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The 10 Best Travel Towels To Buy for Your Next Trip [2024]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

802 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

36 Published Articles 3282 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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When you’re planning what to pack for your next trip to distant shores, it can be easy to forget the importance of the humble towel. Although most hotels will provide towels, some types of accommodation don’t and others don’t have high standards.

A travel towel will be your new best friend in these situations. Compact, absorbent, and a lifeline to comfort in gritty hostels and on deserted beaches, your travel towel will keep you warm and dry.

Why Use a Travel Towel?

Travel towel
Travel towels are lightweight and compact compared to regular towels. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Wherever you’re headed, travel towels offer a lightweight, quick-drying alternative to regular towels.

Flexible enough to fold up small, you can use your travel towel for everyday water adventures, cleaning up sticky messes, or as an impromptu pillow for cars, planes, trains, and even campsites.

Travel Towel Materials

Travel towels are available in a variety of different fabrics. Each one is as practical as the next, but some are more desirable than others.

Not sure how to tell a good travel towel from a truly great one? Check out these different fabric options.

Microfiber

Travel towel microfiber
Microfiber is a quick-drying material for a travel towel. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

Easy to come by and effortlessly practical, microfiber towels are absorbent, lightweight, and affordable.

Man-made microfiber can air-dry very quickly while remaining breathable and soft to the touch. Microfiber towels are the most absorbent on the market and the quickest drying, too!

Durable enough to go anywhere in the world, this style of travel towel is popular for a reason.

Linen

Linen towels are incredibly lightweight and are generally considered to be more absorbent than cotton.

Linen can absorb up to 20% of its weight in water before it will even start to feel damp. It’s also one of the quickest drying materials available, meaning you can get going on your next adventure even sooner.

As a bonus, linen is naturally antibacterial and will inhibit the growth of microbes, so it’ll smell fresh for longer.

Turkish Cotton

Turkish cotton towels, also known as “peshtemals,” were originally used in Turkish bathhouses. Over the years, their larger size, high absorbency levels, and quick-drying nature have made them popular with travelers across the globe.

As they’re made from thin cotton, they can be packed up very small, while still being sizable enough to cover you completely. They stay soft on your skin and offer a really good level of absorbency, making them the perfect choice for adventurers looking to head away from the beaten path.

Bamboo

Bamboo towels are lightweight, soft, and quick-drying, making them absolutely perfect for travel and camping.

They’re generous enough to be able to cover your sun lounger, while still folding down to a super-small size to stow away easily in your luggage. They can air dry quickly, and because they’re made from natural materials, they’re also kind to delicate skin.

Travel Towel Sizes

Travel towel
Travel towels usually fold up into a small carry case. Image Credit: Amar Hussain

You should choose the size of your towel based on your individual needs.

The biggest size available might sound like a good idea, but if it makes the folded size too big to squeeze into your luggage, it will feel like a burden instead of an asset.

The folded towel size will vary depending on the material that it’s made from and the brand of towel you purchase.

To give you a rough idea, towels (flat) are usually available in:

  • Small — 20 x 32 inches
  • Medium — 32 x 40 inches
  • Large — 40 x 52 inches
  • Extra Large — 40 x 60 inches

Turkish cotton and bamboo towels are generally larger by design, so if you’re looking for a towel that can double up as an emergency blanket or beach cover-up, you might want to opt for one of these over microfiber or linen.

The 10 Best Towels for Travel

There’s a whole world of travel towels out there for you to choose from, but here are just a few of the best:

1. Best for Outdoor Adventures

Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Quick Dry Travel Towel

Material: Microfiber

Sizes:

  • Small — 20 x 40 inches
  • Medium — 28 x 56 inches
  • Large — 32 x 72 inches

Made from super absorbent microfiber, these handy travel towels can dry up to 10 times faster than regular towels — that’s an impressive amount of extra time spent in the water and not waiting for your towel to dry.

Available in a choice of 3 sizes, and perfect for every day, these little beauties are perfect for packing away on your next big adventure or for keeping in your bag for everyday workouts, yoga sessions, or swims.

The Outdoors Travel Towel from Youphoria also comes complete with a convenient carry bag and a quick-snap hook for easy hanging on the nearest branch, chair back, bedpost, or towel rail.

What We Like

  • Dries quickly

What We Don’t Like

  • Can smell initially

2. Best for Families

Havluland Set of 6 Turkish Cotton Towels

Material: Turkish Cotton

Size: 71 x 39 Inches

This set of 6 towels is perfect for keeping the whole family dry on vacation.

