For my birthday I received a much-wanted PackTowel Personal, Bath sized (which is the largest of 4 sizes available). I have been wanting one of these for some time now.
I have tried a “camp towel” from Wal-Mart and was less than satisfied. I thought that a generic camp towel would do about the same thing as the PackTowel, just be smaller and not as soft. I was wrong. I tested the camp towel after showering at home. I wiped water off, only to find myself still damp. I found that the camp towel acts more like a squeegee, brushing the water off of whatever object is being wiped.
One of our splurges around the house are the soft, thick towels. I thought maybe I was just spoiled and that I would just have to get used to not being fully dry after using a camp towel of any kind. I read some reviews on the MSR’s PackTowel brand, and came up with nothing bad. “I’ll go ahead and put it on my wish list, then if it doesn’t perform to my expectations, I won’t be out any money,” I thought.
My birthday rolled around and I received the PackTowel that I requested. I specifically asked for the Personal, as the Originals don’t seem as soft when felt in the store. It has almost a silky feel to it, nice and soft, if thin. According to MSR’s website, the PackTowel Personal, Bath, weighs 8.5 oz. for a 25 x 54 in. towel. When folded up and stored, the entire package is about 9 x 7 x 3/4 inches. The towel came with a carry pouch, one side of which is mesh. The pouch includes a piece of velcro to keep it closed, and a loop to hang it by. According to the packaging, the PackTowel is made of 85% Polyester and 15% Nylon.
I received a Dusty Blue towel, with Curry (a yellow color) being the other option. Other features include Anti-Microbial treatment that reduces unpleasant odors, as well as a snap loop on one of the corners, useful for hanging up to dry.
Eager to try out the towel, I put it to use after a shower at home. The first obvious difference was the small size of this towel. I was living in the dorms at the time, which included a community bathroom. As such I had to carry my toiletries to and from the shower, and utilized a special bag to do so. The PackTowel fit inside of the bag, instead of having to carry it separately.
After the shower I grabbed the towel, almost apprehensively, and began to dry off with it. The texture is different, definitely not like the fluffy cotton towel that I am used to. However, my hair was dry! There was no feeling of being damp after using this towel. It was more than large enough for my needs.
The towel didn’t feel wet when I was done using it. This makes me believe MSR’s claims of “fast drying.” I have done no sort of testing to determine how fast it dries; neither have I yet tried to test their statement that “wrings out almost completely dry.”
One last piece of information for this installment: This is machine washable and can be machine dried. Always nice to have easy care equipment!
Update: This review was written nearly a year ago. I have used the towel on various camping trips, numerous hotel stays and a number of nights staying with family members. In short, I carry my PackTowel on every trip I take. It easily fits inside of my toiletry kit, dries fairly fast when I need it to, and continues to do a fine job of drying me off. My wife received a PackTowel of her own for Christmas this year. Both will travel with us to Ireland and Europe as we study abroad next semester. She has been envious of mine since I received it and it is past time that she has one of her own.
Would you like to get a PackTowel of your own? You can buy one now!