With compact and absorbent designs, the best camping towels can keep you clean and mess-free when you're out in the wild without taking up a lot of space in your hiking pack. When looking to snag the perfect camping towel for you, you should be conscious of the material, size, and how many you'll need for your trip. Most camping towels are made from specialized materials so that they dry super fast. You may want fluffy bath towels at home, but any fast-drying camping towel you're considering should be extremely thin and lightweight, usually made of a fabric like microfiber that's absorbent but won't weigh you down.
You'll need to decide which dimensions make sense for you (most camping towels come in sizes ranging from face towels to full-length shower towels), which will depend on what you need it for. If you know you'll need more than one, it may make sense to invest in a set that has a face towel and a shower-size towel, so you have all your bases covered. Any good camping towel you buy should also come with a mesh carrying case of some sort (either a bag or case), that allows the towel to dry while it's being stored.
However, if you're tight on space or know your bag will be heavy as it is, it may make sense to opt for a large set of compressed towels that expand when you drop them in water. These are virtually the size of a quarter and will have the smallest footprint in your backpack, but expand to the size you need them to be once you get them wet. But keep in min that they are less reusable.
With so many options, it's not always easy to find the best camping towel for your trip. Here's a roundup of some of the most effective and affordable options on the market.
1. The Best Overall, All Things Considered
- Dimensions: X-Small (12 by 20 inches), Small (16 by 32 inches), Medium (20 by 40 inches), Large (24 by 49 inches), X-Large (30 by 60 inches), XX-Large (40 by 72 inches)
With over 8,000 (largely) rave reviews, it's easy to see why campers love this affordable microfiber towel. For one, it's extremely lightweight. Even the largest size of this towel weighs about a half a pound. The microfiber is super absorbent but quick to dry, so much so, that some reviewers mention that they can use this towel again after about 15 minutes in the sun. Plus, this towel comes with a mesh bag for easy carrying, and for only $11, you can't beat the price. The option here is in the medium size, but it also comes in five additional sizes so you can pick the perfect one for your needs.
According to one reviewer: "Even after drying off I liked that the towel didn't feel wet like a normal towel would, and in the time it took to put a change of clothes on I could feel that the microfiber was already drying. I hung it over a tree branch that evening and it was dry to pack back away that night. Highly recommend these to anyone who camps and needs to save a bit on space, or just needs a quick drying towel."
2. Also Great: Available In More Sizes, But Not As Well Reviewed
- Dimensions: XX-Small (12 by 24 inches), X-Small (16 by 32 inches), Small (20 by 40 inches), Medium (24 by 48 inches), Large (28 by 56 inches), X-Large (32 by 64 inches), XX-Large (36 by 72 inches), XXX-Large (40 by 80 inches)
Not only does this soft camping towel come in a variety of eye-popping colors, but it comes in even more sizes than the best overall pick above. Ranging from the size of a washcloth to an extra-long beach towel, you're sure to find the perfect size for your needs. While this pick isn't quite as beloved by campers as the towel above, it's made from a similar hypoallergenic microfiber that dries quickly and can hold up to four times its weight in water (according to the manufacturers). It also comes in a soft-shell case with tons of ventilation so it can still dry out, even while it's tucked away.
According to one reviewer: "I was pretty impressed to see how multipurpose this thin towel was. First it comes in a small traveling case with ventilated areas on the top and second its super absorbent. More than I ever expected it to be.This surpassed my expectations."
3. The Best Set
- Dimensions: Medium Set (12 by 24 inches (small towel) and 20 by 40 inches (medium towel)); Large Set (12 by 24 inches (small towel) and 30 by 60 inches (large towel)); X-Large Set (12 by 24 inches (small towel) and 39 by 70.5 inches (x-large towel))
If you're looking for a set, you can't beat this buttery soft towel combo that's perfect for all types of traveling. The "medium" set include a full-body towel that's 20 by 40 inches, as well as a smaller towel that's 12 by 24 inches, which is perfect for drying off your hair or washing your face. Both towels in the set are made from lightweight, quick-to-dry microfiber and can easily be rolled up and stored together in their mesh carrying bag. The bag even comes with a carabiner clip so you can easily snap it to your backpack and go.
According to one reviewer: "These are the greatest camp towels I've ever used! SUPER absorbent and quickly dries. Very compact and easy to travel with. The snap loop at the corner of the towels is a great feature. Makes it much more versatile in finding places to dry out. Permanent addition to my camping kit."
4. The Most Compact
- Dimensions: One Size (7.9 by 10.6 inches)
If you're short on space, these compressed travel towels are a must. For less than $15, they come in a set of 200 (!) and each towel is individually sealed in its own wrapper. While they're in their compressed form, these towels are about the size of a quarter, making it super easy to store them in any bag or even in your pocket. To use, just drop the towel into a glass of water and give it a few minutes to expand. The end product is made from soft, light cotton that can be used as a face towel or wipe.
According to one reviewer: "These compressed towels will be very useful for so many situations where a towel is needed. I find them very good to have while camping and travel."