Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Products
Reload this Page >

Looking for an ultrathin, ultralight travel towel

Looking for an ultrathin, ultralight travel towel

Old Feb 6, 13, 12:22 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 309
Looking for an ultrathin, ultralight travel towel

Well, the title says it all ;-)

would appreciate suggestions

TIA
mzzxx11 is offline  
Old Feb 6, 13, 1:52 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond
Posts: 294
I use the Discovery Trekking Outfitters Extreme Ultralite towel for backpacking, which can be found here: http://www.discoverytrekking.com/ult...kpacking-towel.

The regular size will suffice for an adult male. I believe that REI also carries this product, so that may be a better "try before you commit" location to purchase.

Pros: Super lightweight, packs down small, does a great job of drying you off, odor resistance works well, very quick drying.

Cons: Leaves a thin layer of moisture on your body which "air dries" in a few minutes (think of it as using a "California Water Blade" on your body), not great for drying hair, initial chemical smell on towel.
StephenW is offline  
Old Feb 6, 13, 2:02 pm
  #3  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
Welcome to Flyertalk.

Eagle Creek makes a series of them (three sizes) that are very light and thin. supposedly anti bacterial too. Favorable reviews at the usual purchase sites like ebags. Their x large one if 55 x 29, so it's a bit larger than many out there. Some people like one large towel, others prefer a couple of smaller ones, just be aware of the size when looking.

http://www.ebags.com/product/eagle-c...uctid=10150382
cordelli is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 12:02 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 36
OP, how big do you need it to be? Are you going to try to wrap it around your waist?

Because if not, I highly recommend the PVA Washcloth-type ShamWow looking dealies that are sold in the automotive section of stores such as BigLots and WalMart. You can get a great, fast drying, super absorbent, thin packing towel for $3. But the catch is that while it is more towel than you'll need to completely dry off after a shower, it is also only about the length of your forearm.

These are the same towels that competitive divers use. They are made of a rubbery material. Drying with them is a patting style, rather than the rubbing style that you'd do with terry cloth.
TheInfamousJ is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 1:10 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 309
Tnx for the replies.

The towel size Im looking for is about 15 inch x 5 inch (40cm x 10cm), since Im packing light.
mzzxx11 is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 6:50 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 309
Originally Posted by TheInfamousJ View Post
Because if not, I highly recommend the PVA Washcloth-type ShamWow looking dealies that are sold in the automotive section of stores such as BigLots and WalMart. You can get a great, fast drying, super absorbent, thin packing towel for $3. But the catch is that while it is more towel than you'll need to completely dry off after a shower, it is also only about the length of your forearm.

These are the same towels that competitive divers use. They are made of a rubbery material. Drying with them is a patting style, rather than the rubbing style that you'd do with terry cloth.
I dont understand what are you referring to. Can you post a link to such a product?

TIA
mzzxx11 is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 9:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delawhere?
Programs: HHonors Gold, US Gold
Posts: 45
Originally Posted by mzzxx11 View Post
I dont understand what are you referring to. Can you post a link to such a product?

TIA
I suspect he is talking about a chamois that most people use for drying cars.
http://www.amazon.com/Absorber-Synth.../dp/B0000AY69V

That is the one that I have. Cutting it down to a smaller size is a good option for some people. I use it for my cars when I bother to wash them and also for myself on camping trips and other trips where size is an issue. The one thing that I will say is that when it fully dries out it has the properties of cardboard. The other side of that coin is that when it is dry it weighs next to nothing. The normal state for a chamois is slightly damp so you will need a plastic bag or something to keep it in.

While it may not be the perfect solution for everyone I would recommend that everyone have one in the house. Mine is over 20 years old and I have no reason to believe that it wont give me another 20 years of good service. Just to be clear. Yes, they need to be wet to work. No, it will not get moldy.
boston813 is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 10:44 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: west of DFW airport
Programs: AA LT Gold 1.9 MM flying my way to LT PLAT
Posts: 11,067
yes

Originally Posted by TheInfamousJ View Post
OP, how big do you need it to be? Are you going to try to wrap it around your waist?

Because if not, I highly recommend the PVA Washcloth-type ShamWow looking dealies that are sold in the automotive section of stores such as BigLots and WalMart. You can get a great, fast drying, super absorbent, thin packing towel for $3. But the catch is that while it is more towel than you'll need to completely dry off after a shower, it is also only about the length of your forearm.

These are the same towels that competitive divers use. They are made of a rubbery material. Drying with them is a patting style, rather than the rubbing style that you'd do with terry cloth.
I'm such a travel light freak that I've often cut a Sham-wow down to the size I want. They are cheap.
oldpenny16 is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 1:32 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: London
Posts: 14,051
Originally Posted by mzzxx11 View Post
Tnx for the replies.

