10 Best Camping Towels

Last Updated December 1, 2023
Top 3 Best Camping Towels
PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
  • Highly Absorbent: Exceptionally efficient in soaking up moisture with just a single pass.
  • Quick Drying: Dries much faster than traditional cotton towels, making it suitable for outdoor use.
  • Lightweight and Compact: Easily packable and almost weightless, thus saving backpack space.
  • Customizable: Available in various sizes and patterns for different preferences.
  • Functional Design: Includes a snap loop and a compact zippered storage pouch.
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel
Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel
  • Cost-Effective: Inexpensive yet highly absorbent.
  • Material: Made from lightweight microfiber suede.
  • Size Options: Available in standard and XL sizes.
  • Durable: Stitched edges to prevent fraying, with a handy loop for easy drying.
  • Bonus: Comes with a free washcloth.
  • Versatile Color Options: Wide range of colors available.
Sea to Summit Drylite Towel
Sea to Summit Drylite Towel
  • Material: Soft, ultra-absorbent blend of polyester and nylon.
  • Size Variety: Available in five different sizes, including a large 30” x 60” option.
  • Comfort: Microfiber fabric designed to mimic traditional terry cloth comfort.
  • Convenient Design: Features a snap open loop and comes with a mesh storage pouch.
  • Price: On the pricier side, but offers high-end functionality.
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As any modern hiker can tell you, quality gear is lighter and more packable than ever before. This doesn’t just apply to big ticket items like boots, packs, and cookware either. Even something as simple and timeless as a camping towel has gotten a high-tech makeover. Today we’ll be covering the best camping towels to help you find a great option for your hiking, travel, and camping needs.

Best Camping Towels

Camping towels are the kind of tool we love. They’re multipurpose, highly affordable, and useful to just about anyone.

While you probably wouldn’t want to use one as your main towel at home they’re ideal for anywhere else you go. Camping towels weigh practically nothing, absorb more water than you’d believe, and dry rapidly.

Our list today includes a variety of travel, beach, sport, and camping towels to help you find the perfect one for your style of outdoor activities.

PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping

PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
The PackTowl camping towel product picture

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Being an avid enthusiast of the outdoors, I often find myself amidst the pristine trails, setting up camp by the riverside or RVing through the countryside. A trusty towel is indispensable on such ventures, and the PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel has become my go-to. Its lightweight and quick-drying microfiber material is a departure from the traditional cotton towels I used to lug around.

Upon unboxing, the customizability of the PackTowl caught my eye. The range of sizes and patterns available allowed me to choose one that resonated with my aesthetic and functional needs. I opted for the body towel size which, despite being one notch down from the beach towel, proved ample for my frame to dry off post a hearty swim in the lake or a quick rinse under the campsite shower.

The first touch did feel alien against my skin, a texture reminiscent of a synthetic chamois, but far from unpleasant. Over time, this unfamiliar texture turned into a comforting touch after a long day’s hike. The efficiency with which it soaked up moisture was nothing short of impressive. A single pass left my skin free of droplets, a performance leap from the multiple rubs required with my old terrycloth towels.

Now, about its outdoor-friendly features: the snap loop and the compact zippered pouch. Hanging it up to dry or packing it away was a breeze. The towel almost disappeared in my backpack, leaving plenty of space for other essentials.

However, my admiration took a slight hit post the first wash. A portion of the edging frayed, an echo of concern voiced by some other users too. Though a minor snag, it did plant a seed of doubt regarding its longevity. I followed the care instructions to the letter, yet this happened. Also, I too found the snap loop a bit finicky to operate.

After several outings, the PackTowl’s utility has overshadowed the minor hiccup with the edging. Its ability to dry quickly, especially under the canopy where sunlight is a luxury, is a boon. I’m now considering investing in a larger size for those beach outings and perhaps one in white for home use – a color I hope they introduce soon.

During a recent weekend hiking trip to the Appalachians, the PackTowl was put to the true test. As someone who sweats profusely, having a reliable towel within arm’s reach is crucial. After a strenuous uphill climb, the first thing I did at the summit was pull out my PackTowl. The soft touch against my sweaty face was oddly comforting, almost luxurious amidst the rugged setting.

Later that day, a sudden downpour caught us off-guard. I was soaked to the bone, but thanks to the PackTowl, drying off was a swift affair. The towel absorbed the water efficiently, leaving me comfortably dry. As night descended and temperatures dropped, I was grateful for the quick-drying feature; hanging it up on a branch, it was ready to be tucked back into its pouch by morning, a crisp dawn breaking. It’s experiences like these that amplify the PackTowl’s value, making each outing a tad more comfortable, despite nature’s unpredictable temperament.

The PackTowl is not just a towel, but a clever companion for an outdoorsman. Despite its premium price tag, the benefits and modern-day outdoor-centric design make it a worthy investment. My transition from a skeptic to an advocate for this innovative towel has been an unexpected yet welcome surprise. It’s a small yet significant upgrade to my outdoor gear, enhancing my experiences in the wild.


  • Highly Absorbent: Efficiently soaks up moisture, requiring only a single pass to dry off.
  • Quick Drying: Dries significantly faster compared to traditional cotton towels, ideal for outdoor adventures.
  • Lightweight and Compact: Easy to pack and carries virtually no weight, saving precious backpack space.
  • Customizable: Available in various sizes and patterns to suit individual preferences.
  • Functional Design: Features like the snap loop and zippered storage pouch add to its practicality in outdoor settings.


  • Fraying Issue: Some users, including myself, experienced fraying of the edge after the first wash despite following care instructions.
  • Texture: The unique texture might feel strange initially, especially for those accustomed to terrycloth towels.
  • Snap Loop: The snap on the loop can be finicky to work with.
  • Price: It’s a bit on the pricier side, which might deter budget-conscious buyers.
  • Limited Color Options: A desire for more color options like white for different settings was noted.

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel
The Wise Owl Outfitters camping towel product picture

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The Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel is an inexpensive and highly absorbent hiking and travel towel. It’s made from a lightweight microfiber suede and measures two feet wide by four feet long.

Because of its microfiber construction it’s both highly absorbent and quick-drying. It has a handy loop on one corner that makes it really easy to hang up to dry. The towel is built for durability and usability. It has stitched edges that help prevent tears or fraying and can fold or roll up into a tiny size.

Each purchase of a Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel comes with a free washcloth as well. This gives you an excellent way to wash off no matter where you find yourself. You can pick from a ton of awesome colors and even upgrade to an XL size if you really want to pamper yourself.

When you combine the low cost and high-quality of the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel you end up with a great bang-for-your-buck product. All in all we’d highly recommend this towel.

Sea to Summit Drylite Towel

Sea to Summit Drylite Towel
The Sea to Summit Drylite camping towel product picture

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The Sea to Summit Drylite Towel is a travel, camping, and sports towel made by one of the biggest names in the outdoor and travel industry. It’s made from a soft and ultra-absorbent blend of polyester and nylon and is available in five different sizes.

You can pick up a handy hand towel or go for the huge 30” x 60” x-large. In between is a minimalist or child-sized towel, and both a medium and small towel for adults. When you add in the various color options you wind up with a great lineup of camping towels.

The Drylite towel offers the best of both worlds for a camping towel. Its microfiber fabric is designed to resemble the comfort and feel of traditional terry cloth without sacrificing absorbency and drying time.

It has a snap open loop, perfect for hanging it up to dry, and comes with a mesh storage pouch. It allows you to pack your towel away even when slightly damp without worrying about smells.

Overall the Sea to Summit Drylite is one of the lightest and most capable camping towels out there. It’s pricey, but it does provide some really high-end functionality.

PackTowl Luxe Quick Dry Microfiber Towel

PackTowl Luxe Quick Dry Microfiber Towel
The PackTowl Luxe camping towel product picture

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The PackTowl Luxe is a thicker and more luxurious version of their wildly popular personal camping towel. It’s made from a blend of polyester/nylon and uses a looped terry knit microfiber for one of the softest and most absorbent experiences.

Each towel is capable of absorbing 5X its weight in water, plenty for just about any kind of camping trip. They’re treated with polygiene odor control to prevent any unpleasant smells from developing.

