Deck chairs and towels in Encuentro Guadalupe, El Porvenir, Mexico.

The 8 Best Camping Towels in 2021 Reviewed

The 8 Best Camping Towels in 2021 Reviewed

Table of Contents

    Commonly backgrounded in favor of tools that seem tougher, a good camp towel is a vital item for camping, backpacking, hiking, and many other outdoor activities. No matter what your pursuit, there is always a chance of rain, spills, and dirt. They’re useful for necessary chores like washing as well as more leisurely sports like swimming and fishing. A camp towel won’t add much weight to your backpack and you’ll always be glad to have it along to clean up or dry off.

    Towels are a household luxury most people don’t think about bringing with them, but hiking back to the campsite sopping wet or waiting forever for your other camp tools to dry off will certainly put a damper on your good time if you forget to bring a camping towel. The right towel, especially when paired with these other cool camping gadgets, is a great way to show off your preparedness. 

    In a hurry? Here’s the test winner after 10 hours of research:

    Sale
    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 24x48 MB
    4,773 Reviews
    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 24x48 MB
    • Multipurpose: Whether you're backpacking through the mountains or going to yoga class, our quick dry towels for camping will keep you fresh and clean when you need them the most.

    8 Best Camping Towels - Overview

    And here’s an overview of the best camping towels on the market today:

    Overview
    SUNLAND Microfiber Sports Travel Towel Fast Drying Camping Towel Ultra Compact and Super Absorbent Beach Towel Suitable for Gym Backpacking Workout Swimming Yoga Hiking
    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    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 24x48 MB
    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    Title
    SUNLAND Microfiber Sports Travel Towel Fast Drying Camping Towel Ultra Compact and Super Absorbent Beach Towel Suitable for Gym Backpacking Workout Swimming Yoga Hiking
    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    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 24x48 MB
    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    Price
    Price not available
    $11.99
    Price not available
    $36.95
    $11.00
    $9.99
    Rating
    Overview
    SUNLAND Microfiber Sports Travel Towel Fast Drying Camping Towel Ultra Compact and Super Absorbent Beach Towel Suitable for Gym Backpacking Workout Swimming Yoga Hiking
    Title
    SUNLAND Microfiber Sports Travel Towel Fast Drying Camping Towel Ultra Compact and Super Absorbent Beach Towel Suitable for Gym Backpacking Workout Swimming Yoga Hiking
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    Title
    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    Price
    $11.99
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    Title
    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    Price
    Price not available
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    Title
    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    Price
    $36.95
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    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 24x48 MB
    Title
    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 24x48 MB
    Price
    $11.00
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    Title
    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    Price
    $9.99
    Rating
    Details

    A versatile towel that you can use at the beach, the campground, or on the boat at one of these best fishing lakes can give a lot of peace of mind to anyone who likes to stay relatively clean or maintain their other tools in the proper condition to preserve their longevity. In fact, you can think of these towels as an investment in the upkeep of your clothes and other camping equipment. Just make sure to invest in one that has all the qualities you need.

    A girl on the beach in Noosa Heads, Australia.

    The perfect camping towel can be used everywhere from the woods to the beach.

    1. Sunland Microfiber Towel

    This Sunland towel has a good amount of versatility. It’s super absorbent but the towel dries fast if you wring it out first. Unlike other towels made out of microfiber material, this one isn’t sticky and feels nice and gentle on the skin. They’ve designed this one for multiple uses, so it’s pretty ideal to carry with you on long outings.

    It comes with a mesh bag carrying case for quick transport. Both the towel and the carrying case have a hanging loop for storage or for hanging them out to dry. At 6 ounces, this towel is convenient for backpackers and hikers who want to keep the pack light. And at only about $9.00, the small size is definitely worth the money.

    The Sunland Microfiber Towel is made out of 80% polyester and 20% polyamide. Keep in mind that a microfiber towel isn’t going to dry you off as quickly as a regular cotton towel, but the microfiber variety will dry out faster. This one definitely does a faster, better job than other brands’ microfiber towels.

    It also comes in different sizes so you can choose depending on your particular needs. If you’re an animal lover and have a short-haired pet, it can probably help you dry them off a little bit, but might not work for long-haired animals. It’s also machine washable, but sometimes the colors bleed. 

