How to Stay Cool at Outdoor Events
Summer is here! The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and the craft fairs are happening in full force. We all want to get out of the house, but it’s really, incredibly hot outside. So how do you keep cool in hot weather, grab some sunshine, and enjoy the next few months without bringing home a heat stroke?
The opinions stated below are my own, and I have not received any sponsorship or free products from the included manufacturers. DFWCS participates in the Amazon affiliate program, but DFWCS is in no way associated with Amazon or the items listed in this post. This post may include affiliate links that support DFW Craft Shows at no additional cost to you.
How to keep cool in hot weather
The groups have been on fire (no pun intended) with stories of weary weekends wasting away in the sun. You’ve been asking me how to keep cool in hot weather–I hear you and I want to help. So we’ve spent the last couple of weeks testing out several ways to help you survive the summer heat (other than huddling in the freezer section at Costco). Here are my product picks and tips for the best ways to stay cool and beat the heat this summer:
- PERSONAL COOLING: Portable Neck Fan
- TRAVEL FRIENDLY: Forever Soft Cooling Towels
- MAXIMUM COVERAGE: Battery Operated Floor Fan
- MOST VERSATILE: Flexible Tripod Clip Fan
JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan
When I first saw these in my search, I thought Amazon was offering me headphones to drown out the sobs of booth neighbors melting in the heat. But, lo and behold, these aren’t headphones at all. Say hello to the JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan. This fan is lightweight, comfortable and acts as a dedicated personal cooling system for all your outdoor adventures.
The fan has three output settings, low, medium, and high. Even on the lowest setting, the JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan does an excellent job of delivering a cool breeze directly to your shoulders, neck, and face. I was shocked at how effective this little thing was at cooling me down, even when the heat index exceeded 100º. Because the airflow is so close and concentrated, this fan managed to make me feel cooler than even a fan 10Xs it’s size.
The fact that this fan is wearable means you can take your personal cooling system anywhere you need to go, whether that’s attending your vendor booth on a hot summer day, hiking, or even doing yard work. The fan is somewhat flexible and designed to easily accommodate different body sizes. We did notice, however, that the neck fan is a bit too large to fit or stay well on the kids (ages 5 and 9).
The JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan charges via the included USB-C cord, and the battery lasts up to 16 hours on a single charge, depending on the speed you choose. I was able to get 4.5 hours of continuous usage at the maximum speed. It was actually a struggle for me to keep the neck fan at the maximum speed because medium and even low felt sufficient to keep me a comfortable temperature. Meaning that this neck fan could easily keep you cool for a full day when using it a bit more conservatively. The versatility of USB charging means that if you forget to charge your fan or somehow do manage to run the battery down, you can plug it into your backup battery or solar power bank for a quick charge.
Depending on the fan speed setting, you may have to contend with the soft sounds of a fan blowing near your ears. It’s not particularly noticeable on the lowest setting, but as you increase the speed so you will increase the white noise. I found it more noticeable when using the fan indoors than I did outside, probably because there is already quite a bit of ambient sound outdoors. I was worried that the sound near my ears might make it difficult to hear others, but I didn’t experience much interference when using the neck fan outdoors. It was a bit more challenging for me to hear on the highest setting when I was wearing the fan inside.
Another concern of mine was how easily long hair might get sucked into these tiny, little jet engines. I am happy to report that no one in the family experienced any hair disasters with the neck fan, not even when I rustled it around in my hair like a lunatic.
The JISULIFE Portable Neck Fan is pretty quiet overall, and I think it was definitely worth the soundtrack to keep cool in hot weather. Bonus points: using it inside actually helped me drown out some of the distractions so I could focus on writing this. 😅
SUKEEN Cooling Towels (Set of 4)
Cooling towels are very popular products at those sweltering outdoor events (Peach Festival in Weatherford, I’m looking at you.). Everyone seems to have an opinion about them, and I’ve always been on the fence.
Comfort & Quality
Several years ago, we purchased cooling towels from a very popular brand to use on a trip to Disney. It was the best, travel friendly idea I could come up with to keep cool in the summer. The cooling towels we bought back then weren’t comfortable, and they didn’t travel well. Once the towel dried, it became a rigid disaster that was impossible to pack.
I’m telling you this so you can understand why I am SO EXCITED about this Cooling Towel Set by Sukeen. These towels are breathable and SUPER SILKY SOFT. My kids loved. They are available in a variety of colors and each towel has it’s own travel bag with matching carabiner hook. Sukeen Cooling Towels dry soft and remain pliable, giving them the small footprint you need for excellent usability and travel.
Do they work?
Okay, so they are super soft, they travel well, and they come in cute colors with their own little travel bags. But do these Cooling Towels by Sukeen actually help you stay cool in hot weather? I was really skeptical, but yes, they actually do. You soak the towel in water, wring it out, and then shake it a few times. Drape that shawl over your neck/shoulders like you’re pouring ice tea all over your body and breathe a deep sigh of relief.
The towel says cool and crisp against your skin for a while, and then you can either recharge it or hang it over something for a bit and go again. I was worried it might soak my shirt, but the material held the water well, and I was easily able to stay dry and keep cool in the summer heat.
The Sukeen Cooling Towels were my daughter’s FAVORITE cooling technique and quickly became her favorite new summer accessory. Once you are done, just let the towel dry for a bit and then fold it back into its travel bag. Tada!
Tip: Want to feel like the King or Queen of Cool? Drape a cooling towel around your neck and then put the neck fan on top of that. I might not have looked cool, but I sure felt cool.
GEEK AIRE Battery Operated 12″ Floor Fan
The Geek Aire Battery Operated 12″ Floor Fan certainly had the broadest reach/range of all the fans we tested out. Its larger size makes it the perfect way to disperse airflow in a wider area without having to worry about a generator or electrical source.
