20 of The Best Backpacking Towels – Buying Guide & Reviews

Best Towels for Backpacking

Credit: PackTowl

Last Updated on May 4, 2021

Backpacking is a strenuous activity, but there are ways that you can add elements of comfort to your hiking and backpacking experiences. You need to think carefully about the space available in your backpack and the amount of weight you are carrying, but there are some small items you can take that make your backpacking adventures more enjoyable. A backpacking towel is an item that you can take to dry down after hiking in wet conditions, to take a wash or to wipe away your sweat after covering challenging terrain. Here is a guide to buying towels for backpacking, hiking, and camping along with reviews of some of the best backpacking towels available.

Reviews of The Best Backpacking Towels

1. 4monster Microfiber Towel for Outdoors

Available in five colors, this is one of the best towels for backpacking. It is the perfect size for packing into your backpack as it measures 24-inches by 48-inches. It comes with a zippered case that is the same size as a glasses case, so the towel is extremely compact when packed into its case and hardly takes any room in your backpack. The case has holes for ventilation to stop the towel from smelling if packed while still damp. This is lighter than a cotton towel and is made from microfibers that absorb five times the towels weight in liquid. Another advantage of this towel is that it is fast drying.

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2. PackTowl Nano Backpacking Towel

If you want a lightweight towel for backpacking, then this is a good option, weighing just 0.9 ounces. It is also highly absorbent, soaking up twice its weight in water, and dries fast. In fact, this towel is dry simply by wringing out the excess water. This towel is laser cut to create smooth edges that have stitch binding to prevent fraying. It comes with a mesh pouch that has a strong metal clip to attach the towel and pouch to the outside of your backpack. This means it takes up no room in your backpack, it doesn’t get your other items wet, and it dries while you are walking. This is suitable for all outdoor activities and comes in seven colors.

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3. Wolfyok Quick Dry Microfiber Towels

Each pack comes with two towels; a large swimming towel and a smaller cleaning towel. The latter is perfect for backpacking, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Both towels are made from a premium quality microfiber that is super absorbent and dries quickly. The towels have a smooth texture that feels nice against your skin. Both towels have a loop on one corner for hanging and the set comes with a mesh carry bag that you can use for either of the towels. When packed in the carry pouch, the towels are compact, and this makes them great towels for backpacking. Using the pouch is a good way to keep your towels away from other items in your backpack.

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4. Youphoria Microfiber Travel and Sports Towel

This towel is available in three sizes and the best option for backpackers is the one measuring 20-inches by 40-inches. It is the absorbency and drying rate of these towels that makes them perfect for outdoor activities. Not only can they absorb five times their weight in water, but they can also dry ten times faster than regular towels. Furthermore, this towel is treated to stop your towel developing mildew to bad odors. Despite having a lovely soft texture that makes them pleasant to use, these towels are ultra-thin and compact. Each towel has a quick snap hang loop and comes with a waterproof carry case for traveling.

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5. BOGI Microfiber Travel Towel

Available in four sizes, these towels are suitable for various purposes depending on the size you choose.  The small or medium option from this brand is great for backpacking as these are compact and lightweight. The design of these towels is very efficient as they can absorb nine times their own weight in moisture and dry ten times faster than regular towels. These towels are kind to your skin, thanks to their soft texture. They are also treated with an eco-friendly antibacterial treatment that prevents bacteria and smells developing on a damp towel. Each towel comes with a mesh carry case and a hanging loop for easy transportation and storage.

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6. Rainleaf Microfiber Travel Towel

This towel is amazingly soft and feels like suede against your skin. If you want a quick dry towel for backpacking, then this is a good choice because one of its best features is how quickly this towel dries. It is also very absorbent but because it dries so quickly, it is ready for use again in just a short time. This towel is also very lightweight and compact when folded which make it the best travel towels for backpacking. Other features of this towel include a snap hang loop and a waterproof carry case with mesh sections for ventilation. It is also an antibacterial towel that prevents bacteria growing that makes your towel smell.

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7. The Camping Trail Outdoor and Camping Towel Set

This set contains both a bath towel and a hand towel, the combined weight of these items it 10 ounces. If you want to reduce the weight you carry for backpacking, then just take the hand towel along with you on your adventures and save the bath towel for use at home or when you go swimming. These super soft towels can absorb eight times more water than their cotton counterparts, yet still dry extra quick. They are made from an antibacterial microfiber material, so they stay cleaner and fresher for longer than regular towels. Both towels have a hanging loop, so you can hang to aid quick drying.

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8. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel

Wise Owl Outfitters claim they produce the best microfiber towel for backpacking and this claim is backed by excellent reviews. They are so confident that they even offer a 100% money back satisfaction promise if their customers are not satisfied with this towel in any way. It is extra absorbent, dries quickly, and is one of the softest towels on the market. The pack comes with both a large and a small towel, so you can pick which you use in different situations. Both towels have an attractive, edged design and they come with a bag for carrying your towels with you wherever you go.

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9. SUNLAND Microfiber Towel

This is one of the best travel towels because it is so lightweight and compact. It takes up hardly any space in your backpack, leaving plenty of room for all your other backpacking gear. These towels feel soft against your skin and do not have the sticky feeling of many microfiber towels. You can dry yourself quickly as these towels are very absorbent. They are soon ready to use again as they have such a quick drying time. The towels have a snap hang loop and they come with a mesh carry bag where you can store your towel when it is not in use.

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10. The Friendly Swede Microfiber Towels

The bundle contains four items; two microfiber towels and two mesh bags. Each towel weighs 10.8 ounces and measures 30-inches by 60 inches. They fold up compact into the mesh bags and take up only a little room in your backpack. Therefore, they are ideal for backpacking, camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. They are made from a high-quality polyester-polyamide microfiber blend that is both durable and soft. They are absorbent, dry quickly, and are machine washable for easy care. The Friendly Swede offers a lifetime warranty for these towels as they are so confident of the product they produce.

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11. ECOdept Microfiber Travel Towel

As this towel absorbs four times more water than a regular towel, it is a good option for outdoor activities as you can dry yourself quickly. The towel also dries quickly and is soon ready for another use. Another reason to consider buying this towel is that it is relatively lightweight at just 8 ounces and is also compact when rolled and packed away. It is made from a luxurious antibacterial microfiber that feels fantastic against your skin and prevents odors and germs developing on the towel. It comes with a free hand towel and a waterproof carry bag.

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12. Relefree 2-Pack Microfiber Travel and Sports Towels

Made from premium microfiber, the towels in this set can absorb up to four times their weight in water. They also dry up to ten times faster than either cotton or terry towels as they are dry after spending just three minutes in the sun. The material is thinner than silk and this makes them a lightweight and compact option. They have a lovely texture that feels amazing against your skin. They are a multifunctional item as you can use them for many sports or outdoor activities and can even roll them up to use as a comfortable pillow when camping or backpacking. The pack contains a large towel and a small towel. While the former is perfect for the beach or swimming, the latter is better for hiking, backpacking, and camping.

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13. Sinland Multi-Purpose Microfiber Fast Drying Travel Towels

This pack of three towels is one of the cheapest towels for backpacking. They are colorful, lightweight, and compact towels that are ideal for backpacking, outdoor activities, and sports. Made of microfiber with a terry towel design, they can absorb more moisture than traditional towels and will dry three times faster. The manufacturers recommended patting yourself dry rather than rubbing to achieve the best results. These are durable items that you can machine wash up to 500 times before they will begin to show signs of wear and tear. Each towel in the pack measures 16-inches by 32-inches.

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14. OlimpiaFit Set of Three Microfiber Towels

With this set of three different sized towels, you have a towel for every occasion. The large towel is perfect for the beach or the pool, the middle-sized towel is a good choice for camping and traveling, and the smaller towel is ideal for the gym or backpacking. All the towels in the pack are very absorbent and fast-drying. Just five minutes in the sun is needed to completely dry these towels. Made from quality treated microfiber, they are antibacterial and wet towels will not become smelly. A further advantage of these towels is they are compact as they pack four times smaller than regular towels.

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15. Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The super soft microfiber from which these towels are made has an ultra-suede finish that makes them pleasant rather than scratchy to use. This is one of the lightest towels for backpacking as it weighs just four ounces. Despite being so lightweight, it is exceptionally absorbent and dries very quickly. This towel is made from a polyester-polyamide microfiber that is very packable. When rolled and packed into the zippered mesh pouch that comes with the towel, they take up very little space in a backpack, so they are ideal for ultralight backpacking.

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16. PackTowl Personal Microfiber

The speed at which this towel dries its most outstanding feature as it dries up to 70 percent faster than comparable cotton towels. It also soaks up more than four times its own weight in water and wrings out easily, which removes most of the moisture absorbed. This microfiber towel is treated with Polygiene odor control to keep bad smells at bay, so you don’t need to worry about having a smelly damp towel in your backpack. It has a hang loop for hanging and a zippered storage pouch for when you are packing your towel away into your backpack or storing at home. It is available in eight colors and one patterned design.

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17. Wildhorn Outfitters Microlite Travel Towel Bundle

This is a pack of three towels that contains a large, a medium, and a small towel. This means that there is a towel for every occasion and situation. The best option for backpacking is to take the small towel along in your backpack and to save the medium and large towels for home, swimming, camping, and sports. The pack also includes three mesh pouches, one for each of the different sized towels. These towels are lightweight, absorbent and quick drying. They are also comfortable to use and come with a hanging loop on one corner of each towel.

