Moisture wicking often pops up when you’re shopping for activewear. Nike has popularized their Dri Fit technology, which is their version of moisture wicking clothing.
Moisture wicking clothing refers to the fabric’s ability to draw moisture (sweat) away from your body. The moisture is pulled to the exterior surface of the clothing material and is allowed to more easily evaporate into the atmosphere. This process is what allows you to stay cool and dry in moist conditions.
Materials such as cotton absorb moisture, but doesn’t do a good job of releasing the moisture as it tends to retain the moisture within its fibers. This can result in more weight and less comfort.
On the other hand, materials such as polyester do a great job of wicking moisture and is one of the top choices when it comes to moisture wicking. For activewear, polyester is not very breathable, especially when the material is made with a tight weave. 100% polyester can also be less comfortable as it may stick to sweaty skin.
As a solution, we generally want to find a balance between moisture wicking and comfort. Merino wool does a good job as a natural fiber of being moisture wicking and breathable. Cotton and polyester or spandex blends also create a nice balance between comfort, breathability, and moisture wicking capabilities.