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Don't forget your towel.

Whether you're on the road or on the trail, you don't have to use an old tee to dry off if you bring along the compact, lightweight Packtowl Ultralite Towel. The super-absorbent microfiber material rings out completely for rapid drying and stuffs into a small, partially mesh pouch when it's time to store it for the next leg of your trip.

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Here's what others have to say...

What is the best way to wash this towel once you get it back home?

Best Answer


Just throw it in with your next load of laundry. Machine wash warm with like colors. Note: Air dry to prevent towel shrinkage, and do not bleach or iron.


Towel Time

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

Hey kids, and parents, this towel is where it is at. It is packable, washable, and durable. I have kept this in my backpacking pack and use it for the tent floors, or after a quick dip in the swimming hole. (Mutually exclusive activities.) Pretty solid little item that is soft and fairly absorbent.
I am thinking about adding another to use for cleaning off my dog before he gets in the tent. He is tired of sleeping in the vestibule.


Exactly what I wanted.

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

I was looking for a compact, lightweight towel for backpacking. That's what I got. I ordered it in XL so I could wrap it around my 5'9" medium size body. It's thin but that's expected. It does absorb but is by no means a plush hotel towel, also expected. It drys rather quick which is great for packing. Since then I have used it for an emergency scarf and swim towel which it preforms admirably. It does need washing from time to time (like with soap), also should be expected.


Absorbency issues?

    Like others have said it's not very soft from the get go and I feel as if it didn't dry me off so much as brush away the water. Mixed feelings. On the upside it is EXTREMELY packable.

    They really do get better with age. Running them through the laundry makes them feel like a chamois cloth and sends the absorbancy through the roof!


    Packtowl RULES!

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

    I remember taking a washrag backpacking and using that as a towel. My how things have improved! Packtowl's are ridiculously absorbent. It drives me a little crazy that there isn't an 'e' in Packtowl but that's literally my only complaint.

    I'm 5' and wear my hair short, the large Packtowl Ultralite works really well for me on the trail. Unless it's snowy, I take a full-immersion bath and I can get completely dry with the Packtowl. I always start by drying my hair, the Packtowl sucks up water like a sponge but weirdly, I don't seem to need to wring it out. It's some kind of gear wizardry. I cannot explain it.

    I can see minimalists chucking the stuff sack to save weight. I always use the stuff sack but rolling it up and rubber banding it might be just as effective. The towel has a loop and snap in the corner which is nice for hanging it in a tree or on your pack to dry.

    Highest recommendation, it's soft, light, and effective. I'm surprised these don't pop up outside the camping community, they are very handy.

    Update - I've ditched the stuff sacks. I don't think I'm going to open my backpack and be aghast at unconstrained towels run amok.

    size comparison

    size comparison

    Medium next to Large. Both next to their packed size pouches. Gear loop is nice for hang dry.


    Versitle, light, packs small

    • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

    Packtowels are awesome. I chose the ultrlight because I wanted lightweight and don't mind the basics when camping. Other Packtowel models are more absorbent; but, this will take the water off and takes up little space and weight.

    Not very soft; however, it gets better with wash cycles, time and use.

    I have both a medium and large. I thought I would only take the medium when backpacking; but, being so light and small, I take them both. I use the large for drying off after swimming or bathing and the small for everything else. cleaning gear and so forth.

    Great product. If you are a minimalist or fine with just what you need... get the ultralight. If you want something softer and more absorbent... get the original.

    Versitle, light, packs small

    Not very soft, but works for the trail

      I've had this towel for almost a year. Bought it as a light weight backpacking towel, although I use it any time I go camping. I have the medium. I use it to dry myself off after showers or whenever I'm wet. It absorbs water, but it leaves my skin still feeling damp. After getting all the water off of me I still have to air dry a bit before getting dressed. It's not really soft either; kind of feels like cardboard. With all that said, this thing is super light and dry's really fast. Which is what you want in a backpacking towel, so for that purpose it works; if you like to dry off with cardboard. For my next towel purchase I will probably go for something a little softer.


      Packtowl Ultralite Towel Rocks!

      • Gender:Male
      • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

      I've used this towel on 100's of miles of backpacking trips over the last three years. Mine is a medium (12" x 30"). It packs small, weighs little (1.0 oz) and, like all of my best gear, it performs more than one function. I use it as an eye cover, as a Keffiyeh (to keep 25 mile-per-hour snow pellets off my face), as a scarf, to insulate freezedried food packet while it rehydrates, to wipe down tent/poles and even as a towel when bathing! If I needed a new one, I'd buy the same size/weight again in a minute.

      Pic shows "scarf application" on a cold morning in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

      Packtowl Ultralite Towel Rocks!

      something else

        The towel is not durable. After the first washing of the towel it degrades to where you can almost see throught the towel. Low quality material.

        It may be worth contacting the manufacture to see if you got a defect.

        I have a few of these in the ultralight version. They have been used and washed many many times. The only thing washing did was make them a bit softer to the touch which was a benefit. My experience has been that these are in fact very durable and washing has had no negative effects.


        Light weight, small and dries quickly.

          Medium is a good size, although if you're going to share go for a Large.