chill
- Ventilated hat or shoes – Ideal for Climacool
- Fitted base layer – Excellent use of Climalite
Analyzing these parameters helps select the right technology for your environment and sport. Climacool and Climalite both have proven performance benefits.
Climacool and Climalite Care Tips
To get the most out of Adidas Climacool and Climalite gear, follow these care recommendations:
- Wash in cold water to preserve fabric treatments
- Use a gentle detergent without dyes or perfumes
- Lay flat or hang to dry instead of putting in the dryer
- Avoid fabric softeners which can inhibit wicking and cooling performance
- Use a wash bag for hats and shoes to protect from friction damage
- Check labels and remove prints, badges and trims if needed before washing
- Spot treat stubborn stains to avoid harsh all-over cleaning
Following these tips will extend the moisture wicking and cooling powers of your gear. Both Climacool and Climalite apparel are designed for athletic performance washing.
The Bottom Line
While Climacool and Climalite share similarities like moisture wicking polyester fabric, they have distinct performance advantages:
- Cools through strategic ventilation zones
- Evaporates sweat to create chilling effect
- Excels in hot, humid conditions
- Swiftly wicks moisture away from skin
- Accelerates drying time after sweat
- Keeps you drier during intense exercise
Choosing the right technology comes down to weather, activity and personal preference. Both deliver athletic apparel engineered for comfort, cooling and dryness during physical exertion.
Adidas continues to advance moisture wicking and cooling innovations like Climacool and Climalite. Their fabric technologies allow athletes at all levels to perform their best no matter the conditions.