2007 Model No Longer Available
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MSR Packtowl UltraLite - 2007 BCS
The MSR Packtowl UltraLite is a treat for your face, hands or body after a long day on the trail or in a bustling overseas metropolis. Made from a supple non-woven nylon and polyester microfiber, this Packtowl is extremely lightweight, ridiculously supple, and super absorbent. In fact, it will absorb up to four times its weight, and it doesn't feel slimy when wet. It will go anywhere you go without weighing you down. Ultralight aficionados, now there's a Packtowl for you.
Talk shop with all the gear freaks out there: ask 'em questions, upload/browse photos, and give your 2¢.
Well worth carrying
January 25, 2010
Many backpackers snub their noses at the thought of spending money on and carrying a pack towel. "Just use a bandanna", they say. The reason this towel is worth the weight over a cotton bandanna is its ability to absorb and be wrung out indefinitely (however I always carry a bandanna anyways, they have so many uses).
I did a little experiment with mine just to be able to quantify how well it performs: I submerged it in a bucket, and measured the amount of water it removed. Starting completely dry, my medium sized towel sucked up 1/2 cup of water. I was able to wring out a little more than 1/3 of a cup, and then absorb another 1/3 cups. This can be repeated indefinitely. It might not look like it on paper, but that is a substantial amount of water for each absorb/wring cycle when you consider that a bandana isn't even really capable of doing this at all.
This has implications for other uses beyond just drying off after a swim, too (and by the way, the medium size is just barely adequate to fully dry off after a shower without wringing it out at all, which is why I will probably cut it in half and make due with that). I can envision using it to draw water from a crevice in a rock, for instance, where you wouldn't be able to fit a cup for scooping it out and there aren't any other water sources.
The fact that you can wring it out and keep absorbing more water means that you really don't need a big towel at all. I would recommend the small, but you may as well spend an extra $3 to buy a medium and then decide for yourself whether or not you want to cut it down (and if you DO decide to cut it in half, then you get 2 towels for the price of one!).
Can't camp without it
June 7, 2011
I really do not camp without this towel. It sometimes tricks me into thinking that it dries me off even better than the towels at home.
What are the dimensions of the medium towel? Thanks!
What are the dimensions of the medium towel? Thanks!
March 8, 2009
Raivyn,Backcountry Tech Spec's say its 12" X 26".interesting enough, the listed sizes (and masses) of MSR packtowels vary between the EMS, REI, and Backcountry sites, and are not always listed on the MSR site
By: Ben Mummert
March 13, 2009
Looking for an ULTRALIGHT packtowel? This is it.
January 20, 2005
I have seen many packtowels that claim to be the lightest, but to put it bluntly this thing is ridiculous. There are other chamois style towels out there but this one combines absorbency and very low weight with an incredibly fast drying time. Seriously, I have been using it to dry off when I get out of the shower (to soften it up a bit), I will use it to dry off my entire body including getting my hair (which is shoulder length) nearly dry. I hang it up and by the time I'm dressed it is dry enough to fold up and put away without worry about mildew.
The only thing to consider is the choice between the MSR ultralight and the MSR personal. The personal is softer, being a microfiber vs. the ultralight which is more of a chamois style synthetic. But again the ultralight is lighter, I'm not readily sure about the drying time of the personal (my girlfriend has one, but she hasn't used it yet). But again if you are looking for a packtowel, put the MSR ultralight and personal models on your list to look into!
Best Pack Towel I've Ever Used
January 29, 2008
I retired all my other towels when this one hit the scene. The size & weight are minimal & almost as plush & absorbent as the all cotton one @ home. Great for the occasional backpack into the remote hot springs. Get the largest size. The nominal extra weight is well worth what you get in return.
The Packtowl Personal and the Ultralite Packtowl. The weight
The Packtowl Personal and the Ultralite Packtowl. The weight difference looks negligible. Is there a difference in performance?
By: Aaron Rocha
August 21, 2008
I have both towels & the performance is literally the same. The only reason I purchased the "Ultralite" was to save a few ounces.
