The Best Packable Travel Towels

giant travel towel

We love a plush, thirsty bath towel , but a campsite or suitcase just isn’t the place for one—there, we want a quick-drying, packable travel towel.

After putting 20 such towels through 60 hours of testing—including an intense day of sand and surf at the beach—we’ve concluded the PackTowl Personal offers the best balance of drying time, packability, and odor resistance without compromising comfort and design.

A good option for nearly every towel-related scenario, it’s lightweight, extra-large, and supersoft, making it usable for both car camping and travel into the backcountry.

Everything we recommend

giant travel towel

PackTowl Personal

The best packable camp towel.

Whether used for camping, hiking, traveling, or general outdoor adventuring, this towel is durable enough to handle extended abuse while remaining soft and comfortable.

Buying Options

Budget pick.

giant travel towel

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

An inexpensive towel that gets the job done.

Good-enough absorbency and drying time for those on a budget.

giant travel towel

PackTowl Luxe

A plush, comfortable towel.

Good for car camping, day trips, and hanging at the beach, this towel is made of an incredibly soft fabric that also repels dirt.

Scoring well in nearly every performance category, the PackTowl Personal towel consistently surprised us with its ability to handle the elements. It has an antibacterial treatment to help prevent odor, the “body” size (25 by 54 inches) is large enough to wrap around most folks, and it feels soft against the skin. It’s made of a tear-resistant fabric and was the best towel we tested at absorbing water and repelling dirt. Better still, sand from the beach remained on the towel’s surface so it was easy to shake off, leaving the towel clean after multiple uses. Its drying time was faster than most of the towels we tested and it packs down to a small size in a zippered breathable pouch, making it convenient for travel or camping.

The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel was nearly identical in design to many of the pricier models and scored just as well in our field tests. The only downsides are that its size large is smaller than most other large towels we tested, and it has lighter-feeling fabric. It didn’t handle our day at the beach quite as well and took a little longer to dry, but otherwise it’s comparable in comfort and packability. And, because it’s treated with an antibacterial coating—something not standard on budget (or even some pricey) towels—it passed our smell test with a perfect score. At just a fraction of the price of our top choice, it’s a good pick if you’re the kind of person who goes camping a few times a year and needs something affordable that works well.

If packing your towel down into a tiny space isn’t a concern for you, the PackTowl Luxe is about as comfortable as a towel can get. Although it does take up a bit more room and takes significantly longer to dry, its “body” size has the same dimensions as our top pick but has a plusher feel against the skin. Unlike similar big and luxurious camp towels, it didn’t smell after being put away wet. It absorbed water off the skin without trapping in the dirt and sand, which left it surprisingly clean for a towel with such a high pile. As it was easy to shake off, we enjoyed having it as a wrap and beach blanket, too.

The research

Why you should trust us, who this is for, how we picked, how we tested, our pick: packtowl personal, how the packtowl has held up, flaws but not dealbreakers, an inexpensive towel that works fine: rainleaf microfiber towel, a plush, comfortable towel: packtowl luxe, microfibers and the environment, the competition, care and maintenance.

We spoke with three experts to get their takes on what we should look for in a good towel. Mark Knight, a product designer currently with Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) , has designed a number of outdoor products, including packable towels, and gave us a breakdown on what he considers to be important when creating products like these.

A man hiking up a rocky incline with mountains visible in the background.

We spoke via email with Georgia Newsome, owner and operator of Coastal Bliss Adventures , who has worked as a backpacking, camping, and canoeing guide for the past 15 years.

A woman wearing a camping back pack standing in front of a sign for the Appleton Creek Recreation Site in British Columbia.

And we spoke with Craig Oliver, product manager for health and safety at MEC. He was able to tell us what’s important from a consumer perspective. In addition to these interviews, we read a number of online reviews, pored over camping and backpacking forums, researched microfiber fabrics, and then selected and tested the towels we think cover most activities to determine which one was best overall.

Three towels hanging from a snap look strung between two trees.

Why doesn’t a regular, everyday cotton towel cut it for most outdoor activities? Knight offered us five reasons your cotton towel isn’t ideal: it’s too big, too heavy, might get damaged or stained, doesn’t get washed at the same frequency it would at home, therefore causing it to smell, and lastly, it’s not always used in the same manner as it would be at home. He added, “As a travel towel, there is also the added functional requirement of being quick-dry. When traveling, you can move around a lot, and a packed wet towel generally means a stinky towel.”

Packable towels are usually made from microfiber , although a few of the ones we tested are made from other materials (which didn’t end up performing as well). These materials are typically a blend of polyester and polyamide, aka nylon, and depending on the blend will produce a towel that feels more suede-like and slick to one that feels more plush like your average cotton towel. There are also packable towels made of nanofabric, which is composed of tiny nanoscopic fibers woven together—think the width of a human hair (or even smaller)—to create a fabric that is incredibly lightweight and small. Though they do the trick, nanofiber towels tend to have a slicker surface, which means they don’t feel much like the towel you’re used to.

Four towels of different colors drying on a tree branch next to a campsite.

According to Oliver, the most popular camp towel size is roughly equivalent to a standard household bath towel—about 26 by 52 inches after washing. Some towels were slightly smaller or larger, but we tried to stay within what would seem like regulation size for most people.

All the experts we talked to shared the opinion that the type of towel you’ll want to purchase depends on the activity you’re using it for. For backpacking or kayaking trips, Newsome told us that “lightweight, small packability and quick drying are the most important factors.” For car camping or other adventures, where weight isn’t an issue, she opts for a larger microfiber towel, and one with an antimicrobial coating, “which means for those longer road trips and tours this towel stays fresh smelling.” Knight’s opinion aligned with Newsome’s: “Some of the lightest towels don’t feel that great against your skin, but the weight means you will actually bring it in your backpack when on a long hike. If you are traveling around the world, weight might not be your primary concern, but comfort will factor highly, as you will be using the towel each day—unless you are a soap dodger ! So, a softer, slightly heavier towel may be the way to go.”

Just as important as how much water a towel can absorb—in other words, how well it dries you—is how well the towel dries after you’re dry. “Nobody wants to put a wet towel into their backpack,” Oliver said.

A person holding a bundle of 19 towels of various materials and colors.

After surveying online reviews, forums, and user ratings, and asking people what type of towel they preferred for their own outdoor activities, we narrowed our field to 19 packable towels, then threw in a standard cotton towel as a plush baseline. We then tested the towels using seven criteria: price, comfort, design, wicking, drying time, odor resistance, and packability.

We washed and dried all of the towels, giving them all an equal starting point, then we scored them in each category. We didn’t score weight or size, but we did make note of whether these features made a difference when comparing similar options.

Comfort: This was a tough one because of the people we asked, some preferred a more textured fabric and others liked the smooth feel of the microsuede towels. We asked individuals to feel each towel against their skin, asked for their comments, and then asked what their overall top picks were.

Design: Here, we looked at how well the towel is made, and whether there were any particular features—good or bad—that made drying off more or less of a pleasure. Key among them was fabric quality, stitching, and what kind of hanging loop—essential!—the towel came with. We also looked at texture, an important attribute for both water absorption and grabbing dirt and grime, rather than just pushing it around. A too-slick towel won’t do much of anything except leave your skin feeling yucky and wet.

A closeup photo of water beads on the surface of a blue towel.

Wicking: One of the most important tests we conducted was how well the towel could wick away water and leave the skin feeling dry. When we took our test towels to the beach, we wanted to see how they performed against sandy salt water and whether they were able to clean the skin in addition to drying it.

Drying time: To determine which towel dried the fastest, we applied the same amount of water to each towel and then timed how long it took for them to dry. But how much water to use, and how dry is dry, exactly? We used 4 ounces of water, a quantity we settled on after having multiple testers shower and weigh their towels before and after use. Once the person was dry enough to feel comfortable putting their clothes on, we called that “dry.” We did this a couple of times with each person and used a couple types of cotton towels to get a base number. The average amount of water people removed from their bodies after showering was a ½ cup, or about 225 milliliters. We hung our entire assortment of high-tech, portable towels on the same line and recorded the time it took to leave each one dry to the touch.

Odor resistance: Another important criterion is how the towel smells after multiple uses. “An antimicrobial finish helps with odor management and decreases the frequency you need to wash the towel,” Knight told us. A towel may be used a dozen times before it gets properly washed, and if a towel smells musty or dirty after a couple of uses, it probably is. Many of the towels advertise a protective antibacterial coating and we wanted to see if these coatings actually made a difference.

Nineteen towels sitting on the beach, each individually sealed in a plastic bag.