The towel size Im looking for is about 15 inch x 5 inch (40cm x 10cm), since Im packing light.
Wow, that's small. Way smaller than the tenugui I use and travel with (which, for me, are the smallest useful size towels/fabric pieces - 90cm x 35cm)
Towel, tablecloth, bag (admittedly a cute hand bag), scarf, bandana (against wind or sun) and they can help compress bulky items in your luggage.
LapLap is offline  
Old Feb 7, 13, 6:48 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Programs: UA, DL, AA, Sutherlands Lumber
Posts: 6,708
I've got a "swimmer's towel". It's pretty small.

Speedo version

-------------------

ETA: THX to HELM in #13 below for the link which revealed the OutGo coolmax sleep sack. This is a very interesting alternative to silk sleep sacks recommended in many backpacker travel sites.

Last edited by pierre mclopez; Feb 10, 13 at 12:24 pm
pierre mclopez is offline  
Old Feb 8, 13, 1:51 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: LA area
Programs: SPG Plat, Priority Pass
Posts: 313
Any brand microfiber camping towel. Sporting goods stores or camping/sporting goods stores on the internet. As small as you want, and ultra absorbent.

Super chamois break down because they aren't woven like real towels, just pressed into sheets.

The only drawback to microfiber towels I have found is that they don't pull smoothly across my skin, like a cotton towel. And they seem to take longer to dry.
dko3tgk is offline  
Old Feb 8, 13, 9:09 am
  #12  
tcl
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: In a hotel somewhere trying to repack everything I brought (and bought) in to a carry-on smaller than my last one.
Programs: UA, Asia Miles, True Blue, Southwest, IHG
Posts: 1,060
I like the MSR ultralite towels because they are the lightest. I use the L and XL size, however have the M size for travel when I don't need to wrap myself in the towel.

I don't like the felt towels because they need to be stored in ziplocks or else they dry into cardboard.

I also find that really thin cheap cotton towels (i.e. the disposable variety from Japanese spas) or the woven Turkish hammam towels also work well.
tcl is offline  
Old Feb 8, 13, 10:00 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Programs: Mileage Plus
Posts: 31
mzzxx11, if I may.......

I recommend any of the towels from McNett. These are also standard issue to some of the USMC units. I have used these for years either for travel or for laps at the pool. They work like a charm:

http://www.mcnett.com/Travel-Accessories-C147.aspx
HELM is offline  
Old Feb 9, 13, 12:32 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: DEN
Posts: 177
I second the camping towels. I like REI's - they pack up small and have a nice mesh bag. http://www.rei.com/search?query=towel
KM123 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 13, 12:53 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 108
.
Originally Posted by mzzxx11 View Post
Well, the title says it all ;-)

would appreciate suggestions

TIA
I would suggest the MSR Packtowl Original:




Here is a description of the MSR Packtowl Original from the OneBag.com site:

viscose towel (washcloth?)

Viscose, which is derived from cellulosic sources (wood pulp, cotton), has a highly amorphous polymer system (as well as polar polymers), making it the most absorbent fibre in common use, thus an ideal basis for a high-efficiency towel. Originally developed in 1983 by Pacific Dry Goods, but now produced by MSR, the classic Packtowl® Original (92% viscose/8% polypropylene, and pictured here) comes in a variety of sizes. It's lightweight and packs small, yet soaks up an astounding nine times its weight in water (the large size will hold a full liter of fluid), even when damp (unlike, say, terrycloth, which becomes effectively useless when wet, and — being cotton — takes a long time to dry). Further, you can release 90% of that water merely by wringing the towel out. It dries quickly as well (if still damp when you need to depart for your next destination, simply pack it in a Ziploc® bag and hang it out to dry when you arrive). Viscose towels may not look like much, or feel particularly soft (they initially resemble a piece of rather stiff felt, though become softer and more "towel-like" — and more absorbent — after each washing), but they're much more effective than other types of "travel towels". They can be machine washed (no bleaching or ironing), and air or machine dried. And they can be cut to preferred sizes, without worrying about the edges unravelling. Viscose is also biodegradable, and the brand I recommend is produced in an eco-friendly fashion.


Be aware that most products sold as "travel towels" are not viscose, but rather some sort of synthetic microfibre. Even the MSR Packtowl brand includes non-viscose forms: their Personal and UltraLite versions are made of polyester/nylon blends (85/15 and 70/30 respectively). These feel softer to the touch (which makes them more appealing, thus easily sold), but are considerably less effective when it comes to absorbing water; they are also more expensive, and slower to dry. So I strongly recommend that you avoid the hype, and get one (or more) of the viscose versions (i.e., the Packtowl Original). Remember that — for any type of towel — darker colours dry faster than lighter ones.



.

Last edited by biznizclass; Feb 10, 13 at 1:59 pm
biznizclass is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread