The Pack Towl is the simplest of tools. At it’s basics, a rag to clean and wipe away your backpacking grime. At it’s most complex, a multi-use tool designed to do your most creative of bidding. Anything from wiping down a wet tent, cleaning dishes, scrubbing a dirty body, or drying off a clean one: it’s all par for the course.
Today, we’re looking at the Original PackTowl.
About the PackTowl
It’s a light weight, super-absorbent, natural fiber towel that’s designed to absorb as much water as possible (ten times its own weight), and dry quickly afterwards. They come in various sizes and weights, ranging from pocket wipe to body blanket. The Medium Original (reviewed) weighs a slight 1.2 oz, and absorbs around 10 oz of water weight. various colors are available. Packed size for the medium was a very doable 7 x 4 x 2 inches (roughly). The medium original retails for around $14.
What I liked
Here on the East Coast, condensation is always a constant battle. I frequently use my PackTowl to wipe down the inside and outside of my tent, which makes for a much drier pack up and re-pitch later. The PackTowl absorbs water incredibly well, soaking up what feels like buckets of water effortlessly, and leaves a nearly dry surface behind even after a rainstorm, which finishes drying in minutes instead of hours.
Wiping down muddy hands, tents, backpacks, boots, and even dirty dishes worked incredibly well. Built up mud and food always washing out easily when finished, and so far, leaving no stains behind after washing. As advertised, it does actually get softer with use, and appears to be absorbing water better and better.
The towel does dry quickly, much faster than any cotton or most other synthetics. It’s not going to dry instantly, but even if just damp it will still absorb water enough to be effective. A Quick, vigorous wringing of a soaking Towl will release most of the water, speeding up the drying process and allowing for instant re-usability.
The towel comes with a nice meshy storage sack, and a convenient clip that allows you to dangle the damp cloth off your backpack while hiking for drying, or perhaps from a friendly neighboring tree.
What I didn’t like
$14 dollars could be a tad steep to some for a towel, despite being worth the cost.
Having a PackTowl in my backpack is easily one of the best, and most convenient, decisions I’ve made. The usefulness is hard to compare, especially on those rainy, muddy backpacking sessions. It cleans your body, dries your tent, wipes your hands, and provides immense amounts of comfort for very little weight. It falls lightly into your backpack when it’s dry, and can be dangled outside of your backpack when drying. Despite being a simple, mildly expensive luxury item, I cannot recommend a product more highly than the PackTowl. This should be in everyone’s backpack.
Highest of recommendations.
Thanks to the manufacturer for providing this product. For full disclosure, see our about me page.