Best Camping Towel – Small, Microfiber, Quick Dry Towels

By | Last Updated August 15, 2020

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 Towel

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 Quick Dry Towel for Camping

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The PackTowl is a lightweight camping towel made from quick-drying microfiber. It’s designed to be extremely absorbent for its size yet dry far faster than a comparable cotton towel.

It’s available in four different sizes and more than a dozen different patterns. This allows you to customize the look and overall feel of your towel. The smallest size is a one-foot long face towel while the largest is a beach towel nearly three times as large.

For most hiking and camping needs we recommend the body towel. It’s one size down from the beach towel but offers plenty of drying capability for the average person.

The towel has a snap closed loop and a zippered storage pouch. This makes it really easy to hand up while you’re washing off and store it without letting water get into the rest of your bag.

The PackTowl line of camping towels are some of the best options you can find. They’re made from high-quality materials that are durable, lightweight, and highly absorbent. They’re quick-drying and treated with an anti-microbial process that helps protect you from any weird smells or growth.

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel

Wise Owl Ultra Soft Camping Towel

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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

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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 Microfiber Towel

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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 Camping Towel

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The Rainleaf Microfiber 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 Lightweight Camping Towel

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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

Friendly Swede Microfiber Camping Towel

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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

Super Absorbent Camping Towel Set

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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

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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 it’s 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 Microfiber Towel

Bearz Outdoor Fast Drying Camping Towel

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The Bearz Outdoor Microfiber 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.

Price

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.

Absorbency

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.

Anti-Microbial

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.

Material

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 camping 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.

Comfort

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.

Extras

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.

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.

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