Sunday, May 23, 2010

Review: Lightload Towel

After our last backpacking trip, I promised myself I'd bring along a pack towel. I always carry a handkerchief, but on the trail, it got saturated in a hurry.

My first thought was that I'd bite the bullet and get a MSR PackTowl. Sure, it was probably overpriced for what I was getting, but it looked like it would do the trick nicely.

While browsing through REI, though, I came across the Light Load towel - a tiny packed disk of a thing which cost a few bucks and made big promises (Machine washable, only .6 oz, a "survival tool" and so on). For a $1.95, it was hard not to give it a shot.

After unpacking it, the towel remained in it's super tiny form. I then ran it under water, and sure enough it started to expand.

What do you know? It grew into a tiny little piece of cloth as promised! To soften it up, they suggest machine washing it, so that's what I've done (and it works).

The folks at Amazon give it mixed reviews, while those at REI rave about it. So really, what's the deal?

The deal is, that is probably more portable bandana, than towel (though, they do make a beach towel size I've yet to try).

The thing is, as every Boy Scout knows, there are few tools more handy than a bandana. So having one nearby at all times is a good thing. And it's cheap enough, that when it does show it's age, it can be tossed. (The Lightload Towels FAQ even explains why the towel is better than your standard cotton bandana)

I'm sold. I'm putting one in my regular travel bag, one in our diaper bag, and one in my backpacking gear for next trip. I'm even tempted to give the beach towel a try.

[Posted from my mobile phone - photos and links coming soon]

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