Best Camping/Hiking Towels – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 16.Feb.2020

Best Choice Go to Amazon Shop

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel

The Sea To Summit Pocket Towel lives up to its name with a compact, travel-ready design. Dry your hair or towel off clean dishes at camp, all with a super-light and surprisingly absorbent design that packs easily.
Best Choice Go to Amazon Shop

Packtowl Personal Towel

Lightweight, quick-drying, and incredibly soft, the Packtowl Personal Towel is an excellent choice for travel and camping. Its microfiber blend is not only exceptionally soft and smooth, but it also soaks up four times its weight in water for quick and easy drying. Plus, its antimicrobial treatment means this towel resists odor build-up when you're camping and traveling for extended periods.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 16.Feb.2020

You cannot take any regular cloth in your backpack because they are heavy and hence not suitable for hiking. Due to their bulkiness, these towels take a little while to dry. Therefore, you will have to pack them wet in some cases if they don’t dry in time. It will add further to the overall weight of your bag.

It is not a suitable situation for you because in many moist environments, bacteria breed and thrive. The bacteria will grow and reach to your other items in your pack when you squeeze your wet towel in. The best backpack towels are made of different materials. Their regular counterparts are made of cotton while these towels are made of nylon and polyester. Due to this reason, these backpacking towels don’t take much time to dry and they also don’t add much weight.

Let’s find out some of the critical features that you must consider to make an informed decision.

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel

Dry off after a dip in an alpine lake with the Sea to Summit Pocket towel.
The Sea To Summit Pocket Towel lives up to its name with a compact, travel-ready design. Dry your hair or towel off clean dishes at camp, all with a super-light and surprisingly absorbent design that packs easily.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Backpacking

Material(s)

70% polyester/30% nylon

Dimensions

S: 32 x 16 inches, L: 48 x 24 inches

Weight

S: 1.5 ounces, L: 3.9 ounces

Pros

Lightweight

Microfiber fabric absorbs lots of water

Cons

Not seen

Packtowl Personal Towel

Perfect for drying off after a dip in an alpine lake, the PackTowl Personal towel has a soft hand that feels great next to skin.
Lightweight, quick-drying, and incredibly soft, the Packtowl Personal Towel is an excellent choice for travel and camping. Its microfiber blend is not only exceptionally soft and smooth, but it also soaks up four times its weight in water for quick and easy drying. Plus, its antimicrobial treatment means this towel resists odor build-up when you're camping and traveling for extended periods.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Multisport

Material(s)

85% polyester/15% nylon

Quick Drying

Yes

Dimensions

Beach: 59 x 36 in., Body: 54 x 25 in., Face: 14 x 10 in., Hand: 36 x 16.5 in.

Weight

Beach: 9.7 oz. ounces, Body: 6.4 oz. ounces, Face: 0.7 oz. ounces, Hand: 2.9 oz. ounces

Pros

Fabric absorbs 4 times its weight in water

Polygiene odor-control fights off funky smells

Cons

Not seen

Sea to Summit Tek Towel

Super-absorbent and quick drying, the Sea To Summit Tek towel is made from luxurious feeling microfiber, and is ideal for traveling, camping, boating or drying yourself or the dog off after a swim.
Like most microfiber towels, the Sea to Summit Tek Towel is highly absorbent and quick drying. Unlike most microfiber towels, this one has a natural terry cloth feel that's super comfy next to your skin. Sea to Summit also included a snap-on hang loop so you can hang it from trees while you're backpacking and a zippered mesh pouch that securely stores it while allowing it to dry.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping

Material(s)

70% polyester/30% nylon microfiber

Quick Drying

Yes

Dimensions

32 x 16 x 0.25 inches

Weight

4.9 ounces

Pros

Super-absorbent

Quick drying

Cons

Weight

Benefits

There are various benefits of using the best backpacking towels when you are on your trip. Your regular clothes are extremely heavy and bulky in size. Even if you take the smallest one, this is going to feel very heavy when you place it in your bag. 

The regular drying clothes are made of cotton because it absorbs a lot of water. When it does so, it becomes heavy. It is something that you don’t want as a backpacker. Therefore, you need to go for nylon or polyester-based clothes because they don’t absorb water and hence they don’t become heavy. 

Additionally, cotton clothes take a lot of time to dry whereas, nylon or polyester towels don’t take much time in this regard. Your towel will dry as soon as you use it. It will prevent any development of bacteria and you can easily put it in your pack with ease. 

What to look for when buying a backpacking wipe cloth?

Material is not the only factor you should look for in a backpacking towel. There are some other points that you need to consider, as well. In this buying guide, we have enlisted all those points to ease the buying process for you. 