Our test involved taking the towels to the beach, soaking them in 16 ounces of ocean water, wringing out the excess water as best as we could, and then placing each towel in a sealed plastic bag for 48 hours. After that, we opened the bags and took a whiff. Though most remained odor-free (especially those coated with an antimicrobial treatment), we were taken aback by how seriously a few of them reeked.

Packability: As important as drying you—and drying out—are, the other key thing a camp towel has to do is pack small for travel. Some towels came with cases, some didn’t. Our focus was simply how tiny a towel could get.

Price: More expensive doesn’t really seem like a good thing when it comes to something like a packable travel towel, given that there’s such a variance in price and that most towels pretty much claim to do the same thing.

A blue towel drying on a tree branch next to a camp site.

The PackTowl Personal is our top choice because it handled every test we put it through. It’s the perfect option for nearly any outdoor activity that requires a towel. It’s large and durable while still being comfortable and comes with an antimicrobial treatment, which means it won’t smell after multiple uses. Its snap loop for hanging was one of the easiest to use, and the towel packs down to a small size, making it easy to travel with. Its drying time was comparable with that of the fastest-drying towels we tested, and it didn’t absorb dirt or sand into its fabric, an essential feature if you’re taking a towel into the backcountry.

Made of a soft microsuede, this towel was consistently chosen as a top pick by those we asked to rate its comfort. It is soft and light, but still has a bit of texture, so it doesn’t feel slick against your skin the way a nanofiber towel like the Matador NanoDry Shower Towel does. The PackTowl seems built to last, with a nicely seamed edge that should hold up over time. On top of feeling soft, it dried our skin much more readily than the non-microfiber towels we tested, like the Coleman or Outlier. It even dried a bit more quickly than other microfiber products in our test group. We were impressed by how well it repelled sand and dirt from being absorbed into its fabric. The sand that did stick to the towel was easy to shake off—which wasn’t the case of some of the other models we tested that looked like dirty rags after just a short time at the beach.

In our drying-time test, the PackTowl dried much faster than most, with the exception of the linen towel and the Biospired Footprint, which beat the PackTowl’s dry time by 30 minutes. (The towels we tested dried in a range from 1 hour, 45 minutes to nearly 4 hours.) We noticed that the towels with an additional antimicrobial coating took a little longer to dry. We think the extra odor protection is worth the few extra minutes of drying time. As the PackTowl dried, some water initially beaded on the surface, but was then absorbed, compared with towels that still had visible water beads after almost an hour of drying. (Beads of water were a good indication of extended drying times.) Water also dispersed evenly through the towel rather than leaving wet spots, which likely contributed to its fast drying time. We dried the towels in overcast conditions, and noticed that at just over 1 hour, 30 minutes the PackTowl was only minimally damp, and could be packed back into its carrying case if you were in a rush to pack up and go.

A closeup photo of a blue PackTowl towel, with gray stitching around the edge.

We tested the PackTowl’s “body” size, which weighed 6.7 ounces, fairly average compared with the other suede-type towels, and measured 25 by 54 inches, just shy of being the same size as our standard bath towel, and larger than many of the towels in our testing pool.

Wirecutter staffers have owned this towel for multiple seasons and it continues to hold up, with no loose threads or unraveled seams after use.

We didn’t love the PackTowl’s pouch: it doesn’t attach easily to a backpack, and the zipper seemed flimsy. But the pouch is made of breathable fabric, so it won’t trap moisture the way a plastic bag or pouch might. Although the PackTowl is antimicrobial, it did have the slightest ocean water odor to it after our 48-hour smell test, which is not something we noticed in previous tests.

An orange towel drying on a tree branch next to a camp site.

Costing about half the price of our top pick, the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is a great choice for those that don’t want to shell out almost $30 for a towel. A major bonus is that unlike most of the inexpensive towels we considered, this one actually comes with an antimicrobial treatment and passed the smell test after being sealed up wet for two days. It’s also comfortable, easy to dry off with, and just as packable as the PackTowl.

An orange Rainleaf towel packed into a mesh bag.

It didn’t dry quite as fast as our top pick and that may be due to the fact that some of the water beaded off and remained on the surface before being absorbed directly into the towel. The size we tested (L) is also slightly smaller than some of the pricier options but still big enough to wrap around the average person’s body.

Because it is so inexpensive, there’s the option of upgrading to the XL or XXL sizes for just a few bucks more and still have it come in well below price of most other towels. On top of that, it has a functional carrying pouch that is both breathable and easy to fasten onto a backpack so you can pack the towel damp and hang it to dry when it’s time to hit the road.

A closeup photo of an orange Rainleaf towel.

That said, though it did well drying our testers at the beach, it didn’t handle sand as well as our top pick, leaving a good amount behind on both their skin and the towel itself. If you’re a serious outdoor adventurer who’s going to be putting it to work against the elements, we recommend a towel that can handle gritty, sticky stuff a bit better.

A green drying on a tree branch next to a campsite.

If size and volume aren’t issues and you’re looking for something more soft and comfortable, the PackTowl Luxe performed the best of the plush cotton-like microfiber towels. Not only did it dry the quickest of these towels, it was good at removing sand from the skin and didn’t absorb dirt and mud into the fabric. It also didn’t have any odor after the smell test. A few of the other thicker towels we tested simply reeked—testers used the term “rotten fish”—after a couple days crunched into a ball, but not the Luxe.

A closeup photo of a green PackTowl Luxe towel.

If comfort is a primary concern, this towel feels much closer to cotton, avoiding the slick skin-feel common to many microsuedes and nanofibers. As we did with our pick, the PackTowl Personal, we tested the extra-large “Body” size. Also like our pick, at this size the Luxe is a few inches larger than the others we tested of the same type, measuring 25 by 54 inches, offering that extra little bit of coverage.

It does come with a carrying pouch, and though not as stylish or durable as the Sea to Summit Pocket Towel ’s silicone carrying case, it’s adequate for what it needs to do. We consider this towel a solid option for car camping and day trips, when taking up a little extra space won’t matter.

Although durable and light, there’s an environmental downside to microsynthetic fibers: Every time you wash that gear, small quantities of its fibers are shed, ending up in our waterways and oceans. (Here’s a study from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management on the issue.) For more about the problem and some advice on combating it, see our article Your Laundry Sheds Harmful Microfibers. Here’s What You Can Do About It.

We tested a standard white bath towel—the Fieldcrest Luxury Solid Towel, which has since been discontinued—that was the same size as the majority of the towels we tested. It performed as expected: It was great at drying skin and was comfortable, but it didn’t pack down and had a bit of a funky smell after our odor test. Surprisingly, it didn’t take that much longer to dry than some of the plusher microfiber models we tested and actually outperformed a few of the towels that are marketed specifically for camping.

Biospired Footprint Towel: This had been our runner-up pick, but the size we tested has cycled in and out of stock. If you do happen to run across one, it’s still a good towel, though. We had also tested, and dismissed, the Biospired Endurance Camping & Fitness Towel and the Biospired Trek Pack Towel; for what it’s worth, those towels also tend to have stock problems.

Matador NanoDry Shower Towel : For backcountry campers and hikers that are concerned about weight, this is by far the lightest towel we tested (2.4 ounces). It performed well, but it is very thin and not as comfortable as the others. We decided it was too specialized to be best for most people.

Outlier Grid Linen Towel : Made of a natural linen fabric, this towel was the fastest-drying towel, and it performed well at the beach. But it doesn’t pack down very small, doesn’t come with a carrying case but rather a thick elastic band, and had a faint smell after our odor test. Those drawbacks made it hard to justify its high price.

Sunland Microfiber Towel  (currently unavailable): One of the least expensive microfiber towels, but no antimicrobial treatment and very average performance.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel : One of the slowest to dry. Another note of caution, many online reviews have reported a problem with the cobalt blue dye running. We didn’t run into this problem, but we tested an orange towel, so it’s likely the issue is with only the darker-colored towels. Another drawback is that the carrying case comes with a Velcro closure, making it possible to snag the fabric when maneuvering the towel into and out of the case.

Shandali Yoga Travel Towel  (currently unavailable): Average performance, no carrying case, and though it does have a little loop for hanging to dry, most of the towels we tested had a loop with a snap, making them more versatile.

YogaRat SportLite Sport + Bath Towel  (currently unavailable): Though this towel did dry quite quickly and was resistant to odor during our 48-hour test, the lack of an antibacterial treatment gave us odor concerns for people taking it on longer trips. And with no carrying case and a snapless loop, this towel was a few steps below our top choices in convenience.

Sea to Summit Tek Towel : Sand stuck to the towel, leaving it quite dirty. Drying time was slow.

