7 Space-Saving Towels You Shouldn't Travel Without

Whether you're camping in the mountains, beach-bound for a few weeks, heading to a humid jungle for safari, or you're just one of those pack-for-any-unforeseen-circumstances travelers, investing in the best travel towels is a smart move — especially because there are some pretty nifty and versatile options on the market.

When you're on the road, no matter where you're going, keeping your luggage light is always key. Many of us are familiar with the headache-inducing process of rolling up a thick, fluffy, terrycloth towel and shoving it into a suitcase, only to discover that they take up literally half the space. No thank you.

Luckily, material-savvy brands across the globe have come up with innovative, microfiber-blend technologies that yield lightweight and durable travel towels which can quickly absorb water and pack up to be super-small. There are also towels that use more traditional materials like cotton or linen — you can even buy towels that use compostable fibers, towels that can double as a beach wrap — the possibilities are close to endless. Available in a range of materials, colors, and prices, a towel is always essential to have on-hand, no matter the climate you're going to be in. Below, some of our top picks.

A Quick-Absorbing Microfiber Towel With A Soft Suede Feel

Sea To Summit DryLite Towel, $8, Amazon

Sea To Summit is known for making superior outdoor travel gear, and this lightweight travel towel is no exception. It's all in the name: the DryLite towel. Made of lightweight microfiber that quickly absorbs water but also quickly dries out, this compact towel packs up neatly into its provided mesh pocket, is available in five sizes, and has a smooth suede finish for optimum comfort.

A Set That Features Two Different Sizes Of Soft, Antibacterial Microfiber Towels For Lightweight Travel

Mojunra Microfiber Sports & Travel Towel, $15 (Set Of 2), Amazon

What's better than have one super-soft, fast-absorbing, lightweight travel towel? Having two super-soft, fast-absorbing, lightweight travel towels. Coming in both small and large, these towels are antibacterial, which prevents the growth of mold or mildew, and they dry up to five times faster than a regular cotton version, absorbing up to seven times their own weight (yeah, that's a lot of water). With a silky-smooth finish, convenient mesh travel pack, and hanging loops, this set is a great bargain, considering its high-quality and multi-functionality.

A Compact Travel Towel That's Compostable And Absorbs Up To Ten Times Its Weight

Packtowl Original Towel, $10, Amazon

Available in four sizes, this towel really packs a big punch in the functionality department. Made of a unique microfiber blend that's 100 percent compostable, this environmentally-friendly travel towel can hold up to 10 times its weight in water and dries over 40 percent more quickly than cotton. It can be stored in its mesh zipper pouch, or hung by its corner-loop on a backpack or right next to your camp stove.

A Design-Forward Travel Towel That's Great For a Beach Vacation

Swan Comfort 100 Percent Cotton Pestemal Turkish Bath Towel, $16, Amazon

Not only is this travel towel 100 percent cotton, it's 100 percent versatile. Thanks to the beautiful designs and lightweight material, these Turkish cotton travel towels can be used to dry off quickly after a dip in the ocean, or wrapped around your waist as a beachy skirt. I have one at home that I even use as a summery bed throw when I'm not stretched out on it by the seaside. Available in over 20 colors and designs, this expansive towel gets softer with each wash, and is a great pick for beach lovers.

A All-Natural Travel Towel That Gently Exfoliates

100 Percent Flax Linen Bath Travel Beach Sport Fitness Towel, $20, Amazon

If you're looking for a travel towel that uses all-natural materials (none of that synthetic or artificial stuff) and still absorbs a lot of water, then this flax-linen blend towel is probably your best bet. These colorful towels are great for wrapping up after an on-the-go shower or ocean dip, but they dry quickly and then pack up nicely when you're hitting the road. Lots of happy users were pleased with the slightly rougher feel of the material, which provides a gentle exfoliation to the skin while wicking away water or sweat.

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