Okay, we’ll admit talking about the best travel towels may not be the most exciting thing in the world, but they’re an extremely important part of packing. When we first set out to travel we knew the value of having a great compact travel towel. We made sure to order several and try them out before deciding on our favorite. Sticking your average plush cotton towel is not going to cut it. You need a towel that is lightweight, quick dry, compact, and comfortable. We have three recommendations all constructed from different materials. Each material has it’s own qualities and will ensure that you get dry.
A new mission for us is the promotion of environmentally friendly products for travel around the world. So, in addition to looking at the traditional qualities of a towel, we’re also considering the environmental impact of the towel. Using a travel towel itself is inherently eco-friendly since it saves a hotel from washing towels. The smaller our environmental footprint the better.
What a good travel towel needs to do.
We use our towel for all the expected/unexpected/crazy matter of things that occur during world travels. A good beach towel? Check. Want to take a swim while camping? Check. Hostel? Check. Protect your souvenirs? Check. Made a mess? Check. A good towel needs to have four major qualities to be well suited to travel.
- Quick Dry – You’re on the go and no one wants to stick something wet in their luggage when they’re on the way to catch a flight.
- Comfortable – This should go without saying, but if it doesn’t feel good against the skin then what’s the point?
- Anti-microbial – It’s going to be living in your luggage a lot of the time so it needs to be active at fighting odor.
- Portable – Most importantly to be one of the best travel towels the towel needs to be packable and able to travel.
It’s about traveling light.
Almost everyone is looking to have lighter bags these days because traveling with suitcases and full wardrobes worth of clothing is old school. As international travel continues to grow its time travel products change with the. light synthetic towels are built to keep up with the modern day traveler, and can make their way into any traveler’s style.
Our Recommendations For The Best Travel Towels
Youphoria Travel Towel
This is a great multi-purpose towel, but it’s equally as useful at the gym or yoga studio as it is traveling. It’s a synthetic blend that is highly absorbent and fights bacteria so it stays smelling fresh. I’m placing this towel at the top because it is currently the towel we’re carrying in our packs.
The towel comes in three sizes: 20×40, 28×56, and 32×72. We recommend the largest towel otherwise it is difficult to wrap around the body. Produced from microfiber which means, it is soft, absorbent, and dries quickly.
Microfiber has the ability to absorb up to four times its weight in water and can easily be wrung out. This makes for a great travel towel to pack for your next trip. There is one thing that we hate, though – it’s made from petroleum and it is essentially plastic. Yes, the evil plastic that takes thousands of years to go away and is wreaking havoc on our oceans. There is the argument; however, that a synthetic towel is longer lasting, takes less washing, and creates no agricultural waste when compared to cotton.
A 100% linen towel may not be the first thing you think of, but it checks off all the boxes and then some. This option is not as cost effective as the microfiber towel, but it is definitely more environmentally friendly. It also looks great and unlike some generic colored microfiber towel.
In our experience linen is actually more effective at soaking water up then microfiber. With the added advantage of not giving off a synthetic smell when wet. One of the strongest qualities of the linen is its ability to dry. It is a natural fiber, yet it dries as fast as polyester.
Linen claims to be antibacterial as well, but that could be up for debate. However, that is not where the strength of the towel lies. For us, a linen towel is a winner because it is environmentally friendly and has a great look.
Bamboo Travel Towel
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to find a bamboo towel here. Bamboo is pretty much a super plant with the ability to produce all sorts of great products from it and has a small environmental footprint to grow. The towel is not quite as purpose built as the two previous towels for travel, but it is still a fantastic towel to travel with. It also carries many of the same great attributes you’re seeking when traveling or backpacking around the world.
A bamboo towel is lightweight at only 350 grams. It’s super soft and feels the best out of our three recommended travel towels. Effective at drying being able to absorb up to three times its weight in water. Bamboo is also antibacterial, antifungal, and odor resistant. Due to a natural property of bamboo textiles called “bamboo kun,” seriously, it’s a real thing.
The only downside to the bamboo is that it is not as quick drying as the other two towels above. It is the largest of the three recommended towels. However, it’s our personal favorite due to its price, eco footprint, and feel.
Our Round Up
Thanks for reading our roundup of the best ways to get dry while on the road. No matter what option you pick out of these three you’re certain to be satisfied. Our personal favorites for the best travel towels are the two eco-friendly towels of course! If you’re looking for more of our travel recommendations on great products for world travel click on one of the links below.