October 8, 2008
MSR Packtowl UltraLite
By: Edward Stoklannd
January 16, 2011
My first pocket in my cargo pants gos to my first aid kit; my second belongs to my MSR Packtowl. Compact and light you hardly know that it is there.
March 9, 2009
This towel is awesome. Super light, very quick to dry, and the texture isn't sandpaper-y like I was imagining it would be. Yet another great MSR product.
June 19, 2008
This product performs as promised, however I have a problem with the texture of the material. Although I like this new material compared to the old chamois-style pack towels, it feels like you're drying off with a shop-weight paper towel. I just wish someone could find a material that actually feels like fabric that has the same performance quality.
Do you have a larger version of the MSR Packtowl to use as a
Do you have a larger version of the MSR Packtowl to use as a picnic blanket?
July 28, 2008
Try using two extra large's. That would be 54" x 100"
October 20, 2008
Great towel for travel
June 17, 2010
I bought the largest size (XL) and was blown away with how large the unpacked size is. When folded, its smaller than a bundled up t-shirt and weighs next to nothing. Absorbs plenty of water to make you completely dry after a good shower. Just make sure you dry it out, it's no more or less immune to mildew than any other fabric out there.
Soft absorbant material
April 18, 2011
Love this MSR Ultralite so far. The material is soft and not "slick" like a lot of pack towels. Ordered the medium to have just enough material to dry off after a dip and still shave weight. Definitely worth it.
Best ultralight towel you can find
April 8, 2008
This towel is incredibly light, packs tiny, doesn't bleed when washed and holds up very well. I've tried several other types of light towels and this one has worked the best and held up. The only down side is that it does tend to remain damp and take longer to dry in a damp environment... but then, so do other towels so you are still much better off with this towel.
is it a quick-drying towel? like sea to summit towels?
is it a quick-drying towel? like sea to summit towels?
May 2, 2008
The MSR UltraLite is the lighest & quickest drying backpacking towel on the market.
October 20, 2008
A have to have in the backcountry.
March 30, 2011
I just used this towel for the first time the other day at a river crossing and was shocked how well it repels water. I dried my legs and feet and it still wasn't damp. Also it got super dirty and was as easy as throwing it in the washer tp clean it. An added plus is that it drys in minutes.
March 12, 2011
I really thought when I got this that it would rip (because it's only a couple mm's thick) but I've used it a few times now (once as a towel after a shower - I was totally dry afterwards, but had to wring it out a few times) with only a size medium. it crunches down to almost nothing, and fits in your pocket. Might get another one for workouts at the pool
March 2, 2011
I got the medium green towel and it is alittle bigger than an average hand towel. Fits in any pocket you can find and is super absorbent. Also rings out almot dry.
MSR Packtowl UltraLite
January 16, 2011
My first pocket in my cargo pants gos to my first aid kit; my second belongs to my MSR Packtowl. Compact and light you hardly know that it is there. Its ability to absorb water is remarkable, and comes in handy quite frequently. It can even save your life if you take off on a 14 mile trail run in 90 degree weather with only 2 liters of water. Just saturate the Pack towel with water and wrap it around your head. Your body temp will drop significantly, protect you from exposure and the water will remain in the pack towel for at least an hour which just may be enough time to get you back to base camp.
January 24, 2011
Pack towels are super handy. For a long time I only had a small one but it never disappointed. No matter how long my wet hair it always managed to dry me off. I have taken them on extended travels and found them just as clutch six months at a time as on a day trip. I got a new one, a bit larger, just so I can have two in the backpack. They're useful for showering/bathing purposes but can serve multiple purposes. Long story short, get two. You'll want them both so you can rotate dirty/smelly and soft/clean..they can get funky but are easily cleaned and infinitely reusable :)
December 23, 2010
These are great. So light and an extremely small pack size. This isn't what you want if you like to get head to toe dry but if you are a backpacker that wants to get a quick dry off and dry your cookware, this is perfect. The size makes it a 'no question' item when you are backpacking and you can through it in your pack anywhere. I'm always amazed with how much it can soak up. In warm weather this is all you will need for a towel.
worth its weight in gold!
