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Record-breaking heatwaves are becoming the norm, so how much longer can you resist investing in some cooling remedies?
From innovative technological solutions to time-tested traditional practices, keeping cool has never been more necessary or easier. Amidst the now-annual relentless waves of heat, finding respite goes beyond seeking cool relief in air-conditioned spaces. In this guide, we’ll explore a range of strategies—from the science behind fabrics that keep the body ventilated to new tech that helps you enjoy being outdoors longer and later when the air is coolest.
Relief is just a few minutes away. Keep reading for tips to help you navigate the heat, no sweat…
It’s astounding how something as small as a mosquito can inflict so much anger, fear and contempt. And yet, they’re a given at every summer outing—just when we desperately want to stay outdoors, especially during the cool night air. If the thought of that strikes fear in you, arm yourself one of these new Thermacell portable and rechargeable mosquito repellent devices. They’ll cast a “forcefield” about six square metres that will let you (and your pets) enjoy the cooler evenings.
The ingenious Thermacell zone-repellent technology worked like a diffuser—you turn the device on and a little heat is generated, just enough to vaporize a small amount of insecticide into the air. The E55 and EL55 models are new this year, with the latter featuring a dimmable light to provide mood lighting to your outdoor evening activities.
They’re easy to use with a simple button. Just be sure to set one (or more) out at your location at least 15 minutes before to diffuse the air and give the mosquitos time to find another party to ruin. Also, they’ll only work if the air is still. If it’s windy, the wind will literally blow the Thermacell magic away, so choose your location wisely.
There’s a reason why luxury hotels generally favour percale sheets—they simply feel better. The texture is smoother and tighter than other finishes (including sateen), making them cooler as well. Empirically, percale sheets are lighter than any other bedding, making sleeping on warm nights as refreshing as possible. However, “percale” refers to the weave (one-over-one-under) not the textile itself, which means not all are cotton, which offers the best breathability.
Silk & Snow is a 100-percent Canadian-owned and -operated bedding company with such transparent manufacturing practices, you can even trace the thread on your sheets to the Costa family in Guimarães, Portugal. The percale sheets are sustainably made in small batches using 100-percent cotton and organic dyes, resulting in a five-star experience. These percale sheets are beautifully crisp, lightweight and breathable. Say goodbye to night sweats.
If cotton sheets are best for bedding when it’s hot, it only makes sense to drape yourself in cotton sleepwear for the coolest rests. Sons is a small independent label started by two Canadian BFFs and now business partners. They focus on quality sleepwear, embracing the slow movement from manufacturing to design. They have only three styles, offered in three colours. But when each one is nearly perfect, a limited offering is all you need.
The styles include a cami and short set; a traditional short-sleeve top and short set; and a traditional long-sleeve top and long pants set. The fabrics feature a micro-floral pattern in pastoral hues (yellow, green or blue) that could easily pass for a heritage Liberty London print. The stitching and craftsmanship are so detailed, they truly need to be referred to as tailoring, not simple sewing. You’ll find sartorial details on these pieces that you won’t even find on most button-up shirts anymore. These will not only wick away moisture and help regulate body temperature through summer’s hottest nights, they’ll last for years and years.
For every purchase, Sons donates five percent of proceeds to the Ride 4 a Woman charity in Bwindi, Uganda, supporting women and their children facing poverty, HIV and domestic violence.
Burrow is a direct-to-consumer furniture company known for their contemporary, modular designs. Once you’ve experienced their furniture, it becomes a ‘why didn’t someone come up with this sooner?’ moment.
Their expertise is in creating comfortable premium living-room furniture that’s easily adaptable—and they’ve now taken it outside with the Relay line. Durability was increased for outdoor wear and tear, including powder-coated galvanized steel that will never rust, as well as quick-dry cushions and all-weather fabric that repels liquids, dirt and even UV rays. This range includes options whether you’re trying to upgrade a compact balcony or a sprawling poolside backyard.
One of the best selling points though is their delivery method. For anyone traumatized by past furniture deliveries that barely fit through the front door and required multiple days and pairs of hands to assemble, Burrow furniture is shipped in separate, large-but-manageable boxes each one labelled with the specific part of the furniture—so you know which ones to open first. Assembly is intuitive and no special tools are needed. The Burrow range comes in two classic colourways: light grey fabric on black frame or light beige on white frame.
Warmer weather is here to stay. So if you’re looking for a long-term solution that’s more cost-effective and considerably kinder to the environment than an air conditioner, evaporative coolers might be your ideal solution.
They work like a regular fan, pulling in warm air but then forcing that air through a series of water- or ice-based “filters”. The exchange of warm-air molecules with cool-air molecules essentially releases air that’s cooler than the air that entered. It will reduce the temperature in the immediate area without use of any of the traditional chemical refrigerants found in air conditioners. This type of mechanical cooling has been used for centuries in places like Egypt, China and India.
While it does work, there are things to consider before buying a unit. It can’t cool as quickly or as much as an air conditioner, so keep your expectations realistic. It’s also not a method you can turn on and walk away from since you’ll need to replace it with water/ice as it evaporates. Evaporative coolers are also dependent on relative humidity—they work best in dry climates.