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Best Camp Towels

last updated Dec 05, 2018

Staying dry in the outdoors is important for comfort and for reducing your chances of contracting dangerous illnesses like hypothermia and pneumonia. Traditional cotton towels can be a cumbersome addition to your camp set up though. They are bulky and hard to pack down, and once damp stay that way for a long time. Camp towels, which are made with fast-drying microfiber material, will dry you off quickly, can be compressed to very small sizes, and weigh almost nothing. Some of these towels also have an antimicrobial treatment that keeps them smelling fresh for days on end, and many come in assorted sizes so you can pick the towel that best fits your needs.

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By Sami Kritz:

Don't use camping as an excuse to not shower. These camping towels will keep you clean and dry on your next trip, without breaking the bank. Be sure to check the sizes of each towel before buying. Stepping out the shower with a towel that only fits around half of your body can be quite awkward. Don't forget to vote and tell us which criteria you think you is most important!

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The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
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96%
Size
100%
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98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$18.66
2
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95.3
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99%
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96%
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91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$23.99
3
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94.7
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94%
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97%
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93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$18.49
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
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90%
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93%
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96%
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$27.99
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92.3
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89%
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94%
Features
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$17.97
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
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95%
Size
88%
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90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$22.95
7
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89.3
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92%
Size
85%
Features
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
$11.77
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
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88%
Size
92%
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87%
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$11.21
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$24.99
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$36.95
9
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88
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86%
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93%
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85%
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$15.59
10
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87.7
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87%
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90%
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86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.12.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • PACKTOWL PERSONAL
  • WILDHORN OUTFITTERS MICROLITE
  • BIOSPIRED FOOTPRINT LIGHTWEIGHT
  • AKUMAL MICROFIBER
  • NORTHBOUND TRAIN SET
  • THE FRIENDLY SWEDE MICROFIBER
  • BODI MICROFIBER
  • SEA TO SUMMIT DRYLITE
  • SUNLAND MICROFIBER
  • YOUPHORIA SPORT MICROFIBER
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Buying Guide

1. PACKTOWL PERSONAL

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
PACKTOWL PERSONAL
Materials
96
Size
100
Features
98
best offer for today
$18.66
Pros:

Antimicrobial

Comes in assorted sizes

Comes in many colors

Cons:

Strap on towel tears easily

The Packtowl Personal it just that – coming in a variety of sizes and colors, you can pick the towel that fits your needs and style perfectly. This camp towel also has antimicrobial treatment, so it will stay fresh, even after multiple days of use.

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Material

This towel is made with a soft microfiber material that feels great against the skin. The material, which is a blend of nylon and polyester, can soak up 4 times its weight in water, and then dries very fast. The towel is easy to ring out and should be hung somewhere to ensure it dries as quickly as possible. This makes this towel best suited for outdoor activities, and less ideal for situations where it will have to be returned to your bag immediately.

Size and Weight

This towel can be purchased in 5 different sizes: face (10 x 14”), medium (12 x 22”), hand (16.5 x 36”), body (25 x 54”), and beach (36 x59”). In the same order, the weight for each of the sizes are 0.7oz, 1.4oz, 2.9oz, 6.4oz, and 9.7oz.
These camp towels come in a handy pouch that compactly packs it down. Attached to the towel there is also a small hook, which can be used to secure it to other objects. Many customers have reported that this strap tares easily.

Other Features

This towel has an antimicrobial treatment, which means it will stay clean for longer. When it does start to get stinky though it is machine washable. It can also be purchased in seven different colors in any of the sizes.

2. WILDHORN OUTFITTERS MICROLITE

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
WILDHORN OUTFITTERS MICROLITE
Materials
99
Size
96
Features
91
best offer for today
$23.99
Pros:

Comes in three pack

Fast Drying

Cons:

Don’t fit easily in mesh bags

WildHorn Outfitters Microlite Towels come in a three pack, so although the price seems high at first, it is actually a great deal. Each towel in the pack is a different size, which increases the versatility of this products usefulness. They are also each a fun different color, although options for other colors are not available.