Because it’s made from a synthetic blend it dries far faster than a comparable cotton terry cloth towel. It can also roll or fold down into a much more compact package.

You can choose from four different sizes and tons of available patterns and colors. This makes it really easy to find the perfect towel for your needs and style.

It has a snap closed hanging loop and comes standard with a breathable storage pouch. You’ll find it easy to hang it up to dry or pack it away.

While the PackTowl Luxe is a little more expensive than many comparable options, its exemplary capabilities and unbeatable comfort make it a strong contender for overall best camping towel.

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel Perfect for Travel

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel Perfect for Travel
The Rainleaf Microfiber camping towel product picture

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The Rainleaf Microfiber Travel Towel is a lightweight and highly absorbent towel designed for travel, sports, and the outdoors. It’s made from a synthetic nylon/polyester blend and comes in six different sizes.

These range from an extra small hand towel all the way up to XX-large, about the size of a large beach towel. In between are a range of towels sized to fit every body type out there.

Despite the Rainleaf’s exceptionally low price it’s loaded down with in-demand features. It has a snap-closure hanging loop, stitched edges, an included carry pouch, and one extra that we were honestly shocked to see.

One corner of the Rainleaf has a zippered storage pocket. At first it seems kind of weird and a little useless, but we quickly found ourselves slipping an ID, credit card, and a little bit of cash in. It’s a great way to carry the essential when you’re at the beach in a secure but easy to access compartment.

When you combine the low price, quality construction, and fully-loaded feature set of the Rainleaf you wind up with an excellent camping towel that anyone would find useful.

Dock & Bay Sand Proof Portable Towels

Dock & Bay Sand Proof Portable Towels
The Dock & Bay camping towel product picture

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The Dock & Bay Sand Proof Portable Towel is a beach focused towel with a really special design element. It uses a unique blend of polyamide and polyester to create a comfortable and absorbent towel that naturally repels sand.

It has an almost shammy-like consistency that feels great on your skin, dries fast, yet prevents sand from sticking to it at all. You can see how downright essential this kind of feature would be at the beach.

The Dock & Bay is available in five different sizes and a variety of beach themed patterns. You can choose from a traditional striped beach size towel or a fanciful cactus print hand towel.

If you’re looking for the best lightweight beach camping towel the Dock & Bay Sand Proof Portable Towel is a really good pick.

The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towels for Camping

The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towels
The Friendly Swede camping towel product picture

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The Friendly Swede is known as a maker of unique outdoor products that offer great quality and cool features. The Friendly Swede Microfiber Camping Towel is no exception.

It has a soft and highly absorbent finish that’s comfortable on the skin yet fast drying when it counts. It comes in two sizes and a few colors. This isn’t quite as much customizability as with other towels but does cover the basics.

They’re sold in a pack of two, each with their own mesh carry bag. This makes it easy to bring the towel with you wherever you need it and allows you to pack it away while still slightly damp.

The Friendly Swede Microfiber Camping Towel is a well made and reasonably priced option. It offers good features and excellent construction, but otherwise doesn’t really stand out from the pack.

The Camping Trail Towel

The Camping Trail Towel
The Camping Trail camping towel product picture

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The Camping Trail Towel is a pack of two microfiber camping towels designed for a variety of uses. It includes both a full-size bath towel and a useful little hand towel.

They’re both made from lightweight and fast drying microfiber and come in a single carry pouch. Both the full size towel and the hand towel have stitched edges and snap closure hanging loops. This helps improve durability and ease of drying.

The Camping Trail Towel is well named from a portability standpoint. Both included towels roll up and slip down into the included carry pouch. We found it easy to fit them into a stuffed pack and didn’t notice the few extra ounces they added at all.

The Camping Trail Towel is a good product, but can’t quite compete with some other camping towels in value. Even with the included hand towel they’re a little more expensive than comparable quality competitors.

4Monster Microfiber Camping Towel

4Monster Microfiber Camping Towel
The 4Monster camping towel product picture

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The 4Monster Camping Towel is a lightweight and towel made from a silky soft microfiber. It uses 100% polyester for a smoother and softer feel than most similar camping towels.

