More of my photos from Egypt

« what's that pain in my right side? | Main | leaving dahab »

backpacker product of the year: the microfiber beach towel

when backpacking my way around the world, i've found that it doesn't pay to buy beach towels as you go. even though they can be acquired cheaply in many places, the cost does add up eventually, and the cheapie towels tend to bleed colors all over your favorite t-shirts (or if you're not wearing a t-shirt, it will add some goofy colors to your back). as a result, about one month into my trip, i bought a good-quality normal beach towel and started lugging it around with me, despite the added bulk and weight of that much cotton. that changed when i was at a surf-supply store in dubai and discovered billabong's microfiber beach towel.

while microfiber towels are nothing new (REI has a great lineup of them, and i use the REI MultiTowel Lite - Large every day on the road) especially for backpackers and hikers looking to reduce the bulk and weight of the always-necessary towel in their pack, but the microfiber beach towel is a whole other thing. (while you can always use regular microfiber towels as bath towels, they look pretty damn dorky on the beach, and they tend not to be as comfortable as regular towels.)

but then billabong had to release their own microfiber beach towels which feel like regular beach towels, look like regular beach towels, but are lightweight, pack down into a small ball, and come with their own mesh bag to stash them in your backpack with. i don't see a lot of them available online yet, but these are really great for backpacking your way around the world's beaches.

Comments (5)


I've read that many people use a sarong for a beach towel (and other things) when backpacking. Tried that?


i have! i keep a sarong from india in my pack as a emergency sheet (good for sleeping in airports!) / towel / whatever, but i've tried it out as a beach towel, and don't really enjoy using it for that purpose. it's not absorbent enough (saturates with water quickly), and it doesn't provide good cushioning from pebbles.

for me, the difference was worth carrying the extra item in my pack. guess i'm a southern californian at heart. other people's mileage may vary. :)


I have one of these towels (it's actually from roxy) and I agree, it is easily the best backpacking thing I have ever owned. It drys out super quickly -- no lugging around a smelly towel. It really is *much* better than a sarong too: More absorbent, more comfortable, and quicker drying.

I want to get one for my brother (he's on his first big trip!) but it seems like EVERYONE has stopped making them! Has anyone seen them around?

I've been using a sarong and beach towel combination called a Towelini. It's basically a large towel with straps, so you can tie it, like a sarong, into a dress or beach wrap. http://www.towelini.com

I think it's better than a sarong because it's absorbent, and it's made from organic cotton, so it still dries quick. Also, I still find that cotton is better than microfiber. Microfiber just feels really strange on my skin and it kinda creeps me out. Fine, cotton maybe takes 20 minutes longer to dry, but IMO it's well worth it.


lightload Towels www.ultralighttowels.com fit the bill perfectly. The full size beach towels fit in a pocket and are more absorbent than cotton towels and dry much quicker.
When you are done you can dispose of them too. They also are wickable so they can be good for the cold too.

Post a comment


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 1, 2006 12:47 PM.

The previous post in this blog was what's that pain in my right side?.

The next post in this blog is leaving dahab.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.