    PROS

    • Lightweight
    • Quick drying
    • Mesh carry bag included

    CONS

    • Colors may bleed
    • Limited hair drying ability

    2. Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    13,986 Reviews
    Rainleaf Microfiber Towel,Blue,24 X 48 Inches
    • 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.

    Another microfiber travel towel, this Rainleaf has some similar limitations but tons of great benefits as well. It’s fast-drying, has great absorbency, and is machine washable. All the basics of a high-quality towel are here, and they’ve added a lifetime warranty to the mix, which is rare at this price point. The Rainleaf only costs $12 and is offered in many different colors and several sizes. It’s soft and skin friendly, lightweight and folds up into a compact size. The carry bag is partially made of mesh material, which allows the towel to breathe a little while it’s being carried, preventing mildew. 

    The carry bag also has a convenient hang snap loop for storage purposes, and there’s a hang loop on the towel itself for drying. This towel has a little more polyester at 85%, and the remaining 15% is polyamide, so the feel will be slightly rougher than other microfibers, but it’s still really soft. One of the best features of this Rainleaf is that it’s been treated with an antimicrobial called Silvadur. Long story short, this treatment leaves silver ions on the towel (the same kind found on silver spoons) that are lethal to odor-causing microbes, so the towel stays odor free for a long time. That all depends on what you’re using it to clean up, of course!

    PROS

    • Inexpensive
    • Antibacterial treatment
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Carry bag included

    CONS

    • Slight roughness
    • May deteriorate if tumble-dried

    3. PackTowl Personal Microfiber Towel

    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    1,170 Reviews
    PackTowl Personal Quick Dry Microfiber Towel for Camping, Yoga, and Sports
    • Quick-drying microfiber towel for camp, beach, sport, and travel

    Perhaps the best of the microfiber camping towels, this PackTowl is super absorbent and quick drying. It can hold four times its weight in water and you can wring it out easily, which allows it to dry out faster. It’s been treated with a polygiene odor control that protects against bacteria and mildew, similar to the antibacterial treatment of the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel.

    It’s machine washable but like other travel towels you might extend its lifespan if you hang it to dry instead of tumble drying it. The PackTowl is lightweight, although not the lightest on this list. It comes with a hang snap loop on the towel itself and the included carrying bag has a hang loop as well. The carrying bag isn’t made out of mesh, which means it isn’t going to dry while you’re carrying it, but since it dries so fast you can probably hang it out to dry before you go on the move.

    The color may bleed a little after the first machine wash, but after that it will be fine. The dimensions when folded are small enough to carry in your pack, and one of their multiple sizes is ultra compact, even small enough to fold up and carry in your pocket, so you can keep it with you for use as a washcloth or hand towel.

    One of the nicer backpacking towels, this PackTowl also has some attractive design patterns outside of the normal solid color varieties. If you travel in a large group and everyone comes prepared with a camping towel, it’s nice to be able to add some personality to yours to make sure you can quickly identify it.

    PROS

    • Polygiene odor protection
    • Ultra absorbent
    • Fast drying
    • Attractive design

    CONS

    • Slightly heavier
    • Colors may bleed 

    4. Sea to Summit Drylite Towel

    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    686 Reviews
    Sea to Summit Drylite Towel, Lightweight Camping and Travel Towel, X-Large / Beach Towel, Cobalt Blue
    • Lightweight, packable towel is ideal for camping, backpacking, hiking, boating, and travel; suitable for bath, kitchen, and beach

    This Summit camping towel is ultra light and ultra portable, and it comes in several different sizes. The extra small and small size towels are perfect for backpackers and hikers. They are quick-drying, partly due to the microfiber material, which is 70% polyester and 30% nylon microfiber. Another benefit of the material is its remarkably soft suede finish, which makes it very soft on the skin.

    This Summit is about as absorbent as other brands, but it offers a few more colors to choose from. One drawback is that these towels are thinner than others, which helps them dry faster but limits the amount of water it can retain before you have to wring it out. That’s not a deal breaker by any means, but the Summit may not be the best for big spills.

    If you need a convenient swimming or fishing towel, this one will do just fine. But it is more expensive, costing a little more than $30, so unless you’re specifically looking for a thinner towel, this might not be the one for you. It comes with a carry bag for added portability and has a similar silver-ion antibacterial treatment as some of the towels already mentioned. The deciding factor for this Summit Drylite Towel is probably going to be the price, but it is definitely a convenient towel that covers all the basics. 

