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Travel Towels That Don't Get Smelly or Soggy

Updated on July 2, 2017

The Trouble With Travel Towels Is...

The trouble with taking towels when travelling whether backpacking or staying in a hotel is they aren't designed for travel. You wouldn't take a set of drawers for your clothes because they aren't suited to the task so why do many people take bulky and heavy towels with them?

Travel towels are an important part of travel so getting the right one is equally important. Below are some travel tips, know-how and information on getting a great travel towel.

My Top Troubles With Towels When Travelling

The trouble with taking towels when travelling is they take up too much valuable space and weight at time when travelling restrictions and weights are becoming less.

  1. Soggy - I hate soggy towels, they are heavy. They get smelly and they are just not nice to use.
  2. Heavy - Ordinary towels are heavy even when they are dry.
  3. Bulky - They take up too much room in your luggage leaving less space for goodies.
  4. Smelly (possibly) - As I said they can smell if left wet. This can cause other things to smell as well.
  5. Difficult to Dry - Even over a balcony in a hot country they can take time to dry especially if that country happens to be humid as well.

So Why Take Them Then?


Why Take a Towel

If they are such a pain why do we bother taking them in the first place? I can think of several reasons. Even though many hotels do supply towels you still need something for the beach as they don't always allow you to take them out of the hotel. Sometimes you can hire them. Some people just prefer to have their own gear.

When backpacking it is less likelihood that you will have access to towels. Some hostels may hire them out but you cannot guarantee that and some backpacking adventures will need to have everything with them as there will be no such luxuries as fluffy towels. This means what you take is what you carry and though you think you might be OK as any seasoned traveller or hiker will tell you that you do not carry any more weight than you need. After a day's trekking you will really be feeling it! I know someone who did this and it almost cost them their trip and it definitely made it much more difficult for them and reduced enjoyment.

What Type of Traveller Are You? - Luxury


Towels to Fit the Traveller

Personally I love to travel whether it be for one night or several months so I guess I come under the varies category of the what kind of traveller are you poll. I try to fit my kit to the type of travel I am doing and to where I am going. My choice would be quite different if I were going to a luxury resort in Fiji to if I were walking the Milford Trek for example.

Or Independent Backpacker


What Kind of Traveller Are You Poll

Above are two pictures of very different travellers. Their requirements for travel and travel towels will be very different. Where do you fit in here?

What kind of traveller are you?

See results

What Makes the Best Travel Towels?

A great travel towel must be one that solves some or preferably all of the problems mentioned at the beginning of this page. So it must be lightweight and quick to dry. It must have reduced bulk so it doesn't take up too much room in your case or sack. A towel that dries quickly solves the other problems of a soggy towel and a smelly towel as it is less likely to hold lots of water and therefore less likely to smell. Also you can wash it easier and just sling it over a rail and it will be fresh and ready for you to use.

I have heard that some people use yesterdays T shirts (yes guilty on occasion) but these are unlikely to dry well and will be soggy and smell. Also they are already dirty when you use them so will result in reduced hygiene which is important especially when travelling in hot countries. Sometimes needs must, but that doesn't make it the best option.

Travel Towel Reviews

More information on towel types to help guide to a better decision for your needs.

Why Pick Microfiber Travel Towels?


Why Use Microfibre Towels?

Microfibre travel towels are great as they are quick to dry and dry your skin well even though they are much thinner. They do take a bit of getting used to as they are not fluffy like normal towels and feel different on the skin. Also if you like to wrap the towel around you there might be a problem as even the larger ones seem much smaller than a bath towel.

They have many advantages over the normal towel however as they are fast drying and do dry you well without getting the towel too wet or it will wring out easily depending on which ones you get.

They pack well and do not add weight which leave more room and weight allowance for other things in your pack or case.

They can hold up to 8 times their weight in water and yet wring out and dry with ease. Some also can dry you without seeming to get wet. This means you do not need such a large towel though you may prefer to get one as that is what you are used to.

Testing Out a Microfiber Travel Towel

This guy tests his travel towel before he travels to see how effective it is. He checks it for drying power, wetness, effectiveness and drying time as if he were staying in a hostel.

Travel Towel V Normal Towel Debate

So after reading this lens or as a normal travel event would you consider using a travel towel?

Would you use a travel towel as a convenient practical alternative to a normal one?

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