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    • This one is with huge help from my sister, also a world traveler with over 100 countries under her belt.

      Men, lets talk to you first.

      Long distance travel, a few weeks or months or more, somewhere in your luggage you are saying to yourself I need a towel. It will probably be miniscule, right?

      It will be one of those travel towels, most likely some kind of microfiber, correct?

      If you haven't traveled with one of those before they have a dirty little secret, some of them after a few uses will smell bad, real bad and once they do you will seriously struggle to make it smell fresh. Even if you literally wash it in boiling water, they still can stink. and because you bought one so small it really can't be used for anything else?

      The key to reducing luggage weight and size is to carry things that aren't one trick ponies

      As an alternative consider a sarong. WTF I hear you say, well hear me out.

      For a male traveler what can a sarong do?

      Light weight towel

      Beach mat

      Something to carry your laundry in

      A work mat when you fix your motorcycle

      An impromptu shade, day or night

      A sheet to cover that sketchy bed in the undesirable hostel you had no choice to stay in

      Bathrobe or dressing gown

      To create a little privacy

      A makeshift pillow with a few clothes added inside

      Possibly a arm sling for first aid

      Ladies can add a few more options

      Belt or scarf

      Cover for when you are in that country that requires your head to be covered in temples

      Sunburn Protection

      Skirt

      Shirt/ top

      Backless halter top or dress

      There is not really any other piece that you could carry that is anywhere near as versitile, pack as small, sometimes smaller than a can of soda. Wash easily, dry quickly and has very little weight. Look for ones made of Rayon that are known for durability and also lightweight, a lot cheaper than the cotton or silk alternatives. and easily replaceable in many countries worldwide

      Besides what is listed above did I miss anything?

      An example below, for those of you not familiar

    • Athough not as stylish and lightweight as a Sarong, I've been using an Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0 for a few weeks as a towel for a quick change and to protect my seat. It is designed primarily for triathletes, but can be used for travel too.

      What I love about it is the adjustable waist system. There is a tiny hook on one side of the towel and notches on the other for any waist line.

    • If you haven't traveled with one of those before they have a dirty little secret, some of them after a few uses will smell bad, real bad and once they do you will seriously struggle to make it smell fresh.

      Thanks for the heads up on that. I’m planning to head out west this summer on vacation and backpacking could be a few days of the itinerary. It sounds like if I use a microfiber that’s been only washed once I should be okay. Or is even that wishful thinking, @rtwPaul ?

    • microfiber towels are good usually for a month or two then then start to get a lingering smell that even after washing seems to return quicker and quicker each time, regardless of what is used to wash it and even boil washing it.

      That has been my experience using high end and cheap versions, hence the suggest for a sarong, pack size is similar but you get something much bigger in the sarong vs the towel