PackTowl Ultralight

By Cory McLaughlin

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Just the facts:


When every ounce counts, the UltraLite quick-drying towel is great for backpackers, travelers, or any minimalist who wants to pack a towel for an impromptu dip in some trailside water. Weighing a third less than the closest competitor, this soft, highly packable, and ultralight microfiber towel is great for drying off without having to sweat the ounces.

  • Ultralight: Even in its largest size, the UltraLite towel barely tips the scales at just 5.1 oz., one third less than the closest competitor*.
  • 4x Absorbency: Absorbent microfiber fabric soaks up 4 times its weight in water, which can be wrung out easily.
  • Ultrafast-drying: Dries 80% faster than comparable cotton towels.
  • Highly packable: Soft fabric packs down tiny when space is at a premium.
  • Hang loop and zippered storage pouch included for easy drying and packing.
  • Machine washable

*Compared to leading full-sized, quick-drying towel competitor, the Sea to Summit® DryLitetowel—Cascade Designs, Inc. is not affiliated with and does not own the Sea to Summit nor DryLite trademarks.

  Face Hand Body Beach
Color River, Lichen River, Lichen River, Lichen River, Lichen
Weight (Standard) 0.5 oz 1.5 oz 3.4 oz 5.1 oz
Weight (Metric) 0.01 kg 0.04 kg 0.10 kg 0.15 kg
Width (Standard) 10 in 16.5 in 25 in 36 in
Width (Metric) 25 cm 42 cm 64 cm 91 cm
Length (Standard) 14 in 36 in 54 in 59 in
Length (Metric) 35 cm 92 cm 137 cm 150 cm
Country of Origin Assembled in the U.S.A of U.S. and Imported Materials. Fabric made in France Assembled in the U.S.A of U.S. and Imported Materials. Fabric made in France Assembled in the U.S.A of U.S. and Imported Materials. Fabric made in France Assembled in the U.S.A of U.S. and Imported Materials. Fabric made in France

My Story:

I love to backpack and I am trying to spread that love to my children. Last year we undertook out biggest trip which brought us deep into the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon. It was a fantastic trip and we had a great time swimming in the alpine lakes. The only thing I wished for was a towel as the three of us shivered while trying to put cloths on wet skin. I told myself that next year would be different.

Flash forward to 2019 and I again had plans to go back into the Eagle Caps. This time I was sure to arrange for some testing samples from PackTowl Ultralight as I have worked with their parent company Cascade Designs for the past several years. My trip was all set and after a rather hurried request the PackTowl’s showed up just in time. Well, it would have been in time if life had not changed my plans.

With a heavy heart I had to cancel my trip and instead stay home to take care of personal matters. That did not stop me from taking the girls to the pool and I figured this was as a good a time as any to test out the PackTowl. I was sent towels of each size as they seemed to fit my whole family perfectly. The larger beach size towels are great for my wife and I while the body towel fit my oldest and the hand towel for my youngest. Our day at the pool was great and the towels worked wonderfully.

Our next adventure was in our trailer as we headed for our annual beach trip on the Oregon coast. With space limited my wife had the great idea to use command hooks in the bathroom to hold the towels. It was a good idea until we realized that standard towels are a bit too heavy. Well, lucky for us we had the PackTowl Ultralight and they worked marvelously. 

The Eagle Caps still called my name and I was eager to get up into the area that first prompted my desire to test these towels in the first place. I was able to piggy back a trip right after my beach trip. I loaded up our packs and made sure to tuck a PackTowl into each.

The water of the alpine lakes is refreshing but it is nothing close to warm. A few dips into the lake and you will be more than ready to dry off. My petite little youngest daughter is a trooper but the cold water is hard for her to handle. She was very excited to jump in and then wrap up with her PackTowl.

The included loop makes hanging the towels a snap and the fabric dries quickly. The construction and functionality of these great towels is nothing short of fantastic. They are a simple towel yes, but they are also much more than that. They are a blend of modern materials which are up to 4X as absorbent as normal cotton fabric and at a fraction of the weight. Once wet they are quick to dry up with an advertised 80% faster drying rate than cotton. Overall PackTowl is purpose built to fill the needs of outdoor adventures. My assessment is that PackTowl Ultralight is in fact lightweight and perform as advertised. What else could you ask for?

Find them Here:

 What can be done better?

It’s a ultralight towel that works. Nothing.


5 dry and comfy stars!

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability