DTO ULTRALITE MINI 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.discovertrekking.com
MSRP: $14.95 US (larger Ultralite towel is $19.95 US)
Listed Weight: 1.3 oz (37 g)
Measured Weight: 1.4 oz (40 g)
Sizes Available: Ultralite 34 in x 28 in (86 cm x 71 cm), Ultralite Mini 19 in x 19 in (48 cm x 48 cm)
Colors Available: Mossy Green, Navy
Mine is Size Mini in Silver Grey (color not currently available)
The Discovery Trekking Outfitters Extreme Ultralite Backpacking Towel in the mini size is essentially the size of a bandana. It is made of the same fast drying 100% polyester fabric as their larger towel. It has an anti-microbial technology to discourage bacteria growth which consists of silver strands (not visible) in the fabric. So it won't wash out over time like a chemical treatment and is natural. The website claims that this fabric dries 3 times faster than cotton. The mini-size makes it useful as a bandana, neck warmer and wash cloth.
I've used this cloth on several backpacking trips and day hikes since I got it. In total it has probably been with me on 6 backpacking trips for 15 days and on a handful of day hikes. The photo shows it on top of a typical cotton bandana for size comparison.
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
Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California: 1 night; 4,500 ft (1,372 m); 40 to 45 F (4 to 7 C); dry conditions with light wind
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
Bake Oven Trail, Sierra Nevada, California; 10 mi (16 km); 1,630 to 3,520 ft (497 to 1,073 m); 65 to 80 F (18 to 27 C); clear to partly cloudy conditions
As a hair organizer and head warmer:
I often wore the mini towel on my head to keep my hair out of my eyes especially in camp in the evenings when it also helped to keep my head warm. I would fold it in half (in a triangle), tie it behind my neck and push it over my head to contain all of those straggling hair strands. At times I would wear it to bed as a head warmer on cool but not cold nights when I just needed a little help in keeping warm. If I tied it right, it even would stay in place all night!
As a neck cooler and/or warmer:
I would dunk the mini towel in a stream and tie it around my neck to cool me down on hot days. On cool days I would just tie it around my neck and wear it like an ascot to keep my neck warm.
As a face cloth, wash cloth and dish cloth:
I occasionally used it as a face cloth to wipe sweat from my brow, face and neck. Sometimes I used it as a wash cloth or dish cloth to clean myself or my dishes. However, for these uses I found it to be somewhat large to carry in my pocket and would tie it around a pack strap. I also found that I preferred to use DTO's extra small towel instead for these uses (see separate owner review).
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 towel.
The durability of the mini towel has been great. It has seen quite a bit of use and multiple machine washings but is still in good shape. The seams are intact and there are no cuts or frayed threads.
The Discovery Trekking Outfitters Ultralite Mini towel is a multi-use piece of fabric that I use as a quick-drying bandana.
NOT AS GREAT
Not as light weight as a cotton bandana
Not as compact as a cotton bandana
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.
Read more gear reviews by Nancy Griffith