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Review: Are Quick-Dry Travel Towels Any Good?

Woman hanging towels on limbs to dry while camping

Quick-dry towels are some of the most convenient camping essentials to take along with you. They’re usually much smaller than regular towels, but they’re perfect for wiping up sweat, water, and spills.

So, are quick-dry travel towels any good? Absolutely! Quick-dry towels are compact enough to pack into a backpack or store in the glove box of your car. They’re relatively affordable, long-lasting, and there are tons of uses for these towels.

Throughout this post, you will learn the following:

  • Various uses for quick-dry towels
  • Comparisons between different types of towels
  • The best quick-dry towels on the market
  • Whether or not you should buy them

What Can You Use A Quick-Dry Towel For?

Quick-dry towels, also known as microfiber towels, are becoming an essential part of camping, fitness, and everyday activities. Some of them are so small that you can carry them in your pocket, while others are much larger.

Here are five reasons that you could use a quick-dry towel:

They’re great for wiping away sweat. When you’re working up a sweat, nothing is worse than getting it in your eyes. Use these towels to wipe away sweat whenever you feel like it. You can even use them as a bandana to keep your hands free.

Many quick-dry towels double as snap towels. Snap towels are towels that can cool you down quickly. To cool down with a snap towel, soak it under the water faucet, in a stream, or in a lake. Next, grab both ends and quickly pull to snap the towel. The air flowing through the towel will immediately cool it down. You can now use the cloth as a low-temperature wrap to keep you from overheating.

You should never use one of these towels to wipe up spills that will stain, but they’re perfect for use on water spills and condensation. If you’re camping in a van, car, or an RV, microfiber towels should be used on all of the windows to remove moisture and prevent mold. Along with dehumidifiers, these towels are your best tool.

Large quick-dry towels can be used to dry you off after you’ve gone to the beach or jumped in the shower. The tight fibers remove water right away, and they dry off in minutes. You should set towels to dry in the sun or in front of a fan for the quickest results.

Finally, if you have sensitive skin that gets irritated by regular towels, then these quick-dry towels will be ideal for you. They’re soft enough to prevent small scratches, and they never get so dry that they feel rough and scratchy.

The Difference Between Regular Towels And Microfiber Towels

The main difference between regular towels and quick-dry (microfiber) towels is the material they’re made out of. There are also many advantages and disadvantages to consider when figuring out which type of towel is right for you.

In the following section, I will go into the pros and cons of each:

Pros of Quick-Dry Towels

Quick-dry towels are made out of polyester, which is known to retain heat, wick moisture, and dry very quickly. The synthetic material is relatively cheap, and they’re available in almost every sport’s store. You can also buy them online to save time and money, in most cases.

They absorb the moisture from a spill very quickly. You can set a microfiber towel on a small puddle and watch it pull the water in a matter of seconds. It’s much quicker than other towels, including paper towels and napkins.

Quick-dry towels dry very fast, hence their name. If you place it in sunlight or a ventilated area, they’ll dry up in a few minutes. Ring it out to release extra moisture before you set it out.

Microfiber towels are thin, so you can compress them much more than traditional cotton towels. Store them in a backpack, glove compartment, side door, purse, or even your pocket. You definitely couldn’t do that with a cotton towel.

Quick-dry towels are designed to prevent mildew, bacterial growth, and foul odors. We’ve all dealt with the off-putting smell of an old towel, you don’t have to worry with microfiber towels. If you wash it in the washing machine, there’s no need to dry it in the dryer.

Microfiber towels in shades of blue

Cons of Quick-Dry Towels

Although they’re very absorbent, quick-dry towels don’t have enough density to hold tons of moisture. They’re designed to wipe down wet spots, but they can’t handle a puddle that’s too wet to absorb in a few wipes.

Once you stain a microfiber towel, it’s tough to remove the discoloration. Polyester is notorious for being easy to stain since it’s synthetic. For this reason, you shouldn’t use your quick-dry towel on any colored spills.

Since they’re made of polyester, which is most commonly made of plastic, these towels can become misshaped if they’re set out in the sun for too long. A few days won’t do any harm, but you should never leave a microfiber towel out permanently. It starts to get crunchy, and it loses its absorbency.

