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pack towel
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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: pack towel on 08/24/2013 22:27:41 MDT Print View

I just use my shirt and pants.

Further down on the pants for dirtier stuff, cleaner as I go up and onto my shirt.

This is backpackingLIGHT so you have to expect non-answers to your request for pack towel suggestions

Or Ken will tell you that you're not posting in the right forum : )

Or Nick will ask about infomercials...

Chris .
(cwb) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
towel on 08/24/2013 22:30:53 MDT Print View

I have the towel linked above. I bought an XL and cut it in half. It weighs 2 oz or so. I like to swim at just about any opportunity and I don'tfind the weight obtrusive. My base weight goes between 12 and 17lbs. I'll never be a true UL'r. The towel dries well and I like it

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
Thank you Chris... on 08/24/2013 22:38:27 MDT Print View

the first and only direct answer to my question...

the others seem to be just out to prove they have a 'better' way...

Bill D

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Snotty on 08/24/2013 22:45:37 MDT Print View

"Can you all tell me what is the lightest / best backpacking towel?"

"So wondering if there is something better out there now."


You should have added that it must be marketed as a pack towel. And that you are not open to new ideas or methodology. Old dog, new trick , not happening. I get it.

Also the suggestion given is heavier than your current choice.

Edited by kthompson on 08/24/2013 22:56:15 MDT.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
AquaDry on 08/24/2013 22:52:31 MDT Print View

I've been using 0.6 oz of AquaDry, a synthetic chamois sold in...Target, I think, in the automobile section. It positively GULPS water off the tent in the morning. And works well for cleaning up the body. One third of an AD chamois is 0.6 oz.

Edited by Bolster on 08/24/2013 22:54:03 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Thank you Chris... on 08/24/2013 22:56:04 MDT Print View

Relax Bill, no one is critical of you. Most here are looking to minimize weight and focus on multiple use items when possible; while staying warm, dry, and safe.

Most of us have some sort of "heavy" luxury item. If you want a pack towel, by all means get one. Just that a lot of folks here don't use them for the reasons already stated.

Plus Max is gone for a couple months and there is no one to pick on and we need a diversion ;)

-- but Max is a good kid and we like him :)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Thank you Chris... on 08/24/2013 23:00:52 MDT Print View

" there is no one to pick on and we need a diversion..."

let's pick on Myles for posting in the wrong forum

or Nick for not knowing what an infomercial is (I don't believe you by the way, you're just making a joke)

Dharma Dog

Locale: The Louisiana Swamp
Re: pack towel on 08/24/2013 23:06:35 MDT Print View

For wiping water off of me or my my gear, especially the tent, there is nothing better than a ShamWow but one of the coolest products I've found lately has to be Wysi Wipes
Super dehydrated 9 X 10 inch cloth wipe that weighs only 1.5 grams.
It re-hydrates with a few drops of water and is washable and re-usable and biodegradable.
These are great for wiping off your face, neck and other unmentionable body parts.

Amazon sells them for around 13.00 for 100 towels.

Edited by DharmaDog on 08/25/2013 02:36:50 MDT.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
pack towel on 08/24/2013 23:57:47 MDT Print View

I've used an MSR (Cascade Designs) pack towel for years. Mine is 11" X 24" and weighs one ounce. It dries very quickly, has a snap button hang loop on one corner (I hang it on my pack to dry it out) and it dries quickly (and doesn't just push the water around the way some of the quick dry pack towels do). I suspect the Nano is just the updated, lighter version of my towel. I've had mine for at least 6 years and it's still in good shape.

rowan !

Locale: SF Bay Area
MSR Pack Towel on 08/25/2013 01:20:09 MDT Print View

I have the same MSR Pack Towel, but I cut mine in half, as it seemed unnecessarily large. It works ok, but like all synthetic towels, doesn't absorb water that well unless it's already thoroughly damp.

I've been experimenting with a square cut from an old cotton flannel pillow case, which seems to work better. The fabric is pretty worn, so it's thin and dries quickly.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Relatively Lightweight Pack Towel Options on 08/26/2013 02:36:47 MDT Print View

I have used two pack towels over the years that I would recommend. They are pictured below with a 20oz water bottle thrown in for scale:
Both Towels

The one on the left is an Aquis Adventures Microfiber Towel which measures in at 9" x 13" and is super plush. The one on the right is a Cascade Designs Packtowl (Original) that was cut in half. It measures in at about 17" x 17.5" and is much thinner than the Aquis Towel, but also lighter.

The Aquis weighs 35 grams (1.23 ounces):

The Packtowl weighs 23 grams (0.81 ounces):
Packtowel Large

Even though it's heavier I usually take the Aquis Adventures Microfiber towel because it just has a much nicer feel to it and is also a much more manageable size, IMO.

If it's really sunny, and I think that I will need to cover my neck during a trip, I will take the Original Packtowl because I can use it in conjunction with my hat to provide shade for my neck.

Both of the towels work well, but I honestly find that the Packtowl is unnecessarily large for most of my drying-off purposes.

I find that a smaller towel, wrung out more frequently, is a much better system for drying things off than a larger towel. It is also much easier to pack and much easier to wring out.

If I was you, I would go with a smaller packtowel than what you have been using. Try it out and see if it works for you. You don't need to buy anything too expensive. Those other "ultralight" Cascade Designs Packtowls suck in my opinion (they are not very absorbent), and to me seem just seem like a way for Cascade Designs to try and charge extra for something labelled as "ultralight."

You could always get an original weight Cascade Designs Packtowl and cut it into a much smaller square than what I've got. You could easily go with a 8" x 8" square, and that would only weigh in at about 6 grams (when it was dry at least).

I hope this was helpful. Good luck with your pack towel search!

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
thanks on 08/26/2013 11:03:22 MDT Print View

Thanks Derek,
I appreciate the work you put into that thorough response... helpful...
though it does lack the spice of ego and personal attack of the previous responders :)

Bill D

James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Packtowels on 08/26/2013 11:09:12 MDT Print View

REI has the Cascade Designs Packtowels on sale right now, 35% off.

Corbin Camp

Locale: Southeast
LightLoads on 08/27/2013 12:04:50 MDT Print View

I've been using light loads with a lot of success. Cheap, barely weigh anything, compact, absorbent and a durable enough. Will they last forever? no, but I've used them for everything from a filter, to wiping off condensation, to scrubbing dishes, to starting a fire.

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
light loads on 08/27/2013 12:25:58 MDT Print View

Thanks Corbin,
but I have not had great experience with light loads... they pretty much shred after a few days... plus, they're not all that light... I find I need two of them to dry off in any kind of reasonable time... at .5 oz each that's 2 x .5 = 1 oz... which is more than the .8 oz packtowls that are available...

why two towels? well.. when using cold water in a cold breeze I want to dry off as QUICK as possible to get warm again... one just doesn't cut it for me... even using two they are both shredded into fluff by the end of an 8 day trip... Personal choice, but I find the packtowels better for the job... more water absorption per unit weight and they hold up better...

thanks for your response... but it is an option that I've tried...

Bill D...