“Gear” comes in all different shapes and sizes and we do our best to cover as wide a range as possible here on Gear Diary. That’s why, in this review, we will be looking at… towels. Yes, this is a review of towels but, as you might expect, these aren’t just any towels. No, these are special Ultra-Fast Drying Towels from Discovery Trekking Outfitters. These Ultra-Fast Drying Towels come in different sizes and colors and their ability to all but vacuum water from wet skin surprised me- in a good way. (The claim in the previous sentence- mine not the company’s- was an exaggeration but only a small one.) Let’s talk about how these towels came to be and then look more closely at both of the Ultra-Fast Drying towels Discovery Trekking Outfitters sent for review.
As noted, the Ultra-Fast Drying Towels come from Discovery Trekking, a company physically located in British Columbia on Vancouver Island. Discovery Trekking has a store specializing in custom outdoor clothing. They make, among other things, jackets, pants, and vests from their own patterns using high-tech fabrics like Polartec, PowerShield et cetera. They use those materials to make sure their clothing is wind and water-repellent while also being breathable and having enough stretch to be comfortable during outdoor activities. The company also makes a number of different styles of shirt for both men and women using special fabric (not microfiber) that wicks moisture away from the skin so that it can evaporate more quickly. At some point they noticed the way in which the shirt material seemed to not only pull water away from the skin but also dried quickly and it occurred to them that this same material “might make a great towel”. Not long after this happened they were in the towel business.
The “lightweight moisture-management fabric” used for the towels not only pulls water from your skin but, once the moisture has reached the outside of the fabric, it literally spreads out across the fabric. This significantly increases the surface area and enables the water to quickly evaporate. The result is dry skin and, in a short while, a dry towel. There is more to these high-tech towels. You see, the towels not only dry quickly but they also stay extremely fresh thanks to the company using “Polygiene technology”. (Say that ten times quickly!) Polygiene technology is a Silver Salt antimicrobial treatment that’s safe and effective in keeping bacteria and mold away. As the company explains, the silver is permanently bonded to the fiber and, once there, kills odor causing bacteria. That means the towels won’t smell musty the way most towels do after a few uses. And while the towels do need to be washed regularly, between washing this treatment helps keep them smelling fresh.
The company was kind enough to send samples of their Ultra-Fast Drying Towels. In this case I was sent both their extreme Ultra-Light Backpacking Towel and their Ultra-Fast Dry Towel.
The Ultra Fast-Dry Towel ranges in price from $9.95 to $39.95 depending on size and design. All of the sizes wick moisture from your skin, dry quickly, and are treated with the antimicrobial treatment. In addition, they block up to 93% of UV rays. That makes them a great addition to your beach bag. And did I mention how thin and light they are? The largest towel weighs only 9 ounces. You can check them out here.
The second of the Ultra-Fast Drying Towels I was sent for review is the company’s Extreme Ultra Light towel. This towel is described as a “must-have” for serious backpackers. The large 34” x 28” towel weighs… get this, under 3 ounces. It packs up into an exceptionally small package that is easy to take any and everywhere. The 19” x 19” mini towel is $19.95 while the large 34” x 58” towel is $29.95.
So what do I think of these special “high tech” towels? I’m pretty impressed. My normal towel is a 40 X 70 bath sheet from Restoration Hardware. It is big and bulky and it weighs a ton. I love how soft it is but don’t like the fact that it takes up so much space in the linen closet. (Elana doesn’t like the bath sheet because it is actually too heavy for her.) For this review I went from using my bath sheet to using these Ultra-Fast Drying Towels and I was amazed by the way the Ultra Fast-Dry Towel in particular worked. Honestly I think it actually did a better job of drying me off than the huge bath sheet. I immediately felt less damp than I normally do when coming out of the shower. My point is this- these towels are great for backpacking, a day at the beach or other outdoor activities. They are ideal for travel as well and I will be bringing them with me when I head to Jamaica in a few weeks. At the same time these Ultra-Fast Drying towels aren’t out of place for home use either.
They are light, take up minimal space and they really do their job of drying you off with aplomb. That’s why I’ll be taking the review samples with me when I travel in the future- they beat hotel towels by a mile- and why I’ll probably be ordering some of the company’s t-shirts made from the same material. You can learn more and order yours here.
MSRP: $9.95- $39.95 depending on size
What I Like: Thin and light; Pack up easily for taking on the go; Treated to fend off bacteria and mold; Dry you quickly and dry out just as fast
What Needs Improvement: Because of the thin nature of the material used I have to wonder if, over time, the cloth will get pulls
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample