Neck cooling devices can vary significantly in fit, function, and cooling capabilities. Some are more simple than others. Most neck cooling wraps will have ice-pack inserts which need to be frozen prior to use, while other simple devices, such as neck cooling bandanas and gaiters, can be activated by simply dowsing them in water.
I like the FlexiFreeze neck ice wrap because it’s easy to secure in place and the frozen inserts can cool my neck in even some of the hottest environments. But I also own the Mission cooling neck gaiter and Ergodyne neck cooling bandana because they are ultra-lightweight and simple to use.
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These are my choices for best neck cooling wraps, bandanas, and other devices:
- FlexiFreeze Neck Cooling Wrap Ice Collar (click here to view)
- Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling® Hydrologic Neckband (click here to view)
- Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter (click here to view)
- Ergodyne Chill Its Cooling Neck Bandana (click here to view)
- Icy Cools Cooling Ice Bandana (click here to view)
- Torras L2 Series Portable USB Bladeless Neck Fan (click here to view)
- Cooling Time Reusable Neck Cooling Bands (click here to view)
Again, I use the FlexiFreeze neck cooling wrap the most simply because I think it has a more significant cooling effect than the other options. Ice-pack inserts can be a pain at times because you have to make sure to keep an extra one frozen so you can swap them as you work throughout the day, but I don’t mind doing that because that FlexiFreeze cooling ice wrap provides the relief I’m looking for.
I also own the Mission neck cooling gaiter and the Ergodyne cooling neck bandana. No, these don’t provide me as much relief as the FlexiFreeze ice wrap, but these two are very simple to use and don’t need ice pack inserts. And they do have a noticeable positive impact on temperature, but I just think the FlexiFreeze ice wrap is better.
That said, the FlexiFreeze ice wrap is bulkier and might not make sense for all jobs from a safety perspective. In this article let’s take a closer look at the best neck cooling devices, including these that I own, so you can find an option that fits your specific needs.
Best Neck Cooling Devices for Work
FlexiFreeze Neck Cooling Wrap Ice Collar
I personally think ice pack inserts are needed to have the greatest impact in the heat. And this FlexiFreeze neck cooling wrap is my favorite option because it allows you to wrap ice-pack inserts around your neck and secure it as loosely or as tightly as you need.
This is the current price of this FlexiFreeze cooling neck collar available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this wrap:
- Neck Cooling Collar with Inserts – This wearable neck cooling collar uses 8-pack strips of FlexiFreeze re-freezable ice inserts. I stick these in my freezer overnight and make sure they are ready to go for the next day. My purchase came with two of these inserts, but I bought extras. In the direct sunlight here in Kansas, I feel like mine last for about an hour each, but obviously that might be different in your climate. The inserts don’t drip water when they melt. Here’s a look at my inserts:
- Recharge Time – I personally have extra inserts so that I can freeze a bunch of them overnight and have them ready to go to keep either in the freezer if I’m at home, or in an ice cooler if I’d working away from home. The wrap itself comes with two inserts, but buying more does might be a good idea if you are working long days in the heat. That way you can swap them every hour or so. This is where you can buy the extra inserts for this wrap (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Design – This neck cooling wrap is adjustable so you can secure it in place as loosely or as tightly as you need. Please be sure to consider if this meets the safety demands of your job prior to use. The ends of this neck cooling wrap will stick out away from your neck a little bit, and could be a safety hazard for certain jobs.
- Dimensions & Weight – With one 8-pack insert frozen and loaded into this wrap, my FlexiFreeze cooling neck collar weighs only 0.34 pounds, so although it is a bit bulkier than other options, it’s still very lightweight. The width of mine is approximately 2.5 inches:
The takeaway here is that, in my opinion, because this device has frozen inserts, it just adds a level of cooling that many other neck cooling devices can’t match. If you are suffering out there in the heat, this is the best solution that I have found. Overall, the design is lightweight and easy to use.
Click here to buy this FlexiFreeze cooling neck wrap available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Because the fit is adjustable, this cooling neck collar can fit a wide range of necks.
Mission Cooling Neck Gaiter
If you don’t want the hassle of dealing with ice-pack inserts that constantly have to be cycled in and out, this Mission neck cooling wrap might be the better, simpler solution. These cooling gaiters use the process of evaporation to naturally help pull heat away from your body.
This is the current price of this Mission cooling neck wrap available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this cooling gaiter:
- How Does it Work? – This neck gaiter relies on its unique fabric design to help create an evaporation process that pulls heat away from your body and, to some degree, regulates temperature. To jump-start the process, you simply soak this gaiter in water, then ring it out and put it around your neck. According to Mission, “when activated with water it cools to 30 degrees below average body temperature in under 30 seconds.” No ice packs are used with this wrap.
