Whether you are on the job or just out enjoying the summer sun, moisture wicking polo shirts can help keep you dry and comfortable. These summer polo shirts all have similar lightweight, breathable designs, but I like the cooling polo shirts by Arctic Cool because they’re made with Arctic Cool’s unique HydroFreeze X Fabric which helps increase air flow and evaporation to maximize the cooling effect.
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These are my choices for the best summer polo shirts:
- Arctic Cool Men’s Instant Cooling Performance Polo (click here to view)
- Nike Men’s Dri-FIT Performance Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- Under Armour Men’s Sweat Wicking Tech Polo (click here to view)
- Red Kap Men’s Straight Hem Breathable Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- IZOD Men’s Advantage Performance Lightweight Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- Twillory Men’s Performance Cooling Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- Hanes Men’s Short Sleeve X-Temp w/ FreshIQ Polo (click here to view)
- *Long Sleeve* Three Sixty Six Moisture Wicking Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Hanes Sport Cool DRI Performance Polo (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Adidas Climalite Breathable Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Nike Dri-FIT Performance Lightweight Polo Shirt (click here to view)
- *Women’s* Red Kap Lightweight Moisture Wicking Polo Shirt (click here to view)
I think we all understand that lightweight polo shirts that are breathable increase air flow and help keep us comfortable in the heat, but what about moisture wicking polo shirts? What does moisture wicking mean and how does it help?
A moisture wicking polo shirt pulls sweat away from the skin and disperses it on the outside of the fabric in a way that helps it dry quickly. This is why you often see moisture wicking also referred to as “quick dry”.
The reason this matters for summer is not only does it help keep you dry and comfortable, it also triggers the evaporation process. And one benefit of evaporation is it naturally pulls heat away from your body, and helps trigger this “cooling” effect.
In this article let’s take a closer look at the best summer polo shirts so you can find an option that fits your needs. Let’s also discuss a few things to consider when buying these types of lightweight, breathable polo shirts for hot weather.
Best Moisture Wicking Polo Shirts for Summer Weather
Arctic Cool Men’s Instant Cooling Performance Polo
Arctic Cool is well known for making cooling t-shirts, but they also make this Performance Polo that uses the same HydroFreeze X Fabric which is designed to keep you cool and comfortable in hot summer weather.
Here’s what this Arctic Cool cooling polo shirt looks like:
This is the current price of this Arctic Cool summer polo shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this lightweight polo shirt:
- Moisture Wicking – Yes, this is a moisture wicking polo shirt. Arctic Cool designs their fabric in a way which helps promote the wicking of sweat and creates controlled evaporation, which creates a cooling effect when it is combined with proper air flow.
- Fabric – This summer polo shirt uses Arctic Cool’s unique HydroFreeze X Fabric, a type of fabric designed with channels which allows perspiration to efficiently evaporate. The fabric itself is made with a polyester/spandex blend that gives this fabric some stretch.
- Extra Ventilation – Arctic Cool also offers a new breathable polo shirt known as the “Vortex Vent Cooling Polo Shirt” that uses micro-ventilated fabric construction to allow even more air flow. This is where you can view this Arctic Cool Vortex Vent Polo (paid affiliate link takes you to ArcticCool.com).
- Design – This lightweight polo shirt has a two-button placket and has an athletic fit that is designed to show some shape through the chest, but not fit too tight. It also has antimicrobial treatment, which means it can help fight odor that develops from sweat.
Click here to buy this Arctic Cool summer polo shirt available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). It is wrinkle-resistant and also helps protect against the sun.
Nike Men’s Dri-FIT Performance Polo Shirt
Nike Dri-FIT garments have been a popular option for many years due to their ability to wick away sweat and help keep you dry and comfortable in the heat. And, yes, they do offer a wide range of lightweight polo shirts made with the Dri-FIT fabric.
Because these Nike Dri-FIT moisture wicking polo shirts are designed for performance wear, many are made with a stretch material that gives you the proper freedom of movement needed. Certain versions also have a mesh panel tucked underneath the collar to help create better air flow in a high-heat area.
Click here to view these Nike Dri-FIT summer polo shirts available at Nike.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Nike.com). Fit may vary depending on which polo you choose, but many Nike polo shirts have a standard fit that won’t hug too tight.
Red Kap Men’s Straight Hem Breathable Polo Shirt
Red Kap is a workwear brand that specializes in uniform type clothing, including work polo shirts. They make a lot of gear designed for hot work environments, including this breathable polo shirt.
This Red Kap polo might be a nice option if you want your summer polo shirt to look less like athletic wear, and more like a traditional work polo. Yes, this is a moisture wicking polo shirt made with lightweight material to help keep you cool and dry in the summer heat.
One thing that stands out about this Red Kap polo shirt is it has a straight hem design that might make it a nice option if you plan to wear your polo untucked. This shirt has a three-button placket with a chest pocket for storage.
Click here to view this Red Kap lightweight polo shirt available at Amazon.com (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). This polo has a relaxed fit that won’t hug tight. Red Kap also offers this polo in a women’s version. Click here to see the women’s version (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Hanes Lightweight Moisture Wicking Polo Shirts
If you are shopping for affordable summer polo shirts, Hanes has several options for both men and women that are made to be lightweight and breathable for hot weather. These are two options to consider:
- Hanes Men’s Short Sleeve X-Temp w/ FreshIQ Polo – This Hanes men’s breathable polo shirt is made with a cotton/poly fabric blend. The “X-Temp” refers to this garments ability to wick away sweat and help keep you comfortable and dry in the heat. This polo shirt also has “FreshIQ” to help control odor. Click here to view this Hanes men’s summer polo shirt available at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Hanes Sport Cool DRI Performance Polo – This Hanes women’s polo shirt is made with 100% polyester. Yes, it is a moisture wicking polo shirt that helps keep you dry and wick moisture to the outside of the garment to trigger evaporation. It also is rated as UPF50+ for sun protection. Click here to view this Hanes men’s summer polo shirt available at Amazon (paid affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
What to Consider When Buying Breathable Polo Shirts for Summer
Are Moisture Wicking Polo Shirts the Same as Cooling Polo Shirts?
You will see both moisture wicking polo shirts and cooling polo shirts advertised. The truth is, these types are shirts are very similar, and often are one in the same.
Moisture wicking shirts are designed to pull sweat away from the body and disperse it across the fabric in a way that allows it to dry quickly. The evaporation process naturally pulls body heat away from the skin, and helps regulate your temperature.
But to be clear, the fabric design can differ, and can have an impact on how efficient these summer polo shirts are at wicking sweat, and regulating temperature. Some fabrics will have a channeled design to help increase evaporation.
There are also ways that these companies can design fabric to help trap cooled air near the skin. Unfortunately, most of the science behind this is vaguely described by companies, and is often hard to understand.
In general, even though most all moisture-wicking shirts can provide some relief, I tend to lean towards the products that specifically mention a cooling effect, and are designed with fabric intended to produce that cooling effect.
Do They Make Vented Polo Shirts?
If you are searching for a vented polo shirt for summer, you have a couple nice options that we have discussed earlier in the article. For example, Arctic Cool now offers a “Vortex Vent” cooling polo shirt that uses micro-venting to help maximize air flow. This is where you can view this Arctic Cool Vortex Vent Breathable Polo Shirt (paid affiliate link takes you to ArcticCool.com).
Another company that uses venting in their summer polo shirts is Nike. Many Nike Dri-FIT moisture wicking polo shirts also have a small mesh vent under the collar which helps release the heat that builds up around the neck.
Do You Need Stretch Fabric?
How important is material to you? Some lightweight polo shirts are made using a poly/cotton blend, while others use more of a stretch fabric.
Whether you are wearing this polo shirt for work or for recreation, if you are extremely active and need proper range of motion, the stretch fabric might help ensure you have the freedom of movement needed to perform at your highest level.
Odor and Stain-Fighting
How important is odor-fighting technology to you? Some moisture wicking polo shirts (like the Arctic Cool polo at the top of our list) will have an odor fighting fabric that may keep things a little more “fresh”.
Some fabrics may also be stain-resistant and/or wrinkle-resistant. These small features may be very helpful if you will be storing your summer polo shirt in a gym locker or wearing it in hot weather.
Other Summer Gear to Consider
If you are interested in cooling gear and summer gear, visit our other articles linked below:
- Cooling Short Sleeve Shirts
- Cooling Long Sleeve Shirts
- Lightweight Work Pants
- Vented Work Pants
- Breathable Cargo Pants
- Lightweight Work Clothing
- Moisture Wicking Cargo Shorts
- Moisture Wicking Work Pants
- Cooling Collars
- Cooling Wraps
- Summer Bucket Hats
- Cooling Bucket Hats
- Breathable Coveralls
- Lightweight Hoodies
- Long Sleeve Lightweight Coveralls
Summer Polo Shirts with Sun Protection
Shirts that keep you cool in the heat are important for regulating body temperature, but not all will provide the same amount of sun protection. Some breathable polo shirts will also be made to protect you from UV rays.
UPF is the rating system used to detail the amount of protection a garment provides while in the sun. For example, the Arctic Cool moisture wicking polo shirt at the top of our list is rated as UPF 50+ for sun protection, which might be beneficial for those spending long days in the sun.