    PROS

    • Lightweight
    • Fast drying
    • Antibacterial treatment
    • Wide color variety

    CONS

    • Expensive
    • Thin

    5. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel

    Sale
    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 24x48 MB
    4,773 Reviews
    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 24x48 MB
    • Multipurpose: Whether you're backpacking through the mountains or going to yoga class, our quick dry towels for camping will keep you fresh and clean when you need them the most.

    This Wise Owl Outfitters Towel has everything you need out of a good camping towel. It is super high quality, plush, and absorbent. It has the quickest drying time out of all the towels on this list, and you’ll find tons of variety in both color and size options. The towel sports a snap loop and the included mesh bag has a hanging loop for storage, transport, and drying off.

    This is one of the softest towels on the market, which makes it ideal for drying yourself off after swimming or bathing, and it has enough thickness to hold any amount of water you might need to dry up. The only downside to this towel is that it doesn’t have any antibacterial treatment, but that can actually be a huge plus for those looking for a chemical-free towel alternative.

    Two offers from Wise Owl Outfitters make this towel a savvy purchase. One is their “Two Towels for the Price of One” sale, which makes the already inexpensive $14 price tag an absolute steal. They also offer a money back guarantee, promising to accept the towel back no questions asked if you aren’t satisfied with it for any reason.

    If you’re traveling, hiking, or camping in a really sunny location, this towel can dry in as little as 10 minutes in direct sunlight, and in less than an hour in a shadier location. These times depend on the temperature outside of course,  but you definitely won’t be stuck sitting around waiting on your wet towel to dry with this great little camping towel from Wise Owl. That quick dry time and the unbeatable price are what make this towel our Top Pick for best camping towel. 

    PROS

    • Great price
    • Fast drying
    • Money back guarantee
    • Two for the price of one

    CONS

    • No antibacterial treatment

    6. Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Travel Towel

    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    5,097 Reviews
    Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Camping Towel Fast Drying Lightweight - Quick Dry Travel Towel & Sport Towel - 3 Size Options
    • PACK FOR ANY SITUATION: Youphoria all-purpose travel towels come in three convenient sizes, in inches: 20 x 40, 28 x 56, and 32 x 72. Whether you need pack light camping towel, shower gym towel, a...

    This Youphoria towel is a neatly designed, lightweight, and packable camping towel. It is quick drying and absorbent. Youphoria promises it can hold up to five times its weight in water, which is the highest rate of absorption on this list. It’s produced to be mildew and odor resistant, perhaps the only advantage it has over the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel, although that difference is subjective and may not be appealing to some.

    The mesh carry bag for the Youphoria Microfiber Towel is definitely one of the best looking bags on offer, so for the stylish who are looking for camp-chic, this might be the towel for you. It’s super packable but not the smallest when folded up, so it really depends on your priorities. 

    The price for this towel is pretty fair at $10, and they have a support staff that they promise will have your back in case of any issue with the towel, which is certainly nice but conspicuously stops just short of an outright warranty or money back guarantee. There aren’t many complaints about this towel, but it is worth considering that it doesn’t come with as much assurance as other models.

    It has a sewn-in hanging loop rather than a snap loop, which some prefer for added stability when storing or drying the towel. A pro-tip for this towel: if you plan to be traveling for an extended period and hand-washing your clothes, you can roll your wet clothes up in this towel and it will absorb enough of the water for the clothes to dry faster. Using this method, you won’t need to wring your clothes out.

    PROS

    • Inexpensive
    • Absorbent
    • Stylish

    CONS

    • No guarantee
    • Thinner than other towels

    7. Northbound Train Microfiber Camping Towel

    This Northbound Train camping towel is a solid, fast drying, and portable model that will definitely serve any purpose you can put a camping towel up to. It has enough absorbency to dry off after swimming or exercising, and its machine washable to you can also use it to clean your other tools or wipe up spills.

    It also comes with a mesh bag carrying case with a zipper. The Northbound Train towel stays odor free and it’s mold and mildew resistant, so you can use it for a long time without experiencing any bad smell. It doesn’t have a snap loop, but the hanging loop is made of a sound enough material that shouldn’t unravel after longtime use. 