December 19, 2010
you wont find a better pack towel. after i got mine i ordered 2 more. super light and super packable. i agree with the other reviewer, get the biggest size. If its too big then just cut it down to the size you like and use the scrap for a smaller hand towel or wash cloth. although not your thick plush bath towel, it gets the job done and literally can fit in your pocket!
December 29, 2010
Can't believe how small this thing packs down! Soft feel, big enough to be functional, but could fit in your pocket. (talking about medium size) Great for backpacking.
Great for Travel
July 12, 2010
I bought the large size and love it. I work all over Africa and frequenlty travel/holiday in Europe. This towel is amazing for the field. It literally dries in a bout 15 minutes and is great when you're constantly on the run.
Love this towel!
July 19, 2010
I was VERY skeptical when this arrived. It reeked of chemicals and felt like a stiff papery towel - you know the brown cheap ones that are always in public restrooms. But I figured... give it a try. After one wash the chemical smell was gone. It softens up the instant it gets wet (damp, even) and doesn't feel rubbery at all. I was able to dry myself and my bikini with a medium towel. Squeeze it out and it works again. And the drying time is mere minutes if you can lay it out in the sun. My boyfriend is loyal to his pack towel from the 80s but I think he's getting jealous. =)
Tiny litte thing
May 16, 2010
I bought the smallest size 'cause I don't need a lot of towel. I wasn't disappointed with the smallness! Make sure you get out a ruler so you understand how big these towels are.
I decided to clip the towel (with it's handy built in, durable clip) to my front pants belt loop. I sort of look like an ancient egyptian guy, but I just loved the access and the size was perfect for that attachment. I used it all trip long for everything from wiping sweat off my face to cleaning my dishes.....I know, not the most hygienic, but mighty handy and I was looking good compared to my companions.
Does the job
March 25, 2010
I replaced a cheap camp towel that weighed twice as much as this one (.9 oz) although this towel is not as soft. It really works.
Perfect Travel Towel
March 4, 2010
This is the perfect towel to take on any backpacking or travelling trip. I like how you can wring it out multiple times if you need to dry off your swimsuit or other clothes. Not the softest towel in the world, but I wouldnt change it for anything due to its absorbsion rate and weight. I like to throw it in my camelback when Im trail running or mtn biking and feel like taking a dip in a river or lake along the way. Get it!
Great post workout shower towel
February 11, 2010
Love this towel. I got the XL to replace a big bulky cotton towel I used to use. This thing is awesome. I wish I had another to use as a workout towel.
perfect for backpacking
January 14, 2010
light weight and very absorbent. I used it recently on a daytrip to a hot springs and it worked awesome. Everyone packed in a cotton towel and this thing was a hit. It dries very quick and the carrying case is handy.
Perfect Weight and Size
January 13, 2010
I work in Tourism in Costa RIca Some of the tours that I take do not have towels for you to use and with everything else that you need to take it is a bit cumbersome to take a super thick towel that will weigh you down after your activities.
The UltraLite PackTowel is the best purchase I have ever made. not only does it do it's job but it seems like in seconds it dried so I could keep on going with out hurting my back and taking up tons of space in my pack.
It is ultralite!
November 21, 2009
This thing is great. It's amazing how much water it absorbs for its weight, and it dries incredibly fast. I would highly recommend this for backpacking.
September 3, 2009
Small, light, and dries super quick. Look not further, no need to buy any other towel. I bought the large, and can dry my whole body off if I have to.
August 28, 2009
Very compact, very lightweight, dries easily. Loved the press stud hook - meant we could hang it from a tree while we swam and from the outside of our backpack for our post-swim hike.
June 29, 2009
This is what every ultralight packer out there needs! This this is super light weight, super durable, and super absorbent! Also, it packs up super small so it can fit in just about any nook or cranny in your pack. If you backpack, you need this towel!
June 27, 2009
Mega light. Super absorbent, Awesome cause its always there when I need to dry off real quick on the other side of the creek...
June 16, 2009
This towel is fantastic! I've tried two other microfiber towels and this one is by far the best. It takes up very little space and dries every inch of me completely. I only have to hang it out to dry for a few minutes before it's stowed for it's next use. During the first week or two of use If your skin is dried out it does feel a bit scratchy for a moment or two, but as soon as it gets a tad damp it feels very soft (I've only noticed this on my overworked hands). I will be buying another!