REI Co-op Multi Towel  (currently unavailable, but we're looking into a possible new version): Everything stuck to this towel: dryer lint, grass, sand, and dirt, and even though we tested a darker color, it looked dirty after our day at the beach. It also didn’t smell great after our odor test, and it took over four hours to dry.

Lightload Towel : Not really built to be used multiple times, this towel is made of an almost paperlike viscose material, and although very small, once unpackaged it can’t be squished down to its original size (although it does fit in a smaller Ziploc bag). It is incredibly large though, dried quickly, and would probably perform as an ad-hoc firestarter or outdoor survival tool (non-cleanliness-oriented usage scenarios suggested by the manufacturer). Whether being able to set the world on fire is a worthwhile trade-off with this towel’s lack of odor resistance—it was the worst performer in our stink trial—is something we hope we’ll never have to decide.

Coghlan’s Deluxe Camp Towel (currently unavailable): This is the classic outdoor towel that’s been around campsites for years. Some backcountry campers still prefer these towels because they’re small, lightweight, and cheap, but they didn’t perform as well as the microfiber towels that we tested. They dry very slowly, stink up easily, and don’t feel good against the skin.

Coleman Camp Towel  (currently unavailable): Similar in nearly every aspect to the Coghlan’s towel, just with slightly different dimensions—neither is big enough to really function as a full-body wrap—this model also had the drawbacks of rough fabric, odor retention, and delayed drying. (It appears to have been discontinued.)

Most packable towels are designed to repel dirt and bacteria, so they don’t need to be cleaned after every use. Excessive washing can also break down the fabric and any additional antimicrobial technology the towel might be treated with. So, wash only when dirty and don’t dry your towel on high heat unless absolutely necessary; way better to hang it when you can and let the air take care of it.

This article was edited by Ria Misra and Christine Ryan.

Nicholas J. Bruce, Niko L. Hartline, Stephanie N. Karba, Elizabeth O. Ruff, Shreya U. Sonar, and Patricia A. Holden, Microfiber Pollution and the Apparel Industry , Bren School of Environmental Science and Management , September 30, 2016

Mark Knight, product designer for Mountain Equipment Co-opand member of the Outdoor Industry Association , email interview , April 21, 2017

Georgia Newsome, owner and operator of Coastal Bliss Adventure and Kilimanjaro Bliss , email interview , March 31, 2017

Craig Oliver, product manager for health and safety at Mountain Equipment Co-op , phone interview , March 29, 2017

What Are The Coolest New Small Gear Companies? , Outside , January 15, 2016

Anne Trafton, Tiny particles may pose big risk , MIT News , April 8, 2014

Meet your guide

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Ebony Roberts

Further reading

Various travel gear items laid out on a yellow background.

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Traveling solo is freeing but poses some unique challenges. Wirecutter’s picks help you travel comfortably and securely—and bring home great pictures too.

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These 100 useful things were the most-purchased Wirecutter picks in July 2022.

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After six years of relaxing in the sand and playing in the surf, we’ve chosen the best picks to help you enjoy a perfect beach day.

The 9 Best Travel Towels

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We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

TripSavvy / Nathan Allen

In the midst of packing all of the other essentials in your luggage, it can be easy to forget those last-minute items like certain beauty products for your toiletry bag or even a travel towel. While it might be easy to treat them as an afterthought, travel towels are a handy necessity whether you're roughing it in the woods while camping or leisurely sipping cocktails on the beach. An excellent travel towel is fast-absorbing and fairly sizable depending on what activities you'll be getting into. It also has to be compact and foldable.

To help you narrow down your choices, here are the best travel towels.

  • What to Look For

Why Trust TripSavvy

Best overall, sea to summit drylite towel.

Super absorbent

Comes with its own carrying case

Nothing yet

Sea to Summit's Drylite Towel is our overall top travel towel pick. We love that it has a case for storage, its soft suede finish, and lightness (the size large weighs just over 5 ounces). We love that it comes in five sizes ranging from a hand towel to a beach towel. It's incredibly absorbent and quick-drying. And it's machine-washable and features primarily recycled materials.

Dimensions: 24 x 47 inches (L) | Weight: 5.1 ounces (L) | Materials: Microfiber with suede finish | Sustainability: Made of 80 percent recycled polyester and 20 percent nylon

Runner-Up, Best Overall

Rumpl everywhere towel.

Quick-drying and packable

Lots of colors and comes with a hang loop

Rumpl is popular for its puffy camp and travel blankets, which we like a lot. But if you haven't tried the brand's travel towels, now's the time. These extremely packable towels are incredibly soft thanks to its polyester microsuede material. It's quick-drying and highly absorbent. And thanks to a microbial finish, we were able to use this towel multiple times between washes, prolonging the lifespan of the towel.

Dimensions: 72 x 29.5 inches | Weight: 0.8 pounds | Materials: 95 percent polyester, 5 percent spandex | Sustainability: Not listed

Best Budget

Rainleaf microfiber towel.

Waterproof carrying bag

Extremely soft

Has a zippered pocket

The color can bleed when washing

If you're looking for a wallet-friendly towel that comes in different colors or sizes, consider the RainLeaf Microfiber Towel. Like most other travel towels, it's made from fast-drying, absorbent microfiber. There are seven colors to suit all tastes (think army green, blue, rose red, or orange) and no fewer than six sizes ranging from extra small (12 x 24 inches) to an extra, extra-large (40 x 72 inches).

This soft towel is also anti-microbial and folds (rather than rolls) into a breathable, waterproof carry bag that protects the rest of your clothes, even if it's still a bit damp. When you get home from your travels, it works just as well as a beach or gym towel. Use the snap loop to hang it up to dry and the corner zip pocket to hide your cell phone or wallet from prying eyes on the beach.

Dimensions: 48 x 24 inches (L) | Weight: 0.4 pounds (L) | Materials: Microfiber (polyester, polyamide) | Sustainability: Not listed |

Best Eco-Friendly

Nomadix original towel.

Made with post-consumer recycled materials

Great colors and prints

Super soft and absorbent

Environmentally conscious and sustainable travelers will love the Nomadix Original Towel. It features 90 percent post-consumer recycled polyester and packs down very small. We've been loving it so much; we've also been using it as our regular shower towel in addition to a travel towel, beach towel, and post-run and bike ride towel.

Nomadix claims this towel absorbs four times its weight in water and dries four times faster than cotton towels. It's also "funk-resistant," sand-resistant, and pet hair-resistant. So far, we can confirm the affirmative for all of those claims.

Dimensions: 72.5 x 30 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Materials: Recycled polyester, nylon | Sustainability: 90 percent post-consumer recycled polyester

Best for Backpacking

Packtowl ultralite towel.

Many different sizes

Weighs just about 5 ounces

Ultra moisture-wicking

Normally expensive, but currently on sale

PackTowl is probably one of—if not the best—backcountry and wilderness towel brands. Its UltraLite Towel is excellent for backpacking as the largest beach-size towel weighs just 5.1 ounces. It's soft, thanks to anti-pill fabrics. And it claims to have four times the absorbency of ordinary towels and dries 80 percent faster. We also love that it has a hang loop to hang from your tent or a tree and is machine washable.

Dimensions: 54 x 25 inches | Weight: 3.4 ounces | Materials: 70 percent polyester, 30 percent nylon | Sustainability: Not listed

Best Turkish

Nature is gift nature is gift turkish cotton towel.

Courtesy of Amazon

Quick drying

Organic material

Lightweight

Can shrink over time

Nature Is Gift's Turkish Cotton Towel takes inspiration from the peshtemals or traditional towels used in Turkish hammams. It is made from 100 percent natural Turkish cotton — a premium fabric with extra-long fibers that gets softer and more absorbent with every wash. It dries more quickly than terry cloth towels and is significantly more compact. When folded flat, this travel towel also takes up very little luggage space when you're on the go.

At 70 x 37 inches, this is a large towel that provides ample coverage, whether you use it as a changing screen at the beach or as a cover-up when walking from your bedroom to a communal bathroom . There are various colors to choose from, including grass, lilac, aqua, and rich gray. All colors have statement-making stripes and hand-knotted tassels along the shorter edges. When you're not using it as a towel, this product also doubles as a scarf, sarong, picnic blanket, or throw for your living room at home.

Dimensions: 70 x 37 inches | Weight: 0.37 pounds | Materials: Cotton | Sustainability: Organically dyed yarn

Best Multipurpose

Snappy towels waffle weave microfiber towel.

