Under Armour HeatGear vs. ColdGear – All the Differences, Explained

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Understanding the difference between Under Armour’s Heat Gear and Cold Gear offerings is trickier than you might expect. 

Both product lines use similar fabric blends and contain a wide array of athletic clothing, and while Under Armour probably thought the names were self-explanatory, they can actually be kind of confusing for a lot of people. 

To help you know which one might be best for you, below we’ll lay out what each line does and explain the big difference between the two, so you can make the best choice to suit your athletic needs, weather conditions and personal preference. 

Under Armour ColdGear vs. HeatGear

Breaking Down the Key Differences Between UnderArmour’s Proprietary Tech

First Up:

Under Armour HeatGear

Heatgear logo

What is Under Armour Heatgear?

Man wearing white Heatgear shirt

Heatgear’s tagline is “Keeps you cool,” which is simultaenously informative and a little confusing. (Shouldn’t the Coldgear keep you cool?)

That’s because Heatgear is designed to be worn in hot weather, hence the name. It refers to a fabric technology designed to wick sweat away from the body and regulate body temperature. 

UA Heatgear is made from a blend of synthetic fibers, including polyester, nylon, and elastane, that are great for warm weather gear. 

Heatgear is designed to be worn in hot weather, hence the name.”

When those three fibers are combined, they create a lightweight, breathable fabric that moves moisture away from the skin and allows air to circulate freely around the body. 

This provides the kind of much-needed temperature regulation you want when training, playing sports or doing anything active in warmer weather. 

The result is a garment that keeps athletes dry and cool, even in extreme heat and/or the most humid conditions.

How does Heatgear work? 

There are three key components that make heatgear effective: moisture-wicking, airflow and fit. 

Moisture Wicking

Sweat is the body’s natural way of attempting to cool itself down when your body heat gets too hot. 

Heatgear apparel is designed to wick this sweat away from the skin, transferring it to the surface of the garment, where it can evaporate quickly. 

This moisture-wicking process keeps the skin dry, and helps prevent the body from overheating.


In addition to moisture-wicking, Heatgear is also designed to promote airflow and maximize breathability. 

A lot of Under Armour compression shirts and other Heatgear pieces are designed with mesh panels and strategic ventilation to increase airflow and allow heat to escape from the body. 

This helps to reduce sweat buildup and keep the body cool.

Fit and Comfort

Finally, Heatgear apparel is designed to fit comfortably and move with the body. 

It’s made with four-way stretch fabric that gives you the ability to move in a full range of motion without any pulling, tugging or friction. 

This reduces chafing and irritation, which can be a common problem during intense physical activity. 

What is UnderArmour Heatgear used for? 

Soccer player kicking a ball
Heatgear makes a great base layer for soccer, baseball, football or any outdoor sport
[image: Omar Ram / Unsplash]

Heatgear is designed to be worn in hot and humid conditions, making it a natural fit for outdoor sports like running, soccer, tennis and more. 

Since it’s such a lightweight material, a lot of young athletes in soccer, baseball and football like to wear an Under Armour base layer under their custom team uniforms, to keep from sweating through their jerseys. 

But with that said, Heatgear also works well for indoor activities like weightlifting and HIIT, where the body can quickly heat up and become uncomfortable.

Next Up:

Under Armour Coldgear

Coldgear logo

What is Under Armour Coldgear?

As its name implies, Coldgear is a fabric technology designed for cold weather gear that traps heat and keeps the body warm in cold weather. It’s made from a soft, stretchy and snug-fitting blend of polyester and elastane fabrics.

Coldgear works by simultaneously helping Under Armour athletes retain their body heat while simultaneously preventing cold air from seeping in. 

“Coldgear traps heat and keeps the body warm in cold weather.”

How does Coldgear work? 

One thing that’s both interesting and kind of confusing about Coldgear is that a few of the same three elements that make Heatgear work well on hot, sunny days also make Coldgear work well in freezing, frigid temperatures. 


Like the fabric used in Heatgear, the fabric in Coldgear is also designed to wick moisture away from the skin. 

Sweat wicking can prevent the body from overheating in hot weather, but it also keeps the body dry, which prevents you from getting chills when you’re working out in cold environments.  

Compression Gear

Many pieces, including a wide range of Coldgear shirts and Coldgear leggings, are designed with compression fit, which helps to increase circulation and promote blood flow to the muscles. 