With its chic and simple striped design, this 100% Turkish Cotton bath towel is made from natural fibers, with only the finest natural and chemical-free colors used in the decoration.

Being highly absorbent, this towel can wick away moisture and water with ease and is quick drying after use. Perfect for the beach, pool, gym, or for use at home, these stylish towels roll up neatly to carry or store away easily.

What We Like

  • Quite large in size

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the softest material

3. Excellent for a Choice in Sizes

Rainleaf Microfiber Travel & Beach Towel

Material: Microfiber

Sizes:

  • X-Small — 12 x 24 inches
  • Small — 16 x 32 inches
  • Medium — 20 x 40 inches
  • Large — 24 x 48 inches
  • X-Large — 30 x 60 inches
  • XX-Large — 40 x 72 inches

This fast-drying, antibacterial travel towel comes in a choice of 6 sizes, making it easy to find the size you need for any adventure.

The supersoft, suede-like material feels awesome against the skin, and this clever towel dries so quickly you can use it over and over again, all day long.

Complete with a snap loop, you can hang it out to dry almost anywhere. The carry bag it comes in is reusable and waterproof. The Rainleaf microfiber towel is so fabulous that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

What We Like

  • Incredibly compact

What We Don’t Like

  • So lightweight that it blows away in the wind

Hot Tip: If you’re looking specifically for beach towels, check out our separate round-up of the best travel beach towels (plus beach blankets)!

4. The Travel Towel Bundle

WildHorn Outfitters Microlite Travel Towel Bundle

Material: Microfiber

Sizes:

  • Small — 12 x 24 inches
  • Large — 24 x 48 inches
  • X-Large — 30 x 60 inches

This great value bundle is as perfect for those heading out on a big adventure as it is for those who want a quick, convenient mobile towel solution for everyday use.

Each of the 3 towels in the pack comes with its very own mesh carrying case, meaning you can stow them away in your gym bag or backpack with ease.

Made from lightweight, microfiber material, each of these towels can hold up to 4 times its weight in water, making them incredibly absorbent and versatile, while still being durable and easy to carry. Perfect for just about any occasion, this towel bundle represents excellent value for your money.

What We Like

  • 3 sizes for different uses

What We Don’t Like

  • Quite a thin material

5. The Budget Turkish Towel

Natural Turkish Cotton Peshtemal Thin Travel Towel

Material: Turkish Cotton

Size: 37 x 70 inches

This gorgeous traditional Turkish peshtemal is the perfect companion for the style-conscious traveler. Made from 100% soft Turkish cotton, these can be used to wipe you dry at the baths, spa, pool, beach, or even the fitness center.

The best part: it can double up as a sarong, pareo, or scarf when you’re cold or in need of a beach cover-up.

Easy to fold up small for travel, these wondrous travel towels become remarkably soft, even after many washes. They’re absorbent, stylish, and super useful for every day, both at home and away.

What We Like

  • Available in a range of stylish colors

What We Don’t Like

  • No carry case included

6. Best for the Eco-friendly Traveler

Nomadix Towel

Material: Polyester

Size: 30 x 72.5 inches

Nomadix produces some of the most sought-after travel towels on the market. These towels are made using certified post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Imagine that, a soft, absorbent towel that’s made from old plastic bottles — amazing!

These towels are popular with yoga practitioners, beach fanatics, backpackers, and just about everyone in between as they offer an eco-friendly, compact, high-performance alternative to regular towels.

Available in a wide variety of stunning colors and patterns, you can guarantee this super absorbent, slip-resistant, anti-microbial, durable, and lightweight travel towel is as great to look at as it is practical to use.

What We Like

  • Made from recycled materials

What We Don’t Like

  • Not very wide

7. For Those Who Want To Avoid Sandy Towels

Check on Dock & Bay

Dock & Bay Microfiber Beach Towels

Material: Microfiber

Size: 35.43 x 78.74 inches

This sand-free beach towel is one of the best swimming towels out there. Perfect for a traveler on the go, the Dock & Bay Microfiber Beach Towel dries up to 3 times as fast as regular cotton towels.

Smooth feeling and super soft on the skin, this towel folds up small making it perfect for popping in backpacks, totes, or travel bags. It even comes with its very own travel pouch.

The unique material prevents sandy bottoms, as the sand won’t stick to the towel, leaving more sand on the beach for everyone else to enjoy.

The extra-large size is even big enough to cover your entire sun lounger, and the handy hook is useful for hanging your new towel out to keep clean and dry. A 30-day return policy and a 12-month warranty are also included.