Versatile snaps

Lightweight and compact

More expensive than similar styles

The Snappy Towels Waffle Weave Microfiber Towel offers the same properties as other microfiber towels: it’s quick to dry, absorbent, compact, and lightweight. However, none of the others are as versatile as this one, which has clever snaps along its edges. You can use them to fasten the travel towel around your waist as a sarong or changing cover. You can also fasten it around your shoulders as a shade-giving cape or poncho.

If you’re traveling with small children, the towel can double as a stroller cover and offers privacy to breastfeeding moms. You can even connect the snaps to transform the towel into a tote bag for carrying belongings to and from the beach, and at the end of the day, you can fasten it over a deck railing to dry. If you buy more than one towel, they can snap together to create a large beach blanket for your friends and family. Available in green or orange, the sand-free travel towel measures 50 x 27 inches, and other sizes are offered online. 

Dimensions: 50 x 27 inches | Weight: 0.65 pounds | Materials: Microfiber (polyester, polyamide) | Sustainability: Not listed

OlimpiaFit Quick Dry Towel, 3 Sized Set

Great for a range of uses

Includes an elastic band

Doesn't hang well

An excellent value, you get three various-sized towels for the price of most individually-bought towels with the OlimpiaFit set. The 100 percent microfiber travel towels measure 50 x 30 inches (large), 30 x 15 inches (medium), and 15 x 15 inches (small), making the set perfect for multi-purpose use—whether you're headed to the beach, campgrounds, or gym. They're also all anti-microbial, extremely absorbent, hypoallergenic, and quick-drying, while the lightweight, compact towels can pack four times smaller than terrycloth towels. In addition to a hanging loop, the travel-friendly set also comes with a mesh carrying bag for each towel.

Dimensions: 50 x 30 inches (L) | Weight: 0.75 pounds (all) | Materials: Microfiber | Sustainability: Not listed

Goodlinens Lightweight Linen Travel Towel

Goodlinens 

Highly absorbent

Durable material

Easy to clean

Doesn't come with a carrying bag

Measuring 36 x 56 inches, Goodlinens' travel towel is pretty sizable whether you want to use it while enjoying a picnic or wrap yourself up after taking a dip in the ocean. Despite its size, it folds compactly to fit in a backpack. The towel is made from 100 percent linen, is easy to wash, and even gets softer over time. The design is a natural or beige hue, and the single blue stripe adds a fun touch but can also distinguish your towel from everyone else's.

Dimensions: 56 x 36 inches | Weight: 0.61 pounds | Materials: Linen | Sustainability: Not listed

What to Look for in Travel Towels

The choice of material is usually at the top of the list when determining which travel towel is the best option for you. Microfiber towels will feel great against the skin and stand up pretty well to tons of washing. Some even repel sand, which is great if you're a frequent beachgoer. Other options can include cotton or the luxe feel of natural, organic Turkish cotton.

Packability

Long towels are great and provide tons of function, whether you plan to use them for a picnic, at the beach, or drying off. However, bulky towels can be pretty inconvenient when traveling. Opt for a towel that's lightweight and folds easily. Some towels come with carrying bags and even elastic bands to keep them tightly wrapped while traveling.

An absorbent towel will be useful for activities like beach days or camping. Look for a towel with a high absorbency so you can dry yourself off quickly and not carry around a soggy towel.

Rolled towels take up less space than folded towels, so keep that in mind when packing. If you are carrying a smaller bag or a backpack, place the rolled towel at the button of your bag because it can be compressed to fit larger things on top. Since travel towels can dry fast, you don’t have to worry as much about finding a spot for a damp towel on your return trip home. 

When traveling, sometimes things can be forgotten about when they’re tucked away in a bag or a car. Antimicrobial towels help to prevent those forgotten towels from smelling bad and becoming moldy. A towel that is not antimicrobial can get the job done, but it will be important to be diligent about drying, cleaning, and storing the towel properly after use. 

Most towels range from 20 to 70 inches in length. Having a towel that won’t take up too much space in your luggage is ideal, so you will need to determine which size towel works best for your needs. Opting for a larger towel could be the best option if you are planning to spend time at the beach and will need to dry off. 

Author  Jessica Macdonald  is a freelance writer specializing in travel, scuba diving, and wildlife conservation. She is a two-time winner of The Telegraph's  Just Back  travel writing competition and has written extensively for various magazines, travel agencies, websites, and PR companies. 

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Mountain Warehouse Giant Micro Towelling Travel Towel - 150x85cm - Fast Dry, Absorbent -For, Camping Charcoal

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Mountain Warehouse Giant Micro Towelling Travel Towel - 150x85cm - Fast Dry, Absorbent -For, Camping Charcoal

Charcoal

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About this item.

  • Texture - Super soft towelling fabric is comfortable and feels great against the skin
  • Extra Absorbent - Absorbs up to 4 times its own weight
  • Fast Drying - Dries up to 4 times faster than a regular towel
  • Lightweight - Weighing 400 grams, this is the ideal towel for holidays and travelling
  • Dimensions - From 85cm x 150cm that can be Ultra compacted, folding into its own little mesh carry bag

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Mountain Warehouse Giant Micro Towelling Travel Towel - 150x85cm - Fast Dry, Absorbent -For, Camping Charcoal

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Product information, technical details, additional information, product description.

The Micro Towelling Travel Towel is a versatile product, great for travelling to swimming. Six times lighter than a standard towel, it dries four times faster too making it perfect for use on the road. Texture - Super soft towelling fabric is comfortable and feels great against the skin Extra Absorbent - Absorbs up to 4 times its own weight Composition - 80% Polyester - 20% Polyamide Fast Drying - Dries up to 4 times faster than a regular towel Lightweight - Weighing 400 grams, this is the ideal towel for holidays and travelling Dimensions - 85cm x 150cm that can be folded into its own little mesh carry bag Colours - Is available in 6 colours Easy to Clean - Machine washable and easy to care for Ref: 023494

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Customers say

Customers like the weight, appearance, dryness and size of the towel. They mention that its very light, looks good and that it dries quickly. They also appreciate the portability and that its great for travelling. They are also satisfied with the quality, and comfort.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers are satisfied with the quality of the travel towel. They mention that it is a great product, it takes a little getting used to, but it is absolutely brilliant. The material is good and it dries very effectively.

"...I got the purple one, it looks good and works well . This has more of a towel feel compared to the flat travel towels, which I prefer...." Read more

"... Fabric sews together nicely . Surprisingly absorbant and handy for the he gym as doesnt take up as much space in ur bag as a normal towel...." Read more

"...So pleased I bought it as it saved loads of space, worked OK and dried quickly! Not as good as a normal towel but its a fraction of the size!..." Read more

" Product is good , takes a littlie getting used too, it needs a patting motion to be effective...." Read more

Customers appreciate the quick-drying feature of the towel. They mention that it dries quickly without any odours, and is very absorbent.

"This is a great size but packs much smaller than a normal towels. Is quick drying and perfect for taking on holiday as a beach towel...." Read more

"...If they get wet, they dry quickly .Would definitely recommend." Read more

"... Quick drying and good size!" Read more

"...bigger, great space saving for camping trips etc and quicker to dry than average towels ." Read more

Customers like the size of the towel. They mention that it comes in a nifty bag, is a great size, and saves loads of space. Some say that it's large enough for a 6ft man, and great for small rooms with little drying space. Customers also say that the towel is not bulky and provides plenty of coverage.

"They are ideal as they are lightweight and pack into a small space , especially good for travelling with limited suitcase space...." Read more

"...Quick drying and good size !" Read more

"Such a great travel towel, compact yet soft and feels abit more like a normal towel. Abit of luxury when travelling and space is tight...." Read more

Customers like the portability of the towel. They mention it's a great travel towel, brilliant for hand luggage holidays, excellent for travelling, and a perfect for taking on holiday as a beach towel. It's quick drying and incredibly lightweight, making it easy to pack and store. Customers also say it'd be perfect for camping.

"...Is quick drying and perfect for taking on holiday as a beach towel. I got the purple one, it looks good and works well...." Read more

"Such a great travel towel , compact yet soft and feels abit more like a normal towel. Abit of luxury when travelling and space is tight...." Read more

"...Fabric sews together nicely. Surprisingly absorbant and handy for the he gym as doesnt take up as much space in ur bag as a normal towel...." Read more

"...to clear of sand, and very quick to dry out, making it easy to move from place to place each day without lugging round a traditional, heavy towel..." Read more

Customers like the comfort of the towel. They mention that it is soft, quick drying, and has a nice feel. Some say that the towel feels a bit like suede and that it feels better after first wash.

