Nothing like being able to rinse a shirt in water and have it dry in minutes while in the winter having an extra layer of warmth for only a Jackson (not Michael, but the president).
Is UNIQLO HEATTECH and AIRism just marketing BS or is it the real deal? That is what I wanted to know even after my own experiences which are great although maybe I am sucka for their hype? Well, time to find out.
I research what makes HEATTECH warm during the winter, and I compare UNIQLO to 6 other brands from Nike, 32 Degrees, to Colombia.The t-shirt icon denotes summaries so that you can scroll on through for a quick read.
I’m Basic AF
The items I have purchased are the essentials, such as socks, t-shirts in the summer (AIRism), and long underwear during the winter (HEATTECH). Although, I do own a coat and several UNIQLO wool sweaters, but the bulk of what I wear is on par with the variety of Homer Simpsons wardrobe.
I Know Nothing About Fashion or Being Fashionable
As always, I start off with what I know which is not much, but I do know how to stay warm during the winter and cool during the summer. I also think I can do a better job at communicating why you want to buy AIRism and HEATTECH products. NOTE: I do not make a single cent directly off of the content below, so the links provided are attempts to help you deliberate on the quality and value of UNIQLO products.
Cold Weather (HEATTECH offers 3 LEVELS)
HEATTECH is made from “bio-warming” material that converts body moisture into heat, keeping you comfortable all winter (that is a Uniqlo marketing hype word).
Thin yet warm. Ideal for everyday wear in winter without adding bulk.
Extra Warm HEATTECH
1.5x warmer than regular HEATTECH with a raised nap lining. Ideal for colder days.
Ultra Warm HEATTECH
2.25x warmer than regular HEATTECH. Ideal for extreme cold.
Two Uniqlo Product Examples of HEATTECH
I highlighted two products by Uniqlo utilizing HEATTECH, in case you are wondering if UNIQLO HEATTECH products are any good. The first being a camisole which I had to google because I’m a dude. I always that was a ‘tank top,’ I guess not since “in modern usage, a camisole or cami is a loose-fitting sleeveless undergarment which covers the top part of the body but is shorter than a chemise.” The second is long johns which are a must in cold weather, so I did a competitive analysis of this product below.
Packed with features for comfort, HEATTECH generates and retains heat, absorbs and releases moisture, absorbs sweat and dries quickly, fights bacteria, and prevents static electricity.This wonder material? It is polyester but UNIQLO claims it to be better than ordinary polyester.
Material that is stretchy, soft, and great at maintaining its original shape.
$14.90 $9.90 Women HEATTECH camisole (the sale price at the time of the post)
HEATTECH Ultra Warm is 2.25 times warmer than our regular HEATTECH. It is recommended for extremely cold climates and winter sports.
- With bio-warming, insulating, moisturizing, and moisture-wicking comfort features.
- Stretchable material offers a soft texture with excellent shape-retention.
- Gently wraps around you to provide an excellent fit.
$29.90 $19.90 Ultrawarm long johns (the sale price at the time of the post).
Long Johns Product Comparison
|32 Degrees||Men’s Lightweight Base layer legging||40% Polyester – 34% Acrylic – 22% Rayon – 4% Spandex.||$22.00|
|Fjall Raven||Bertagen Long Johns M||80% wool, 20% polyamide|
52% wool, 35% polyester, 13% polyamide
95% wool, 5% elastane
|Hanes||Waffle Knit Thermal Pant||60% Organic Cotton/40% Polyester.||$18.00|
|Lands’ End||Stretch Thermaskin Long Underwear Pants||90% polyester/10% spandex.||$44.95|
|L.L. Bean||Men’s Double-Layer Underwear, Pants Base Layer||Inside is soft, itch-free cotton. Outside is a durable, warm blend of cotton and merino wool.||$44.95|
|Marmot||Baselayer Tights||Sunshell KO4561-LB (Recycled) – NOTE: they do not disclose the exact materials.||$62.00|
|Tommy John||SleekHeat™ Long John Bottom||57% Polyester, 37% Rayon, 6% Spandex.||$60.00|
|UNIQLO||HEATTECH Ultra Warm||Body: 47% Acrylic, 26% Polyester, 20% Rayon, 7% Spandex/ Waist: 85% Nylon, 15% Spandex.||$29.90|
If you are looking for the “best” long johns, it all depends on what you value the most (durability, price, fit, to materials – the Fjall Raven long johns have got to feel great being made of wool). So is UNIQLO HEATTECH good? Well, given the price, it is quite the value.This is like comparing a Lexus LS500 vs. Honda Accord EX which are both top of the line performers in their respective product line and class/segments, it just depends on what you can afford.
One Uniqlo Product Example of AIRism
Why only one product to represent AIRism? Cuuuuz, I think it’s the best product to represent all that is good and amazing about AIRism. It is the one product that I feel has been a game changer in my wardrobe because I am an avid bicyclist (not the spandex type), so I when I wear these t-shirts, I love that I can wash and dry them in minutes.