What We Like

  • Comes with a 12-month warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the quickest drying microfiber towel out there

8. Best for Those Looking for Versatility

Snappy Towels Waffle Weave Microfiber Travel Towels

Material: Microfiber

Size: 50 x 27 inches

Wear your super absorbent and soft towel with pride, as the Snappy Towel comes complete with innovative snaps that allow you to change the use of your towel in an instant. You can wear it as a cape to keep the sun off your shoulders or turn it into a bag to carry your sunscreen — your Snappy towel, your choice.

However you use it, your Snappy towel is super absorbent and can dry up to 3 times faster than a regular cotton towel. It even comes with a convenient hanging loop, so you can keep it off the ground and clean.

When you need to get going, this clever bath-sized towel can fold up to just a fraction of the size of a cotton towel, meaning you can take it anywhere with ease.

What We Like

  • Easily transforms into a beach bag

What We Don’t Like

  • Not the biggest towel

9. The Budget Microfiber Travel Towel

Check on Walmart

BOGI Quick Dry Microfiber Travel Towel

Material: Microfiber

Sizes:

  • Small — 32 x 16 inches
  • Medium — 40 x 20 inches
  • Large — 60 x 30 inches
  • X-Large — 72 x 32 inches

This fast-drying towel can absorb several times its weight and can dry 4 to 6 times faster than a regular towel, making the WGOOT Quick Dry Towel perfect for travel and other adventures.

The ultra-soft texture feels good on your face and skin and the material is still thin enough to roll up super small to pop in your backpack.  

As clever as they are convenient, these towels are available in a choice of colors and sizes. It even comes complete with a reusable mesh carry bag that’s designed to prevent dampness from damaging the towel.

What We Like

  • Comes with a carabiner to hook to things

What We Don’t Like

  • Colors can bleed when initially washing

10. Best for Multi-pack Value

Set Of Three Microfiber Travel Towels From OlimpiaFit

Material: Microfiber

Sizes:

  • Small — 15 x 15 inches
  • Medium — 30 x 15 inches
  • Large — 50 x 30 inches

These 100% microfiber travel towels can absorb 3 to 4 times their weight and can dry 10 times faster than regular cotton or terry cloth towels. They can go longer in between washes, and just 5 minutes in the sun will leave them feeling clean, dry, and soft.

This mega-value pack is perfect for travel, and the slip-resistant hypoallergenic surfaces make these towels an excellent choice for the gym, pool, beach, or anywhere else your next adventurers take you.

Available in a choice of colors and 3 different sizes, this bundle also comes with a 100% hassle-free, satisfaction guarantee.

What We Like

  • 1 carry bag fits all 3 towels

What We Don’t Like

  • Actual colors can differ from those advertised

Final Thoughts

Travel towels offer quick drying times, high absorbency, and a ton of durability, all wrapped up in a tiny package that will fit comfortably in your luggage.

Affordable, easy to buy, and offering a heap of benefits over and above a regular towel, you should honestly never think of going anywhere without one, especially if you’re packing for that ultimate beach vacation.


If you’re looking for more great products to add to your travel packing arsenal, check out our other similar reviews:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are microfiber towels good?

Microfiber towels have many benefits over regular towels and are a great alternative for travel. They are much lighter than regular towels and more absorbent. The greatest advantage that they have is that they can dry up to 10 times faster than regular towels, which is particularly useful when you are on the move and won’t have time to dry your towel.

What are the best travel towels?

There’s a whole world of travel towels out there for you to choose from, but here are just a few of the best:

  • Havluland Set of 6 Turkish Cotton Towels
  • Natural Turkish Cotton Peshtemal Thin Travel Towel
  • Rainleaf Microfiber Travel & Beach Towel
  • WildHorn Outfitters Microlite Travel Towel Bundle
  • Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Quick Dry Travel Towel

What size travel towel should I get?

The biggest size available might sound like a good idea, but if it makes the folded size too big to squeeze into your luggage, it will feel like a burden instead of an asset.

To give you a rough idea, towels (flat) are usually available in:

  • Small — 20 x 32 inches
  • Medium — 32 x 40 inches
  • Large — 40 x 52 inches
  • Extra Large — 40 x 60 inches

Are travel towels any good?

A travel towel will be your new best friend in these situations. Compact, absorbent, and a lifeline to comfort in gritty hostels and on deserted beaches, your travel towel will keep you warm and dry.

What is the best quick dry towel?

The Youphoria Outdoors Microfiber Quick Dry Travel Towel can dry up to 10 times faster than regular towels — that’s an impressive amount of extra time spent in the water and not waiting for your towel to dry.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

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