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FIELD REPORT - Brittane Aquis towel - RNC

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  • rcaffin
    The HTMl version is in the test/test folder. Some html has been left in here to indicate pictures etc. Over to editors... ... Field Report - Brittane Aquis
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2003
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      The HTMl version is in the test/test folder. Some html has been left
      in here to indicate pictures etc.
      Over to editors...
      Field Report - Brittane Aquis Adventure Towel
      Roger Caffin

      Product Information
      <img src="aquis01.jpg" width=263 height=363 align=right alt="Towels
      in sale package">

      Manufacturer: Brittane Corp
      Manufacturer URL: <a href="http://www.aquis.com/">www.aquis.com/</a>
      Year of manufacture: assumed 2003
      Country of manufacture:     Korea
      Listed weight (dry): '<7 oz' (< 198 g)
      Actual weight (dry): 6.4 oz (181 g)
      Listed Dimensions: 19" x 39" (48 x 99 cm)
      Actual Dimensions: 20" x 39.5" (51 x 100 cm)
      Review Date: 9-July-03

      Initial Impression
      The initial impressions this towel gave are recorded in the <a
      20Caffin/Initial%20Report/">Initial Report</a>: they were good. The
      size was large and the surface felt pretty good too.

      Impressions from the Field Test period
      In the Initial Report I listed some things I would be monitoring for
      this Report. The list is reproduced here with comments from my

      I will use it after a shower at home.
      I used the towel after a shower for many nights. I found that the
      towel absorbed just over 50 g (about 1.8 oz) of water per person each
      time - off very wet hot-washed skin. This did not seem to make it
      very wet, but I was testing the Large size. I had reported that a
      completely wet towel held 264 g (9.3 oz) of water after being wrung
      out, while still being able to absorb a lot of water off my skin.
      This is over five times as much as I put on the towel after a shower.
      Clearly, drying one or two people after a hot shower is well within
      its scope. I believe that a smaller towel would still work well, but
      was not able to test this.
      It should be noted here that my skin seems to hold a lot more water
      after a hot shower with soap than after jumping in a cold creek
      without soap. This means that the towel should cope even better on a

      How fast and well can it dry us?
      This was a little more difficult to measure. However, I found that
      the microfiber towel was noticeably harder to use after a shower than
      a cotton terry-towelling one, and this was curious. Imagine I'm
      holding the two ends of the towel like a rope and drying my back. The
      same can be done with the towel around my legs. When I do this with a
      cotton towel, it slides across my back or my legs quite easily, even
      if I hold the towel fairly tightly against my body or bend it some
      way around my legs. But I found it very much harder and much slower
      to slide the microfiber towel across my back or around my legs. Of
      course, once I got rid of most of the hot water the rest just
      evaporated from the heat of my body, and the towel slid easily.
      I puzzled a bit about this, and my explanation (or guess) is as
      follows. We know creatures like geckoes can run up walls and across
      ceilings. They can do this because their feet are covered in
      thousands (millions?) of tiny fibres, and the end of each fibre
      clings to the surface with a small force. The force per fibre is very
      small, but there are so many of these fibres that the total force is
      significant: enough to hold a gecko upside down. The fibres in a
      cotton towel are large, and the loops in terry towelling are floppy.
      There are not a lot of them in contact with my skin at any time. But
      the fibres in this towel are very fine and are presented much more
      coherently on the surface, and so there are many, many more of them
      in contact with my skin. When my skin is really wet and all the pores
      open (after a hot shower), each little fibre sticks to my skin
      through the surface tension of the water on my skin. The total drag
      ends up significant. Well, that's my explanation anyhow.
      I was able to deal with this drag somewhat by holding the towel much
      more lightly against my back, or by wrapping it much less around my
      leg. That is, I had to reduce the amount of towel in contact with my
      skin. Alternately, if I rolled the towel across my skin or patted my
      skin with a loose handful of towel there was little or no drag. The
      only problem was remembering each time. Once I had got the bulk of
      the water off my skin, the amount of drag went right down. This is at
      least consistent with the idea that the source of the drag is the
      surface tension between the fibres and the water on my skin.
      A more serious question for a walker is how quickly can one get dry
      after jumping into a cold river. One does not want to have to spend
      ages fighting a 'draggy' towel while shivering. However, I found that
      my skin did not get as wet from a short swim in a fairly cold river:
      the pores of my skin did not open up and I had not stripped the
      normal body grease off my skin. This meant there was less water to
      get off my skin, less surface tension between the water and skin, and
      (I assume) less opportunity for the drag to happen. So it dried both
      me and my wife fast enough in practice. In fact, most times on
      walking trips neither my wife nor I noticed the drag at all.
      Summarising that I would have to say the towel does dry us pretty
      well and pretty fast well on trips. If I am right about the mechanism
      for the drag, most any microfiber towel would have the same 'drag'