This polyester construction makes it soft, highly absorbent, fast drying, and very comfortable. 4Monster also avoids the use of natural dyes or treatments. This is great if you’ve got sensitive skin.

One of our favorite added features of the 4Monster was its EVA carry case. It’s a flexible yet highly durable little tube that protects your towel while still allowing you to stuff it down into any available space. It’s great from a functionality standpoint and improves the overall appearance of the towel when packed away.

We think the 4Monster is one of the best options out there from a packability and comfort standpoint. Its included carry case is super stuffable, while its ultra-soft construction gives it high marks for comfort.

Bearz Outdoor Camp Towel

Bearz Outdoor Camp Towel
The Bearz Outdoor camping towel product picture

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The Bearz Outdoor Camp Towel is a handy two-pack of lightweight towels great for a huge variety of uses. They’re made from a comfortable and highly absorbent synthetic microfiber.

Each pack comes with both a full size body towel and a quick drying hand towel. This makes it a whole lot easier to clean yourself off while traveling or when deep in the backcountry. The hand towel can hold an impressive amount of lather while the body towel gets you dry faster than you’d believe.

They both have stitched edges and a snap closed hanging loop. The included mesh carry bag also has a carabiner. We found it easy to clip them both to the outside of our pack, allowing for an easier and much more portable drying situation.

You can choose from four stylish colors, the better to match your own aesthetic.

Overall we liked the Bearz Camping Towel. It showed all the signs of quality workmanship we look for and featured a lot of really nice extras.

Buyers Guide to Buying the Best Camping Towel

When comparing camping towels there’s a lot more similarities than differences. The key factors of comparison are absorbency, weight, drying time, and packability.

After that there are several other important extra features that you may or may not have a need for.


Camping towels are a reasonably priced product pretty much across the board. You can pick one up for just a few dollars, or spend $50 on an oversized camping towel from a well-known manufacturer.

Drying Performance and Speed

Drying performance and drying speed are the most important traits of a quality camping towel. You need something that you can use then pack away rapidly.

The best camping towels can dry in the sun in about an hour. If you’re hanging them at night a gentle breeze can get them pretty dry within a few hours.

Most of all you want a camping towel that won’t start to smell if you have to put it away while a little damp. More on that when we cover anti-microbial properties.


The absorbency of a camping towel is directly connected to its thickness and material. The vast majority use a similar blend of synthetics, leaving the thickness and weave of a towel as the biggest defining characteristic.

If absorbance is the most important factor to you, consider a thicker towel with a denser weave. This allows it to hold a lot more water for the same size.

One thing to keep in mind is that increased absorbency generally increases weight as well.


Camping towels are designed to be used multiple times between washings, and in conditions where it isn’t always possible to let them fully dry. Anti-microbial properties help prevent bacteria and things like mold from growing during this time.

We definitely don’t recommend you store your towel wet. If you don’t have a choice though antimicrobial treatments and design can extend the length of time it can be used.


Camping towels are made from lightweight and fast-drying synthetic materials. The most common blend is polyester and nylon microfiber.

It gives a lightweight and durable fabric that’s highly absorbent. When properly treated they’re soft, comfortable, and highly resistant to microbial growth.

Size, Weight, and Packability

With camping towels packability is king. They need to be as small and light as possible so that you can more easily fold or roll them into your pack.

The lightest travel towels are about the size of a largeish hand towel. Because of their high absorbency they can be used to dry an adult but they work better for children or as a set of two.

Next you have regular towel size models that are extremely absorbent and perfect for your average adult. They’re heavier and bulkier but most still fold down to about the size of a large envelope and the thickness of a deck of cards.

If you really want a luxury experience and aren’t worried about the weight there are beach towel size models. These are better suited for car camping and other situations where weight isn’t an issue.


Camping towels aren’t as plush or soft as traditional bath towels but they should still be comfortable. The lightest and fastest drying are unfortunately the least comfortable versions.

Some camping towels have a pleated surface that makes them soft and more absorbent. This increases the weight but usually only by a few ounces.

You’ll have to balance comfort with portability and drying time to find the best camping towel for your needs.


Once you’re past the basic features there are some really nice extras that can improve your experience. Some of our favorites include a mesh storage pouch, loop, and snaps.

We highly recommend you look for a towel that includes a mesh or at least breathable storage pouch. They allow you to pack it away while still slightly damp.

A loop is another great extra to have. This makes it much easier to hand your towel from a branch or other hand slot.

Even better is a loop with a snap closure. You can securely clip it to anything of the proper size Without worrying about it coming loose.

Finally, snap closures on the towel itself are really cool. They’re only present on larger towels that you can wrap fully around your body. When used properly they let you secure your towel around you for a walk back to a tent.

Top Camping Towels Video

Frequently Asked Questions About Camping Towels

As you gear up for your next outdoor adventure, having the right camping towel is essential for keeping fresh, dry, and comfortable. To help you make an informed decision, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about camping towels. Whether you’re new to camping or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, these answers will provide valuable insights into the world of camping towels, their features, and their benefits. From understanding the unique qualities of camping towels to choosing the perfect size and caring for them properly, we’ve got you covered. So, before you head out into the wilderness, take a moment to explore this FAQ section to ensure you’re equipped with the knowledge to choose the best camping towel for your needs.

What is a camping towel?

A camping towel is a specialized type of towel designed specifically for outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, or backpacking. It is usually lightweight, compact, and quick-drying, making it ideal for use in the outdoors.

Why do I need a camping towel?

Camping towels offer several advantages over regular towels. They are highly absorbent, dry quickly, and take up minimal space in your backpack. They are also more durable and often have antimicrobial properties, making them hygienic for outdoor use.

How is a camping towel different from a regular towel?

Camping towels are designed to be lightweight and compact, making them easier to carry and pack. They are often made of microfiber or other quick-drying materials, whereas regular towels are usually bulkier and take longer to dry.

What size of camping towel should I choose?

The size of the camping towel depends on your personal preference and specific needs. Small camping towels are ideal for quick hand or face drying, while larger ones can be used for showering or lounging. Consider your intended use and available space in your backpack when selecting a size.

Are camping towels absorbent enough?

Yes, camping towels are designed to be highly absorbent despite their thin and lightweight construction. Microfiber towels, in particular, have excellent absorption capabilities and can soak up moisture effectively, making them suitable for various outdoor activities.

How do I care for a camping towel?

Most camping towels are machine washable. Follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure longevity. Avoid using fabric softeners as they can reduce the towel’s absorbency. Hang the towel to dry or use a low-heat setting in the dryer.

Can I use a camping towel for activities other than camping?

Absolutely! While camping towels are designed with outdoor activities in mind, they can be used for a wide range of purposes. They are great for traveling, gym workouts, swimming, yoga, or even as a general-purpose towel at home.

Are camping towels suitable for sensitive skin?

Many camping towels are made from hypoallergenic materials, making them safe for sensitive skin. However, it’s always a good idea to check the product specifications or choose a towel specifically labeled as suitable for sensitive skin if you have any concerns.

How do I choose the best camping towel for my needs?

Consider factors such as size, weight, absorbency, durability, and quick-drying capabilities when choosing a camping towel. Read customer reviews and compare different brands to find one that best suits your specific requirements and preferences.

Can I use a regular towel instead of a camping towel?

While it’s possible to use a regular towel for camping or other outdoor activities, it may not be as convenient due to its size, weight, and drying time. Camping towels are specifically designed to address the challenges of outdoor adventures and offer superior portability and performance.

Remember, choosing the right camping towel can greatly enhance your outdoor experience by providing a quick-drying and efficient solution for all your drying needs while on the go.

Best Camping Towels Recap

Final Thoughts

Picking out the best camping towel is all about the features you need. All modern camping towels are light, absorbent, and fast drying.

You want to consider things like softness, packability, extra features, and the type of activity they’re best for.

So long as you know where and how you intend to use your towel you’ll have no problem finding a great one.

1 thought on “10 Best Camping Towels”

  1. I recently purchased the PackTowl and took it on a week-long hiking trip. Its lightweight design was a lifesaver, and it dried incredibly quickly. However, I noticed a bit of fraying after a few washes, which was disappointing given the price. Overall, it’s a solid choice for avid hikers who value efficiency and packability.
    Rating: 4/5 Stars


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