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What to Wear to Carowinds | Easily Explained

Dressing incorrectly for any theme park can negatively affect your experience for an entire day.

This is why in this page, we will explain how to dress for Carowinds along with the reasons why these are the best options.

    What to Wear to Carowinds

    First and foremost, you'll want to dress comfortably but with a hint of athleticism. Light clothing will go a long way in enduring an entire day of walking, sweating, and possibly even getting wet (from the rain or Carolina Harbor).

    carowinds visitors on a ride

    Attire Checklist

    In the next section, we cover each of these items in depth.

    • Athletic Shorts or Khaki Shorts
    • Short Sleeve Athletic Compression Shirt/Dry Fit Shirt
    • Walking/Running Shoes
    • Spare Change of Clothes
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat
    • Sunscreen/Sunblock
    • Extra Pair of Socks

    Many guests initially laugh at the suggestion of bringing an extra pair of socks until their socks become soaked from a ride or the rain, and they are stuck with them the rest of the day.

    If Planning to Visit Carolina Harbor on the Same Day

    • Bathing Suit
    • Backpack
    • Sunscreen
    • Water
    • Towel
    carowinds carolina harbor slides

    You can find more information about what you can bring into the water park directly from the Carowinds site.

    Explaining Each Item to Wear

    Athletic or Khaki Shorts


    high waisted shorts women


    These high waisted athletic shorts are the perfect combination of lightweight, soft and breathable, that also contains pockets.


    athletic shorts men


    These quick drying athletic shorts are also lightweight, quick-dry, and have perfect airflow that comes in very handy during a hot day at the park.

    Shorts With Pockets

    You'd be surprised at how many athletic shorts don't have pockets, and guests order it online, and don't realize it until the day of their visit.

    They then either can't wear those shorts, or do wear them and then have to carry their personal items all day.

    Loose Fitting Shirt

    A loose fitting athletic shirt will feel amazing during a breeze, generally dries up quicker, and most importantly won't feel like 1,000 lbs after an entire day at the park.


    loose fitting shirt women


    Women's Athletic Shirt


    athletic shirt men


    Men's Athletic Shirt

    If you're worried about feeling underdressed at the park, you can always step it up with a Performance Polo Shirt.

    polo shirt men

    It'll provide almost all of the same benefits as a normal workout shirt would, but you'll be a bit more buttoned up for pictures.

    polo shirt women

    Women's Tennis Shirt Sleeveless Golf Polo Shirt.

    Walking/Running Shoes


    under armour running shoes men


    Under Armour's Charged Asset is one of the most comfortable shoes we've ever had, and is perfect for a day at the theme parks, as chances are that you'll be walking and or standing throughout most of the day.


    Sunglasses will allow you to be able to see clearly throughout the entire day (or else you will be squinting the entire day), while sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun.

    At a theme park it's very possible that you can lose them, whether misplacing them or accidentally dropping them during walking or even on a ride.

    Due to that, you'll want to have sunglasses on the cheaper side, that still give your eyes protection from the UV rays.

    Which is why we recommend the Classic Aviator sunglasses


    sunglasses women


    and Duco Carbon Fiber Temple sunglasses.

    sunglasses men


    A hat isn't a must-have to wear to the park but it is definitely nice to have as it will shield your scalp from the sun, while giving you the comfort of not needing to fix your hair for every picture.

    However, you'll want to remember to take off your hat for any roller coaster or ride that will pick up in speed.

    Trust us, losing your hat while going full speed on a roller coaster isn't a great feeling.

    For males, the Einsky Waterproof Sun Hat is our choice if you're feeling different,


    sunhat men


    while the Muryobao Sun Hat is perfect for women to slide their pony tail through for extra comfort.


    sun hat ponytail women


    On the other hand, the classic baseball cap is our go-to whenever we just need something on our head.

    baseball cap unisex


    If you're like us and have sensitive skin, the EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen is a lifesaver.

    sunscreen for sensitive skin

    The best part about this is that you can use it long after you visit the theme park for any outdoor activity, more than anything on this list, it's an investment.

    This sunscreen also has a SPF of 46.


    Although you necessarily won't 'wear a poncho', it's important to carry one especially if you're visiting during the summer months.

    Rather than carrying a large umbrella for an entire day in case it rains, just carry an ultra lightweight poncho in your pocket or bag.

    In the event that it does rain, you can quickly pull it out, put it on and remain dry.

    Poncho's are very cheap, and very worth it.

    This unisex, lightweight reusable poncho has worked wonders over the years at dozens of theme parks.

    poncho unisex

    Extra Pair of Socks

    These unisex, low cut, super comfortable Airackeer ankle socks are perfect for preventing blisters while walking around an entire day at the park.


    There are really two types of towels to bring to a theme park.

    • To Cool Off
    • To Dry Off

    The Cooling Towels have exploded in popularity over the last few years, as guests can use these to quickly cool off on a hot day. 

    cooling towels

    These towels hold 8 times more water than a regular towel, and uses its evaporation technology to cool the user off.

    Most guests will use these towels on their necks, heads, and arms to quickly cool off.

    Items to Avoid

    Cotton T-shirts

    As they tend to take a long time to dry in the humidity, sweat, and water rides.


    Best Tips for Carowinds

    Best Time to Go to Carowinds

    Best Rides at Carowinds

    What is the Carowinds Rain Policy?

    Can You Buy Carowinds Tickets at the Gate?

    What is the Carowinds Bag Policy?

    How Much is a Carowinds Souvenir Cup?

    How to Stay Cool at Carowinds

    The Ultimate Carowinds Parking Guide