Best Quick Dry Towels For Backpacking

Imagine feeling one with nature after discovering a secretly hidden waterfall during a vacation in the mountains. After swimming back to shore, you step on the sun-warmed pebbles and reach for your towel as the warm breeze greets you. However, as soon as you bring the towel to your face, you smell a repelling musty odor that quickly snaps you out of your daydream. Plus, the cloth feels like sandpaper. Nobody wants to experience that! You want the best, most comfortable towel you can get, and that means finding the best quick dry towels for backpacking.

But where to find these towels can be a bit of a mystery. You want a quick drying towel, and that usually means it’s not very absorbent. That’s not asking too much. Is it?

Best Quick Dry Towels for Backpacking Comparison Table

The Best Advice for Finding the Best Quick Dry Towels for Backpacking

neatly folded towels for backpacking

Here are a few helpful tips when shopping for the best quick dry towels for backpacking. First, you want to make sure the cloth is the right material. A good travel towel typically contains modified polyester and nylon fibers which capture water in pockets between them, allowing you to squeeze water from the cloth.

Travel and backpacking towels come in many sizes, and the best size to choose is based on your personal preferences. However, keep in mind that larger towels weigh more and take up more backpack space. Additionally, a good weight for a body towel is around four ounces.

Finally, make sure the towel has antibacterial properties. Treatments such as Polyiegene and other antimicrobial treatments inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and keeps your towel fresher much longer. But, it’s important to remember that antibacterial treatments eventually get washed out over time. There are no permanent antibacterial treatments available at this time.

How We Found the Best Quick Dry Towels for Backpacking

Quick Dry Towels under the sun

To find the best quick dry towels for backpacking, we searched a lot of travel forums and social media pages for the best recommendations from real outdoor adventurers from around the world. We then chose the products with the best customer reviews. Finally, we explored what the customer reviews revealed about each towel. Often we find that customer reviews tell us things about a product that the manufacturer and retailer fail to mention. After careful evaluation, we settled on the best quick dry towels for backpacking.

Here Are the Finalists

folded towels that dries quickly

After consulting numerous online forums and social media pages, we managed to refine our list to the top nine travel towels on the market. We picked these towels after making sure they had specific features such as antibacterial treatments and microfiber material. Most of these towels are sold individually and cost between $ and $ based on size. Also, some have limited or unlimited term money-back guarantees, while others offer limited or unlimited term warranties.

PackTowl Personal

PackTowl Personal towel

Our first contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the PackTowl Personal Microfiber Towel. This towel features a soft microfiber fabric that’s smooth against your skin. It has four times absorbency that can hold four times its weight in water and wring out easily. Also, it’s said to dry almost 70 percent faster than cotton towels, and Polygiene® odor control helps ensure your cloth stays fresh. This towel is compact and perfect for backpacks. Finally, it includes a convenient hang loop and zippered storage bag for quick drying and packing. Plus, the Packtowl is machine washable.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.5 out of 5 stars. One customer said that she and her husband now use these towels exclusively at home and while traveling. She said they’re soft and dry very fast. Another customer said that he’s used it as a cooling rag, a blanket, and even soaked it in ocean water to help soothe a jellyfish sting.

Other customers complained that the towel did not dry their skin, but instead pushed water around. One customer said it did not wring out water as advertised. Another said that it would bleed color if you machine-wash it without hand washing it three times before first use.

This towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a limited lifetime warranty.

PackTowl Personal Microfiber Towel
  • Quick-drying microfiber towel for camp, beach, sport, and travel
  • Super absorbent fabric soaks up four times its weight in water; wrings out easily
  • Dries nearly 70 percent faster, and is much more compact than comparable cotton towels
  • Polygeine odor control keeps towel fresh, even during extended use
  • Hang loop and zippered storage pouch included; machine washable


folded ShamWow towel

Our next contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the ShamWow towel. This towel features super absorbency that soaks up to 10 times its weight in any liquid. It’s also drip-proof, so it doesn’t leave a mess. Furthermore, it’s suitable for multi-purpose tasks like washing, drying, and polishing. Additionally, the ShamWow is non-abrasive and guaranteed not to scratch any surface, and it’s machine washable. These towels sell in packs of 2, 4, 8, and 16.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.3 out of 5 stars. One customer said it worked well for spills and said it seemed to pick up crumbs and dirt better than her other microfiber cloths.

However, another customer claimed the towel left lint everywhere and felt more like a piece of dense felt.

This towel set can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a 10-year limited warranty.

The Original Shamwow - Super Absorbent Multi-purpose Cleaning Shammy (Chamois) Towel Cloth, Machine Washable, Will Not Scratch (8 Pack: 4 Large Orange and 4 Small Blue)
  • The world famous ORIGINAL As-Seen-On-TV Shamwow! It's like a Chamois (Shammy), Towel, and a Sponge, all in One. 8 piece set - 4 large towel cloths and 4 small towel cloths. The massive ShamWow towels are 20 x 23.5 inches and the minis are 15 x 15 inches You can cut the large ones in half to use as a bath mat, drain your dishes, under your crisper to keep the veggies fresh and even make smaller ones for dish rags.
  • SUPER ABSORBENT: Soaks up to 10x it's weight in any liquid! Easily absorbs cola, wine, and pet stains. Doesn't drip, doesn't make a mess.
  • MULTI PURPOSE: Washes, dries, and polishes any surface. Great for drying and cleaning your kitchen, bathroom, carpet stains, windows, car, boat, and RV. Great Camp Towel. Even cleans your dog or cat!
  • NON-ABRASIVE, will not scratch any surface. MACHINE WASHABLE and bleachable. Lasts up to 10 years!
  • We are a US company and our Original Shamwow! products come with a 30 day Manufacturer Return and Refund Policy.

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel hanging on a tree

The third contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the RainleafMicrofiber Towel. This towel is super absorbent and fast-drying, allowing for repeat use. It’s also antibacterial, killing lots of common mildew and germs. Plus, it’s soft on your skin. Finally, the cloth is ultra-compact and lightweight, with a hang snap loop and a convenient reusable and waterproof carrying bag.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.6 out of 5 stars. One customer called this product “the perfect travel towel.” She said the cloth dried off quickly and never smelled musty afterward.

However, another customer said the towel smelled like a brand new tire no matter how many times he washed it. Also, customers complained about color-bleed during washing.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a lifetime warranty.

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel, 40 X 72 Inches. Army Green.
  • FAST DRYING - much comfortable for next use & convenient to pack. SUPER ABSORBENT - capable of repeat use in short time & dry you fast. BEAUTIFUL COLOR - much suitable for multi use daily.
  • Ease to keep your towel fresh and away from mildew & germ. SKIN FRIENDLY - remarkable soft suede like feel on your skin and face.
  • ULTRA COMPACT & LIGHT WEIGHT - easy to carry and space saving. HANG SNAP LOOP - practical & easy to hang anywhere and dry. CARRY BAG - reusable and waterproof.CORNER ZIP POCKET - to keep cellphone and keys safe.
  • With all the features of Rainleaf microfiber towel listed above, they can do their job well as travel towels or sports towels. Also they are ideal for beach, travel, camping, swimming, backpacking, gym.
  • It is suggested to wash your towel before first use, even it's from Rainleaf. You can return the towel you buy from us for a replacement via Amazon if you experience any problem with our towel. Lifetime warranty.

Raqpak Antibacterial Microfiber Towel

Raqpak Antibacterial Microfiber Towel

Our next option is the Raqpak Microfiber Towel. This towel features antibacterial properties that kill germs and prevent mildew. It also helps prevent that nasty wet towel smell. It’s lightweight and can absorb up to three times its original weight. It’s also a soft and gentle multi-purpose towel that resists fading. Additionally, this cloth dries three times faster than cotton or terry cloth towels, and you can wring it dry quickly. Finally, it’s space-saving and fits easily into any bag or backpack.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.5 out of 5 stars. One customer said that it was the perfect travel towel for the gym and outdoor activities, stating that it dried quickly and felt soft and smooth. Another customer said it made drying her hair much faster.