As a result, compression garments can help reduce muscle fatigue and improve performance in cold weather conditions. 

What is Under Armour Coldgear used for? 

woman playing lacrosse in Coldgear
Coldgear is great for cold-weather sports like lacrosse, skiing, snowboarding and more
[image: Under Armour]

Coldgear is designed to be worn while playing sports or other activities in temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great first layer for outdoor sports like skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. 

It has fewer applications for indoor activities, but could be helpful for people whose bodies tend to cool down quite quickly. 

How to Know Whether You Should Buy Heatgear vs Coldgear 

If you’re still not sure whether you should go with Heatgear or Coldgear, remember this rule of thumb: 

Heatgear is for hot weather and Coldgear is for cold weather. 

With that said, here’s a quick breakdown of all the factors worth thinking about before investing in your next piece of athletic gear. 


As alluded to above, the first thing to consider is the temperature. 

Heatgear is designed to be worn in hot weather, typically temperatures above 75 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Coldgear, on the other hand, is designed for cold weather, typically temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you’re planning to be active in these temperature ranges, choosing the right gear (and the right size) will help you stay comfortable and perform at your best.

Activity Level 

The second factor to consider is your level of activity. 

If you’re planning to engage in high-intensity activities like running or cycling, you may want to consider Heatgear, as it’s designed to wick away sweat and keep you cool. 

On days when the weather is kind of neutral, or somewhere in between hot and cold, it might make sense to wear Under Armour Heatgear compressions as a base layer, and a long sleeve top as a top layer. 

But if you’re planning to engage in lower-intensity activities like hiking or skiing, Coldgear will probably be a better choice, since it’s designed to keep you warm and retain body heat.


Another factor to consider is the length of time you’ll be outside. 

If you’re only going to be outside for a short period of time, you may be able to get away with wearing Heatgear in colder temperatures or Coldgear in warmer temperatures. 

But the longer that you’re planning to be outside, the more important your gear becomes. 

The only thing worse than being way too hot or way too cold is knowing that you could have been perfectly fine if you had opted for the right kind of clothes. 

Personal Preference 

(I know, it sounds like a cop-out. But it’s true!)

Assuming that you’re not running an ultra marathon and/or staying outdoors for a crazy long time, don’t be afraid to go with your gut and fall back on your personal preference. 

Some people – myself included – tend to run hot, in which case a short sleeve Heatgear shirt will make sense, even if everyone else is wearing long sleeves or a second layer. 

On the other hand, a lot of other people run cold, and would feel more comfortable wearing the mock turtleneck styles of Coldgear when everyone else is wearing crew neck compression tops. 

As long as you’re not doing super intense training in extreme temperatures, the best thing to do is to listen to your body, and choose the sleeve lengths, fabrics and style that best suit your individual needs. 


Is under Armour HeatGear for hot or cold weather?

UnderArmour Heatgear is for hot weather. It’s designed to move moisture away from your skin and allows air to circulate freely around your body, keeping you cool when working out or playing sports in warmer climates. 

Can you wear HeatGear in the cold?

Yes, you can wear heatgear in the cold, but you should probably wear it as a base layer with something warmer over top. Heatgear wicks moisture away from your body, which can prevent overheating, but also prevent you from getting chills.     

But unlike Coldgear, which comes in compression fits designed to keep cold air from seeping in, Heatgear has vents designed to encourage air flow, so it won’t help you keep the cold at bay. 

What temperature is Under Armour ColdGear for?

UnderArmour Coldgear is designed for temperatures between 55 degrees Fahrenheit and below, so it’s best used outdoors on colder days, when the temperature is pretty chilly. 

Does Under Armour ColdGear keep you warm or cold?

UnderArmour Coldgear is designed to keep you warm on cold days. (The name “Coldgear” refers to the temperature of the environment, not the temperature of your body.) It uses moisture-wicking fabric to keep your skin dry, and a tight compression fit to keep cold air out.

Where to Buy Heatgear & Coldgear

If you’re looking to pick up some Heatgear or Coldgear of your own, you’ve got a couple options.

UA Website

The first (and most obvious) place to turn is Under Armour’s website, where you’ll find the widest selection of both lines and the most up-to-date products.


Another solid option is Amazon, where Under Armour has set up a dedicated storefront for both Heatgear and Coldgear.

The Amazon selection isn’t quite as wide as what you’ll find on Under Armour’s website, but the shipping is probably faster and cheaper, especially if you have Prime.

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