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Pros of Cotton Towels

Cotton towels are much more readily available than any other type of towel. You can buy them at almost any general store, online retailer, and chain store. They’re also very cheap since the quality can vary from towel to towel.

The loose cotton yarn makes these towels much more absorbent for large spills. Rather than having to use a handful of quick-dry towels, cotton towels are big enough to cover spills of all sizes.

If you happen to stain a cotton towel, you can use bleach or cleaning pens to remove the discoloration. Most laundry detergents will work as well if you throw the towel into the washer quickly. For the best results, soak the towel in water and scrub it down before washing it.

If you plan to swim throughout the day, cotton towels can withstand the constant need for more absorption. They also pull moisture from other materials (from swimsuits and shirts) better than any other type of towel.

Cotton towels last between five to ten years, whereas a microfiber towel only lasts up to two years in most cases. If you want something that you don’t have to replace so often, then cotton towels definitely are the better choice. But why not have both for different occasions?

Cons of Cotton Towels

Cotton towels stay soaked for a very long time. If you’ve completely saturated the fibers, they can remain wet for many hours. Wringing it out doesn’t do very much in the way of speeding up the drying time, either.

Cotton towels are much heavier than microfiber towels. Due to the amount of cotton used, they weigh up to five times as much as a polyester cloth. Add water into the mix, and there’s no question that a cotton towel can get really heavy.

The size of cotton towels is another disadvantage. Unlike their microfiber counterparts, you can’t carry a cotton towel in your pocket, and they’re too bulky for backpacking. If you put one in your glove compartment, there wouldn’t be room for anything else.

Pile of blue bath towels

Best Quick-Dry Towels

If you’ve decided you want to buy a quick-dry towel, you need to figure out which option is best. To save you time, we’ve compiled a list of the best quick-dry towels on the market.

Here they are in no particular order:

OlimpiaFit Quick-Dry 3-Pack

If you’re still trying to pick which size you should get, why not buy all three? You can check out this 3-pack of quick-dry towels from OlimpiaFit that comes with 15″ x 15″, 15″ x 30″, and 30″ x 50″ towels. Use them for the gym to wipe down benches before you sit on them, after showering, or for wiping up small spills in your camper van.

People who choose to buy these towels will have multiple colors to choose from. The colors include blue, gray, green, khaki, and many others. They all have a unique type of stitching to prevent the fibers from fraying around the edges.

You’ll also get a carrying bag with enough room for one of the towels, a phone, and a few other items. The bag has a loop on top for you to hang it up wherever you need to. It’s porous to allow your towel to breathe and dry off if it needs to.


  • Several colors to choose from
  • Includes three different sizes
  • Comes with a small carrying pouch
  • Uses anti-fray stitching

Rainleaf Microfiber Towel

The Rainleaf Micro Towel, also comes with a pouch, just like the previous product on the list. These towels are antibacterial, and they dry as quick as any other microfiber towel. Choose between blue, brick red, mint, orange, and a plethora of alternatives.

You’ll be able to choose the best size you need from their selection. It comes in x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, and xx-large. The sizes are listed by their dimensions, which range from 12″ x 24″ all the way up to 40″ x 72″. Whether you need a sweat rag or a shower towel, these are an excellent choice.

The exterior lining on this towel protects it from loose threads and fraying. It’s cross-stitched to keep it comfortable while you use it to dry off. Perhaps the most impressive feature is that these towels weigh as little as 0.13 pounds and as high as 0.8995 pounds when they’re dry.


  • Comes in multiple colors and sizes
  • Ultra-lightweight design
  • Incredibly soft stitching
  • Perfect for traveling and camping

4Monster Microfiber Towel

If you’re looking for a compact towel that can be carried virtually anywhere, then this one is going to be your pick. The 4Monster Microfiber Towel. It is only 15.7″ x 31.5″, but you can get it in two other sizes as well. Choose from orange, green, gray, blue, and purple when it’s time to make your selection.

Whichever size and color combination you choose, you’ll receive a free carrying case. The size of the case corresponds with the towel’s dimensions, but it won’t be any larger than 3.5″ x 7.9″.