However, other customers were not as impressed. A few said the towel stuck to their skin, did not absorb water well and had a mildew odor when wet.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Plus, it includes a money back guarantee for an unspecified period.

Microfiber Towel for Travel, Beach, Bath, Gym, Camping - XL Extra Large but Compact, Antibacterial and Quick Dry with small Carry Pouch
  • Antibacterial and Quick Drying Travel Towel
  • Very Lightweight compared to cotton towels but still Absorbs 3 times its Weight
  • Treated with Antibacterial Agents to help prevent mold and extend life of towel
  • Choose the Correct Size Above. Extra Large 60x30 inches and Small 40x20 inches
  • We also offer a 100% Money Back Guarantee so you can purchase with complete confidence

Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Quick Dry Travel Towel

man with a quick drying towel on his bag

The Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Quick Dry Travel Towel features a super absorbent and fast drying microfiber material that can hold up to 5 times its weight in fluids and dries up to 10 times faster than terry cloth and cotton towels. The fabric is also antibacterial and resists mildew and odors after use. Each towel comes with a convenient travel bag for easy storage in any luggage or backpack. Lastly, they are ultra-soft and feel terrific against your skin.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.4 out of 5 stars. One customer, who’s an avid backpacker, said these were the best travel towels he’s ever used. He said they’re super absorbent, dry quickly, and take up very little space.

However, another customer warned that the stitching came apart after he washed the towel the first time. Furthermore, another customer didn’t like the towel’s smell after use.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a 30-day money back guarantee.

Youphoria Sport Towel and Travel Towel - Super Absorbent and Quick Drying! Camping, Beach, Pool, Gym or Bath Guarantee! (Gray/Black, 20" x 40")
  • PACK FOR ANY SITUATION: There are three convenient sizes for these travel towels: 20 x 40, 28 x 56 and 32 x 72. Whether you need a small pack towel, large beach towel, or pack light camping towel, we've got your covered. Youphoria microfiber towels are a more convenient and packable option for your on-the-go needs.
  • SUPER ABSORBENT & FAST DRYING MICROFIBER: This quick dry travel towel can hold up to five times its weight in water making it the most functional microfiber towel for travel packing.These microfiber towels dry up to ten times faster than normal terry cloth or cotton towels. The microfiber fabric is produced to not mildew or have odors after use.
  • EASY PACKING & HANGING: Each travel towel comes with a convenient carry bag for traveling and a quick-snap hang loop for easy hanging on a towel rack, branch at a campsite, or even on your beach umbrella. Simple.
  • ULTRA-SOFT FEEL: These fast drying, multi-use towels use the finest blend of microfiber: Thin, soft, compact and super absorbent. It's perfect for quick drying off the skin after swimming, workouts, backpacking, or even hot yoga.
  • WE EXIST TO ADD VALUE: We want to make sure you have an amazing experience with us. If you experience any dissatisfaction or inconvenience with your purchase or product, the product is on us.

Wise Owl Microfiber Camping Towel

woman carrying a towel on her bag

The next contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel. This towel features a convenient snap loop for hanging, and it makes an excellent multi-use towel for all kinds of activities. This towel is also lightweight and takes up very little room in any backpack. The cloth is a super-absorbant and fast-drying material that’s said to feel soft while soaking up any liquid.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 800 reviews. One customer who swears by this product said she uses it for everything, including drying her 13-month-old baby. And most customers agreed that the towels are indeed super-absorbant and dry fast. Another customer praised Wise Owl’s outstanding customer service.

However, a few customers complained about color-bleed after first wash and said that the towel has an unpleasant chemical odor.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes an indefinite “no questions asked” money-back guarantee.

