Best camping towels

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The towel. Rarely has such an unassuming, everyday item been both so important and also less suited to camping and traveling. Outdoor adventures are full of opportunities to get wet in refreshing ways whether it’s swimming in a lake or grabbing a much-needed shower after a day on the trail. But the towels you use at home just won’t cut it, we’re afraid. They are too big to pack in the first place and then stay damp for days when you are forced to take one. 

The answer is the travel towel. Made from different fibers to your normal cotton towel, they are lighter, roll up smaller, dry quicker and yet absorb more water. Once you’ve tried one, you won’t want to pack a normal towel again. That will apply as much to taking one to the gym or swimming pool as on a camping trip.

Best overall

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Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

Feels soft and won’t smell damp

The microfiber this is towel is made from is fast drying but super absorbent, both crucial for a good travel towel. Lightweight and available in sizes from 12x24 inches to 40 x 72 inches, they all pack up neatly into the carry bag provided. In use, the fabric feels like soft suede on your skin and it’s anti-bacterial to keep unpleasant smells at bay.

Best selection of sizes

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Microfiber Travel Towel 3 Sizes in 1 Pack

Three towels for every occasion

You get these quick-drying towels in three sizes – 15”x15”, 20”x15” and 50”x30” which means you can select the right one for the job, from drying off after swimming to just wiping your hands. All are super absorbent and dry quickly even in the included carry bag. They have interlock sticking to stop fraying edges and elasticated bands to help secure them when rolled up.

Best for beaches

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Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel

Fast drying and great for the beach

USA-based Wise Owl has designed these with the outdoors in mind. The soft, absorbent and fast-drying fabric is great for camping and the beach, as microfiber repells sand. They come with an elastic rolling band, hang-dry strap and a carry bag. Available in three sizes and in multiple packs.

Something for everyone

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Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Travel Towel

Bright colours and a range of sizes

Available in three sizes and a variety of colors, these travel towels will meet your needs whether you want a smaller camping towel, a medium gym towel, or a larger beach towel. Easy to pack in the included mesh carrying bag, they have a strong loop for hanging and the soft feel you get from fast-drying, mildew resistant microfiber. 

Bottom line

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A good travel towel soon becomes an indispensable item for camping, holidays and going to the gym, to the point where you can’t believe you used to force a normal towel from home into your bag. Crucially, the microfiber they are made from is fast drying but will dry you quickly too. Our favorite pick is the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel. It has all the properties you expect, including that compact size when rolled or folded up and speedy drying, at the right price.

For a towel for every occasion, the Microfiber Travel Towel 3 Sizes in 1 Pack is a good option. Often, when traveling or at home, you’ll find you want a particular size towel, depending on how much of you is getting wet, so where space in your bag is important, this pack is a neat solution.

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.