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Best Travel Towel Guide & Reviews

I have my own microfibre travel towel as does my husband and both of the children. We’ve been travelling with them full-time for the last 6 years and before that we’d take them on shorter vacations and use them for sports, for visiting the pool, we even use them at home. They’re smaller to pack, smaller to store, easier to wash, quicker to dry, antibacterial and generally all-round fabulous. But see our update below on microfibre’s impact on the environment. I honestly don’t know why people still buy regular full-size towels, they’re that good. We took a look at what’s on the market  ( including microfibre cooling towels) and review a few of the best makes and types to help you choose the best travel towel for you.

 Microfibre travel towels for sport camping family leisure
All of our microfibre travel towels, for a family of 4, for travel, for sport, for life, take up less room and weigh less than 1 standard bath towel.

Choosing a Microfibre Travel Towel

Which Was Best?

No time to read the whole post? This is the one we chose out of all the travel towels we bought below, as seen in the photo. It was the lightest and had the softest feel. It also came in a nice rectangular box which you could wrap as a gift and it came with a handy mini towel for hands, feet, or face. The towel itself is a good size and big enough to wrap around me after a shower. Go ahead and click through above,

What Size Travel Towel to Buy?

This choice is heavily influenced by gender and by the proposed use. My husband is more than happy with a tiny towel to wrap around his waist, these towels are super-efficient at drying so size isn’t really a consideration when it comes to absorbance. As a woman, I like a larger towel to wrap right around me from armpit to knees. I also have long hair so to wrap and contain it effectively after a shower I do need a second, not quite so large, towel. The size you buy for your children will be dependent on their age and gender, a medium should be adequate for boys, larger for teenage girls and up.

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Some microfibre travel towels come in small medium and large, others come in a good range of accurately measured sizes. We’ll highlight some for you below.

Weight and Size

If you’re packing ultra-light, maybe travelling carry-on only, you’ll want to minimise size and weight. These microfibre towels are all small and weigh little, but some are significantly heavier than others. Typical weights we found were 200- 300g for a large size. Know your maximum weight allowance for your airline, these do vary dramatically.

Are Microfibre Towels Environmentally Friendly?

Microfibre is an incredibly fine synthetic fibre which can be found in multiple products these days. A micro-fibre towel usually dries four times faster is six times lighter and takes up a 1/8th of the space of a similar size standard towel. These towels seem to be very much a towel for life. As mentioned, some of ours have been heavily used for 20 years retaining their looks and functionality. I’d say that was a big advantage. Unfortunately, they are not bio degradable and they are made from non-renewable resources. Like most things, it’s a compromise, nothing is a perfect solution to saving the planet.  They come out of the washing machine almost dry, so if you’re the sort to use an electric dryer, no more tumble drying huge heavy towels and wasting the planet’s resources that way.

Cotton Travel Towels May Be More Eco Friedly

Unfortunately, the world’s waters and reefs are now contaminated with microfibres. And they don’t break down. If I were buying new now I’d give serious consideration to a natural fibre or cotton travel towel like those below. I have used them in Turkey, they dry well, I can’t comment on weight or suitability for travel from personal experience but if we ever need more towels, I’m getting these.  Mindful of this pollution, we restrict use of microfibre products these days.

 
See these natural cotton travel towels here.

Manufacturers say these are 6.7 oz and 70 inch by 35 inch. 6.7 oz is under 200 g, making them super lightweight. 70 inch is 177.8 cm. If this is accurate they are bigger than and lighter than our top pick travel towel below. The jury is out on whether cotton is a sustainable eco product in terms of water use and so on, but these won’t choke up our waterways like microfibres. The cotton towels are certainly more attractive than the microfibre towels and cost roughly the same. It’s hard to know what is the right decision currently hopefully things will be clearer soon.

Micro Towelling or Micro Fibre Suede Finish?

The majority of the microfiber travel towels on the market today come in a soft suede finish. Some have a luxury feel, others are too stiff. The Eco Dept towel below has the nicest feel of any that we tested. Towelling finish ( micro towelling) is also available it has similar properties to microfibre but a more traditional feel. We own some of these too, they are almost 20 years old and still going strong!

