Inside My Backpack: McNett Microfiber Towel
When I was gearing up for my backpacking trip around the world, I knew that I didn't want to bring a regular towel with me - it was just way too bulky, taking up too much precious space inside my backpack. I realized that getting a microfiber travel towel would be my only choice to keep the bulk down as well as have a towel that dries up fast. I was hesitant at first - I have used the rug-sized microfiber towels before at the gym as well as at a car wash and they felt anything but pleasant. Reading through reviews on Amazon, that seemed to be the main concern as well - many people found them "icky". And the price factor didn't help - many selling for five or six times the normal towel I could get at Walmart.
But I had no choice, so I figured I would order a couple and see for myself.
Fast forward two years and I am in love with my McNett Microfiber Towel (also sold as Micronet Microfiber Towel) - I have taken it with me on all my trips and even when I am back home, I still get to use it a few times a week at the local gym.
I am constantly impressed at how fast this towel dries. But even if it is completely soaked, it still wicks the moisture away - on many occasions, I washed it while I was in the shower and then used it to pat myself dry after hand-squeezing the water out.
I also enjoy the compactness and light weight microfiber offers - I got rid of the carrying sack and use a plastic baggie instead - the kind you get for bulk produce at grocery stores. When folded, the towel is just about the size of my fist. One packing tip - whenever I take it out of my backpack, I made it a habit to put the plastic bag into one of my backpack's outside pockets. Since it is usually one of the last things I pack when I leave (to give it as much time to dry), this way I don't have to look for the plastic bag when I have packed everything else inside already.
Below is the review I just posted on Amazon. I will need to go back and fix the sizing after it is published - according to this page, Medium is 20"x40" and was the first one I got that didn't even wrap around my body, so I replaced it with the Large (30"x50").
I have used this over two years now. Originally bought it to have a lightweight towel with me as I backpacked around the world. Now, I still bring it with me wherever I go as well as almost daily to the gym.
I love it because it is extremely lightweight and compact. It also dries FAST. As in completely soaked to the point that I can squeeze the water out of it myself to completely dry in as little as couple hours in humid conditions. I dry, warm temperatures, it can dry in less than 20 minutes. Very handy when you are at a hostel or constantly on the move packing/unpacking.
As others mentioned, because it is microfiber, it definitely feels different than a normal towel. It does get a little sticky when it gets wet but I got used to it very quick, you just dry yourself differently - more patting it down over your body rather than trying to rub it back and forth. While it does feel different than a cotton towel, I still feels much better than most other microfiber towels I used.
One word of caution - buy a size one larger than what you think you need. I believe I ordered Large first since somewhere I found it to correspond to size 38 waist, which is normally what I wear. It was too short, wouldn't even wrap around my body the whole way. So I replaced it with XL which I think is 40 or 42 waist and it gives me just a little of wrap around.
Oh and ditch the carry sack. It adds 1/3 of the bulk to it. Just fold it tightly - it will take less space than a fist - and put it in a plastic bag.