"...I got the purple one, it looks good and works well. This has more of a towel feel compared to the flat travel towels, which I prefer...." Read more

"Such a great travel towel, compact yet soft and feels abit more like a normal towel . Abit of luxury when travelling and space is tight...." Read more

"Prompt delivery, arrived before expected. Lovely soft micro towel (did wash before use); very absorbant and dries quickly when hung after use...." Read more

"...Extremely absorbant and soft on the skin yet very thin and lightweight -- use it for taking to the swimming pool and all other travel needs - but..." Read more

Customers appreciate the weight of the towel. They mention that it is very light, not heavy when wet, and dries quickly.

"They are ideal as they are lightweight and pack into a small space, especially good for travelling with limited suitcase space...." Read more

"...Mostly use ours for pool or beach. Lightweight , takes up very little space despite the huge size and dries super-fast...." Read more

"...imagine if we'd actually used them but on the plus side they are light weight and did dry quickly when washed" Read more

Customers like the appearance of the towel. They mention it has a brilliant color, is quick drying, and looks good too. Some mention that it's a bright shade of blue or a strong purple.

"Bought the purple one. I love how vibrant the colour is !Use it for the gym...." Read more

"...Much better than other camping / travel towels we have tried. Fun colours too." Read more

"The purple colour is gorgeous . This towel feels a bit like suede and the size is huge. Very pleased with it...." Read more

Customers appreciate the value of the towel. They mention that it dries quickly, so it doesn't get smelly, and is an excellent buy.

" excellent value for money . I actually bought 2 and sewed them together to make an extra giant towel! Fabric sews together nicely...." Read more

"...Great for quick drying, not bulky, value for money and recommended :)" Read more

"... Good value for money , and was used for showering, on the beach and by pools - easy to clear of sand, and very quick to dry out, making it easy to..." Read more

"...The towel was as described at a knock down price and no delivery charge as I am on Prime. What more is there to say." Read more

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Mountain Warehouse Micro Towelling Travel Towel Giant Dark Purple

Khaki

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About this item.

  • Texture - Super soft towelling fabric is comfortable and feels great against the skin
  • Extra Absorbent - Absorbs up to 4 times its own weight
  • Fast Drying - Dries up to 4 times faster than a regular towel
  • Lightweight - Weighing 400 grams, this is the ideal towel for holidays and travelling
  • Dimensions - From 85cm x 150cm that can be Ultra compacted, folding into its own little mesh carry bag

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The Micro Towelling Travel Towel is a versatile product, great for travelling to swimming. Six times lighter than a standard towel, it dries four times faster too making it perfect for use on the road. Texture - Super soft towelling fabric is comfortable and feels great against the skin Extra Absorbent - Absorbs up to 4 times its own weight Composition - 80% Polyester - 20% Polyamide Fast Drying - Dries up to 4 times faster than a regular towel Lightweight - Weighing 400 grams, this is the ideal towel for holidays and travelling Dimensions - 85cm x 150cm that can be folded into its own little mesh carry bag Colours - Is available in 6 colours Easy to Clean - Machine washable and easy to care for Ref: 023494

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Home » Gear » microfiber travel towel

The Best Microfiber Travel Towel for your Next Adventure

While using microfiber towels for traveling aren’t the most thrilling topic, they should be on any traveler’s packing list. Travel pros always travel with a microfiber travel towel, and you’ll never see me travel without one.

Let me tell you exactly why.

Microfiber towels are made of travelers’ dreams. They are made with quick-dry material, they pack super small, and they are relatively inexpensive.

In a nutshell – microfiber towels were literally made for backpackers and travelers.

But in my experience, not all towels are created equal, so I wrote this epic guide so you can quickly and easily find which microfiber travel towel best suits your needs.

Believe me, you’re going to love your new accessory.

Quick Answer: What are the best towels to take traveling?

  • Sea to Summit Drylite Towel – Best Backpacking Towel
  • Matador Ultralight Travel Towel – Most Compact Travel Towel
  • Youphoria Sport Microfiber Travel Towel – Best Towel for Traveling Yogis
  • Nomadix Towel – Best Non-Microfiber Towel for Travel 
  • ECCOSOPHY TRAVEL TOWEL – Honorary Mention
  • Jump to –> Travel Towel Reviews

Real Quick – What is Microfiber Material?

Ok, so before we crack on with showing you what the best backpacking towel is, we need to explain what one is first.

Microfiber is a synthetic fiber, usually made out of polyesters, polyamides, or blends. The grabby texture of the microfiber makes the towel more absorbent which, in turn, makes it great for swimming, traveling, exercising, any activity that makes you wet.

Right then, let’s get this microfiber towel review going!

microfibre travel towel

Microfiber Travel Towel Reviews

Best towel for backpacking – sea to summit drylite towel, most compact travel towel – matador ultralight.

  • Best Travel Towel for Yogis – Youphoria Sport

Best Non-Microfiber Towel for Travel – Nomadix

  • Honorable Mention – ECCOSOPHY Microfiber Towel
  • Best Microfiber Beach Towel – OCOOPA Microfiber Beach Towel

Why Invest in a Travel Towel?

How we tested the best microfiber travel towel, faq about the best microfiber travel towel, conclusion: the best microfiber towels for travel.

Check out our extensive review on our top four favorite quick-drying microfiber travel towels reviews below…

giant travel towel

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Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Very lightweight
  • A bit more expensive

Sea to Summit is known for making ultralight camping and backpacking gear, so it makes sense that they make a lightweight backpacking towel. The soft, quick-drying towel is compact and comes in three sizes. The small towel is 32” by 16”, the large is 48” by 24” and the extra large is 60” by 30”. All these towel sizes weigh under 7 ounces. This is a good choice for the traveler constantly on the trail when every oz makes a difference. We also rated it as the best microfiber travel towel due to the fact that it came in different sizes meaning you can pick the right one for your trip.

The drawback? The XL is expensive for a microfiber towel and is pricier than the other towels on this travel towel review.

Our team felt this was the best microfiber towel for travel particularly because it worked well in damp and humid environments which is ideal for places like Southeast Asia. On top of that the actual towel itself dries quickly after usage too. They also loved how well it packed down and fit easily inside their bags, in fact, it’s that small it could easily fit inside a jacket pocket!

giant travel towel

  • Super small and compact
  • Lightweight nanofiber material
  • Comes in powermesh storage bag

In case space in your backpack is really at a premium, then check out the mini Ultralight travel towel by Matador. Measuring 15″ x 15″ (or 39cm x 39cm) it quite literally fits inside your pocket. It is of course smaller than other towels if this list and it will take some time to fully dry your body using this. However, it absorbs 2.3 times its own weight so with a little patience you can work your way around your whole body.

Both the towel itself and its bag have buckle attachments so you can fasten to your bag or jacket and really maximise storage space. Made from an ultralight (25g) Nano Fibre material it is also fully machine washable and will hardly even fade.

Our team felt this was the best compact microfiber towel on the market because, well, it’s super compact, like, insanely compact! This towel could fit inside your pants pocket it’s that tiny! Our team were realists and felt being so small that it had a certain purpose and it wasn’t the easiest to dry their whole body with … but at a push it wasn’t impossible and for the ultralight packer they felt that bit of extra effort was worth the space saved.

Best Travel Towel for Yogis –  Youphoria Sport

Youphoria Sport Microfiber Multi-purpose Travel Towel

  • Holds moisture well
  • Softer + more comfortable than others
  • Bit heavier than others

This is a yoga-specific towel, but I think it makes great use as a backpacking towel as well because it’s highly absorbent and can hold up to 5X its weight in water. I also find yoga towels to have an extra soft feel and are less likely to attract lint.

They also tend to pack down even smaller than other backpacking towels. The downside is that its largest size weighs more than the other choices on this list. However, for all the yogis out there who plan to travel with a yoga mat anyway, this is a great choice.

Our team picked this as their best microfibre towel for yogis because of how comfortable it was not just to dry themselves with but to us on top of their yoga mats. The team also felt the towel was light, and compact but ultimately super durable, especially when used for both general drying purposes but for yoga and after the gym too.

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nomadix recycled towel

  • Made from recycled materials
  • Very expensive for a towel

For the environmentally-conscious traveler, the Nomadix travel towel is about as ideal as it gets. This towel is made of 100% recycled materials – fibers from plastic bottles are processed into effective and comfortable nylon and polyester threads. These towels do not involve any sort of polymer-based microfiber yet they are still very good at what they do.

Nomadix towels are quick-drying, tough, and very packable. Coming in at a very reasonable 1 lb, these make for great towels to take traveling. Thanks to it’s anti-microbial and non-slip qualities, the Nomadix is very popular at yoga retreats and camping but you could conceivably use this towel anywhere: at the beach, gym, kitchen, and more.

The Nomadix is a bit more expensive than other towels and quite larger as well. That being said, the larger price tag is more than justifiable – this towel will last longer than most and you will definitely get more use out of it.

Our team were pretty interested in how this towel compared to microfibre as several members expressed that they would prefer something more environmentally friendly. Firstly they just loved the different colours and designs that the towels come in, something many of the other towels are lacking, which makes it look better when taken to the beach. In terms of usage, they felt it was just as absorbent as the microfibre towels and literally dried them in one swipe!

Honorable Mention –  ECCOSOPHY Microfiber Towel

best travel towels for the beach

  • Very cool designs
  • Double-sided
  • Much larger than other beach towels

I’d give this beach towel props just for being so damn good lookin’! Look at those patterns! So bold and colorful! Who says a microfiber travel towel has to be flat-colored and boring, anways?

But it’s not just beautiful; the ECCOSOHPY beach towel is also useful, of course. Since it’s made of microfiber, you’ll get the absorptive qualities as well as the quick drying. It packs well enough although, given it’s size, it’s going to be much larger in your bag than most other towels.

I would also like to add that this towel would be fine for both sexes. ECCOOPHY markets it has a lady’s towel on their Amazon page but, honestly, I’d rock this anytime and anywhere in the world.

When it came to design our team just fell in love with the awesome patterns these towels came in, they felt they really created that backpacker vibe instead of looking a bit geeky like some of the other towels. our team just loved how lightweight and thin these towels were meaning they rolled down super small and took up almost no room or weight in their bags. They felt it absorbed water instantly and on top of that was ideal for people with longer hair.

Best Microfiber Beach Towel –  OCOOPA Microfiber Beach Towel

giant travel towel

  • Better than a typical cotton beach towel
  • Very packable
  • Perfect size

I like this towel because it’s big (80×57 inches), but because of the lightweight microfiber material, it packs down much better than a normal beach towel. Not only that but it does come in some smaller sizes too if you don’t need something that massive!

This is a great towel for lounging beachside. While not as lightweight as the Active Roots or Sea to Summit, the OCOOPA has large dimensions and is still a great choice for a quick-drying towel for travel, and an easy pick for the best travel beach towel.

Our team loved the slightly thicker profile of this towel which is what made it stand out as their best beach towel. Rather than just being used for drying themselves down after a swim, which it did an awesome job of, it was comfortable to lie down and lay on all day too. The durable material was also great given the extra abrasions using the towel on the beach results in.

giant travel towel

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So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card!  REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉

It may seem like an insignificant item to pack, but a good towel will be one of the most useful items in your backpacker arsenal.

In our normal lives, we use towels on a daily basis, really; to wash the dishes, ourselves, the car, when cleaning the house. Yet, we take them from granted because they’re always there and in a multitude! Thanks to industrialization, we have a cloth or rag somewhere nearby, buried in an old drawer or conveniently hanging on a hook or rack.

Unfortunately, backpackers usually don’t have this option. Because they are constantly going from place to place and because they are living out of a backpack (finite space), they don’t have the convenience of carrying a lot of towels on them. Hell, most backpackers are grateful just to get a free towel at their hostel!

using a travel towel as a yoga mat

Having your own towel for traveling the world can be immensely useful. Going to the beach? The towel will keep the sand off your ass and out of your portable speaker. Want to have a spontaneous yoga session? Throwdown your towel and chaturanga away. Need to dry out those hiking boots after a long walk? Use that towel to soak up any leftover moisture in those boots (maybe do that after washing yourself though)

Trust me: you will get a lot of use out of your towel while traveling, more than you might know right now. That means you need to have a good towel – the tougher it is and the better it is at absorbing, the more useful it will be. Luckily, it’s not so difficult to pick out a good one; you just need to refer below for some tips.

What to Look for in a Microfiber Travel Towel

  • Lightweight – As with anything in your travel backpack, it’s important to invest in a lightweight travel towel. Less weight = awesome.
  • Compact – A microfiber travel towel should take up as little room as possible. They should fold up smaller than a tank-top.
  • Well constructed – There is such a thing as a good microfiber and bad microfiber.
  • Quick Drying – The best towels for backpacking and traveling must have quick dry material.
  • Absorbency – Even if a microfiber travel towel is lightweight and dries quickly, it’s useless if it doesn’t actually absorb liquids.
  • Special features –  A loop makes it easy to attach the quick drying towel to your backpack as you hike, or hang it on a clothes hanger at your hostel.
  • Additional accessories – A storage pouch for your microfiber towel helps you keep your backpack organized.

Towel Sizes

Quick drying towels range between XS-XL, and the dimensions vary as well! Different brands will have different dimensions of their sizes, so be sure to check the dimensions!

  • Small or Medium:  Often used as a washcloth, hand towel, or to bring along for workouts. These make a great addition to your toiletry bag.
  • Large:  Hair towel or small bath towel.
  • XL:  Best recommendation for a full bath towel.

It’s worth investing in both an XL towel,  and  a small washcloth sized towel for your toiletry bag (washing your face, taking off makeup, etc.).

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

  • Price > $$$
  • Weight > 1.3 – 4 oz.
  • Size > XS to XL

giant travel towel

OCOOPA Microfiber Beach Towel

  • Prize > $$$
  • Weight > ?310 g

Youphoria Sport Microfiber Multi-purpose Travel Towel

  • Weight > 2.4 – 12 oz
  • Size > 20-40″; 28-56″; 32-72″

Other Travel “Towel” Options

Along with a microfiber towel, it’s totally worth packing a fashion-friendly sarong or large scarf to double as a large beach towel.

My boyfriend uses his scarf for a beach towel, to protect his neck from the sun, warm up in the cold, shield from dust, etc. I always travel to beach destinations with a sarong to double as a towel and beach cover-up.

Middle Eastern style scarves, traditionally referred to as keffiyehs or shemaghs,  are also super adaptable pieces of kit that can be used as a towel. Granted, their primary purpose is more for keeping sand out of one’s eyes and the cold out at night, but many people also use them as beach towels as well.

using a scarf for a towel

There is no perfect or exact science when it comes to testing out travel and outdoor gear. However, we feel our years of experience across our team mean we’ve got a good eye for decent gear.

When it came to picking out the best towel for backpacking there were a few different considerations we had. Including how lightweight it was, how easily and well it could compact down, how well it dried us and also, well, the smell test! If you get my drift! We were also concerned with how well it was made and how long-lasting it would be.

Finally, we also take into account how much each microfibre travel towel costs – for example, expensive items that perform averagely will lose points, but budget items may be given more leeway.

Still have some questions about the best travel microfiber towel? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:

Are microfiber towels good for hiking?

Hell yeah! Microfiber is perfect for hiking and backpacking. It dries fast so you can use it again faste AND you can pack it without worrying that’it will make everything else damp. Having something that is quick drying means it’s much less likely to get smelly or moldy.

What are the best microfiber towels?

We have treid a lot of microfibre towers over the years and can confidently recomened the Matador Nana Dry . Its tiny, ultralight and quick drying.

Are travel towels worth it?

Oh yes. They are a godsend for travelers and hikers as they are quick drying, compact and light. I never travel without one.

Is microfiber environmentally friendly?

Microfiber is not biodegradable like cotton or paper towels but can still be disposed of in an environmentallt concious way.

giant travel towel

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Microfiber towels are a more logical alternative to your good old fashion bath-towel for a billion reasons, but all you need to know are these five: they’re compact , lightweight , durable , absorbent , quick-drying towels for travel.

Let us know what you think about our epic review of the best quick dry towels for travel in the comments below! Do you have a favourite microfiber travel towel?

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Travel Guide Europe Russia Northwestern Russia Murmansk

Introduction

Murmansk Region

Murmansk Region

© Solnce

Murmansk is a city in the north of the Kola Peninsula, in the northwest of Russia and is a major seaport with around 300,000 inhabitants. The number of people in the city is drastically declining, from almost half a million in the late 1980's! Still, it is the world's largest city north of the Arctic Circle.

Sights and Activities

As a relatively new city, Murmansk has few real sights apart from the giant statue Alyosha; architecture buffs will, however, be intrigued by the crumbling Stalinist architecture downtown. The architecture is complemented by trees and other vegetation receiving little care.

Walking up into the nearby hills offers remarkable views over the city, Kola bay, beautiful lakes, and the surrounding completely barren mountains, revealing how far north the city really is.

Murmansk has a subarctic climate with cold winters and cool summers. From June to August temperatures are mostly around 14 -18 °C with nights below 10 °C on average. Winters from December to February see days of around -6 °C to -8 °C and nights mostly between -12 °C and -14 °C . The alltime low is almost -40 °C though! Summers see most of the rain of course, and from November to March there is snowfall on 20-25 days a month.