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Material

The microfiber material that these towels are made from is the fastest drying on this list. Drying at a rate that is 10 times quicker than cotton, these towels are often ready to be used again in less than an hour. The material is also very absorbent and is able to pick up 3 to 4 times its weight in water.

Size and Weight

These towels come in a set of three differently sized towels. The smallest is 12” x 24”, the medium is 24” x 48’, and the largest is 30” x 60”. Weights for each towel is not available.
Each towel in this three pack comes with its own small mesh bag for easy carrying. Some customers have complained that the bags are too small, making it difficult to fit the towels inside. Each towel also has a small loop to make it easy to hang.

Other Features

These towels are only available in one color. The small one is blue, the medium one is gray, and the large one is orange. These towels are machine washable and dryer friendly. One of the most impressive features of these towels is the fact that they are so durable without sacrificing softness.

3. BIOSPIRED FOOTPRINT LIGHTWEIGHT

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
BIOSPIRED FOOTPRINT LIGHTWEIGHT
Materials
94
Size
97
Features
93
best offer for today
$18.49
Pros:

Various sizes

Antimicrobial

Easy on-the-go drying

Cons:

No carrying bag

This microsuede camping towel by BioSpired will help keep you dry on your next adventures. With pouch clips for on-the-go drying, antimicrobial fabric, and it's compact and lightweight construction, this is a great option to add to any camping pack.

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Material

The polyester/polyamide material that this towel is made from absorbs water quickly, leaving you dry in just a few seconds. It also dies 4 times fasters than regular towels.

Size and Weight

Small Camp Towel 10 in. x 14 in. and .7 oz.
Medium Camp Towel 12 in x 22 in. and 1.3 oz.
Large Camp Towel 16.5 in. x 36 in. and 3 oz.
X-Large Camp Towel 24 in. x 54 in. and 6.4 oz.
XX-Large Camp Towel 35 in. x 59 in. and 10.2 oz.

Other Features

The microfiber material of this towel is treated to be antimicrobial. This means it will stay fresh for many days of consistent use. It is machine washable but should be hung to dry. This towel is available in light blue and yellow. This towel comes with a lightweight snap loop for hang drying. Clip to your backpack while on the go.

4. AKUMAL MICROFIBER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
AKUMAL MICROFIBER
Materials
90
Size
93
Features
96
best offer for today
$27.99
Pros:

Comes in many colors

Large size - great for the beach

Cons:

Too bulky for backpacking

The Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel also works well for camping. Although this is a full body towel, it is lightweight and packs up to become very small. Coming in six different bright colors, this is a fun towel that works well.

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Material

The microfiber material that this towel is made of dries much faster than cotton and can still hold several times its weight in water. The material is soft and comfortable, as well as lightweight.

Size and Weight

This towel comes in one size which is 35 x 75”. It is not too heavy as well.
This camp towel comes with a travel-ready pouch which packs it down to 3.5 x 10”. It also has a hang loop for drying ease.

Other Features

This towel comes in six different attractive colors. If you are looking for a large microfiber towel, the Akumal Microfiber Beach Towel is a great choice. This towel can easily fit around just about anyone. It works well on the beach or while car camping, but maybe a bit large for backpacking.

5. NORTHBOUND TRAIN SET

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.3
NORTHBOUND TRAIN SET
Materials
89
Size
94
Features
94
best offer for today
$17.97

The Northbound Train Camping Towel Set includes two towels in a single purchase. One of the towels is large enough to wrap around most bodies, while the other is the size of a hand towel. Together these two towels can satisfy all your camping need.

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Material

This microfiber towel is incredibly absorbent and quick-drying. The material is also lightweight and compact, and even the larger towel can be made to fit into small bags.

Size and Weight

The small towel included in this purchase is 12 x 36” and weighs 2.1oz, while the large towel is 30 x 60” and weighs 8.6oz.
This camping towel set includes a pouch that can fit both towels. Although this pouch fits both towels well, it can be larger than you want if you only plan to bring one towel. Each towel also has a strap from which it can be hung or attached to a bag.
The Northbound Train Camping Towel Set is a great deal for two very practically sized towels. The small towel is the perfect size for backpacking when something larger would be too much weight, while the larger towel is a great addition to car camping.

Other Features

These towels are treated with a Zinc Oxide coating that is antimicrobial. This helps to keep the towel smelling fresh and feeling clean despite frequent use. The towels in the set are grey with either pink or blue accents along the edges.

6. THE FRIENDLY SWEDE MICROFIBER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
THE FRIENDLY SWEDE MICROFIBER
Materials
95
Size
88
Features
90
best offer for today
$22.95
Pros:

Come in a set of two

Soft

Cons:

Color bleeds in wash

The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towels 2-Pack is a set of two camp towels for the price of one. They are available in two sizes, although the sizes cannot be mixed and matched. These are some of the softest towels on this list.

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Material

The material that these towels is made from is very soft and plush, more closely resembling a traditional cotton towel than other microfiber towels. To make this material a lightweight polyester and polyamide blend is used. These towels offer similar absorbency and dry time as other microfiber towels.

Size and Weight

These towels are available in two sizes, a smaller size that is 20 x 40” and a larger size that is 30 x 60”. The weights for the towels were not available.
The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towels 2-Pack gives you two camp towels at a great price. These moderately sized towels work well as camping towels and workout towels but may be a bit large for backpacking.

Other Features

These towels are available in a back and grey set, and a blue and grey set. The color has been known to bleed from these, so make sure to wash them alone the first couple of times. They are machine washable and dryer friendly. Each towel in this set of two comes with its own travel bag. These towels also have small hooks that make them easy to hang.

7. BODI MICROFIBER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.3
BODI MICROFIBER
Materials
92
Size
85
Features
91
best offer for today
$11.77
Pros:

Antimicrobial

Cons:

Color bleeds in wash

The Bodi Towel Microfiber Towel only comes in sizes that are somewhat large and best suited for drying oneself off after washing or swimming. This makes it a great choice for car camping, however, it is less ideal for backcountry exploration. The antimicrobial treatment that this towel has will keep it fresh even after heavy use.

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Material

This towel is made of microfiber material at a very high thread count, which makes it soft and lightweight. It dries quickly and can absorb 4 times its weight in water.

Size and Weight

This towel is available in only one, rather large, size. At 52” x 32”, it works well as a beach towel, for car camping, or for foreign travel. Information on the weight of this towel was not available.
This towel comes with a small, mesh travel bag that it easily packs into.

Other Features

Treated to be antimicrobial, this towel will stay fresh and smell clean even after days of use. It comes in pink, purple, and gray, and is machine washable. Be warned, many customers have reported that the dies used on this towel bleed, so make sure to wash it by itself the first couple of times. The Bodi Towel Microfiber Towel is an excellent choice if you a looking for a large camp towel.

8. SEA TO SUMMIT DRYLITE

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
SEA TO SUMMIT DRYLITE
Materials
88
Size
92
Features
87
best offer for today
more shops
$36.95
$11.21
See Deal
$24.99
See Deal
Pros:

Comes in assorted sizes

Come in many colors

Soft

Cons:

Colors bleed when wet

Not all versions include pouch

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is one of the fastest drying towels on this list. It is also very soft, with a cozy feel that is reminiscent of more traditional towels. Coming in a variety of sizes and colors, this towel can be catered to fit anyone’s needs.

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Material

The material that this towel is made from is a microfiber blend of polyester and nylon that is very soft to the touch. It also dries quickly and can easily absorb a large amount of water.

Size and Weight

This towel can be purchased in extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes.
XS: 12 x 24 inches and 1.3-ounces
S: 16 x 32 inches and 2.2-ounces
M: 20 x 40 inches and 3.6-ounces
L: 24 x 48 inches and 5.1-ounces
XL: 30 x 60 inches and 8.1-ounces

Other Features

Most versions of this towel come with a carrying pouch, although some do not. If this is important to you, make sure to carefully check the product descriptions before making a purchase. Each towel also has a small, convenient hook. This towel comes in a variety of bright colors. Many customers have reported that this towel bleeds, so make sure to wash it thoroughly before using it. It is machine washable. Some reviews and customers report that this towel is antimicrobial, however none of the product descriptions back this claim up.

9. SUNLAND MICROFIBER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
SUNLAND MICROFIBER
Materials
86
Size
93
Features
85
best offer for today
$15.59
Pros:

Comes in assorted sizes

Comes in many colors

Cons:

Can smell when not washed

The Sunland Microfiber Towel comes in six different sizes so that you can pick the perfect product for whatever activity you will be using it for. These towels are lightweight and dry quickly, making them great choices for lots of different outdoor activities.

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Material

The material that these towels are made from has a suede-like feel that can be a bit too rough for some. However, most find it to be quite comfortable. The material is a polyester and polyamide microfiber blend that dries quickly, is lightweight, and packs down to be very small.

Size and Weight

This towel can be purchased at the sizes of 12 x 24”, 16 x 31”, 20 x 40”, 24 x 28”, 32 x 60”, and 40 x 72”. The diversity in small sizes is especially helpful to backpackers, who can pick a towel that has the exact size and weight measurements they desire. Weights for each of these sizes were not available online.

Other Features

Each of these towels comes with its own travel pouch that fits it perfectly. This is true even when the towels are purchased in sets. Each towel also has a loop that can be used to hook it. This towel is machine washable and dryer friendly. If you go too long without washing, it has been known to develop a mildew smell. This towel is available in eight different colors.

10. YOUPHORIA SPORT MICROFIBER

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.7
YOUPHORIA SPORT MICROFIBER
Materials
87
Size
90
Features
86
best offer for today
Pros:

Highly absorbent

Comes in many colors

Cons:

Can smell at first

The Youphoria Sport Microfiber Towel comes in three large styles that are best suited for car camping, swimming, or for drying sweat while exercising. This is the most absorbent towel on this list and also boasts a very quick dry time.

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Material

If high absorbency is what you are after, then the Youphoria Sport Microfiber Towel is the right choice for you. These towels are made from soft microfibers that feel like suede. This material can absorb up to 5 times its weight in water and then dry at a rate that is 10 times faster than cotton.

Size and Weight

This towel comes in three convenient sizes. The smallest size is 20 x 40”, the medium is 28 x 56”, and the large is 32 x 72”. Although there was no weight measurements available for the smallest size, the medium size weights 8oz and the large size weights 11oz.

Other Features

Each of these comes in a handy travel pouch that packs it down to an easy to carry size. This towel is available in ten different two-toned styles. It is machine washable but should be washed on a gentle cycle and hung to dry. It sometimes has an unpleasant smell at first, but most of the time this smell can be washed out.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Materials

You probably already noticed that every towel on this list is made of some type of synthetic microfiber material. This is because these towels offer a lightweight alternative to bulky cotton towels. Microfiber can feel rather strange against your skin, and drying yourself off with this type of towel requires you to pat yourself down. However, in terms of performance microfiber towels can’t be beaten.

If you don’t like using synthetic materials, linen is an alright choice for a camp towel. However, linen fabric is rougher and thinner than microfibers, and quite simply won’t be as effective. Traditional cotton towels can also work if you are car camping, but are bulkier and dry much more slowly than towels designed specifically for camping. They should not be used for any type backpacking, and really aren’t recommended for camping in general.

Most microfiber towels can take on 3 to 4 times their weight in water. To dry yourself with a microfiber towel, move the towel across your body in a dabbing motion. Gliding the towel across your skin may be instinctual, however, this type of motion is not effective for trapping water in microfiber. This is because this material does not actually absorb water in the strictness sense, but rather holds it between the fibers. Pushing motions will, therefore, move the water but won’t allow the towel to pick it up.

Size

Of all of the ways that you may want to utilize a camp towel, taking it on a backpacking trip requires the most thought. For the most part, even large camp towels are very lightweight and they won’t weight you done stuffed inside your bag or backpack. How large your towel is and how much it weighs, therefore, becomes a question of preference. However, when backpacking every little bit of weight counts. A small hand towel can do just fine for this type of adventure and will be the lightest weight in your bag. If you want something a bit larger, many brands carry a large variety of sizes. The exact dimension of camp towels is an easy information to find online. Weight measurements can be a bit trickier to locate. The Packtowl Personal is one product that comes in every size you may need and has all of the information readily available.

How you want to use your camp towel is important to consider before you buy one. Backpacker’s, for whom weight and space are very important, will want to buy a towel that is as small as possible while still being useful. Those who plan on mostly using their towel while car camping can be less picky, and may actually want a larger towel that they can use at the lake or the beach. Other possible functions for camp towels include foreign backpacking travel, gym towels, and everyday use after showering.

Features

Antimicrobial
If you are going to be on the move with your towel, using it for long periods of time without being able to wash it, it is probably a good idea to invest in one that is treated to be antimicrobial. The way this actually works varies from towel to towel, however, the effect is the same – bacteria and other germs that get on the towel are neutralized, leaving it feeling clean and smelling fresh even after repeated, heavy use.

Style
When it comes to camp towels, style is more about the color of the towel than anything else. Many towels come in a wide assortment of colors, however, some are available only in a few. Although this may be very important to you, what color your camp towel is should be the last thing you consider. First, find a towel that you know will work well and meet all your need. Once you have established which product is best for you in those areas, then you can consider what style you like the best.

Travel Readiness
Many camp towels have super handy features that make them easy to travel with. Most come with a small bag that they can be folded into. These bags typically pack the towel into the smallest size possible, making them easy to store neatly. These bags also often include a loop from which they can be hung. Since the bags are typically mesh, one great solution to a still damp towel is to place it in its bag, hang that bag on the outside of your backpack, and to let your camp towel continue to dry through the mesh as you walk.

There is also often a small loop attached to the camp towel itself. This loop allows the towel to be easily hung almost anywhere. If you are using a towel that is small enough so that it won’t get in the way, this loop can also be used to employ them on the go drying trick mentioned above. In fact, attaching your towel to your bag directly will be more effective for a fast dry than attaching it while it is inside its bag.

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Hooks and Loops

While you could just drape your towel over a tree branch, it will collect dirt faster that way and could absorb unwanted scents. It is a good idea to check your camping towel for a hook or loop that enables you to easily hang the towel anywhere.

Towel Size

Always pay a lot of attention to the size of the towel you are buying! Hopping out the shower and realizing your towel is only big enough to wrap around one leg can lead to an uncomfotable situation. Aside from that, the size of your towel is important for packing also.

Color Options

This may sound silly, but having a set of camping towels that are available in multiple colors is very useful. How will you know which towel is meant for the dog, dishes, or your body if they're all the same?

Other Factors to Consider

Durability

Camp towels are designed to be sturdy in the outdoors, but like anything else, these products are not perfect all the time. Make sure to read product reviews carefully before actually purchasing anything, as these will give you honest feedback on issues that may arise. In particular, camp towels have been known to fray along the edges. The connection between a towel and its hanging loop is another weak point to watch out for.

Another thing you want to be aware of is the potential for bad odors. Some camp towels arrive with strange smells, while others can develop them after being used. Most of the time these smells can be washed out, although it may take more than one try. Antimicrobial towels are designed to stay fresh smelling for longer.

Finally, just like with any other new towel, you will want to watch out for bleeding color. To make sure none of your other clothes get stained, always wash a towel by itself, to begin with. This is important to do before you use the towel for the first time since there is potential for the towel to bleed on you as you dry yourself off. If there is no bleeding then you should be good to go. However, if your towel does bleed, continue to wash it separately until the dye ceases to leak.

