When we engage in outdoor activities, whether it be camping with the family, surfing in Mexico, or hunting for our favorite wild game, we often have to make hard choices about what gear to take and what to leave at home. During these excursions and adventures there are necessities that we have to bring along, and the towel is one of them. Anyone who has spent any length of time soaking wet in the field or around the campfire knows that at times you would be willing to trade almost anything for a dry towel. Towels are one of those items no one really likes to bring along, but we do because we don’t want to be “The Guy” who has to borrow someone else’s towel. It personally gives me the creeps to borrow another man’s towel.

There are several problems with bringing conventional towels on a hunt or a trip. One is that no one wants to suffer the wrath of an angry wife when you take her favorite bath towel, or one of the “good” bath towels, and ruin it with mud, sweat, and grime while on said adventures.  There is also that small matter of having all your hunting and camping buddies heckle and torment you for years to come because you brought the wife’s bath towel on a men’s outing. One scenario is certainly worse than the other, I will let you decide which. On a serious note, traditional towels are generally bulky, heavy, and often take a long time to dry once they are saturated. These are not ideal characteristics for a piece of gear that you must carry in a backpack during extended hikes and hunts. The folks at Sea to Summit have a solution to that problem, the Pocket Towel.

Compact backpacking towel: Sea to Summit Pocket Towel
Pocket Towel shown in Cobalt Blue

Sea to Summit is the result of a collaboration between well known Australian mountain climbers Tim Macartney-Snape and Roland Tyson. What started as a conversation in 1990 about their dissatisfaction about climbing equipment has grown into a multi million dollar company that prides itself on lightweight and highly durable gear for everyone from the family camper to the most experienced professional climber. The company currently makes three different styles of towels, with our featured product the Pocket Towel being the most compact. Lets take a look at the options and details available.

Name:  Sea to Summit Pocket Towel

Colors Available

  • Cobalt (Blue)
  • Eucalyptus (Medium Green)
  • Lime Green
  • Berry (Purple)

Sizes Available

  • Small (16 Inch  x 32 Inch)
  • Medium (20 Inch x 40 Inch)
  • Large (24 Inch x 48 Inch)
  • Extra Large (30 Inch x 60 Inch)


  • Small: 2.1 Ounces
  • Medium: 2.8 Ounces
  • Large: 3.9 Ounces
  • Extra Large: 6.7 Ounces

Material: 70% Polyester, 30% Nylon microfiber

MSRP: $14.95- $22.95

Application: Travel, Swimming, Personal Hygiene, Camping, Hunting, Cycling, Backpacking


  • Holds three times its weight in water
  • Folds easily into storage case
  • Dries quickly
  • Cost
  • Nonabrasive texture

Cons: No neutral colors

Compact backpacking towel: Sea to Summit Pocket Towel
Close up of Micromesh

Overall Performance:

I have only had the Pocket Towel a short time, but have been able to use it on two hikes. I have found there are several features incorporated into the towel that I appreciate. The cleaning instructions are placed directly on a loop at the edge of the towel. Not only does this loop offer laundering instructions, it also doubles as a convenient way to hang the towel when the need to air dry it arises in the field. I appreciate when manufacturers add the little things to a product to enhance the user’s experience.

The Polyester and Nylon Micromesh fabric takes a bit of getting use to, as it feels too soft and silky to actually be drying your skin. It’s an odd feeling, but a welcome change from the traditional cotton blend towels. If your skin is sensitive due to sun or wind exposure, this towel will be less abrasive than cotton towels. I also found while drying off my face and neck that it easily removed dirt and sand without feeling rough, like other brands of camp towels.

Another great feature is the rubber lined ventilated storage case. It allows you to store the towel in nearly any compartment of a pack or vehicle. We have all suffered the frustration and humiliation of trying to force a sleeping bag or tent back into the bag it originally came in. That is not likely to happen with this towel.  The Sea to Summit Pocket Towel is incredibly easy to restore to its original packaging, even when damp from use. Here we have provided proof.

I admit, two hikes isn’t nearly enough time to really put this handy towel threw a proper cycle of abuse, but it’s a nice start. Hunting season is fast approaching, which means I will be out hiking along the mountains, trails, creeks, and streams of Alaska in search of beasts to harvest and photographs to take. I can guarantee the Pocket Towel will be included in my gear on each adventure.

Compact backpacking towel: Sea to Summit Pocket Towel
Storage Case

I would encourage people to reexamine their camping and backpacking needs to see if the Sea to Summit Pocket Towel is something they can use. This little towel could help save money, space, and weight while replacing those traditional cotton towels many of us have been dragging around. The entire line of Sea to Summit Towels is available at REI and Amazon.

Thanks for visiting the site, be sure to stop back often. Hunting season is around the corner so we will have many new features and articles coming soon. As always you can use the Comms Check link to interact with us, or simply comment on any article and we will be sure to use all of our resources to help answer your questions