Material

Material with which a backpacking towel is made is going to influence its drying time and packed weight. Backpacking towels are not made of cotton, and hence, they are lightweight and don’t take much time to dry. Polyester and nylon are very easy to compress and pack and they dry easily. 

Therefore, these materials are better suited for backpacking. Due to the small packets within the fibers of nylon and polyester, you can squeeze water out, and your cloth will dry very quickly. 

Packability

Another feature of these backpacking towels is that you can easily compress them, and they won‘t take much space in your backpack. These towels are not only lightweight but are compact in size as well. Cotton towels are very bulky in size and they are very difficult to pack because they don’t get compressed very easily. Therefore, you need a backpacking towel made of polyester or nylon to take less room in your backpack.

Wicking

Synthetics are better when we talk about moisture-wicking. Cotton is a lot better absorber; therefore, it doesn’t wick moisture away.  Due to this tendency, it doesn’t dry quickly either. It also results in the development and growth of bacteria. 

Absorbency

Another point that is directly tied with the materials used in the construction is absorbency. It is something where cotton clothes are a lot better as compared to nylon or polyester ones. Cotton fibers can easily absorb a lot of moisture but the fabric will also take a lot longer to dry. 

Nylon or polyester is good in absorbency but not better than cotton. Hence, they won’t take much longer to dry. Moist towels for a long period can develop bacteria and these bacteria can reach other items in your backpack. To repent all this, you need to go for a cloth that can dry quickly 

Treatments

Some manufacturers of these backpacking towels also utilize a variety of antimicrobial treatments, especially Polygene. Such antimicrobial treatments halt any bacteria growth that causes odor. Therefore, your towels will stay fresh for a long time. 

But you need to keep in mind that these treatments wash away, and there is no permanent solution to this. 

Appearance

Most of the backpacking towels are designed to be anti-mildew and anti-odor. Therefore, they use combination materials like bamboo and polyester or nylon and polyester. 

Due to the microfibers, these materials can trap water inside the pockets within the fibers. You can conveniently squeeze the water out, and the cloth will dry out pretty quickly.

Comfort

As you are going to place your cloth in your backpack; therefore, it needs to be useful in this regard. You should be able to pack your towel conveniently. It shouldn’t take much space inside your bag. They are also very lightweight, so they will not add to the overall weight of your backpack. 

Drying time

Drying time is directly related to absorbency, but they both are mutually exclusive. If a fabric absorbs much water, then it will take some time to dry as well. Therefore, cotton takes a long time to dry because it absorbs a lot of moisture. 

On the other hand, synthetic materials like microfibers, nylon, or polyester don’t soak much water; hence, they dry very quickly. 

Weight and Size

Backpacking towels are light in weight because they are made of nylon or polyester. Both are light in weight as compared to cotton. 

Another benefit of synthetics is that they are lightweight, and they will play a significant role in making you pack light. When folded, synthetics don‘t take much space as well if you compare these clothes with the cotton. So they are the best choice in every regard. 

Odor resistance

Moisture-wicking and odor resistance go hand in hand when it comes to towels. Backpacking towels are designed to wick moisture, and hence they can prevent any development of bacteria. These bacteria cause odor; therefore, with the stopped bacteria growth, no odor will develop as well. 

Our recommendations

We have discussed several features of the best backpack quick dry cloth but to further ease up things for you, we have also had some recommendations. 

Best ultralight towel

The OlimpiaFit Lightweight Towel is the best ultralight towel. It is available in three different sizes, and you also get to choose from different colors. These towels have 100% microfibers and they are lightweight and are quick to dry. These towels are also best for multipurpose use. 

Best hiking towel

The Microfiber Towel by Rainleaf is the best hiking towel that you can use for sports as well as travel. This towel dries fast, and it is super absorbent.  The construction of this towel is very compact and it is available in different colors. These towels are very lightweight and they are very friendly to your skin. 

Best travel towel

The best travel dry cloth is the Youphoria Microfibers Towel. These dry clothes have a debauched drying time, and they are equally good for camping. Bach and backpacking. You can use them for the gym and sports. 

Conclusion

The best backpacking towel that you need to choose for your next trip needs to be extremely lightweight, and it must also have a quick drying time. Cotton is not going to be very useful for you’re here. You need to go for synthetic materials like microfiber, nylon or polyester. 

These materials are very lightweight, and they will not take much space in your backpack. Antimicrobial treatment is not going to last for very long; therefore, this feature is not very critical. The coating will wash away pretty quickly. The fabric needs to be hypoallergenic and soft to use. 

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