Uniqlo AIRism vs. HEATTECH (Explained)

In short: AIRism is for hot weather, while HEATTECH is for cold weather. While both wicks moisture from the body, AIRism aims to release the heat to keep you cool in hot weather. HEATTECH, on the other hand, prevents heat from escaping your body to keep you warm in cold weather.

Uniqlo is a popular fashion brand. Two of their most popular collections are AIRism and HEATTECH. In this article, you will learn the differences between AIRism and HEATTECH.

Uniqlo AIRism overview

Uniqlo AIRism is a brand of highly functional underwear. It’s the perfect innerwear for hot days with excellent breathability. Not only is it cool to the touch, but it neutralizes the source of the odor.

AIRism does three things: wicks moisture, releases heat, and absorbs sweat. As a result, wearing AIRism keeps you dry as if the fabric is breathing, maintaining a smooth feel all day.

Thanks to the innovative concept of ultra-fine fibers to regulate the circulation of the air trapped inside clothes, AIRism helps your body to breathe and diffuse the heat from under your clothes.

The AIRism collection is best worn as undergarments. You can wear the tee shirt as innerwear under your shirt. It won’t show through even under a white shirt.

There are versatile pieces for men, women, and children available in the AIRism collection. It offers comfortable and easy-to-wear polos and t-shirts with a smooth and cool skin feel.

Uniqlo HEATTECH overview

HEATTECH clothing is a layer of air between the fibers preventing the heat from escaping. According to Uniqlo, it took many years to perfect its technology.

Uniqlo’s HEATTECH clothing is designed to keep you warm in cooler temperatures. It retains heat with its special hollow fibers that capture air and prevent heat from escaping your body.

The fabric also generates warmth by absorbing moisture from your body and creating heat from tiny droplets. In fact, the HEATTECH line maintains more warmth than 100% cotton.

The HEATTECH is made with special blends of materials (polyester blends, acrylic, and rayon) that wick the moisture from the human body and convert the kinetic energy into heat.

The air pockets which are within the ultra-thin fibers do not let the heat escape. The result of it is a lightweight layer of warmth that absorbs the heat and keeps the body warm, without the bulk.

HEATTECH also stretches and shrinks to fit you perfectly. Your movement will not be restricted, unlike when you wear bulk clothing. You do not need to wear multiple layers of clothing.

Overall, HEATTECH clothing generates warmth and fights bacteria, which prevents odor, and static electricity, and is highly comfortable. It is the ultimate base layer during cold weather.

Differences between AIRism vs. HEATTECH

While both fabrics wick moisture from the body in a similar way, the primary difference between AIRism and HEATTECH is the way each fabric passes air and moisture.

HEATTECH attempts to trap air layers for insulation and to absorb and hold moisture. By binding the moisture, a small amount of heat due to the phase change of the moisture is generated.

The other effect is that it drives the relative humidity at the skin to nearly 100% effectively eliminating evaporative cooling without losing the insulation value of the fabric fibers.

The main effect is to trap insulating air. Wool fibers do this naturally and polyester does the same but to a lesser degree. The effectiveness of the fabric depends also on what you wear over it to further trap and contain the insulating air layer.

AIRism works the opposite way. It promotes air circulation to transport heat and moisture away from the skin, keeping the fabric smooth and dry (similar to evaporating perspiration).

Neither product is earthshaking or even particularly new. However, UNIQLO has just optimized both fabric technologies to the best of its ability and markets both products fairly well.

Bottom line

Now you know the difference between Uniqlo AIRism vs. HEATTECH. One is designed for hot, humid days while the other is made for cold weather. Choose wisely and you should enjoy both.

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