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Ask Baz

Sea to Summit Towels

What makes them work, and what’s the difference between the three types?

The first thing you’ll notice about any of the Sea to Summit towels is how soft they are. All three Sea to Summit towels is made of super soft microfiber fabrics. The Pocket Towels are 100% polyester, the DryLite and Tek Towels are 70% polyester, 30% nylon.

The second aspect of the towels is how absorbent they are – the microfiber (with its minute channels in the yarn) absorbs water in a way that natural fibers can’t. You can see a video here which shows the TekTowel soaking up water from a bowl – incredible stuff. To maintain this level of performance, keep the towels away from fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which clog up those micro-channels. And – for the first couple of laundry cycles, wash the towels separately from other items to prevent color bleeding onto light-colored fabrics. With that in mind, all three towels are easy-care machine washable.

The Pocket Towel is the most compact. It’s available in four sizes: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large. The Small packs away in a pouch which measure 3” x 2.75” x 1.75” (7.5 x 7 x 4.5cm) so you can take it with you anywhere. One consumer on a retailer website titled their review “Hold me closer, Tiny Dryer,” which indicates how they feel about the towel, but does leave you humming Elton John for the rest of the day. The Pocket Towel feels a little like a silk scarf – but one which soaks up a lot of water and dries quickly.

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

The Tek Towel is the most absorbent. The microfiber has a ‘terrycloth’ finish – similar to a towel you would have at home. The greater surface area (compared to the other two towels) makes this the most absorbent of the three. The five sizes of TekTowel – hand towel to beach towel – 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.

So – whether you’re off to surf Manly Beach, backpacking through South East Asia, packing for a ski tour in the Tetons, or hitch-hiking throughout the known galaxy, now you know which towel to take with you.


7 thoughts on “Sea to Summit Towels

  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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