You’ll absolutely love this towel because it feels as soft as silk as you dry off. It also doesn’t wrinkle after it dries, nor does it crack. There are also two holes on the case’s zippers that allow you to hook it up on your backpack or purse to carry with you.


  • Includes a portable carrying case
  • Compact design
  • 100% polyester to wick moisture and dry as quickly as possible
  • Five unique colors

JML Microfiber Bath Towel

You don’t always need to use quick-dry towels for fitness and small spills. Here is another excellent choice, the JML Microfiber Bath Towel, that comes in a two-pack. This bath towel is big enough to use after every shower. They come in 21 different colors, so you’ll be able to find your favorite and pick out a pattern as well.

You can simply hand wash or machine wash these towels, whichever you prefer. There’s no need to throw them in the dryer afterward since they’re dried from the final spin cycle used in most washing machines. If there’s some moisture left in the towel, you can hang them to dry a few minutes.

These towels are very absorbent compared to other microfiber towels. These super absorbent towels can soak up as much as 7 times their weight of water.


  • 21 colors to select from
  • Absorbs up to seven times the amount of weight in moisture
  • Much bigger than most other microfiber towels
  • 30″ x 60″ in size

CANYLA Oversized Quick-Dry Microfiber Beach Travel Towel

These microfiber beach towels made by CANYLA, are perfect for people who want a large towel to dry off with. They’re a massive 35″ x 78″, and they come with a compact carrying bag to make transportation and storage much easier for you. The bag has a carabiner on it to hang it up or clip it to your backpack.

These towels currently come in five different patterns, all of which have fun pictures on them. ‘Smiling at Life,’ ‘Grabbing Life by the Fin,’ and ‘Keeping it Chill’ are a few of the quotes that come on these animal-covered towels. The colors are ocean blue, dolphin gray, orca black, seahorse pink, and turtle green.

The company claims that the fibers are sand-resistant, which isn’t something that can be said about cotton towels. They also dry in as little as 30 minutes, even when they’ve been completely soaked from end to end.


  • Fun pictures and quotes on each towel
  • Includes a compact carrying bag
  • Comes with a carabiner to hang the towel or bag
  • Oversized dimensions

HOEAAS Microfiber Sport Travel Towel Set

Last but not least is this set, the quick-dry towel set from HOEAAS. It comes with two towels, but you can choose from a multitude of sizes. These towels include the company logo on the front, and they come in hot pink, green, gray, dark blue, and many other shades.

They dry up to ten times faster than cotton towels, which is even more than most other polyester quick-dry cloths. Whichever size you choose, every towel comes with a loop to hang it up when you’re done using it.

The bag included with these microfiber towels is sealed with a buckle to prevent moisture or air from getting inside. This barrier preserves the cloth for many years to come. Make sure that the entire towel is completely dry before you put it into the bag to prevent mildew and bacteria.


  • Includes two towels (choose from various size combinations)
  • Dries much faster than other towels
  • Includes a watertight bag
  • Comes with built-in hanging loops

So, are quick-dry towels worth it?

Microfiber quick-dry travel towels are absolutely worth buying. They’re not too expensive, and they have all sorts of uses that cotton towels can’t do. Even if you don’t use them daily, it’s still a good idea to have one or two of these towels sitting around for camping, traveling, beach trips, hiking, fitness, and more.

As A Final Note

Quick-dry towels are easy to use, they don’t require a clothes dryer, and you can absorb up to seven times the amount of weight in water. With so many options to choose from, it’s no surprise that tens of thousands of customers have purchased the best towels listed earlier in the post.

To wrap up, here are a few key takeaways from the post:

  • Cotton towels are heavier than quick-dry towels
  • Quick-dry towels are made of polyester, whereas traditional towels are made of cotton
  • Try not to wipe any colored stains with a microfiber towel to avoid discoloration
  • You can use a quick-dry towel for spills, sweat, water, condensation, and much more
  • They’re the perfect cleaning companion for road trips and van camping wherever you go

For some great ideas on how to make your camping trip more enjoyable, check out our post “9 Tips You Should Know Before Going Camping.”

Photo of author


Ever since I was little I have been a traveler at heart. It all started when I was six years old and my family took a road trip to Alaska. I enjoy visiting new places and revisiting some of the great locations that I have been to already.