PackTowl Personal Face Towel Review

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“Sanny. We have some kit for you to test that should be right up your street!”

Immediately my interest is piqued and my mind starts to wander. What will it be? Di2 XTR groupset? The latest carbon wunderbike that weighs about as much as a small bag of feathers with a helium chaser? Reactive night lights that are blue tooth, Instagram and Twitter enabled and which can live cast my night ride to the watching public? Or….

It’s a teeny, tiny PackTowl!”


“..and we need 1000 words.”

I struggle to contain my excitement.

Towels, they just aren’t, well, sexy! You use it to dry yourself (or flick your sworn enemy in the changing rooms). What hasn’t been written about towels on the back of a very small stamp probably isn’t worth writing, is it? I mean IT’S A TOWEL! Everyone uses them so the question has to be what on earth can PackTowl offer that differentiates it from all the other towels? As it transpires and to my genuine surprise, quite a lot actually!

A towel. That packs. Genius!

“Soft like Egyptian cotton!”

25cm in width and 35 cm in length, it can be kindly described as Lilliputian. The microfiber fabric has a luxuriously soft feel that feels immediately warm against wet skin. I’m sure at this point that I should be making comparisons with the softness of Egyptian cotton and the strength of Kevlar a la  Edna Mode from “The Incredibles” but that is probably going a bit too far. Suffice to say, it feels nice.

The edges are overstitched, which means that no fabric has frayed during the course of the test, while there is a useful, metal popper equipped hanging loop which enables it to be hung from pretty much any available hook in a bathroom or shower. Attach it to your pack or hang it up and the absorbent fabric dries quickly. Supplied with a teeny, tiny zipped half mesh storage bag, the whole package weighs a whopping 28 grams. And, errrr, that’s it! No bells, no whistles, nothing. It’s still just a very small towel.

I had to use a serious macro lens for this. Big it isn’t!

So should you buy one? Walk into the metaphorical locker room with me and I shall reveal all. well, not all but you know what I mean. Setting out to find as many uses for it as I could, I came back genuinely surprised by what I found.

The hand dryer of despair

Picture the scene. You’re trying to dry your hands under the utterly ineffective hand dryer in the campsite toilet you are staying at. How long is it before you admit defeat and end up wiping your hands on your trousers? If only you had something towel shaped to hand, eh?

The river crossing of much wetness

Or how about you are mid ride and have a river crossing to do? You take your shoes and socks off so you can gingerly ford the river with your bike over your shoulder. As you reach the other side and reflect in the glory of still dry shoes and socks, how do you transition from cold and wet to dry and toasty?

Is a little light going on yet?

The soggy glove of despondency

Or you are out on a cold and wet winter ride. Your super awesome waterproof gloves are great but how often have you taken them off only to suffer the trauma and annoyance of trying to slide your hands back in and finding that the inner liner is ‘bumfled’ up and it feels that either your fingers have suddenly grown or your gloves have shrunk?

Surely there is a solution?

Useful popper design.

The tea towel of destiny

Or you are bikepacking and have just washed your pots and cooking utensils in a handily placed stream. You want to head off down the trail but you don’t want to fill your bags with wet kit? Can you spare those fifteen minutes and wait for them to air dry or do you have a small but perfectly formed piece of kit that would do the job for you?

The Derek Zoolander towel of teeniness

Or are you ultra-minimalist bikepacking and want to have a towel to dry yourself off after a wash but don’t want to have to carry a full sized, bulky towel that adds unnecessary weight to your kit? When your stove weighs 22 grams, every gram counts!

Natty little mesh bag.

The handkerchief of victory

Or do you have a streaming cold and don’t have a pack of tissues to hand to bring blessed relief to the green gunge that is emanating from you nostrils and slowly consuming your top lip like some kind of alien creature from a Fifties B movie?

The loo roll of blessed relief

Or you are caught short and there is no toilet paper. Actually, strike that thought. Testing should only be taken so far!

You don’t know it yet but you NEED one!

For all these scenarios, may I present (fanfare please!), the PackTowl facecloth. Ok, so I may be going to extremes but this tiny bit of kit has been something of a revelation. The best way I can describe it is that you always have a towel to hand without the associated inconvenience of having to carry one.


It’s small, it’s light, it’s as cheap as chips and it is a genuinely useful piece of kit that once you start to use it, you’ll probably end up like me and finding all manner of uses for it. An unexpected treat.

[We make that 944 words, including these Sanny. Hmm – ED]

Review Info

Brand: Cascade Designs
Product: PackTowl Face Towel
From: cascade
Price: £8.99
Tested: by A very clean Sanny for 3 months

By day, Sanny plies his trade as a Chartered Accountant and Non-Executive Director. By night, however, give him a map and the merest whisper of a trail "that might go" and he'll be off faster than a rat up a drainpipe on some damn fool mission to discover new places to ride. Rarely without his trusty Nikon D5600, he likes nothing better than being in the big mountains, an inappropriately heavy bike on his back, taking pics and soaking up the scenery. He also likes to ride his bike there too although rumours that he is currently working on his next book, "Walks with my bike", are untrue (mostly). Fat biking, gravel riding, bikepacking, road biking, e biking, big mountain adventures - as long as two wheels are involved, you'll find him with a grin on his face as he dives off the side of a mountain, down a narrow lane or into deep undergrowth in search of hidden trails and new adventures. His favourite food is ham and mushroom pizza and he is on a mission to ride all of the Munros, mostly as it allows him to indulge in eating more pizza. He has no five year plan, is a big fan of the writing of Charlie Connelly and reckons that Kermode and Mayo's Film Review Podcast is quite possibly the finest bit of broadcasting around.

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Comments (0)

    Try Home Bargains for a larger version for about £2.50. You could always cut it in half if it is too big.

    Sanny? More Arthur Dent, surely?

    I’ve something similar, tis a wonderous thing to swab my mud (and other yucky stuff) besplattered kite with before popping into a café. A packet with the a few wet wipes in it completes the hygiene effort.

    I seem to recall reading somewhere the most important thing to take when hitch-hiking around the galaxy is a towel. I can’t confirm that from personal experience but whenever I fly long haul I have a similarly tiny travel towel, some soap & a flannel with me & at 3am while everyone else is sleeping I repair to the WC & do a thorough job on face, hands, armpits. Words alone can’t describe how much better I feel afterwards. So I’m totally with Sanny on this one.

    That Sanny is one hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is. Probably

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