Value

If you know how to look for them, finding a great deal on your camp towel can be a breeze. Some towels are sold in sets of two or three. Although this may seem like a steal, always study the price point before making a purchase. Some “two for one” deals actually cost more than buying two towels from another retailer. Break the price down piece by piece to be sure you are really getting your money’s worth. Of the products listed above The Friendly Swede, Northbound Train, and WildHorn Outfitter’s camp towels are the best bargains.

Portability

Weight and size play a big role in portability, but so does drying time. If your camping towel doesn't dry in time, you arent going to want to fold it up and stuff a wet towel in with your clean clothes that you will need for th next half of your trek. All of the towels on our list have extreme wicking power, but you will also want to take a deeper look into drying time.

Most microfiber towels can take on 3 to 4 times their weight in water. To dry yourself with a microfiber towel, move the towel across your body in a dabbing motion. Gliding the towel across your skin may be instinctual, however, this type of motion is not effective for trapping water in microfiber. This is because this material does not actually absorb water in the strictness sense, but rather holds it between the fibers. Pushing motions will, therefore, move the water but won’t allow the towel to pick it up.

The fact that microfiber material holds water as opposed to absorbing it, gives it incredibly fast dry times. Microfiber towels tend to dry 8 to 10 times faster than cotton ones. A quick dry time is crucial while you’re on the trail since you want to avoid putting a damp towel into your backpack if possible. A wet towel in your bag will increase the weight, and cause dangerous mildew and mold. Most microfiber towels will expel 70% to 80% immediately after being wrung out. The rest of the water should dry within a few hours. To optimize dry time, always hang your towel, and if possible do so in a sunny spot. The WildHorn Outfitters Microlite Towel dries the fastest out of any towel on this list – it consistently loses all dampness after only a half hour to 45 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How do camp towels compare to traditional towels?
a:

When most people hear the word towel, they picture a fluffy cotton that is cozy when wrapped around your body. This is not the experience of using a microfiber camp towel. Unlike traditional towels, camp towels are very thin. When used to dry you off they almost feel sticky and are most effective when dabbed across your body in a motion similar to what you would use to remove a stain from the rug. Furthermore, while cotton towels can stay warm once wet, camp towels tend to get chilly and uncomfortable. These towels are utilitarian, meant for drying you and then themselves as quickly as possible. Finally, microfiber camp towels are nowhere near as soft as traditional towels. This does not mean that they are uncomfortable though. They are still designed to be gentle against your skin and many have a nice, suede-like feel.

q: How do I wash a camp towel?
a:

Most camp towels are machine washable, and will also do fine in the dryer. To avoid damaging your towel make sure to read the product directions carefully though. Also, excessive washing can be damaging, so only wash your towel when it is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, try to hang dry all towels, even ones that are listed as dryer friendly. This will help to stretch out the life of the product that you choose. If you run your towel through the drier, make sure to do so on the gentle cycle.

q: Where can I buy camp towels?
a:

Camp towels are actually pretty easy to find. Cheap versions of these products are available in places like Walmart and Target. If you are looking for something a bit nicer head to your local camping supply store. Here you will find quality products that have are guaranteed to be a great addition to your backpacking gear. Online there are also lots of options, with websites that are specifically catered to outdoor recreation being your best bet. You can also always go directly to the retailer’s website.

q: How much should I expect to pay for a camp towel?
a:

As a general rule, you should never pay more than $20 for a microfiber camp towel, and even that is a bit pricey for one of these products. The price of each individual towel depends on a number of factors including size, extra features, and the quality of the material. A small hand towel will, of course, cost less than a full sized beach towel, so don’t be surprised when picking the largest towel possible ups the price significantly. Specialty features like antimicrobial treatment and travel pouches will also raise the price. Finally, as with anything else, you get the quality that you pay for. If you want to softest, fastest drying towel with the highest water absorption possible, expect to pay more.