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Microfiber Towels: Choose the Right One for Your Next Trip
Ask Baz

Microfiber Towels: Choose the Right One for Your Next Trip

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy was right—a towel may well be the most useful thing to bring on any intrepid adventure.

Dry yourself off with it, clean up spills, wipe off sweat, pack it around fragile things, sit on it, swat away flies—the options are endless. And thanks to advances in microfiber technology, they’re more packable and absorbent than ever.

To help you find your perfect match for your next camping trip or overseas holiday, here’s our guide to picking the perfect packable towel. 

A good travel and camping towel should be five things:

  • Ultra absorbent
  • Quick to dry
  • Machine washable
  • Soft
  • Light and compact

ultra absorbent

Packable towels should be far more absorbent than your normal towel, which is why our whole range utilities Microfiber technology.

Microfiber, with its minute channels built into the yarn, absorbs water in a way that natural fibers can’t—so even a little material goes a very long way.

quick to dry

You don’t want to shove a wet towel in your pack any more than you want to be held up watching material dry.

Microfiber has a surface area around 40 times that of a regular fiber, allowing it to dry much faster than your average towel. And if you’re really impatient to pack up and go, our towels can be secured to the outside of your backpack while they dry.

machine washable

Travel and camping towels should be easy care—and that means being machine washable with a normal detergent.

However, to maintain a high level of performance, keep your Microfiber towel away from fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which clog up the micro-channels in the fibers.


Just because you’re roughing it outdoors doesn’t mean your towel needs to feel like sandpaper. Our towels use a quality Microfiber with a high nylon content, making them soft to the touch.

Our towels also come in a number of different textures or ‘handfeels’. The Airlite Towel is smooth and the Pocket Towel soft and silky. The DryLite Towel has a suede feel and the Tek Towels are thick and fluffy.

light + compact

Nothing can add on the grams or take up pack space more than a towel. And your average bath towel can feel like it’s getting heavier by the second.

Our towels range from 0.4 oz Airlite Towels to extra-large and extra plush Tek Towels, weighing in at 15.7 oz. All towels come in a storage sack or soft case and can be as small as a chicken egg.

our travel and camping towels

Size, weight, absorbency, handfeel and more—here’s everything to know about our packable towels.

airlite towel

Handfeel: smooth and soft

Our lightest and most compact towel in our range, the Airlite towel is for the minimalist who values packed space and weight savings above all else. Ranging from 0.4oz to 2.5oz, these elongated towels act as everything from a dishcloth to a bandana or bath towel. 

Comes in a lightweight stuff sack.

pocket towel

Handfeel: soft and silky

The Pocket Towel is as compact as it is absorbent—and ultralight to boot. It feels a little like a silk scarf—one which soaks up a lot of water and dries lightning fast. 

Comes in soft, zippered EVA case.

drylite towel

Handfeel: Suede-like

The DryLite Towel is the ideal synthesis of quick-drying, lightweight and compact. It’s more absorbent than the Pocket Towel but takes up just a little more room in your bag. It’s available in five sizes—ranging from hand towel to beach towel sized—and has a ‘microsuede’ finish. 

Comes in mesh-faced storage pouch.

tek towel

Handfeel: thick, soft terrycloth

The Tek Towel is our plushest, most absorbent towel. The Microfiber feels similar to your towel at home. Due to the greater surface area (compared to the other two towels) this the most absorbent in our towel range. The five sizes of Tek Towel—ranging from hand towel to beach towel sized—are heavier than the equivalent sized DryLite Towel, but still light and compact enough for many, many outdoor activities—including drying the dogs off after a swim at the lake, or cleaning up the kids after soccer practice. 

Comes in soft, zippered EVA case.

Whether you’re off to surf Manly Beach, are backpacking through South East Asia or packing for a ski tour in the Tetons, there’s every reason to take a lightweight, packable towel with you.

7 thoughts on “Microfiber Towels: Choose the Right One for Your Next Trip

  1. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day John

    Your towel should have been supplied with a product care card – sorry if this has gone missing. You can find instructions on washing various items of gear here – briefly, here’s what you need to know about washing a Sea to Summit Towel:

    - Wash separately for the first three or four washes. Microfibers are very difficult to dye in a way that does not bleed color; so keep them away from other laundry items for the first few washes.
    - Wash cold or warm; you shouldn’t need a hot wash
    - Do not use fabric softener – this will clog up the channels in the microfiber and reduce the absorbency of the towel
    - Air dry rather than using an electric dryer

    If you have further questions, email us at – we’ll be happy to help out


    The Sea to Summit team

  2. avatar John says:

    There are no washing instructions on the towel, and none readily available on the website. So it must not be that sensitive to temperature? Hot , warm , cold ? If temperature affects material, something should say so. Please advise

  3. avatar Ricky Nunn says:

    I have had the xtra large towel for about 10 years and am extremely satisfied. It is an awesome product, compact and very absorbent.

  4. avatar Baz says:

    G’Day Teira,

    The Airlite Towel will absorb around three times its own weight in water – so the size L will absorb 150ml (or 3/5 of a Cup) of water.

    In practice, very lightweight towels are used more like a ‘chamois’ in that they wipe water off of your skin rather than simply absorbing it.

    However – your suggestion for adding the weight of water that each towel can absorb is a really good idea – we will pass it on to our colleagues in Marketing and Product Development in Perth, Australia.


    The Sea to Summit Team

  5. avatar Teira Hawk says:

    How does the airlite towel compare??
    I wish there was a chart that compared how much they were each able to absorb (besides their weight), for example, the L for each type of towel is able to absorb 1/2 cup of water, or 3/4 cup of water, etc.


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