How to Stay Cool in your Cosplay Costume

Cosplay MeltingSometimes you can’t help sweating in your cosplay costume. A room full hundreds to thousands of people can really heat a place up. It can be even worse depending on the convention location, time of day or if it’s during the peak of summer. So, how to stay cool in your Cosplay Costume?

Stay Cool in your Cosplay Costume.

It’s important to note that there is no perfect solution. This is because of the many body types and the type of costumes that people come up with. Just remember that some of the tips listed here may not work with your cosplay costume.

Keep it Simple.

Use cold water
Make sure it’s cold water

The simplest way is to just stop, remove layers (if you can), grab a seat and hydrate. Drink water, dab your face and neck with a cool cloth or a cold bottle. Try running your wrists or palms under cold water for a few minutes. The theory is that since your blood circulates, cooling one area will eventually cool down the other parts of your body.

This is by far the cheapest and easiest method for staying cool. “But I don’t want to ruin the image of my character…” you might say. Get that romantic image out of your head, nobody wants you to pass out at the expense of staying in character all day long.

Stay Dry.

Being sweaty under a costume can be uncomfortable. Sweating on your cosplay can lead to some funky smelling situations later on. Try toweling off when you take a rest. You’ll feel better.

It's a girdle. Other methods involve wearing thin close fitting garments under the cosplay. The clothing will soak up your sweat (instead of your costume) and evaporation will keep you cool. Undergarments become too wet or smelly? No problem, a change of clothing will fix that. (…and washing. Always wash.)

Undergarments do work, but your mileage may vary depending how much of it is exposed to the air or if you’re in a dry or humid climate. I should point out that just because you’re dry, does not mean you’re hydrated. Drink Up!

Here’s a small story. In the winter, it gets so cold that we’d have to wear several layers of clothing. When I go indoors to take the subway, I sweat something fierce from wearing all those winter layers. So I decided one day to try wearing a Compression Shirt to soak up the moisture. The shirt worked well, however when I went back outside I was freezing!

Stay Cool.

Cooling towelTo stay cool, some people try keeping a damp paper towel around their neck or use a damp microfiber or cooling towel. You would rinse the towel in water and squeeze out the excess so that it doesn’t wet your costume. This method works on evaporation. It’s great if the towel is exposed or in dry climates. You can always take it off when someone wants to take a photograph.

Cooling VestThere’s also cooling vests that work on this same principle. Designs differ from one manufacturer to another. These vests usually contain water absorption materials. How it works is that you would quickly soak the vest or absorption pad in water and the wring out the excess so that it doesn’t drip when wearing it. Has anyone tried using these with a compression shirt?

Cooling Vests.

FlexiFreeze Ice Vest uses cooling crystals
FlexiFreeze Ice Vest

I saw this idea when I was watching Adam Savage get suited up in his space suit from Ridley Scott’s Alien. In the video, you can see him put on a cooling vest that uses Phase Changing Materials. You would put the cooling crystals in the freezer overnight and insert them into the vest when ready to go. I couldn’t find the model that he uses in the video however, there are other types and models to choose from. Please note that this isn’t a cheap solution.Here’s one I found on

There’s also a company that specializes in cooling vest for costumes at Remember that this is not a cheap solution for cooling off.


Cooling Systems.

Cooling system shirtAnother idea I’ve seen used by Adam Savage and Cmdr. Chris Hadfield was when they cosplayed as astronauts from 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the video, Adam displays a cooling system that they used. It works by circulating fluid through a tube that is strewn around the body. It’s a very effective system that some race drivers, motorcyclist, and cyclist use. Of course, you do need a backpack to carry the cooling source (usually water and ice) and the motor. The downside is the weight to consider.

Circulating Motor Using for reference, the motor and the cooling shirt, that’s just over $560 USD. This would put the system way out of reach for most cosplayers out there.

If you’re really set on getting this particular cooling system, CoolShirt Systems have a few different portable models to choose from.


There you have it, a few ways you can try to keep cool while cosplaying. Personally, I’ve always kept cool by keeping it simple by resting, hydrating and using a compression shirt. Then again, I never cosplayed where I’d wear a full body costume.

Got your own tips for keeping cool? I’d love to hear them. Feel free to use the comments section at the bottom of this posts.

Items mentioned in this post.

Compression Shirt[DRSKIN] SB011 Compression Tight Shirt Base layer Running Shirt men women
Compression shirts do a great job on absorbing perspiration. In the summer, they keep you cool by evaporation. Some people say that it does a better job than just leaving the sweat on your skin.


Cooling TowelChill Pal Ultimate Cooling Towel

A cooling towel works by soaking it in cold water, wringing it out and draping it around your neck or head. It’s effective when it has direct contact with skin. To reactivate it, just run it through or soak it again in water.

Evaporation Cooling VestTechNiche International HyperKewl Cooling Ultra Sports Vest, X-Large, Silver

Like the Cooling Towel, these types of Cooling Vests work on the same evaporative principle. The only difference is that these vests have an absorption pad or crystals to hold on to the water. Depending on how strong you are, there might be some dripping after wringing out the excess water.

Ice VestFlexiFreeze Ice Vest, Navy

Unlike the Evaporative Cooling Vest, the Ice Vest work by using special gel packs that you freeze overnight. These packs are also known as, Phase Change Material (PCM). They can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.

Cool ShirtCool Shirt CW-M Cool Water White Medium Shirt

Cooling Systems are like these are the Rolls Royce of cooling systems. There are a few models out there that not only cool your upper body but your lower body as well. They usually involve having a cooling hose integrated into clothing. The fluid running through the hose is usually a sealed reservoir of ice water. This system also needs a motor to circulate the water.Cool Shirt protable motor