DTO ULTRA FAST-DRY TOWEL
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
January 09, 2011
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
Manufacturer: Discovery Trekking Outfitters
|Courtesy of DTO|
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.discoverytrekking.com
MSRP: $12.95 US (see below for prices of larger sizes)
Listed Weight: Not listed
Measured Weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
Large: 34 in x 58 in (86 cm x 147 cm): $29.95 US
Medium: 34 in x 28 in (86 cm x 71 cm): $19.95 US
Small: 16 in x 28 in (41 cm x 71 cm): $14.95 US
Extra Small: 13 in x 10 in (33 cm x 25 cm): $12.95 US
Colors Available: Black, Navy Blue, Royal Blue, Sky Blue, Purple, Red, Pink, Dark Green, Sage Green, Dark Brown, Camel, Lime Green, Orange, Aqua, Silver Grey, White
Mine is Extra Small in Dark Green
The Discovery Trekking Outfitters Ultra Fast-Dry Towel in the extra small size is essentially the size of a wash cloth. It is made of the same fast drying 100% polyester fabric as their larger towels. It also has an anti-microbial technology to discourage bacteria growth. This consists of silver strands (not visible) in the fabric so it won't wash out over time. The website claims that it dries 3 times faster than cotton. The extra small size makes it useful as a wash cloth, face cloth, dish cloth and even as a coffee filter.
I've used this cloth on nearly every backpacking trip and many day hikes since I got it. In total it has probably been with me on 8 backpacking trips for 28 days and on countless day hikes.
Some examples include the following trips.
Point Reyes National Seashore, California: 3 days; 0 to 1,407 ft (429 m); 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C); partly cloudy to heavy rainstorm
Western States Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 3 days; 1,800 to 4,365 ft (549 to 1,330 m) elevation; 45 to 72 F (7 to 22 C); clear conditions
Mumford Bar, Sierra Nevada, California; 2 days; 13 mi (21 km); 2,640 to 5,360 ft (805 to 1634 m) elevation; 53 to 90 F (12 to 32 C); clear conditions
Desolation Wilderness, Sierra Nevada, California; 3 days; 19.5 mi (31.4 km); 6,560 to 8,220 ft (2,000 to 2,505 m) elevation; 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C); clear conditions
Wonderland Trail, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington; 10 days; 100 mi (161 km); 2,600 to 7,200 ft (792 to 2,195 m) elevation; 32 to 62 F (0 to 17 C); clear to foggy to downpour conditions
As a face cloth:
On hot days I would carry it in a pack hip pocket or in my pants pocket. It is small enough to fit easily and comfortably in these spots. This way it was easy to access to use it as a face cloth while hiking to wipe sweat from my brow, face and neck. This fabric wicks water away more than absorbing it so a different type of action is needed when using it for drying skin. But once I got used to it, it worked quite well. I often dunked it in a stream to help keep me cool.
As a washcloth:
I also used it as a washcloth for on-trail baths. I really liked it for this since one side has a bit of a rougher texture which was good for scrubbing skin. It dried quickly overnight and was ready by morning for another day of use.
As a dish cloth:
At times I used it as a dish cloth to wash or dry our cookware and utensils. As mentioned above, when drying it requires wiping such that it can wick the water away rather than trying to absorb it. But it worked just fine. It did a good job for washing dishes as long as they weren't too dirty with food stuck on since it isn't really a scrubber.
As a coffee filter:
Lastly, I used it as a coffee filter for making cowboy coffee. For this, I boiled water with ground coffee in it and then strained the grounds out through the cloth into my drinking cup. On trips where I used it for this, I typically carried it in my cook set to wrap my stove and protect it from bouncing around. It worked well for straining coffee which even gave it a nice aroma.
I never noticed any foul aroma develop on any of my trips. I washed the cloth in the machine after every trip with whatever other clothes were going in and on whatever setting those required. I've never paid any particular attention to how to wash this cloth.
The durability of the cloth has been great. It has seen quite a bit of use and has been machine washed many times but is still in great shape. The fabric is getting somewhat worn but that has mostly just made it softer. There are no cuts, frayed threads or unraveling of seams. The dark spot on it (in the photo) seems to be a bit of tree sap that didn't come off in the wash.
The Discovery Trekking Outfitters extra small Ultra Fast-drying towel is a multi-use, quick-drying piece of fabric that I find useful enough to carry with me on nearly every trip.
THINGS I LIKE
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith