Updated July 27th, 2018.
Backpacking around Southeast Asia means spending a lot of time at beaches and showering after your time at the beach. You’ll need towels for that. Whether you’re camping or staying at hostels, the availability of towels, in general, but especially clean ones isn’t likely to be reliable.
The easiest thing to do is have your own travel towel with you for your explorations. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing you always have it with you and that it’s been used by you alone.
What is a Microfiber Towel for Travel?
Most travel towels are made of microfiber, a synthetic material that is 50% finer than a strand of human hair. The material has several qualities which make it the number one choice for travel towels: it’s tough, soft, absorbent, water repellant (quick dry) and light-weight.
Quick–Dry: If you’re on the go all day and take various swim breaks, you don’t want to deal with carrying around a soggy, wet towel wherever you go. A travel towel microfiber will dry you off in seconds and won’t weigh heavy in your bag.
Multipurpose: you will find that you are able to use your towels for more than just drying off after a swim. You can use them after bathing, to clean up spills, to dry dishes and many other things.
Compact and Easy to Transport: many travel towels are designed to be able to fold down into rather compact sizes, making carrying much easier. You will even find many towels that come with helpful carry cases.
Various Sizes: what makes a travel towel unique is its multipurpose features, which is why you can find them in different sizes. You may want to carry a travel towel mainly for bathing and drying off at the beach, and another one for things like hands and dishes.
Now that you’ve learned just why you should consider adding a travel towel or two to your backpacking equipment, let’s check out your best options.
Top 5 Amazon.com Travel Towels Quick Dry
1. Youphoria Outdoors Quick-Dry Travel Towel with Carry Bag
Grab your Youphoria towel travel and find yourself comfortable and prepared. There are three sizes to choose from and you can easily have a beach and bath towel that fits lightly in your pack.
Although some microfiber towel travel choices can feel itchy or rough on your skin, the Youphoria towels are designed with a blend of the finest microfibers for a soft feel.
When you hold this compact and thin towel in your hands, you won’t believe that it can actually absorb up to 5 times its weight in water. That means it will dry you off well after a shower or dip in the sea. Youphoria cares about their customers and will deal with any issues your experience quickly and effectively.
2. Sunland Ultra Absorbent Travel Towel
If you’re looking for the best microfiber towel for travel, one thing that will surely be of importance to you is how fast you will be able to dry off after bathing or swimming. The Sunland Microfiber Sports Towel makes that happen faster than you’d imagine, the trick is in your technique.
Don’t try to rub the towel back and forth to dry off, instead lightly place the towel over your body and let it soak up the moisture on its own.
This towel is a solid choice for ladies with a lot of hair to dry. This quick dry travel towel will absorb the extra water from your hair in seconds. Take your pick of size and colour and get on your way!
3. ECOdept Microfiber Travel Towel
Speaking of hair troubles, if you have long or curly hair and worry about even the best travel towel messing it up, the ECOdept Microfiber Travel Towel is your ideal choice. The material is soft and won’t leave you with the dreaded frizzy look! The gentle and antibacterial fibre will leave your skin clean and dry without irritation, whether you use it after a shower or after swimming.
When you choose to invest in an ECOdept towel, you will get a bonus hand and face cloth, as well. The smaller size can serve a variety of purposes throughout your travels. This towel is of optimal convenience with it’s hanging hook and waterproof storage bag. Even if you’ve literally just dried off, you can pop it in the carry bag and into your pack without getting anything wet!
4. The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towel
The The Friendly Swede designed their version of the best quick dry towel for travel using a blend of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide microfiber for total comfort. These towels are soft on your skin while managing to absorb water and dry you off in a matter of seconds. This set of two travel towels quick dry gives you immediate flexibility and multipurpose potential.
Both the larger towel, which is perfect for after bathing or lounging on the beach, and the smaller towel to use for drying your hair, or other drying purposes like dishes, come with mesh carry bags for easy transport. (The Friendly Swede also makes sleeping bag liners if you’re in need of one of them!)
5. Camping Towel by Wise Owl Outfitters
Wise Owl Outfitters claim that they have produced the best towel for travel because unlike some other microfiber models, the Camping Towel by Wise Owl Outfitters is as soft as a baby’s butt! Wise Owl Outfitters gives you two towels for the price of one and a choice of size combinations. Their extra-large towel is the best choice for use on the beach and after bathing.
The snap loop makes it simple to hang your towel to dry and the carry bag will keep it tucked away in your backpack. Wise Owl Outfitters is a family-owned business of people who spend their time outdoors and know what is and isn’t functional.
They offer a 100% money-back guarantee if you find you’re not satisfied with their quick dry towel for travel.
NEW! Microfiber Travel Towel by Active Roots
Our pal Will Hatton, AKA The Broke Backpacker, has recently started his own brand of outdoor backpacking gear and his new microfibre travel towel deserves a mention! His brand, Active Roots, have created a travel towel that’s 100% microfiber, weights just a few ounces and comes in a mesh carry bag. You can feel good about buying this towel too, as a portion of the sales goes to The Elephant Sanctuary in Laos. Plus, if you’re not happy with your purchase, Active Roots offer 100% money back guarantee!
Top 5 Amazon.co.uk Travelling Towels
1. Bodi Hut Quick-Dry Towel
The Bodi Hut microfiber towel for travel is an ideal option if your main concern is having a towel that will be able to keep up with your pace and dry quickly, as you hop from place to place during your day.
This towel is made from 100% microfibers, which means that its drying speed is super-fast. It’s not only the towel that will dry quickly, however, when you use this towel, it will absorb the moisture from your body in seconds, leaving you feeling comfortable.
The Bodi Hut towel is made with antibacterial properties to keep your skin clean and is very soft. You can easily store it in your backpack, as it folds up and slides into a compact carrying case, weighing less than an orange!
2. The Little Bodhi Antibacterial Microfibre Sports Travel Towel
If you’re looking to build a collection of microfiber travel towels, then check out your options from The Little Bodhi. They make super travel towels that feel like suede and come in three different sizes, to fit your specific needs. Don’t worry about using and reusing these towels and ending up with disturbing odours, they are made with antibacterial properties to keep everything hygienic.
The towels are lightweight and fold down to be very compact and fit neatly into their carry bags, so you can keep an extra-large and smaller model with you at all times, if you want, for your body and any other situations you may find yourself in where you need a towel.
The Little Bodhi keeps things bright and you can choose from a variety of vibrant colours. Keep in mind that you will need to shake your towel out well after using it on a sandy beach!
3. Big Jim Microfiber Quick-Dry Travel Towel
The Big Jim Microfiber Travel Towel is an oversized option that will work best for multipurpose use at the beach and as a bath towel. If you plan to stay in a collection of different hostels, this towel will keep you dry and clean. You will see that this towel is super thin, just 2 mm, which means that once you roll it up or fold it, it’s easy to store in your pack.
As you would expect, this towel dries very quickly, so you won’t be lugging around a sopping wet towel as you make your way from destination to destination. You can wash and dry the towel in standard machines for your ultimate convenience. It only comes in one colour, but it’s a nice light and sporty blue.
4. Starwood Microfiber Travel Towel
When you know that you’ll be away travelling for a long time, you’ll probably want to invest in more than one microfibre travel towel to ensure that you’re covered for your whole trip. Starwood Sports is another brand that offers fast-drying towels in a variety of sizes to suit your travel plans.
Each travel towel, no matter its size, folds down to fit into a compact carrying case which is small enough to sit even in your carry-on luggage. These towels are lightweight so adding them to your daily backpack won’t leave you feeling overloaded. Let your mind expand when it comes to the multipurpose uses for these towels, as they’re even a great option for doing yoga on the beach!
5. Fit-Flip Microfibre Towel in ALL SizesFit-Flip is a brand that recognizes the total convenience of the best travel towels and provides you with options in a wide range of sizes. The towels are very affordable, so you can invest in a combination of two or three towels that you feel will serve you well while you’re backpacking.
One feature of Fit-Flip quick dry towels for travel that you’re sure to appreciate is the snap-button strap you can use to hang your towel to dry, or while you shower. The towels are available in 12 bright colours and come with a mesh storage bag for simple packing.
Let’s Wrap Up!
Unless you want to rely on the communal towels available at the various hostels you stay at, making an investment in travel towels is a logical choice. The convenience of having a fast-drying towel on hand at all times, combined with the enhanced hygiene makes the travel towel a must-have for all backpackers.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. South East Asia Backpacker Magazine is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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