The field towel is advertised as anti-bacterial, quick wicking and highly absorbent, and can also be used as a scarf, bandana, and sweat rag. This seemed a tall order for something that once rolled up fits in the palm of your hand. I was also surprised to find out that it’s actually made from 92 % Bamboo and 8% Elastine?!?!
So where best to try out a towel first, than after a session surfing the Severn bore. It’s also not the kind of place to hang about when you have just got out of the river soaking wet , especially in the winter months! It’s wet, muddy and apparently sometimes a slightly whiffy experience. I say ‘apparently’ as I have no sense of smell, no really! So the testing of this bit will be covered later on.
I got back to my car wet and was eager to change in to some dry clothes. I yanked the towel out of its snug little bag and proceeded to change and dry myself. At first the towel felt a little inadequate as it’s very thin and light with not much to it, but to my surprise it was all the things it had been advertised as! It really is very absorbent and I was quickly dry. It felt really nice on the skin, silky and smooth if you like that sort of thing, which I do! Whilst putting my shoes and socks on I hung it off the end of my surfboard and in the light breeze the towel was dry by the time I had finished dressing. It really had dried in a couple of minutes. I was quite amazed by this, and lifted my chin off the floor before proceeding to pack it away again into its small bag. It was great, rather than having a wet and dirty towel sitting in the boot, steaming up the windows of the car on the way home and slowly festering, I had just a neat little rolled up pack less than the size of a couple of tennis ball.
The second test was where I thought I personally would use it the most, in the hills.
Whilst walking in the Black mountains I decided to cut out the cool breeze by using the towel as a scarf. I wrapped it around my neck and tucked it in to the jacket I was wearing. Because of the nature of the material you can hardly tell you are wearing it and it easily tucks in to all those little spaces where you can find a breeze sneaking through. You can easily breathe through it too, for when the weather really comes in and you need to cover your nose as well.
Whilst up in the mountains, I decided to have a little paddle in a small tarn. I thought it might be a nice way to cool off the feet and typical of the use this towel will get as part of my kit. After enjoying the…. shall we say cooler than expected water, I popped out the towel and quickly dried my feet. And again it worked very well, absorbed the water quickly and was dry in time for me to put back away in the small pocket on top of my bag.
Whilst being soft to the touch it also feels strong as I gave it a bit of a stretch just to see.
So to the sniff test. One (smelly) surfing trip in the bag, a bit of sweaty scarf action, a couple of minutes rubbing my mountain-sore feet, and one little fib to get the gullible wife give it a good sniff, and amazingly, rather than the normal ‘uuugh what’s that smell’ she had to admit it smelled no different to before the test – result!
The towel retails for £18 and is perhaps more than you would pay for a regular towel but you certainly get your money’s worth with this product. It’s so useable and compact and it’s a really handy accessory to have when in the outdoors. It would be perfect for hiking holidays or expeditions where every ounce and bit of space counts. The last thing you want to do is to drag around a wet towel in your already heavy backpack.
If you are looking for a towel to wrap round you to keep you warm, this is not the towel for you. But if you are looking for a lightweight, absorbent and convenient one to use on the go and in the outdoors, it might be just what you’re looking for!