Hot Weather (AIRISM)
- As a sweat-wicking inner layer
- As quick-drying activewear
- As breathable styles in the summer heat
- As loungewear that stays cool to the touch
Click icons for Uniqlo video (I created a YouTube account just to host the vids).
Quick-Drying and Breathable
AIRism dries more quickly than cotton due to the capillary phenomenon that disperses liquid throughout the garment helping it to evaporate.
Their corresponding video likens their product to silk (AIRism and silk have a very fine weave), but they saying nothing of the stretching characteristics.
Anti-microbial and self-deodorizing
When compared to cotton, their video demonstrates that it neutralizes sources of odors such as ammonia, acetic acid, nonenal, and isovaleric acid, “so you don’t need to worry about odors.”
UNIQLO has two points that address odor: 1. anti-microbial and self deodorizing and 2. absorbs, neutralizes, and eliminates sources of odor in clothing.
Stays Cool to the Touch
What the?! “AIRism is made from fibers that absorb water vapor better than ordinary polyester, so even if you sweat, it keeps you feeling fresh.” So AIRism is a type of polyester? (why yes it is, “88% Polyester, 12% Spandex” but they also offer AIRism cotton).Start shopping the UNIQLO product line.
AIRism Cotton (if a polyester blend isn’t your thing).
- 71% Cotton, 25% Polyester, 4% Spandex
- Machine wash cold, gentle cycle
AIRism aka UNIQLO polyester for FTW (it’s hella comfortable)
Undershirt that keeps you dry and comfortable.
- With QUICK DRY, COOL TOUCH, anti-microbial, odor-controlling, and odor-eliminating technologies.
- Stretch material feels very smooth like silk.
- Made with full-dull yarn that reduces luster and make the material non-see-through.
- Low V-neck stays invisible under a shirt.
$14.90 Men AIRism V-neck short sleeve t-shirt
Quick Dry T-Shirt Product Comparison
|32 Degrees||Cool Class Crew T-shirt||90% Polyester – 10% Spandex||$20.00|
|Colombia||PFG Zero Rules™ Short Sleeve Shirt||100% polyester ZERO interlock||$40.00|
|Nike||Dri-FIT Legend||100% polyester||$25.00|
|Patagonia||Capilene Cool Trail Shirt||100% polyester||$39.00|
|REI||Co-op Sahara T-shirt||92% polyester/8% spandex||$29.95|
|Under Armour||Velocity Short Sleeve||100% Polyester||$21.99|
|UNIQLO||AIRism Short Sleeve T-Shirt||88% Polyester, 12% Spandex||$14.90|
Every manufacturer markets their polyester and material blends as an odor control feature which seems like a somewhat common attribute of the material;.
Now, I Am Wondering if All Polyester Is the Same
Unfortunately, I did not find much information on how much polyesters vary, but I did find the companies that UNIQLO partner with which is Asahi KASEI and Toray Industries. The two companies are the ones that give UNIQLO their technological edge (Cupro, HEATTECH, AIRism and maybe possibly BLOCKTECH, DRY-EX, and UV protection?).
A chemical and material science company which was founded in 1931.
Toray industries does shirt fibers to carbon fibers utilized in aerospace? Check out this video by Asianometry about Japan’s attempt into the commercial jet industry.It’s about a failure although it still illustrates Japan’s material science capabilities.
Manufacturing, processing and sales of the following products, among others: fibers and textiles, performance chemicals, carbon fiber composite materials, environment and engineering, life science, and others.
Here Are a Few Other Things You Should Know About Polyester
- Polyester is: Polyethylene terephthalate, PET, microfiber.
- Fabric composition: Polymers derived from fossil fuels or organic sources
- Boris Hodakel/Sewport has the best overview of polyester (Sewport).
- China and India are the main polyester producers (Ohio State University).
- The 10 largest polyester companies are Alpek, Bombay Dyeing, China Petrochemical, Indorama Ventures, Mitsui Chemicals, Reliance Industries, Toray Industries, Eastman Chemical Company, M&G Chemicals, and William Barnet & Son (Technavio).
- And if you are wondering how petroleum products are made (MadeHow.com).
- Global and China polyester market report 2019-2023 (GlobalNewsWire.com for Research and Markets).
Conclusion on UNIQLO HEATTECH and AIRism
Unless you have the Jacksons that Michael (Jackson) had, Uniqlo offers a ton of value (and quality). Also, if you don’t think the Japanese excel in textiles, maybe you will believe Todd Shelton of Selvedge denim who says “Japan Makes the World’s best Denim.”You can also see how Japanese producers maximize steels for bladesmithing.
Founded in: 1949 in Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan
Headquartered in: midtown tower, Akasaka, 9-chome, Minato, Tokyo, Japan
President and CEO: Tadashi Yanai
Number of employees: over 30,000 workers
Parent company: Fast Retailing (2005-present)