As plus-size people, a hotel/hostel/any regular towel is rarely enough to do the job and we are often tempted to bring our own, in spite of the room it can take in our luggage. (I don’t need to tell you how much space I lost the first time I carried a towel big enough to wrap around and be decently covered.) And who wants to carry a robe in their backpack, when you can use a long enough towel and wrap it around to tip toe your way from the shower to your room to get dressed anyway?
For those who loves having their own towel, especially one that dries quickly, folds small and can be packed relatively quickly after being used (I tend to be on the move a lot when I want to cover a lot of ground in a short time!), PacTowl has the answer.
At that point a single XXL was long enough to cover me decently from the underarms to my knees, but it wasn’t long enough to completely wrap my body without indecent exposure… In a glimpse of creativity, I decided to buy some Velcro and had it sown to one end of each towel; that way, I could attach them together for a long, “sarong” use, or use separately, according to my needs.
Price I paid: CAN $32 (about US $ 29 / £ 17 / € 21 – bought from Mountain Equipment Coop & available online for Canadian, or directly from PackTowl for US Cititzens; also available on Amazon for most countries)
Size I picked: XXL – 36 in x 59 in / 91 x 150 cm (also available in Small, Medium, Large & X-Large – full size chart available on Cascade Designs product’s website; pick a model and click “SPECS“)
Color I picked: Kelp (now replaced by Citrus; also available in Berry, Citrus, Eclipse, Indigo & Bluebird)
Fabric: Polyester & Nylon microfiber blend
Washing & Care: Machine wash, hang to dry or tumble dry
BEST BACKPACKING FEATURES:
-High efficiency packing features: thin, light & compact
-Air-dry time is about an hour (diminishes the chances of packing a wet towel)
-Antimicrobial treatment diminishes odors caused by moisture
-Hanging loop perfect for hanging to dry
-Dries you up without absorbing water; even wet, it remains lightweight
The price might seem a bit high… anyway, for me, it did, especially because I had to buy 2 for my needs. Afterwards, I realize this was completely worth the investment, and I’ve been using it everyday for 6 weeks when I was in India, plus another 2 weeks in Guatemala, and it still looks brand new. It is very durable and worth the money.
Another alternative for a compact travel towel would be the YogaRat SportLite Collection of towels (I own two of their SportLite Sport+Bath that I use when I go to the gym). They have a wider variety of color (should that be an important criteria for you), and the microfiber blend (80% Polyester, 20% nylon) is quick to dry and very light. Though not designed with travel in mind, these towels are a great alternative within the same price range, just as compact and with a similar level of water absorption.
Many of their towels are smaller though and I recommend you opt for the Beach+Pool (32 x 68 in – 29.99 US) or the Beach Blanket (76 x 64 in – 39.99 US) if you want to have “full coverage”. All towels from YogaRat can be washed and dried in the machine, as per the website care instructions. You can buy YogaRat towels straight from their website (with free shipping!) if you are in the US; otherwise, their products are available via your country’s Amazon website.
Even if you have access to towels, sometimes it’s great to have something long enough to cover up as you walk back from communal showers back to your hostel room; this will become your best friend! I’m a great fan of my PackTowl. Don’t be stopped by the price, it IS worth the money.
For the YogaRat, I haven’t personally tried the larger sizes, but if they are what they’re expected to be, which is a larger version of the smaller models, I think these could also work just fine!