Buy It; Better than a ShamWow
June 18, 2009
Best towel I've ever used. Wring it out twice and it's almost dry. Take this on every trip into the backcountry, just in case you get water in your tent or find a nice stream to swim in.
Skeptical, Shouldn't of been ...
May 19, 2009
First glance i thought there was no way this thing was gonna dry me off and if it did wasn't gonna feel too good doing it ... I was "WRONG" ... This thing is ULTRAlight ... ULTRAthin, highly packable and is really very soft ... Water squeezes out to almost nothing, a slight damp feeling ... dries very quick .... This is yet another great product from MSR.
la puma de las olas
May 27, 2009
This towel has been awesome on backpacking trips because it's so small and works well. The ribbon with the snap works great for hanging it from a tree to dry, and it dries super fast. The only thing is, I have a large, and it's a bit too short to wrap fully around my waist like a normal towel (backcountry says its 36inches but I have a 30inch waist so I don't know if their measurements are accurate). So, I might go with the XL in the future for the purpose of changing out of boardshorts or whatever.
May 12, 2009
The guy on the ShamWOW commercials should try this thing. It dries me off magically. Then dries itself out in minutes. Light, small, and performs better than I ever thought it would. Well done MSR.
April 1, 2009
These towels are awesome. WE got three sizes, XS (for face), L (for me), XL (for my husband). My only regret is that I didn't get the XL so I could wrpa it around my entire body. Hopefully the guys on the trail didn't mind;)
February 11, 2009
I have a face size one and a body size one. They are both perfect for dirt bagging trips with sink showers and when you crash at a friends place. I love using the face size one in the morning when a shower is a no go, to wash my face and wake up for the day.
January 7, 2009
A medium towel dries me off and im a big dude. they ring out to almost dry and then become completely dry very quickly.
January 7, 2009
This is a great pack towel. I have both of the MSR packtowels and I like this one better, although the other version is softer, this towel is lighter and dries faster.
wet and dry
December 22, 2006
I like the ability to wash and dry with the same towel. I have a small size to wash my face - and to wash in general. It does a great job.
small but good
December 19, 2006
This towel is very light weight, but very small. Even the biggest size is small. I still use it and love it.
October 30, 2006
I bought the large and cut off the end to use as a hand towel. You still have plenty to dry off with and also a washcloth. Doesn't feel like a terry cloth towel, but it does the trick.
October 11, 2006
These towels are so light it's simply amazing. They handle anything you do and dry out pretty quick. They wash great and seem hold up well. No problems with colors running and although seem like they might tear, they are really strong. I give it my highest rating of any ultralight towel I have and I have several brands. This is by far the best.
October 3, 2006
I bought the medium size towel. It was average quality and not as absorbant as I thought it would be. It dried my body to a damp state. It needed to be wrung out and could not absorb the water out of my hair. Drying time over an hour. I went to Walmart and bought a slightly thicker,, arcylic blend for $2.99. It worked much better.
fantastic for motorcycle touring
September 13, 2006
Not just for backpacking anymore, the 2 XL ultralight Packtowls just toured around Georgian Bay with us on our motorbikes. Super small pack size and light weight are what bike touring is all about, so these towels were a positive boon to us! comes in a small mesh-backed nylon bag that fits in a pocket and has a loop for attachment or hanging, the fast drying properties and water absorption are excellent, and the XL size is just big enough to use as a bath/shower towel (even for a 5'8" woman with a decidedly not dainty waist!). Will be ordering a smaller one at some point to use for doing dishes as well. Colors are crap, but who cares?
Handy Lite towel
September 11, 2006
True to its description, this towel is lite and wicks fast. My group and I used this on our Grand Canyon hike and all were pleased. I suggest you get the larger sizes since its weight is practically non existent.
Couldn't be smaller!
August 31, 2006
Definitely a nice product for taking up NO room! Doesn't feel like a luxurious towel by any means, but great function for the incredibly small and easily packable size.