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18. HOEAAS Microfiber Sport Travel Towel Set

Available in five sizes from small to XXL, there is a suitable towel size in the range from HOEASS to meet all your needs. The small or medium towels are the better options for backpacking. Regardless of which size you choose, these towels are made from a good quality microfiber fabric that is soft to touch and comfortable to use. They can absorb up to ten times their own weight in water, so they are one of the best options in terms of absorbency. They also dry four times faster than regular towels and are treated to prevent odors and a build-up of bacteria. When the towel is packed into the waterproof mesh pouch that is provided, it is compact and perfect for backpacking.

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19. Arnuwa Microfiber Travel Towel Set

These towels have an attractive design, so they are a pleasing accessory for any backpacker. Made from premium quality microfiber material, it is super soft to the touch. These towels can absorb up to ten times their own weight in water, making them one of the most absorbent options available. They also dry extremely quickly, and you can speed up the drying process by using the hanging loop on the corner of the towel. They are treated with an antibacterial solution that makes them odor free. When packed into the mesh carry pouch, this towel is seven times smaller than regular towels.

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20. Danish Endurance Microfiber Travel and Sports Towel

The Danish Endurance Microfiber Travel and Sports Towel is a super soft microfiber towel that is made with quality materials. It is extremely absorbent and dries up to ten times faster than cotton towels. The towels are treated with an antibacterial product that is skin-friendly and will keep your towel smelling fresh for longer. They are a lightweight option that is very compact when it is rolled and packed in your backpack. In fact, they even roll small enough to fit in most pockets. Therefore, they are an excellent option for backpacking, hiking, camping, and many other outdoor activities.

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Things to Consider When Buying a Backpacking Towel

Some people make the mistake of taking any old towel out of their bathroom along with them on their backpacking expeditions. However, it is better to buy a towel that you use specifically for backpacking and to take the following points in consideration when buying this item.


Just like when you buy any product, the material from which the backpacking towel is made is an important consideration.

  • The material from which a backpacking towel is made is important because it influences the weight in the backpack, the drying time, and the size of the towel when it is packed.
  • Most backpacking towels are made from modified polyester and nylon (Polyamide). The water is trapped between the fibers so that you can squeeze out excess water and the towel will dry quickly.

More resources on Microfiber material can be found on Carwashmag.

Size and Weight

Weight is one of the most important considerations for any backpacker as they want to carry as little weight as possible. Size is also important as they need something that takes up as little room as possible in their backpacks.

  • The weight of a towel depends on both its size and the materials from which it is made.
  • The best towels for backpacking, hiking, and camping weigh less than 10 ounces and the lightweight options weigh around four ounces or less.
  • The size you take backpacking depends on your needs and preferences.
  • Larger towels are generally heavier and bulkier while smaller towels are usually lightweight and take up little space in your backpack.
  • A towel is heavier when it is wet, so keep this in mind if you need to put a wet towel into your backpack.


Some backpacking towels are treated with an antimicrobial treatment. When deciding if you need this feature, consider the following:

  • An antimicrobial treatment stops the towel from growing bacteria that causes a bad odor.
  • This treatment will stop your towel getting smelly and keep it fresher for longer.
  • The treatments eventually stop working because they get washed out of the towel.


  • When making any purchase, the cost of an item is one of the biggest considerations. If you are buying a backpacking towel, think about the following:
    Most backpacking towels are a low-cost item
  • The cost of a backpacking towel depends on the brand, its size, the materials, and any other features.
  • By buying backpacking towels online, you can compare your options and find the best value products. You will often save money on your towel by shopping this way.


Some backpacking towels come with a handy case. These are often made wholly or partially of mesh for ventilation. There are two main benefits of having a case for your towel:

  • It packs away tightly and does not take up space in your backpack, leaving more room for other items.

If your towel is still damp, it will not get other items in your backpack wet when stored in a case.

Final Verdict

When choosing a towel for backpacking, it is important to opt for a product that is lightweight, small, absorbent, and dries quickly. There are many backpacking towels with these features on the market. If the absorbency is the key feature for you, then one of the best options is the HOEAAS Microfiber Sport Travel Towel Set as these towels can absorb up to ten times their own weight in moisture and are also extremely fast drying.

For those on a budget, the best choice is the Sinland Multi-Purpose Microfiber Fast Drying Travel Towels. You will get a pack of three towels for a similar to price as many of its competitors’ single towels.

The overall best backpacking towel is the PackTowl Nano Towel. Weighing under an ounce, this is one of the lightest options available, so it is perfect for backpacking. Although it is thin and light, it is still very absorbent and dries fast, so it has the features that a backpacker wants from their towel.

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