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel Ultra Soft Compact Quick Dry Microfiber - Great for Fitness, Hiking, Yoga, Travel, Sports, Backpacking & The Gym - Free Bonus Hand Towel 30x60 GY
  • EASILY HANG IT UP WITH CONVENIENT SNAP LOOP AND IT'S GREAT FOR MULTIPLE USES - fitness activities hiking boating camping swimming the gym yoga workout golf survival bag the beach backpacking pool home bath shower and anything else you can think of. Light weight so you can take this set traveling!
  • SUPER SOFT EXTRA ABSORBENT & FAST DRYING - Unlike many other microfiber towels ours are really soft like a baby's butt - super absorbent so it will soak up ANYTHING - and extra fast drying so you don't have to wait around while it dries.
  • WHY CHOOSE US? - WE ARE REAL PEOPLE KEEP OUR PRICES LOW BUT QUALITY HIGH & OFFER A 100% MONEY BACK SATISFACTION PROMISE - If for ANY reason you do not love your towels let us know and we will take care of you no questions asked.
  • TWO TOWELS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE - 1 free 12"x12" towel with the large towel and 1 free 12"x24" towel with the XL. Also comes with a bag so you can take it with you anywhere. Check for bundle discounts in the "Special Offers" section too because we offer them a lot.
  • GREAT SIZES - **XL is 5 ft x 2 ½ ft & packs down to 9 ¾" x 7 ½" and weighs just 10.8 oz. **Large is 4ft x 2ft and packs down to 7" x 5" and only weighs a mere 6.8 oz.

SYOURSELF Microfiber Sports & Travel Towel

SYOURSELF Microfiber Sports & Travel Towel

Next up in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the SYOURSELF Microfiber towel. This towel features a fast drying and super absorbent microfiber material that can soak up four times its weight in water. Its extra-fine fibers are said to have a luxurious touch that’s gentle on your skin. It’s also multi-purpose and can be used for activities such as camping, swimming, going to the gym, cleaning, or bathing. Also, the towel is easy to clean and takes up little space in a backpack or gym bag.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.5 out of 5 stars. One customer called it a “must have” for active people, stating that the cloth is super absorbent, durable, lightweight, and travels very well.

However, another customer complained that the towel felt cheap, and did not dry or absorb well.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

SYOURSELF Microfiber Sports & Travel Towel-72 x32,60"x30",40"x20",32"x16"-Fast Dry,Lightweight,Absorbent,Compact,Soft-Perfect Beach Yoga Fitness Bath Camping Gym Towels+Travel Bag&Carabiner
  • SUPER ABSORBENT AND FAST DRYING: Made by 100% microfiber designed to soak up lots of sweat, making them great for hot days, workout and sports. Dry up to 10X faster than a standard towel, hold up more than 4X its weight in water. Wring it out and it's almost dry immediately, used OVER AND OVER.
  • COMFORTABLE USE / SOFT FEELING: This amazing towel is made of extra-fine fibers, make it totally smooth and compact. A kind of luxurious touch and gentle on your skin. Mold resistant, antimicrobial. Compact and ultra lightweight, soft and durable, years of use, no more wet towel smell.
  • TRAVEL& SPORTS TOWELS: The quick dry towel can be used for anything you can imagine: sports, hot yoga, running, gym. Our towels aren't limited on sports or gym, also perfect for packing as your travel towel when you go on a trip, hiking, or camping. Use these towels when golfing, fishing, and swimming at the pool, for lounging at the beach, going on picnics, and more. The best length to put around your neck or even to put over your head and keep you away from the uncomfortable of sweat.
  • EASY TO CLEAN & EASY TO CARRY: Machine Washable. Wash before the first use. Simply hand wash or machine wash (with like colors, cold) and air dry or tumble dry on low. The microfiber travel towel is equipped with a free bag and hanging snap loop so it is convenient packing and hanging for quick dry anywhere without blew away. Lightweight but big enough to dry yourself and easily put the towel in your gym bag or backpack.
  • BONUS: FREE breathable mesh travel bag along with a carabiner to attach or fit into your bag. Foldable design, easily be folded into a travel bag, store in your suitcase or backpack. The best gift ideal for Sports, Travel, Adventure Enthusiast.