Great lightweight solution
May 23, 2006
The Packtowl is great. I have several. I carry one in my Jetboil between the canister and cup to keep the steel canister from rust and staining the cup and to use for cleanup. I use two mediums in my cook set to protect the nonstick coating on the pots and lids. Again they are used to cleanup. One to wash and one to dry. I had thought about the recommendation of an earlier post, buy a larger one and cut it. I decided I wanted to have the strap on every piece and I think that is the way to go. It is nice to be able to hang it in a tree or on your pack.
Great for traveling
May 12, 2006
Just took these towels to Costa Rica and they came in so handy since they take up so little room compared to normal towels. I'm sure we'll use them a lot for traveling and camping.
Nice little extras
May 2, 2006
I went with a size large since it's so light. That was slick for a quick dip (plenty large) but I missed having a small one that would be more convenient for a quick face wash, etc. I loved the little bag it comes in, keeps it separate and compact and the grimy things off of it. I also liked the snap hook that is on it so I could loop it around a tent pole for drying.
So much water in something so small...
March 29, 2006
Killer. Worth both pennies. Bought the medium size for a backpacking trip to Mexico and used it a dozen times a day (no exaggeration necessary) -- at least. Great number of uses, great price, and stellar overall buy. I expect you'll be happy with this too.
Great for swimming
February 9, 2006
I really like the towel because it fits in my coat pocket and I take it to the pool. Much better than renting a towel or carrying home a soggy one. It's like the towels they use to dry your car at the carwash, only for people.
August 1, 2005
This thing is incredible, you can use it and then its like you havent even gotten it wet. Dont get the small though, unless you just want a hand towel, because it is truly tiny. I would recommend one of the bigger ones, because the weight and space it occupies is virtually nonexistent.
July 25, 2005
Extremely lightweight towel- impressed with its pack size! It dries pretty quickly and is very absorbent. We used the towels for the first time on a backpacking trip in Washington. I was able to use it to dry my face and hair and it still was able to dry the inside/outside of our tent before we repacked it. I was pleased with the fast delivery and the service provided. Thanks.
Best I packtowel I could find
July 21, 2005
By far, this is the best packtowel out there. A large ultralight can fit in your pocket when its folded up, and it has the ability to dry you like a regular beach towel. The only reason I give it a four - and probably unfairly - is I'm the kind of person who likes to be *absolutely* dry before getting dressed, and I'm still somewhat damp after using this towel. However, the same is so if I use another towel (including big beach towels), so considering the size of this packtowel, I'd say I've come out on top and am kind of being tedious. Next time I'll probably get the XL size, though. In short, still the best packtowel out there, period.
June 21, 2005
I have used this towel at home and on the trail. This is the lightest towel I can find. It works superbly. Additionally, buy the large size, custom cut it to your liking, leaving the drying loop on your favorite part. Use the rest as a hanky, washcloth, or hot pad. Works like a multipurpose cloth. I cut it into bandana size to dry my face. Works great. Get the Apricot color and use it as an emergency signal as well.
A must-have product for backpacking
September 19, 2008
I'm amazed at how good this product is, especially for the price. The large size dries me off completely after showers (I'm 5'10"); the small mops up everything else. It dries overnight (the built-in loop is very handy), it feels fine after you get used to it, and very importantly, it's incredibly light and compressible. You will have to wash it periodically, however, to eliminate an odor that develops even when you let it completely dry between uses.
Useful, but damp
September 11, 2007
The towels packed so small and were perfect sized for my trek on the Inca Trail. But the weather was humid and damp, and the towels just never dried. At home, they dried so quickly, but out on the trail, I had to pack them damp and they stayed that way the entire trek.
A great little towel
September 17, 2007
This towel is light and packs very small. I used it on my last hike to dry off after being rained on for 7 hours. It worked great. It was amazingly absorbent and dried quickly after use. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a great performer that doesn't add significant weight to your pack.
Great towel....so small!!!
February 27, 2008
I love the fact that my pack towel folds up to an almost ridiculously small size. I often go to hot yoga after work and need a way to dry off afterwards without taking up a large amount of room in the bag I carry to work with me. The ultra-light pack towel takes up no more room than a couple of folded sheets of paper...yet it is absorbant enough to dry off my entire body after a shower. Furthermore it takes only an hour or two to fully dry!! Love it. Love it.
