A hiking towel is a useful thing to have with you for those longer trips where you get tired of being sweaty and dirty from long days on the trail. Whether it's the ocean, a lake, a river or even a portable backpacking shower, you will need a towel to dry off. Hiking towels, combined with a few other items, make excellent backpacking pillows, and they have a few other additional uses that make them a versatile piece of backpacking equipment to have with you.
Hiking TowelWhat to look for when you are reviewing hiking towels for your next outing.
- Size - Hiking towels typically come in a wide variety of sizes, and so you will want to get a size appropriate to you and your body size. Keep in mind, however, that hiking towels are designed to be very efficient, and to absorb much more water than your typical cotton towel, so you really don't need a very big towel to get the job done.
- Material - Hiking towels are not your average cotton towel, though there is no reason you couldn't bring a cotton towel. But materials like microfiber absorb a lot more water and dry a lot faster too, making them ideally suited to hiking, backpacking and camping.
Best Hiking TowelA few of the better hiking towels currently out there on the market.
- REI MultiTowel Lite Large - This hiking towel is a blend of polyester microfiber. It can absorb up to 8 times its weight in water, and you can wring most of that out and keep on drying. One nice feature is a little loop of fabric on one corner to hang it and allow it to dry. The large weighs 4.7 ounces, or 133 grams, and there is a medium and extra large as well.
- Sea to Summit DryLite Towel - These are 100% microfiber towels. They absorb far more than their own weight in water, wring out well and dry quickly, the ideal combination for hiking, backpacking or camping. They also have a little loop of fabric to hang from. They come in five different sizes and three different colors, so there really is something for everyone.
- MSR Packtowl Personal - One more hiking towel, this time from MSR. These are a blend of polyester and microfiber, like the REI towel, and also have a little loop of fabric to hang from. The chief difference between most of these towels is the sizes available. This one comes in four different sizes, and two different colors.