INCITE Elite Blue Microfibre Travel Towel

INCITE Elite Blue Microfibre Travel Towel

The next contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the Incite Elite Microfiber Towel. This towel features a fast drying and super absorbent antibacterial microfiber material that absorbs water 4 times faster and dries 10 times faster than regular terry cloth or cotton towels. They are also lightweight and very portable; the perfect towel for backpacking or any number of other activities. It also features a hanging loop for convenience and is machine-washable.

Amazon customers rated this towel 4.6 out of 5 stars. One customer said it was a fantastic camping towel that worked much better than towels twice the cost. Another noted that it was the highest quality microfiber towel on the market.

However, a smaller minority of customers didn’t like the towel’s slick feel. They also claimed that it did not dry as well as cotton towels.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. It also includes a 100-percent lifetime money-back guarantee.

Incite Elite Microfiber Towel with Hand Towel and Bag, X-Large, Blue
  • ULTIMATE MICRO FIBER TOWEL SET: XL in size 130cm x 80cm Incite Elite have studied many top athletes to find out what was missing from normal fitness towel combo's to create the best quick dry towels in the WORLD! The quality of our product is so high that it would be a crime not to protect them with our FREE PROTECTIVE BAG, You also receive a small 40cm x 60cm ultra absorbent micofiber towl for those of you that go to the gym, running or hiking or simply need camp towl
  • QUICK DRYING AND SUPER ASOBANT: Sick of waiting for your sports towel to dry? Incite Elite have spent countless hours testing for COMFORT, PRACTICALITY & DURABILITY to create the perfect antibacterial towel. With our high quality Micofiber material your towel will quickdry up to 10 times fast than an ordinary towel and can absorb 4 times its own weight.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, COMPACT AND EASY TO CLEAN: Our lightweight towel is ideal for those who travel, as it is considerably lighter than a cotton towel it takes minimal room in your backpack. Our towels are fully machine washable and are small and compact ideal for backpackers who like to swim.
  • HANGING LOOP: Our hanging loop is designed to keep your towel off the floor and to ensure your towel dries in a record speed. The effortless design make your travelling, workouts and swimming easy. not just a
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY: Unlike many of the large sports equipment companies, who use cheap materials and unproven designs, Incite Elite use only the best fo our microfiber beach towel  / camping towels / fast drying towel combo which results in an unmatched experience. Incite Elites micro towel set is backed by our 100% LIFETIME MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. If you are not 100% THRILLED with your purchase, we'll gladly refund every penny

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel

folding a quick drying towel properly

The final contender in our best quick dry towels for backpacking contest is the Sea to Summit Pocket Towel. This towel features a durable synthetic microfiber material that’s whisper-light, yet feels silky smooth and soft on your skin. This new woven technical fabric is also said to be ultra-absorbent and dries remarkably fast. Finally, it comes with a convenient nifty neoprene storage bag and is machine washable.

Amazon customers rated this bag 4.3 out of 5 stars. One customer called the pocket towel an excellent addition to her camping gear, noting how well it traveled and dried her hair. She also said the cloth was bone dry after 30 minutes.

However, other customers complained that the towels did not feel as smooth and soft as the Drylite model made by the same company.

A single towel can cost from $ to $ depending on the size you order. Additionally, it includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Sea to Summit Pocket Towel, Cobalt Blue, X-Large
  • BEST USE: Extremely packable & highly absorbent travel towel
  • SIZE: X-Large - 30" x 60"; Application: Beach size towel
  • FABRIC: Woven, technical microfiber fabric that is absorbent, fast-drying, and machine washable
  • PACKED: Includes a zippered, EVA molded case. Size: 8 x 3.25 x 2.25 in
  • FEATURES: hanging loop secured with a snap. Sewn edges

Our Picks for the Best Quick Dry Towels for Backpacking

woman with her backpacking towel

After careful consideration, we picked the Wise Owl Microfiber Camping Towel, the INCITE Elite Blue Microfibre Travel Towel, and the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel to represent the best quick dry towels for backpacking. However, we gave a slight edge to the Wise Owl towel, selecting it as the best of the best due to its incredible customer satisfaction ratio.

Do you have a favorite quick dry towel for backpacking? Tell us all about it!


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