We Tested The Following Microfibre Towels for Travel, Sport, Camping, Gym or Home Use

EcoDept Microfibre Journey Towel #The Best Travel Towel We’ve Found

  • The softest, most luxurious feel of our selection.
  • Comes in its own bag, inside a quality box. Great for gifts
  • Comes with a free, small (60 x 38 cm) hand towel. Brilliant!
  • The soft grey is a lovely choice, also in hot orange and green.
  • Embossed Eco Dept logo adds to the luxury image.
  • The 132cm x 81cm ( 52 x 32 inch) size, wraps around me with full armpit to knee coverage.
  • This is a new purchase, but quality seems excellent.
  • This towel costs just a couple of pound or dollars more.
  • Ribbon hanging loop with snap fastening.
  • 215 g, weighed by me.

Mountain Warehouse Microfibre Travel Towel in Micro Towelling or Standard.

  • We have owned multiple travel towels from Mountain Warehouse for 3+ years, they’ve been used and laundered almost daily, have not faded and are good as new.
  • These are some of the cheapest travel towels available
  • They come in a range of sizes.
  • The large, at

Dock and Bay Gym & Travel Microfibre Towel

  • Comes in a neat canvas and mesh zip bag.
  • A big range of strong, vibrant colours.
  • The embroidered Dock and Bay deck chair logo says “summer holiday”.
  • Edges are hemmed rather than overstitched.
  • The Large at 160cm x 80 cm ( 63 x 31 inches) is plenty big enough, from armpits to knees. Extra Large also available, Large is plenty big enough for a beach towel.
  • Elastic hanging loop
  • 308 g weighed by me, excluding bag.

Jonhen Extremely Cooling Towel

I saw these cooling microfibre towels while I was researching travel towels and one just flew into my shopping cart. They cost almost nothing and they work! You simply wet them in room temperature water, dry them slightly by squeezing and snapping, and they stay really cool for hours. Great for after or during workouts, including running, or for menopausal flushes. Also good for any tropical climate.

  • Amazing cooling
  • Works instantly
  • Tiny and lightweight ( 30 cm x 100 cm, 11.8 inches x 40 inches)
  • Great for sports, tropical climates and menopausal flushes ( we love it!)
  • Low cost
  • Choice of colours
  • Tiny waterproof carrying pouch.
  • Weight negligible

Which Microfibre Travel Towel For You?

Our pick is the EcoDept, it wins by a long way, but the Mountain Warehouse towels are solid performers too. Just pick your size, pick your colour and pack your bags. Happy towelling!

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Alyson is the creator of World Travel Family travel blog and is a full-time traveller, blogger and travel writer. A lifetime of wanderlust and now over 7 years on the road, 50+ countries allowed the creation of this website, for you. She has a BSc and worked in pathology before entering the travel arena and creating this website. World Travel Family Travel Blog has been helping you travel more, better and further since 2012, when Alyson and James first had this life changing idea. On this site you can find endless travel information, tips and guides plus how to travel, how to fund travel and how to start your own travel blog.

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Pat Woolley

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

I read this blog as my 14 year old great grand daughter needs one for her Duke of Edinburgh Expedition so thank you for all the info on travel towels.

It would never have entered my head to consider using them at home for everyday use, but as a 76 year old lady with terribly painful arthritic fingers, I think it's a wonderful idea. I've not been able to use large towels for years as I cant hold them & I have to wear a towelling robe after showering to dry myself. I feel sure these lightweight travel towels will be great so I cant wait to get some. Thank you so much.

Kind Regards.

Pat

Alyson Long

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

That's really good to hear Pat ! There's a lot in the news lately about microfibre products being terribly bad for the environment so if I were to buy them again I'd go for a natural one, but we've had our microfibre towels - some over 20 years. They wash and dry a treat. Take up so much less room in the cupboard too ! I'm going to research the non microfibre ones and do a post, but no time just yet.

Suzi

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

"I saw these cooling microfibre towels while I was researching travel towels and one just flew into my shopping cart. "

Alyson - that made me chuckle aloud as I was reading. Thanks for the laugh. =)

Alyson Long

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

So good for the menopausal flushes - which thankfully I'm almost done with now. Hi Suzy !

Talitha Cooreman-Guittin

Monday 14th of August 2017

Very useful, Alyson - I was about to buy a few myself for our next trip (Costa Rica) - these cooling towels sound neat ! First time I hear about them! Thanks for sharing!!! Talitha

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