    They’re selling this towel as part of a towel set as well, so you can purchase the extra large size and the large size towel at once and carry them both together. Northbound Train offers a lifetime warranty for peace of mind, and promises a “better than money back” guarantee, which means they’ll give you your money back and send you a replacement towel if you have any issue with their product.

    At $18, this isn’t the most bang for your buck on the market, and it doesn’t quite have the popularity of our Top Pick, but this model surely won’t disappoint. If you’re looking for a tidy and lightweight travel towel with some buyer’s assurance, this one could suit you perfectly.

    PROS

    • Lifetime warranty
    • Super absorbant
    • Mildew & mold resistant
    • Comes in a towel set

    CONS

    • Moderately priced
    • No snap loop
    • Less portability

    8. Dock & Bay Microfiber Towel

    Dock & Bay Microfiber Towel - Beach & Travel (Blue - Extra Large 78x35) - Huge & Compact, Absorbent & Quick Dry
    1,445 Reviews
    Dock & Bay Microfiber Towel - Beach & Travel (Blue - Extra Large 78x35) - Huge & Compact, Absorbent & Quick Dry
    • THE ORIGINAL SAND FREE BEACH TOWEL: The ideal quick dry towel for travel. Dries 3 times faster than a normal cotton towel! A COMPACT beach towel, includes travel accessory pouch.

    This is the most vibrant of the selected camping towels in terms of color scheme and design. It’s advertised as a beach towel, so it’s great for drying off skin but may not be appropriate for keeping the rest of your kit clean or for use on a fishing boat unless you’re suntanning there.

    If you want a standout design, then this is the towel for you. It also has some features typical of a good travel towel, like a quick dry material and lightweight portability. The one thing that sets this towel apart is its sand-free design. They promise that sand will not stick to this Dock & Bay model, a further indication that it is more specialized than the other towels on this list. 

    If you’re looking for a towel that is especially handy for swimming at the beach or lake, this could be the towel for you. But with a price tag of $25, anyone looking for more versatility in their travel towels should probably opt for another model. This Dock & Bay does have a 12 month warranty and a 30-day return policy, which is all good and well but isn’t the best offer on the market in terms of buyer’s assurance. Still a very useful towel for beachgoers, and it’s absolutely the towel for anyone who wants to be a standout on the sand!

    PROS

    • Unique design
    • Sand-free
    • 12 month warranty

    CONS

    • Limited functionality
    • High price

    Features of a great camping towel

    When looking at towels there are some features that will make a big difference. The material of the towel, whether microfiber, terrycloth, or polyamide, should be absorbent and antibacterial. Any towel that isn’t might grow mildew and turn your pack into a smelly mess.

    An ultra-compact, ultra-light towel that’s quick-drying and plush will prepare you for any surprise nature can throw at you. There are generally several different sizes to choose from depending on its purpose: a small towel for quick cleaning, a medium-sized towel for more detailed jobs or longer per-chore use, a large towel for bigger jobs, and an extra-large size for personal hygiene and swimming. Stay clean and dry on your next journey with a high-quality camping towel!

    Winner

    Overview
    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 24x48 MB
    Title
    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 24x48 MB
    Price
    $11.00
    Rating
    Details
    Overview
    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 24x48 MB
    Title
    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 24x48 MB
    Price
    $11.00
    Rating
    Details

    For its super absorbency, soft-to-the-skin touch, fast drying capabilities and the additional guarantees from the company, we’ve chosen the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Towel as our Top Pick for best camping towel. You can’t beat the number of benefits this towel offers. It’s construction and design make it perfect for use as a beach towel or bath towel, and it dries you off just as fast as cotton towels would.

    It’s great for backpackers and hikers alike, but the durability and the way this towel looks means it can easily be brought along as a sports towel or gym towel. Wise Owl offers different sizes and a variety of colors. The carry bag is nice and makes this towel super portable. You can attach the bag to a carabiner so you can attach it to the outside of your pack and don’t have to take up any space inside it.

    This is a savvy deal financially and a great deal in terms of use value. It can handle any amount of water and it’s easy to wring out and hang dry. This Wise Owl Outfitters towel is the perfect mixture of comfort and usability, and the price is just right. That’s what makes it our Top Pick for best camping towel.

    Bonus tip: To learn more about the Wise Owl Outfitters camping towel, check out this useful video below!

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    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.

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