Is UNIQLO Good for Winter (HEATTECH)? Yea, and They Also Offer up Cool in the Summer (AIRism)

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.

Photo Description: the Uniqlo HEATTECH logo with a funky "bio" looking image in the background.
We take for granted a basic t-shirt because none of us could grow cotton, spun and knit cotton, or produce a fabric (that’s called technology). So yea, UNIQLO’s AIRism is technology. Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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.

Photo Description: the UNIQLO HEATTECH logo is a block like graphic with the text HEATTECH and "Japan Technology." (yellow background)
Like wearing clothes vs. being naked.


1.5x warmer than regular HEATTECH with a raised nap lining. Ideal for colder days.

Photo Description: A simple circular graphic with the words "EXTRA WARM HEATTECH". (orange background)
If you’re skinny and a chubby dude is asking “you cold?” (that extra layer of warmth fluffy dude has is like extra warm).


2.25x warmer than regular HEATTECH. Ideal for extreme cold.

Photo Description: just like the EXTRA WARM graphic, the ULTRA WARM graphic is also circular. (red background).
In 20-30 degree weather, it’s a must and great to lounge around indoors (too hot to sleep in tho).

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.

Photo Description: a UNIQLO model wearing a white camisole and jeans. The text on the image says "heigh: 5'8"/173cm and size S".
I don’t even know how most women stay warm with the type of outfits they wear. Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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)

Photo Description: grey mens ultra warm UNIQLO long johns.
Who needs PJ’s when you have these, and I’m wearing them as I type this. Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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 DegreesMen’s Lightweight Base layer legging40% Polyester – 34% Acrylic – 22% Rayon – 4% Spandex.$22.00
Fjall RavenBertagen Long Johns M80% wool, 20% polyamide
52% wool, 35% polyester, 13% polyamide
95% wool, 5% elastane
100% wool
HanesWaffle Knit Thermal Pant60% Organic Cotton/40% Polyester.$18.00
Lands’ EndStretch Thermaskin Long Underwear Pants90% polyester/10% spandex.$44.95
L.L. BeanMen’s Double-Layer Underwear, Pants Base LayerInside is soft, itch-free cotton. Outside is a durable, warm blend of cotton and merino wool.$44.95
MarmotBaselayer TightsSunshell KO4561-LB (Recycled) – NOTE: they do not disclose the exact materials.$62.00
Tommy JohnSleekHeat™ Long John Bottom57% Polyester, 37% Rayon, 6% Spandex.$60.00
UNIQLO HEATTECH Ultra WarmBody: 47% Acrylic, 26% Polyester, 20% Rayon, 7% Spandex/ Waist: 85% Nylon, 15% Spandex.$29.90
Prices are obviously subject to change.

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.

Photo Description: a light bluish graphic with a CGI shot of the UNIQLO AIRism t-shirt with a swirly blue and white graphic swirling around the simulated fitted men's shirt.
Why does it sound contradictory that AIRism can wick, release, while absorbing. Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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).

Photo Description: "quick-drying and breathable" icon
Yup, this is true.

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.

Photo Description: Amazingly stretchy icon
Stretchy? After a while, I think my shirts have stretched.

Amazingly Stretchy

Their corresponding video likens their product to silk (AIRism and silk have a very fine weave), but they saying nothing of the stretching characteristics.

Photo Description: Anti-microbial and self deodorizing icon.
Yea, when I’m in my potato phase I think I smell like an onion.

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.”

Photo Description: Absorbs, neautralizes, and eliminates sources of odor in clothing icon.
If I can smell less like Funyuns, cool

Odor Control

UNIQLO has two points that address odor: 1. anti-microbial and self deodorizing and 2. absorbs, neutralizes, and eliminates sources of odor in clothing.

Photo Description: Stays cool to the touch icon.
Ok, coo

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
  • Imported
Photo Description: a white UNIQLO AIRism t-shirt hung up on a black hanger in a white room.
Exactly how my shirts never look (hanging). Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

AIRism aka UNIQLO polyester for FTW (it’s hella comfortable)

Photo Description: a dude wearing a UNIQLO AIRism shirt.
Exactly how I look in my V-neck except shorter and fatter. Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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 DegreesCool Class Crew T-shirt90% Polyester – 10% Spandex$20.00
ColombiaPFG Zero Rules™ Short Sleeve Shirt100% polyester ZERO interlock$40.00
NikeDri-FIT Legend100% polyester$25.00
PatagoniaCapilene Cool Trail Shirt100% polyester$39.00
REICo-op Sahara T-shirt92% polyester/8% spandex$29.95
Under ArmourVelocity Short Sleeve100% Polyester$21.99
UNIQLOAIRism Short Sleeve T-Shirt88% Polyester, 12% Spandex$14.90
Pricing is subject to change and are for comparison sake.

Every manufacturer markets their polyester and material blends as an odor control feature which seems like a somewhat common attribute of the material;.

Photo Description: a close up of the UNIQLO AIRism t-shirt in white (on a black hanger).
Never knew this was polyester, but then again most people don’t realize meat is muscle, tendon, cartilage, and the red liquid is myoglobin, not blood (something Jell-o shares some qualities with). Image courtesy of UNIQLO.

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.

Toray Industries

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.

Photo Description: a close-up of the fiber size of UNIQLO AIRism polyester fibers (7.9um) compared to the size of a human hair (100um).
Polyester you so fine.

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 (
  • Global and China polyester market report 2019-2023 ( 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)

Tshirt icons created by Good Ware – Flaticon

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