Getting Around

Although Murmansk is long and thin, most sites of interest to visitors are within a fairly compact area in the city center. Prospekt Lenina is the main north-south thoroughfare through the city center and the central Five Corners Square. Avid walkers could cover the entire stretch of the central area from the Poliarnie Zori Hotel on the south end of the city center to the Alyosha Statue, which is situated on a plateau on the north side of the city in less than two hours.

Trolleybuses are available on most larger streets and generally follows a north-south route, if you are heading east ("up the hill") you have to rely on the small mashtruka buses. Notice that both buses and trolleybuses can be much-delayed during rush hours due to traffic jams. A new route planner which also shows real time location of trolleybuses on the most used lines is available online, the catch is it's in Russian only.

Another option is to use taxis which are plentiful and cheap, few drivers speak anything other than Russian so memorize the street or name of the place you are going to. A typical journey in the city centre will cost somewhere around RUB400. Unmarked taxis can be cheaper but are generally a bit unreliable to use for those not fluent in the native tongue.

Keep Connected

Russia is a huge country, and excess to the internet varies a lot. The main cities and tourist places have (free) wifi excess at lots of places, like restaurants and cafes (McDonald's is always a safe bet). Internet cafes are present in larger places as well. Rural areas and especially if you venture into remote and/or mountainous areas have little excess at all. Most travellers will find connections though when using their phone or tablet.

See also: International Telephone Calls

The emergency number is 112. The country code for Russia is 7. Russian phone numbers have an area code with three, four or five digits (according to their province), followed by an individual number with, respectively, 7, 6 or 5 digits, always yielding 10 digits in total. The three digit code 800 is used for toll-free calls. Mobile phones always have three-digit "area" codes and seven-digit numbers. Calls within any one area code may omit the area code (except in Moscow). Inter-area code calls within Russia: 8 (wait for tone) full Russian number including area code. The international access code for dialling outwith Russia is the sequence of 8 (wait for secondary tone and then) 10. International calls to Russia, as always, replace the plus sign (+) in the international phone format with the local international access code for the country you're calling from, followed by Russia's country code of 7 followed by the individual Russian phone number including area code.

You will require a SIM-unlocked GSM 900 / 1800 compatible international cell phone when buying a Russian SIM card. If you do not have your own international cell phone, it's best to buy a cheap cell phone with some value on the card. Foreigners can purchase a local SIM card by showing your passport. BeeLine is considered to be the best in terms of reliability and connections quality. However Megafon's services can be a bit cheaper.

Russian Post is the national postal service of Russia. It's English version is currently under construction, but mainly involves the track&trace system. The domestic post is reasonably reliable, and sending international mail is fairly reliable but slow, taking at least a few weeks to European countries, longer to the USA or Australia for example. The delivery of mail sent from abroad to Russia is highly unreliable, and people or companies tend to use foreign adresses, from where a private carrier sends it to Russia. Alternatives like poste restante are non-existent with Russian Post. Most cities and large towns in Russia have a Central Post Office (Glavpochtamt), which also sells stamps and envelopes, and usually has fax services and Internet availability, though the latter mostly not in smaller places. Also, many hotels have postal services, including mail boxes. Post offices tend to keep long hours, usually from 8:00am or 9:00am until 8:00pm or 9:00pm Monday to Friday, and closing earlier during weekends. The main central post offices in the biggest cities keep even longer hours. For sending parcels, you can also try services by DHL Russia and FedEx Russia . For all mail you can use the regular alphabet, though maybe include the country's name in Cyrillic. For sending post to Russia (or trying to receive it) note that addresses should be in reverse order: Russia, postal code, city, street address, name.

External Links

  • Official Website

Accommodation in Murmansk

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Murmansk searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 3. Last edited at 11:47 on Oct 23, 17 by Utrecht . 8 articles link to this page.

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Tourist reminder

Briefly about the most important thing. The largest transport hubs, useful phone numbers and contacts of tourist centers — everything to make your trip to the Murmansk region go perfectly.

Most of the Murmansk Region lies beyond the Arctic Circle. The territory occupies three peninsulas - Kola, Rybachy and Sredny, washed by the Barents and White Seas. It also includes a number of islands: Ainovsky, Seven, Veliky and Kildin.

geo

The region borders Finland and Norway in the west, Karelia in the south, and the Arkhangelsk Region across the White Sea.

The territory of the Murmansk Region belongs to the regions of the Far North. Snow cover lies from mid-October to mid-May (in mountainous areas from late September to mid-June).

climate

The average annual temperature in summer is from +8C to +14C, in winter — from -8C to -13C. In summer, frosts, snowfalls, and heavy rains are possible. The climate of different areas is different. So, in the south it is moderately marine, and in the north it is subarctic, thanks to the warm influence of the Gulf Stream. Strong winds are frequent on the seashore and mountain plateaus.

In winter, the polar night is characteristic (from November 29 to January 15), in summer - the polar day (from May 21 to July 22.)

The Murmansk region lives in the UTC+3 time zone. The time coincides with Moscow time.

Flight time

The flight time from Moscow to Murmansk is 2 - 2.5 hours. The flight from St. Petersburg will also take about two hours.

National and cultural features of the region

The traditions of folk culture of the indigenous inhabitants of the region, the Sami and Pomors, the first Russian settlers on the Kola Peninsula, have been preserved and continue to develop in the Murmansk region.

culture

Types of tourism

The Murmansk region is of interest for various types of tourism. Fans of ecological travel and photo hunting will be able to get acquainted with the wildlife of the Arctic, see and photograph reindeer, foxes and martens, ermines and moose, white partridges and polar owls, and perhaps even the owner of the taiga - a brown bear. Diving enthusiasts will find a unique underwater world of two seas. Numerous rapid rivers are ideal for kayaking and kayaking. Fans of extreme travel can go by icebreaker and dog sledding to the North Pole and Franz Josef Land. Stone seekers are waiting for deposits of amethysts, apatites and other minerals. Those for whom rest is impossible without good fishing will be able to get the coveted trophy - sea bass, catfish, trout or even salmon. And, of course, the amazing northern lights will not leave anyone indifferent.

There are a lot of interesting things in the Murmansk region for fans of skiing, who are waiting for three resorts - one is located near Kirovsk, on the slopes of Khibiny, the second, Monchegorsky, to the west of the mountains, and the third, Kandalaksha, to the south. The length of the ski slopes is from 1.5 to 2 km, the height is from 400 to 600 m. The northern slopes of the Aikuaivenchorr massif are equipped for freestyle skiing, there is also a ski stadium and an ice rink.

The largest cities of the region

The administrative center of the region - Murmansk is a modern city with a developed infrastructure and identity. Murmansk is the world's largest city located beyond the Arctic Circle, one of the largest ports in Russia.

Here you can see the world's first nuclear icebreaker “Lenin”, impressive monuments of history and the navy, as well as taste the delicacies of local cuisine.

map

But we advise you to look at other cities and villages of the region: Monchegorsk is a beautiful modern city; Kirovsk is the center of the mining industry; Kandalaksha is one of the oldest settlements on Murmansk.

One of the most popular places for tourism is the village of Teriberka. The only place in the European part of Russia that can be reached by road to see the open Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean.

There are historical monuments and museums in Kola, Kirovsk, Pechenga. The geological museum in Apatity is particularly popular.

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pages.memo.two-section.transport-description-one

Murmansk International Airport accepts flights from Anapa, Antalya, Arkhangelsk, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Moscow (Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo, Vnukovo), St. Petersburg, Simferopol, Sochi, Helsinki and Cherepovets.

The airport is located 24 kilometers southwest of the center of Murmansk. The journey time is about 45 minutes.

Khibiny Regional Airport accepts flights from St. Petersburg, Moscow and Cherepovets. The airport is located on the territory of the administrative district of the city of Apatity. The city of Kirovsk is located just 32 km from the Airport.

Tourist information centers of the Murmansk region

You can get reference materials and detailed information about the tourist sites of the region, infrastructure, weather conditions and companies of the city in the Tourist Information Centers of the region (TIC).

TIC provides information to both Russian and foreign tourists. At the disposal of tourists, the TIC provides printed information in the form of maps, booklets, brochures.

Tourist Information Center of the Murmansk region

Address: Murmansk region, Murmansk, Lenin str., 82 (Azimut Hotel, first floor)

Telephone: +7 991 669 54 60

Email: [email protected]

Visiting specially protected natural areas of regional significance

Natural parks and state nature reserves of regional significance can be visited by tourists only in coordination with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Murmansk region.

