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Reviews > Personal Hygiene > Towels > Wick-er Warm Up Towels > Test Report by jerry adams

DTO WICK-ER WARMUP TOWEL
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - June 20, 2009
FIELD REPORT - August 31, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - October 28, 2009

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Adams
EMAIL: jerryaadamsatyahoodotcom
AGE: 55
LOCATION: Portland, Oregon, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 190 lb (86.20 kg)

Backpacking Background: I started hiking about 45 years ago. My first backpack was 40 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay around Mount Hood, Columbia Gorge, Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and the Olympic Peninsula. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 15 lb (7 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, synthetic bag, simple bag style pack. My sleeping pad is a Therm-a-Rest air mattress.


INITIAL REPORT

6/20/2009

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Discovery Trekking Outfitters
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.discoverytrekking.com

This test includes two towels:

Medium Towel:
MSRP: US$19.95
Listed Weight: 5.3 oz (150 g)
Listed Size: 28x34 in (710x864 mm)
Measured Weight: 4.75 oz (135 g)
Measured Size: 28x34 in (710x864 mm)
Color: dark blue

Ultralight BackpackingTowel:
MSRP: US$19.95
Listed Weight: less than 4 oz (113 g)
Listed Size: 28x34 in (710x864 mm)
Measured Weight: 3.375 oz (96 g)
Measured Size: 30x34 in (762x864 mm)
Color: greenish grey

Both towels are similar, except the Ultralight is made with a lighter weight fabric.

The towels are made with a polyester knit fabric. It's stretchier in one direction than the other. This is similar to fabric used to make shirts.

The manufacturer states that the fabric is "Polartec Powerdry, but they make hundreds of styles, all different. Some donít work very well, but the few styles we have are amazing. This is one we have made for the towel. We also have them put the Silver in the fiber to kill bacteria. Many of the other styles have antimicrobials, but they tend to wash out very quickly, which is why the running shirts end up being so stinky after a while."

The packaging material says the fabric is made in the USA and they're sewn in Mexico.

The packaging material says that the towels "wick" moisture from the skin and dry 4 times faster than other towels. They do not "absorb" water like a conventional towel.

Towels hung up to display:
IMAGE 1

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The fabric seems high quality. The knit is consistent across the fabric. The color is uniform.

The sewing is good. The corners are done in an interesting way that avoids extra thickness:
IMAGE 2

TRYING IT OUT

I tried taking a shower and drying off, first with the medium Wick-er towel, then a conventional cotton towel.

The medium Wick-er towel was sufficient to dry off. It worked differently than the cotton towel. The Wick-er towel leaves a slight dampness on the skin, but almost immediately this dries up, so it worked just fine.

I set the Wick-er towel and the cotton towel to dry. A couple hours later the Wick-er towel was dry but the cotton towel was still damp. It took about 4 times as long for the cotton towel to dry, as advertised.

SUMMARY

After the initial test I am impressed - the Wick-er towel dries me off effectively, weighs very little, and dries quickly.

I am looking forward to seeing how effective this towel is over a period of time including a number of camping and backpacking trips.

Expect the Field Report in two months.

Thanks to Discovery Trekking Outfitters and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test this.


FIELD REPORT

August 31, 2009

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I tested the medium and ultralight towels on different trips.

I used the medium towel for 9 days of car camping and 3 swims and washed it two times:

5 nights of car camping was on the Metolius River in central Oregon. It was dry and 55 to 85 F (13 to 29 C). I used the towel to dry my hands and face after washing, brushing teeth, etc.

4 nights of car camping was on the South Washington coast. It was dry and 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C). I used the towel to dry hands/face and dried off after one shower.

I went swimming three times and used the towel to dry off including my hair.

I used the ultralight towel for 13 days of car camping/backpacking for hand and face drying and washed it three times:

4 night backpack on Mount Hood - 29 miles (47 km), 6500 feet (2000 m) elevation gain, 50 to 85 F (10 to 29 C).

4 night backpack around the Three Sisters in central Oregon - 35 miles (56 km), 4500 feet (1370 m) elevation gain, 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C).

5 night car camp/backpack on the Goat Rocks and Mount Adams in central Washington - 35 miles (56 km), 4500 feet (1370 m) elevation gain, 40 to 80F (4 to 27 C).


PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The medium towel was sufficient to dry off my entire body.

The ultralight towel was better for just drying off my hands and face after washing up, brushing teeth, ...

I just left the towel hanging on a car seat or tree to dry off when I wasn't using it:

IMAGE 1

Both towels dried off quickly. Right after drying my hands and face, there would be damp spots on the towel, but after a few minutes it would absorb into the rest of the fabric and appear dry. When it was time to pack up, I couldn't feel any dampness on the fabric.

As mentioned in the Initial Report, the way the towel works is different than a normal cotton towel. It works better to press the Wick-er towel against my skin rather than rubbing like a cotton towel. The Wick-er towel leaves my skin a little wet but it dries quickly. I would prefer a cotton towel, except it weighs way too much and dries way too slowly.

After using and washing the towels, the stitching still looks good. There are a couple of snags in the fabric of the lightweight towel, probably from when I hung it from a tree. This is just cosmetic.

SUMMARY

In the past, while backpacking, my camp towel has been my pants or shirt.

Because of this test, I think I will be switching to taking a camp towel. The 3.4 ounces (96 g) of the ultralight towel is a bit too much for me, but if I cut off about 1/3 or 1/4 of the towel it would weigh a small enough amount and would still be big enough for my use.

As long as I'm making recommendations, it might be handy to have a hook and look fastener to hang for drying.

I like the low weight and quick drying of the Wick-er towel.

Initially, I didn't like the way the towel dries me off, leaving a bit of dampness. After using the towel a few times I have decided this is minor, but I won't be switching to this towel at home where weight and drying time aren't an issue.

Expect the Long Term Report in two months.

Thanks to Discovery Trekking Outfitters and backpackgeartest.org for letting me test this.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

9/21/2009 - 5 night car camp on central Oregon coast. I used the medium weight towel for general hand drying and for two showers. Worked well and dried quickly.

10/12/2009 - 5 night backpack on Mount Hood in northern Oregon. 27 to 55 F (-3 to 13 C), 28 miles (45 km). I didn't use the towel very much because I never camped near a stream/lake/water faucet so my hands etc. never got very wet.

10/20/2009 - 5 night backpack in Mill Creek Wilderness in central Oregon. 27 to 65 F (-3 to 18 C), 35 miles (56 km). Used the lightweight towel quite a few times when washing hands and brushing teeth, found it fairly useful.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The towel worked the same as during the Field Report period - the lightweight towel was good for general hand drying and the medium weight towel was also good for drying after a shower. The towel has to be used differently than a cotton towel, dabbing rather than rubbing, but after you get used to it, it works fine.

One thing I noticed, was when I dried off my toothbrush after using it, the bag I store the toothbrush in seemed to not smell after a few days.

I didn't notice any wear in either towel. Maybe a couple snags where I brushed against a branch.

SUMMARY

The DTO Wick-er Warmup Towel is a good camp towel because of it's light weight and quick drying. After I got used to using it - dabbing rather than rubbing - it worked well but does leave a slight residual dampness that quickly dries.

CONTINUED USE

I think I'll continue to use the medium weight towel for car camping and the lightweight towel for backpacking.

I may cut the lightweight towel down to about one third, so it weighs one ounce (28 g), which would still be big enough for general hand drying.

Thanks to Discovery Trekking Outfitters and backpackgeartesters.org for letting me test these

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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