- How Does it Compare – No, in my experience these cooling gaiters won’t provide quite as much relief as a cooling neck ice wrap (like the FlexiFreeze wrap we discussed first), but the results are still noticeable. What I like about these neck gaiters is they are just so simple to use. No re-freezing inserts needed. I can just dowse the gaiter in water to continuously re-activate it throughout the day, and it also provides UPF 50 sun protection.
- Functionality – You can wear this neck cooling wrap in many different ways. It can stretch up over your mouth for extra protection over your face, or you can simply wear it down around your neck. It is very lightweight and easy to wear and also machine washable. It’s a bit longer than you expect – mine stretches about 20.5 inches. It weighs 0.28 pounds when wet:
Click here to buy this Mission neck cooling device available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Mission also makes other types of cooling devices, including cooling towels, cooling skull caps, and cooling bucket hats.
Ergodyne Chill Its Cooling Neck Bandana
Ergodyne is a popular workwear brand for safety gear, and they also provide a lot of summer workwear to help you beat the heat, including not only this cooling neck bandana, but also wearable ice pack cooling vests. This cooling neck bandana is another simple, easy-to-use neck cooling device that does not use ice inserts.
This is the current price of this Ergodyne cooling neck bandana available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Here’s what you need to know about this cooling bandana:
- How Does it Work? – This neck cooling bandana is similar to the Mission neck gaiter from earlier in that it reliease on evaporation to help pull heat away from your neck. To activate this cooling bandana, you just hold it under water for about a minute. Then ring it out a bit and secure it around your neck. It’s stiff at first, but loosens once you soak it:
- Cooling Effect – Ergodyne says that it “can last for up to 4 hours on a single soak.” I personally soak mine more than just once every four hours – I soak mine about twice an hour – but if you are unable to re-activate the bandana, it’s nice to know it will continue some level of cooling effect for up to 4 hours.
- How Does it Compare – No, just like the Mission neck gaiter from above, this neck cooling bandana won’t provide the cooling effect that an ice-pack wrap will. That said, this bandana is much simpler to use and doesn’t need any ice pack inserts. It is very lightweight and easy to secure around your neck or head. Mine weighs just 0.09 pounds when wet:
Click here to buy this Ergodyne cooling neck bandana available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com). Overall, this bandana isn’t obnoxiously big and doesn’t interfere much when I wear it.
Other Neck Cooling Devices to Consider
- Icy Cools Cooling Ice Bandana – This is another neck cooling wrap that uses re-freezable inserts that provide a cooling effect without the dripping mess of typical ice. You can also buy additional inserts so you have plenty to swap in and out during a long day in the sun. This neck cooling wrap is a tie-down wrap. Click here to view this Icy Cools cooling neck wrap available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Torras L2 Series Portable USB Bladeless Neck Fan – Looking for a cooling neck fan? This fan is chargeable with a USB cord and is a bladeless fan. Obviously, these types of fans can be bulkier than neck gaiters and might not make sense for all jobs. But, for example, if you are riding on a lawnmower for long periods of time, this device can help circulate the air around your neck, chin and ears. Click here to view this Torras cooling neck fan available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
- Cooling Time Reusable Neck Cooling Bands – This is a simple neck cooling tube that can be activate in just 10-20 minutes in ice water. This might be a nice option for those who want to through a neck cooling band in the cooler during break at work, and then have it re-charged and ready for use 10-15 minutes later. Click here to view this neck cooling band available at Amazon (affiliate link takes you to Amazon.com).
Which Neck Cooling Device Makes the Most Sense for You?
Cooling Neck Bandanas & Gaiters
Neck cooling bandanas and gaiters are usually just activated by dowsing them in water and do not require ice-pack inserts. This is also common for cooling bucket hats. They rely on the evaporation process to help pull heat away from the body.
Although this makes them very simple and easy to use, don’t expect the cooling effect to be as significant. Do these bandanas and gaiters help? Yes, but I personally have just had better results from neck cooling wraps that use ice-pack inserts.
Cooling Neck Fans
Most cooling neck fans are charged with USB and therefore don’t require additional batteries. These types of devices do a good job at circulating air around the neck, chin, and face, but I still think neck ice wraps that have actual ice-pack inserts are just better. These fans can be a bit bulky.
Cooling Neck Ice Wraps
These are my favorite because I think they offer the greatest cooling effect. Are there any drawbacks? Yes. Unfortunately, because these cooling ice wraps use ice-pack inserts, you have to make sure you have the ice packs frozen and ready to go. This can be a minor pain.
But I personally prefer the FlexiFreeze cooling collar. I have found that these types of neck cooling wraps that use ice pack inserts provide the greatest relief in the heat.