A towel is a travel essential, especially if you're staying at accommodation without any. You'll need one if you plan to spend a lot of time on the beach, engage in water sports, go hiking, or participate in other strenuous outdoor activities.
But, as you might know, traditional cotton towels are bulky, taking up a lot of space in your luggage. They also take ages to dry, making using them super inconvenient when you move from place to place. Enter microfiber travel towels!
While not as plush or thick as cotton towels, quick-drying travel towels are much more convenient to pack. In this guide, I'll explain what's so great about these nifty travel accessories. Plus, share my top five microfiber travel towel picks, ideal for avid travelers and outdoor enthusiasts!
What is a microfiber travel towel?
As the name implies, microfiber travel towels are constructed from a superfine thread. Finer than silk, microfiber is made from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon and offers travelers plenty of benefits. The fabric is so fine as to be antibacterial, trapping and cleaning viruses and bacteria off surfaces!
Travel towels made from microfiber are light in weight, super-absorbent, and quick-drying. You can reuse them more often, and a quick, thorough rinse is sufficient to clean yours most of the time. These types of towels perform better than regular cotton towels, especially for travel purposes.
Just make sure you purchase official microfiber towels, as there are fakes out there! Generally, counterfeit microfiber will not be as absorbent or quick-drying as real microfiber.
How to use a microfiber travel towel?
Using a new product can be a nerve-wracking experience. You'll be glad to know that there's no difference between using a regular towel and a microfiber travel towel. Just pop it on like a towel and rub yourself dry. It's that simple.
That said, try this insider trick if you want to increase the number of uses you get from yours. Use the towel in sections. To do so, first, fold it in half and then use one side at a time.
Beside full-size options, you can also purchase microfiber cloths and towels for your face, hair, cleaning, cars, and more. Use them to dry your hair, clean up spills, or even mop sweat off your brow. Microfiber facecloths are also incredibly effective at getting stubborn makeup off. Leave your makeup remover at home and pack a microfiber face towel on your next trip!
The 5 best microfiber towels on Amazon
If you're looking for a budget-friendly choice, the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is worth considering. Many users highlight in their reviews that the towel is soft and comfortable if a little sticky. Plus, it's lightweight enough to fit into your backpack!
While rather simple in design, the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel dries fast and absorbs moisture well compared to regular cotton towels. When left outside, it will dry within half an hour or a few hours indoors. You also get a handy pouch to pack the towel in compactly.
Another bonus is the towel's SILVADUR antimicrobial coating, preventing the buildup of microorganisms and the odor that comes with them. This towel from Rainleaf comes in many attractive colors and is available in X-small, small, medium, large, X- large, and XX-large sizes. Overall, a top choice for travelers planning to spend a lot of time outdoors and in the water.
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Wide range of sizes & colors
- Quick-drying & lightweight
- Anti-microbial & anti-odor
- Features a hanging loop
- Uncomfortable to use
- Average fabric quality
Although a bit pricey, PackTowl is one of the best brands to shop for microfiber travel towels. Very soft and smooth to the touch, this company's towels are also light in weight. Customers report that they're very absorbent and leave your body feeling dry, unlike some lower-quality counterparts.
A simple shake will clean all the sand stuck between the fibers, making this towel particularly well-suited for beach trips. You also get a helpful storage pouch to fold and pack it neatly. PackTowl's product takes around an hour to dry outdoors when completely wet. Size options include facecloths, medium, hand, body, and beach options, so you can easily pick one based on your needs.
- High-quality fabric
- Features a hanging loop
- Relatively expensive
Are you the kind of skeptic who refuses to use a body towel to dry your hair or face? Then the 3-size OlimpiaFit towel pack may be the perfect choice for you! You can even use each towel for different trips. Pack the hand towel for backpacking and the biggest towel for more extended vacations, for example.
Easily to store in your luggage, these microfiber towels are lightweight and compact. Made from odor-resistant materials, they keep fresh for longer, even when stuffed damp in a bag. Although they reportedly take a bit of time to absorb compared to other towels, they dry pretty fast.
The set comes in 7 different colors, and you get a mesh pouch to carry them around easily. Overall, a value-for-money choice, especially considering you get three towels.
- Excellent value for money
- Slower odor buildup
- Available in many colors
- Average absorption
- The hair towel is small
- No hanging loop on smaller towels
The Fit-Flip towel is a budget-friendly option for ardent adventurers planning to engage in many outdoor activities. Made of highly absorbent material, it wipes off water or sweat from your body quickly. Yet, the towel miraculously avoids appearing very damp or soggy after doing so. Very soft yet durable enough to accompany you on many travel journeys, it's a solid investment.
Many customers loved how quickly the Fit-Flip towel dries, especially when left outdoors. It also comes in plentiful shades and sizes ranging from XX-small to XXX-large. One downside is that the dye tends to run when you wash and can stain other clothes. It's recommended you wash this towel with similarly-colored fabrics, which may be a deal-breaker for some travelers.
- Highly absorbent material
- Comes in many sizes
- Has a hanging loop
- Not colorfast
Are you a fan of portable travel accessories? The lightweight 4Monster towel comes in a cute case that you can easily fit in your pocket or luggage! Otherwise, the towel itself absorbs water quite well, running over the skin instead of sticking. Though it reportedly dries slower than some other microfiber towel options, it still beats a cotton towel.
You can even take yours to the beach and use it as a mat to sit on. With a few quick shakes, you should be able to get rid of the sand trapped in it. Available in six sizes, this 4Monster towel caters to many purposes. Pick from various attractive colors, perfect for the beach, pool, and more!
- Various size and color options
- Flimsy storage case
- Difficult to fit back into the case
- Average drying speed
How to select a good microfiber towel?
Each microfiber towel on the market is unique. Differences in material, quality, durability, and antibacterial treatment become apparent when researching. Some travelers prefer microfiber towels without the antibacterial treatment because they're usually chemical-based. In contrast, others prefer a lightweight towel, even if less absorbent, or vice versa.
So, if you're purchasing yours online, be sure to read customer reviews and compare various options before making your decision. Alternatively, if you wish to buy yours from a store, check the material and read the description before you do. A little digging may reveal it's not the towel for you.
Verdict: Is a microfiber travel towel worth it?
Do you tend to spend a lot of time getting sweaty or near the water on holiday? Then yes, a travel towel is totally worth it! Both lightweight and compact, they're easy to stow away and carry. Plus, microfiber towels dry so fast you won't even have time to complain about damp towels or the smells associated!
That said, a travel towel may be a total waste of space if you travel in style. Luxury hotels and resorts often have towels out for guests, be it by the pool, spa, or in-room. If you're sure there will be fresh towels waiting, leave this travel accessory at home.
Plan your trip with Pilot
Now that you know everything you need to know about microfiber towels be sure to include one in your packing list. Whether you're planning an outdoor adventure or a cultural trip, there's a new travel planner that can help you put everything in order!