A boon for frequent travellers
August 11, 2008
The most lightweight of all the microfibre towels I've bought. The material is very absorbent and dries pretty quickly. The XL size is also very versatile --- in a pinch I've used it as a picnic mat and a mini blanket. The only quibble is with the texture, which takes a little getting used to, but overall it's a great product for any traveller.
Great towel but...
May 11, 2010
This is a great towel and the lightest of all of them that's out there. However, the feel is not great & it looks like it can tear apart after some uses. I bought the DryLite which is a smidgen heavier but the DryLite feels more like fabric and doesn't look like it can come apart. Now, I can't say that the MSR will tear apart but only based upon looking at it since I don't want to test it out:o)
paper towel thin and strong too!
November 17, 2008
If you're going a long distance or you'll be out for an extended period of time this towel is awesome. It's extremely light and absorbent. I wasn't timing it but it literally dried out within minutes. It's almost paper towel thin and it will fit in your pocket.
June 9, 2008
Unbelievably small and absorbent. I bought the large towel, and it's plenty big enough to completely dry off after a shower. This material is really incredibly absorbent. It works great for wiping down the tent in the morning to get it dry before packing it up. You just wring out the towel and keep using it. Washes with other laundry. Great product. Bought a small one to use as a wash cloth as well.
I love this towel!
March 1, 2007
I needed a small, packable towel for swimteam. this does the job wonderfully. It folds up smaller than my swimsuits, soaks up all the water from my hair, body, etc. it dries quickly. it's a dream! now I don't have that bulky cotton towel taking up all the room in my bag anymore. this does the trick! I'm sure it will be great for backpacking too. I just love it for swimteam.
Nice pack towel
July 23, 2007
I wish that I bought the biggest size though, the 20x36 isn't quite enough to get that nice warm you up kind of wrap around, but it is certainly enough to dry you off.
dry's pretty quick. everyone needs one. It's a towel, let's not get too crazy here.
August 20, 2007
this light absorbent towel packs down really small and is durable. we really recommend it for any camping, hiking or travelling.
Some cons, but otherwise great towel!
August 30, 2008
This is a great towel for backpackers and travelers. It's lightweight, compact, and super absorbent. I do wish the towel was a little bigger (I bought the large) because it doesn't quite wrap around me and I'm small. Next time I might think about investing in the x-large. The texture also isn't great; it feels more like paper than a towel. But this towel definitely does the job. It wrings out well and dries super quick, which is that I really care about in a lightweight towel.
Towel does the job
March 24, 2008
The Packtowl definitely packs small, is very light and easy to take care of. The towel will get most of the water off your skin, but your skin will still be slightly damp. The Packtowls run small, and so buying a larger size might make up for any residual skin dampness left by smaller sizes.
April 22, 2008
definitely lightweight and super absorbent. Found it softer on the skin than any other I've tried. Best choice!!
Perfect Except for Texture
September 19, 2008
Its light it dries out incredibly fast, and it packs into tiny corners of my bag...I live in Quito and I will use it as my shower towel on Friday, let it dry and on Saturday pack it away for my weekend advertures. The only disadvantage is that it feels like paper...oh well I can deal.
Perfect backpacking towel'
October 21, 2008
Great product. Extremely light and compact, so perfect for backpacking. Need the XL size though to completely dry myself off (6'3"). Dries very quickly afterward as well. Only downside is its price.
wicked small and light
November 6, 2008
I haven't used it in the backcountry yet, but I know it'll perform great. very light and absorbant. the hanger loop is pretty cool. hang it out to dry, or loop it on your thumb to engage in vigorous toweling without fear of losing it to the wind.... if your into that sort of thing. the pouch it comes is in convenient to strap into my pack. keeps it clean, separate, and where I put it.
Light and fast drying
November 28, 2008
This is the perfect towel for that light and fast toiletry kit for on the run travel. This little towel bungees to the outside of my pencil case which serves to hold my toothbrush, razors, and such. It's completely dry within ten minute or a good wringing.