Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
bandanna/packtowel-whats best?
Display Avatars Sort By:
mike oliver
( - F
bandanna/packtowel-whats best? on 10/20/2008 22:12:47 MDT Print View

most absorbent? easiest to clean? compressability?
odor resistant? uv protection? and of course the lightest? more uses bandanna/ packtowel/neckwarmer?/??????include size for big headed folk please. i love your feedback

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
I use Handi-Wipes on 10/20/2008 22:31:10 MDT Print View

I find Handi-Wipes, available at the supermarket in packages of 6, to be lighter, more absorbent and much faster drying than a pack towel. They're also a lot cheaper! They can be washed and dried with the laundry and last for at least a season. I bought a small-size pack towel last summer and used it on a trip. After a day I went back to the Handi-Wipes because the pack towel stayed permanently soggy. Even on Washington's Olympic coast (fog and drizzle), the Handi-Wipes dried in an hour in the tent vestibule. I also found Handi-Wipes much more effective in wiping down the inside of a tent than a pack towel--you can wring and shake more water out of the Handi-Wipes than you can a pack towel.

I've never used my bandanna as a towel because cotton is so slow drying. I take one primarily because the manufacturer of the anti-glare coating on my glasses insists that they be cleaned with a 100% cotton cloth to avoid scratching. For that reason, my bandanna is basically a one-use item--I have to keep it clean.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Packtowel on 10/21/2008 05:32:36 MDT Print View

If you buy your packtowel from an internet, non-camping source, they're about a thousand times cheaper.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
Re: Packtowel on 10/21/2008 10:08:06 MDT Print View

you got that right Joe.
trader joes, safeway, dollar store - all places Ive seen something very similar to the MSR style pack towel. exept in all cases, under $3

i use a bandana simply for the reasons for pre-filtering water - and well, it would just look silly to wear a pack towel on your head. Handi Wipes are also disposable, which is not very responsible imo. a bandana can last years. and it wont leave little fuzzy hairs stuck to my beard.

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/23/2008 13:30:00 MDT.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: I use Handi-Wipes on 10/21/2008 10:22:54 MDT Print View


Thanks for handi-wipe suggestion. I have these all around the house, and never once thought ... duh!

Linsey Budden

Locale: pugetropolis
Re: I use Handi-Wipes on 10/21/2008 11:11:25 MDT Print View

Great tip indeed, Mary! Never would I have guessed these would hold up to the wash.

Pamela Wyant
(RiverRunner) - F - M
Re: Handi Wipes on 10/21/2008 20:34:23 MDT Print View

I've used Handi Wipes with my kitchen set, but normally have to replace them every 2-3 trips. They seem to get holes pretty fast in my experience, even handwashing them.

I find bandanas a lot sturdier, and usually faster drying than a pack towel. I look for thin, cheap ones.

Edited by RiverRunner on 10/21/2008 20:35:30 MDT.

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Handi wipes rock on 10/22/2008 06:24:55 MDT Print View

I second the recommendation for handi-wipes. I've been using them for a few years now, I find them better than pack towels in all aspects: lighter, equally or more absorvent, quicker drying and so much cheaper. I usually squeeze several seasons out of each. Only problem is when the hostel showers are communal :)

it'd look odd as a bandanna though but you might be setting trends, you never know...

Edited by inaki on 10/22/2008 06:29:33 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
bandanas on 10/23/2008 13:22:18 MDT Print View

Bandanas win on versatility. Head & neck-wear, pot grabber, dish cloth, sling/swath, bandaging, etc. If you get the thin cheap ones they dry quickly (I've even had 'em dry quicker than a pack towel!). I'll have a total of 2 or 3 bandanas per trip. Maybe a small square of packtowel for mopping up the tent if bad rain expected or dogs along. My cent-

Pete Strifler
(pstrifler) - F

Locale: OH, PA, VW, VA
Re: bandanas on 11/04/2008 11:12:17 MST Print View

I'm surpised nobody mentioned the Buff yet! Made of coolmax, they dry much faster than a bandana, and have many more wearable configurations. I use mine basically as a sweat catcher on my forehead, but pull the flaps (a portion of the fabric) over my ears to keep them warm. It can also bea worn as a beanie, a balaclava, and a neck gaiter. Doubled up like a rubberband it fits perfectly over your wrist for storage. Very versatile piece, and one I would replace immediately if ever lost.

Pete Strifler
(pstrifler) - F

Locale: OH, PA, VW, VA
Buff on 11/04/2008 11:15:11 MST Print View

Buff picMe wearing a buff

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
another idea on 11/04/2008 13:21:57 MST Print View

i use a car chamoix thing. one of those super absorbent, ring em out type pieces of cloth. i just cut it down a little smaller than washcloth size.

that buff looks kinda interesting though

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Pack Towel on 11/05/2008 09:45:53 MST Print View

I usually use one of the el cheapo disposable towels mentioned above but if you want a real towel (one that you can actually dry off with after a swim or something), you might be interested in this one I just tried out:

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
bandanna/packtowel-whats best?" on 11/05/2008 10:00:19 MST Print View

Buff 30 bucks. Bandana $1.50 wins again.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: bandanna/packtowel-whats best?" on 11/05/2008 13:33:51 MST Print View

I'm with you. I have a drawer full of pack towels that get used on canoe trips, but on long backpacking trips, I always end up using a bandana. They dry faster and do as much drying as a pack towel. Never found a pack towel that dries as thoroughly as a bandana. I prefer oversized bandanas and buy a bunch when I find them. My head is too big for regular-sized bandanas.

Edited by vickrhines on 11/05/2008 13:35:37 MST.

Michael Crosby
(djjmikie) - MLife

Locale: Ky
RE: "bandanna/packtowel-whats best?" on 11/05/2008 14:17:26 MST Print View

I use triangular bandages for the same reasons. Cheap, dry quickly, larger than most bandannas and in a pinch can be used for medical purposes.

Edited by djjmikie on 11/06/2008 11:47:11 MST.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Towels on 11/05/2008 14:45:56 MST Print View

I know I put a link on here to a cheap source of towels. Oh well, guess it got modded.

Jim W.
(jimqpublic) - MLife

Locale: So-Cal
Polartec X-Static. on 01/23/2009 11:42:04 MST Print View

I presume the Wicksilver towel is made from the same fabric as the Discovery Trekking Outfitters towel.

I'm 99% sure the fabric is Malden Mills Polartec Power Dry with X-static silver fibers. I'm wearing a t-shirt of the same fabric as I sit here typing! Quick drying and no stink.

I found the fabric in "army T-shirt" color at Mill Direct Textiles for $5.99/yd plus shipping. Since the t-shirts only cost me $9 each with free shipping I haven't bought any yardage yet.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Maybe my problem is vanity but... on 01/28/2009 09:27:45 MST Print View

I don't like it that if I wipe down my tent or something my bandana gets dirty. Then I have to wear a dirty bandana. I use a small square of an old pack towel I found in a hiker box. I also use a small strip of the same towel as a pee rag, which is another subject. Hose off, dry off, put it in the mesh to sanitize in the sun.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
bandanna/packtowel-whats best? on 01/29/2009 21:13:28 MST Print View

Sooner or later I am going to be excommunicated from here
I use the Buff or something similar ( IE it not cotton) as a wrist warmer/bandanna/sweat band and very occasionally as a grunge filter/pot lifter and whatever i need at the time. Oh, yes, I like it around my neck with some clothing combinations.
Rather than the Handi-wipes I use two Super Chux (note SUPER) , provably very similar stuff
One for the tent, one for the kitchen . The tent one gets used for my ritual sponge bath .
Also I have a Scotch Brite (3M) mini towel , about 1 foot square , to dry myself with . A few dollars from the supermarket. Next to the sponges,Chuxs and the like).
This one feels better than the purpose made versions I used before.
That is 4 thingos compared to the that some use.