Beat the sweat stink this fall with these antimicrobial pieces

Sweat is all a part of getting rad. It’s a necessary function that regulates your body temperature when you are exerting energy. Although sweat is not the only way your body releases toxins, they do come out, and that — plus the bacteria that naturally lives on everyone’s skin, among other factors such as diet and medication — is what makes sweat stink.

Luckily there are great fabrics, washes and technologies that are incorporated into some of our favorite gear to combat that. Here are a few of our go-to antimicrobial pieces, from head to toe.

For fly-fishing

Even if it’s chilly, the fishing is good. Photo: Robson Hatsukami-Morgan/Unsplash

Buff Headwear has been keeping our noggins warm in the winter and cool in the summer for decades. They recently have been using different washes and fabrics to make sure that their products stay fresh.

Polygiene, a technology used on fabrics at the finishing stages of textile production, ensures your Buff will stay stink-free. Silver chloride (silver salt) used in low concentrations features natural antimicrobial properties that “safely eliminate the ability for bacteria and fungi to grow,” as Polygiene states — perfect for UV Buffs ($25) that often get soaked in your sweat.

For hiking

A sunset hike in the Highwood of Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Photo: Courtesy of North Birch Grove

Patagonia is known for their different uses of materials and is always finding ways to make their products cleaner. That’s why they also use Polygiene on some of their pieces.

Polygiene is bluesign® approved, meaning the treatment has met strict “independent environmental and product life cycle standards.” Patagonia uses Polygiene on their R series fleeces ($159) to keep them from smelling after a long hike.

For mountain biking

Ride more, stink less. Photo: Courtesy of Wild Rye

Dubbed “nature’s tech fabric,” wool can often be your best bet for beating the stink. The smart designers at up-and-coming women’s outdoor apparel brand Wild Rye know this, and that’s why their jerseys, like the Solstice Snap Raglan ($109), are 89 percent merino wool.

The wool absorbs moisture and is naturally antimicrobial, giving sweaty shredders a few more rides before they have to wash their gear.

For climbing

Beth Goralski climbing Amphibian in the Rigid Designator Amphitheater above Vail, Colorado. Photo: Chris Van Leuven

For those who love to climb in jeans, but don’t like the grime or smell, we have the pair for you. Using merino wool and their proprietary Cordura® fabric, along with Lycra and denim, Ortovox has a made a stink-free jean, the Merino Black Sheep ($200), designed for movement and durability.

For life

The standing stretch is a staple among hikers and other athletes. Photo: Abigail Keenan/Unsplash

Wool underwear? Yes. For the stinkiest sweat, having nature’s antimicrobial fabric between your legs will change your life. Give Icebreaker’s Anatomica boxers ($40) a whirl and you’ll quickly agree.

For trail running

Ultrarunner Karl Meltzer training in Utah. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull

Balega was started for runners who needed their feet to stay dry, and silver socks are the best at it. Using their own silver wash similar to Polygiene, Balega’s Silver sock ($15) has fibers that encapsulate “silver ions for lasting antibacterial properties and performance.”

If it’s good enough for hardcore ultrarunners, it will surely keep your toes crisp after a mini marathon.

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