This floor fan has a full range of output settings, all available by turning the fully articulating power dial anywhere from low to the maximum speed. The max speed offers a really nice breeze covering a medium sized area, working well to cool down a small space instead of a single person. Even at the highest setting, this fan is pretty quiet, which we all loved. I think the Geek Aire Battery Operated Floor Fan would be excellent for keeping a canopy or booth cool during the summer, but it also works well for keeping a small room livable whenever ERCOT sneezes and we all lose power. The fan itself can tilt up and down but does not swivel side to side.
The Geek Aire Battery Operated 12″ Floor Fan charges via the included AC Adapter and the battery life can last up to 20 hours on a full charge. I have noticed that as the battery life starts to deplete significantly, the air output does start to decline. I was able to get 5.5 hours at maximum speed on a single full charge.
Since this fan does require a typical AC Adapter to charge, you will have to be near an electrical source or use a portable power station when the battery runs out. Good news though, if you DO have access to an electrical outlet, you can run this fan while it’s charging.
For Your Consideration:
This is a floor fan, so you aren’t going to feel the air flow as significantly as you would as smaller, more targeted fan. That’s not really an issue when you are just chilling leisurely, but if you need a little extra oomph staying cool on a hot day, try sitting the fan on top of something to elevate the air flow a bit. For my vendor friends, you might consider sitting the fan on top of one of your storage boxes for maximum effect. Of course, if you are able to direct it somewhere that eventually hits your shoppers, they might appreciate the help staying cool in the heat.
The Geek Aire Battery Operated 12″ Floor Fan was my husband’s favorite fan of the group because it cooled a larger area, wasn’t particularly loud, and still ran the longest, despite its larger output and size. This fan will be a new best friend for campers, tailgaters, patio pals, and anyone else who likes to enjoy their outdoors from a more stationary standpoint. And it’s worth mentioning that the Geek Aire Battery Operated Floor Fan comes in 3 sizes, so you can size up (16″) or down (10″) from the model we tested, depending on your crowd size and cooling needs.
OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan
The OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan is a fan favorite (rimshot) for it’s attach-ability. The legs are very flexible yet grippy, and the fan is easy to swivel and adjust. I purchased this one because I thought it would work great attached to the legs or top a canopy. You can pick the spot closest to where you will be stationed, or you could attach a few in different areas for a surround airflow experience. Also important to note, the maximum air output on this little fan is seriously IMPRESSIVE. I wrapped it around the edge of my folding chair and angled it straight at my face for a delightful cooling effect.
This flexible octopus fan has 3 speed settings and 3 flexible arms for personalized positioning for wherever is most convenient to you. The entire fan attachment rotates 360 degrees and the fan head can also swivel 360 degrees up and down.
As I mentioned earlier, The OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan has 3 fully flexible legs with grippy material to help you perfectly position your personal cooling station. You can use the three legs to stand the fan up on a tabletop like a tripod, or you can wrap the the fan around a canopy, chair, table leg, or even stroller. It would also be great for getting some extra airflow in the backseat during these hot summer days.
If you have a young, curious child and worry about the safety of the fan blades, I highly recommend checking out something like the Little Chicks Clip On Stroller Fan until they are old enough to respect a more serious air source. The blades on this stroller fan are a soft foam, but the fan still provides a decent source of airflow and clips to most stroller sides or handles.
The OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan charges via the included micro USB charger, and the battery life can last up to 20 hours on a full charge. I ran this fan on maximum speed and was able to get 5.5 hours on a single full charge. Unlike some fans, the maximum output did not waiver as the battery life depleted. And you’ve still got the versatility of USB charging if you forget to charge your fan or somehow do manage to run the battery down. Just plug it into your backup battery or solar power bank for a quick charge.
The OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan is my favorite pick for overall performance, price, and flexibility. I fully realize that not everyone wants to wear a fan around their neck or bother with cooling towels, but the OPOLAR Flexible Tripod Clip Fan packs a serious airflow punch and can sit on or attach to most surfaces. The price point is very reasonable, meaning you could even afford to get multiples for an outdoor booth setup when you need to keep cool in hot weather. But, most importantly, the output and battery life is tremendous for such a small fan.
Best way to stay cool
Where there’s a will, there’s a way to stay cool on hot summer days—or as I’ve demonstrated here–quite a few ways. So what is the best way to stay cool outside? I think that all depends on your usage and needs.
For example, the tripod clip fan isn’t going to do you a lot of good if you don’t have a place to attach it. If you are moving around a lot, the floor fan is going to be too much to carry with you. But I also wouldn’t choose a flock of neck fans when a single floor fan might do the trick. And let’s be real, the cooling towels will help for a few hours, but I am not sure they are sufficient to keep cool in hot weather all day long.
You can find all my suggestions from this post, as well as other awesome vendor tools and booth display supplies, on our Craft Show Supplies Idea List.
Real Talk on keeping cool
If you live somewhere like Texas, it may take a whole team of cooling devices to get you to October—especially if you are a vendor with outdoor events on the docket. Heck, even those indoor events can get uncomfortably warm in the summer. That’s why I’ve decided to embrace multiple ways to stay cool on hot days. Life is too short to spend it melting in the summer sun.
Craft Vendor Community & Support Groups
It can be hard to find support, resources, and connect with other small business owners, but we’ve got you. Our Facebook groups were made specifically to help you connect with other crafters, artists, makers, and bakers. Find valuable support, vendor booth display ideas, and resources in our Craft Vendor Community & Support Group (open to craft vendors worldwide). If you are local to the extended North Texas area, our DFW Craft Shows Community is here to help you connect with other local vendors and find local event information, resources, and more. See you there!