List of objects: Varzugsky Nature Reserve, Kolvitsky Nature Reserve, Kutsa Nature Reserve, Ponoysky Fishery Reserve, Ponoysky Zoological Reserve, Simbozersky Nature Reserve, Seidyavvr Nature Reserve, Lapland Forest Reserve, Kaita Nature Reserve, Rybachy and Sredny Peninsulas Nature Park, Korablek Nature Park.

Tourism is allowed on the territory of the natural park "Rybachy and Sredny Peninsulas" subject to approval. On the territory of the reserve "Seidyavvr" - notifications. Rafting on rivers is allowed on the territory of the reserves "Kutsa" and the fisheries "Ponoysky" by agreement. Other forms of unorganized tourism and recreation are prohibited.

Registration of visits to other regional reserves by private individuals is voluntary.

To visit the reserve, you need to issue a pass. You can register using the links: Varzugsky Nature Reserve , Kolvitsky Nature Reserve , Kutsa Nature Reserve , pages.memo.four-section.ten , Zoological reserve "Ponoysky" , Simbozersky Nature Reserve , Reserve "Seidyavvr" , Lapland Forest Nature Reserve , Kaita Nature Reserve , Nature Park "Rybachy and Sredny Peninsulas" , Korablek Nature Park , Teriberka Nature Park

Visiting Closed administrative-territorial entities (BUT)

In total, there are 5 Defense Ministries in the region (Severomorsk, Vidyaevo, Zaozersk, Ostrovnoy and Alexandrovsk).

The grounds for issuing a pass are close family ties, official (professional) necessity and special events (birthday, funeral, wedding). You can also visit some cities with a guided tour. In this case, the admission is issued with the assistance of a tour operator, which you can choose from the list.

Detailed information about the rules for visiting each of the objects, you can find on the pages of <url>

BUT the Island , BUT Alexandrovsk , BUT the city of Zaozersk , BUT Severomorsk , BUT Vidyaevo

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Do you live in the Murmansk region? Join us!

Do you know an interesting route or cool objects that are not yet on the project map? Share interesting facts and objects, as well as leave comments with hints and tips – let's develop the project together!

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Understand [ edit ]

With a population of over 300,000, Murmansk is the largest city in the Arctic and an important Russian naval base and commercial port. Unlike Arkhangelsk on the White Sea, its harbor does not freeze in winter. It was the last city founded by the Russian Empire . In World War II , known to Russians as the Great Patriotic War, Murmansk served as a port for the arctic convoys, and after the war became the Soviet Union's most important submarine base. This history provides a major reason to visit the city, museums and port.

Climate [ edit ]

In the Far North, Murmansk experiences cold winters with temperatures routinely dropping below −20 °C (−4 °F). The brief summer offers mild temperatures between 10–15 °C (50–59 °F). Strong winds are common, especially at the higher parts of the city.

By boat [ edit ]

During the summer months, 68.973889 33.076046 2 Murmansk Shipping Company offers occasional trips to and from Barentsburg on Svalbard . They also serve remote villages along the northern coast of the Kola peninsula , most notably the isolated naval base of Ostrovnoy, with 2-3 trips per month.

A few cruise lines also visit the city during the summer season. The pier facilities are nil, basically a bare pier in a freight handling area, but with areas for buses, taxis, etc.

By bus [ edit ]

Pasvik Turist [dead link] provides a bus connection from Kirkenes in Norway daily at 14:00 or 15:00 (confirm on website) for 350 NOK one-way or 600 NOK return (Sept 2017). They also offer Russian taxi (maximum 3 passengers) from 2000 NOK one way. A once-weekly bus service is also available from Ivalo , Finland by Auto Express .

Book in advance, and be there on time, since it is a bad idea to miss the bus and overstay Russian visas.

By car [ edit ]

There are roads from Ivalo, Finland (290 km) and Kirkenes, Norway (220 km). When calculating travel time expect hour-long waits at the border and keep the time difference in mind. A trip starting in Kirkenes at 09:00 (Norwegian time) might end at 16:00 (Russian time).

Get around [ edit ]

Map

On foot [ edit ]

Although Murmansk is long and thin, most sites of interest to visitors are within a fairly compact area in the city center. 68.964005 33.073114 1 Prospekt Lenina is the main north-south thoroughfare through the city center and the central Five Corners Square . Avid walkers could cover the entire stretch of the central area from the Poliarnie Zori Hotel on the south end of the city center to the Alyosha Statue , on a plateau on the north side of the city, in less than two hours.

Trolleybuses are available on most larger streets and generally follows a north-south route, if you are heading east ("up the hill") you have to rely on the small mashtruka buses. Both buses and trolleybuses can be much delayed during rush hours due to traffic jams. A route planner showing real time location of trolleybuses on the most used lines is available online [dead link] , the catch is it's in Russian only.

Connect [ edit ]

Consulates [ edit ], stay safe [ edit ].

Some neighbourhoods may be unsafe at night, particularly Rostu and Zhilstroy.

Packs of stray dogs roam around suburban areas and have been known to attack humans carrying food. There are also bear sightings along the road leading to the airport. Although bears usually flee upon contact, mothers protecting cubs may be aggressive.

Go next [ edit ]

The wilderness of the Kola peninsula and Murmansk Oblast is perfect for camping, fishing or hunting. Many visitors continue out in the wild from here. There are several large national parks nearby and there are several companies to organize your trip.

Or you can head north; Murmansk is a great place to start for your icebreaker cruise to the Arctic Sea and the North Pole .

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    Giant 160 cm x 90cm travel towel that dries much faster than standard towels. Comes with a compact storage bag. Fabric. 80% Polyester, 20% Polyamide. Product Code: RCE281_3BG. Returns Related Links. Sale. New. Festival. Top Picks Exclusives. All Products. New Offer. Camping Essentials. Microfibre Towels.

  16. Giantex Towel Warmer Bucket

    275 Fahrenheit Rapid & Even Heating: After turning on the power, this towel warmer will heat up instantly and reaches the highest temperature of 275 Fahrenheit within 15 minutes. In addition, the bucket design and advanced heating technology make it heat up towels inside and out evenly, without leaving any cold spo

  17. Micro Towelling Travel Towel Giant

    The Micro Towelling Travel Towel is a versatile product, great for travelling to swimming. Six times lighter than a standard towel, it dries four times faster too making it perfect for use on the road. Texture - Super soft towelling fabric is comfortable and feels great against the skin. Lightweight - Weighing 400 grams, this is the ideal towel ...

  18. Yura the crab: Murmansk's greatest investment magnet

    Yura the crab, on display in a huge aquarium, was a sight beyond any poster or promotion screen. Few could pass by without stopping to take a closer look or a selfie.

  19. Microfibre Towels

    Giant Travel Towel Winberry 2 colours £25.00 £12.45 save 50% Compact Extra Large Travel Towel Dark Cerise 2 colours £24.00 £11.95 save 50% Pocket Travel Towel Blue 2 colours £12.00 £5.95 save 30% Pocket Travel Towel Dark Cerise 2 colours £12.00 £8.35 save 30% Compact Extra Large Travel Towel Blue

  20. Travellers' Guide To Murmansk

    edit Weather. Murmansk has a subarctic climate with cold winters and cool summers. From June to August temperatures are mostly around 14-18 °C with nights below 10 °C on average. Winters from December to February see days of around -6 °C to -8 °C and nights mostly between -12 °C and -14 °C.The alltime low is almost -40 °C though! Summers see most of the rain of course, and from November ...

  21. Tourist guide of the Murmansk region

    The territory of the Murmansk Region belongs to the regions of the Far North. Snow cover lies from mid-October to mid-May (in mountainous areas from late September to mid-June). The average annual temperature in summer is from +8C to +14C, in winter — from -8C to -13C. In summer, frosts, snowfalls, and heavy rains are possible.

  22. Giant Travel Towel

    Giant Travel Towel | Winberry 3.0 / 5.0 RRP £25.00 Now £12.45 Save 50% Colour | Winberry Select Size One Size Add to bag Features Antibacterial Protection against bacteria and odour Description Q & A's Get adventure ready with our Giant 160 cm x 90cm travel towel. The travel towel dries much faster th

  23. Murmansk

    Understand [edit]. With a population of over 300,000, Murmansk is the largest city in the Arctic and an important Russian naval base and commercial port. Unlike Arkhangelsk on the White Sea, its harbor does not freeze in winter. It was the last city founded by the Russian Empire.In World War II, known to Russians as the Great Patriotic War, Murmansk served as a port for the arctic convoys, and ...