      'Especially gentle on hair and skin'?
      A strange claim to make for a towel, but after using it for some
      time I can see why they claim it. I have to use the towel very
      lightly to avoid the drag. So it seems the word 'gentle' may apply,
      but not quite in the manner expected.

      Hair drying
      The web site shows lots of towels and turbans for hair. I found that
      the microfibers did dry my hair very well: better than a conventional
      cotton towel and much better than the other outdoors towels I have
      tried. This is useful, as a wet head in cold weather is not great.
      With some of the other towels I found enough water was left in my
      hair that drips would still form some time later. With this towel
      that never happened.

      Grease Pickup
      One of the problems we had encountered on very long trips was that
      our older towel picked up body grease and became almost waterproof.
      This Aquis towel is made of closely spaced microfibers which should
      be very good at absorbing body grease. On the other hand, the surface
      area of the microfibers is huge, so the grease should be more spread
      out. On short trips (under a week) the effect has not been
      noticeable. Testing the behaviour of the towel on very long trips is
      something which has not yet been possible. I could try leaving the
      towel unwashed over many trips - but my wife won't let me. This will
      have to wait for a longer trip.

      How easy it is to dry the towel.
      The towel dried out reasonably quickly at home overnight. We could
      not sling it across the pack every day on every trip as we were often
      going through rough scrub, but those times when we were on a track it
      was possible and it dried out within a few hours. We also tried
      hanging it up inside the tent during the night. Results from this
      were a bit mixed - some nights were still and others windy; some
      nights were cold and others warm, some nights were humid while others
      were dry. In general, a bit of sun and wind worked better.

      How well does it last and wash?
      Unlike one towel I tried, this towel handle use and washing fairly
      well. It did not seem to change its shape, but the size shrank a
      little after a couple of washes, down to 19" x 38.5" (48.5 x 98 cm).
      After that it stayed about the same size. It was hand washed
      separately the first time, and a small amount of dye came out as
      expected. Other than that it has been very simple to look after.

      Towel colour
      On one hard trip we had both the dark towel and a white face washer
      or flannel. It was very depressing to see how dirty the washer
      became, and how quickly it happened. The dark towel may have picked
      up a similar amount of dirt, but we couldn't see it!

      Towel size
      The length of the Large size towel (39" or 99 cm) was very good. It
      is long enough that I can make a rope of it and dry my back with it
      in the conventional manner. The width (19" or 48 cm) was wider than
      we needed, and in fact is probably all of twice as wide as we need.
      The large area means it is heavier than we would like, but the
      smaller size towels are not as long. My solution to this will be to
      cut the towel in half lengthwise. This will give two towels for the
      price of one(!), cut the weight down to an acceptable level, but give
      enough towel volume that it will still dry the two of us well enough
      for a day or two before it has to be dried out.

      Basically, the towel works reasonable well
      It does not seem to pick up grease as badly as our older towel
      The safety clip is essential if drying the towel on my pack
      The fabric seems to last well
      The dark colour is a good idea!

      Dislikes (minor)
      The drag experienced after a hot shower - but this was not
      experienced in the bush
      The Large size was twice as big (heavy) as needed for walking - but
      that's what I asked for!

      Would I buy it?
      Yes, I probably would. And I would probably get the Large size again
      so I could cut it down lengthwise to make two long towels again.

      Reviewer Details
      Reviewer: Roger Caffin
      Age: 57
      Gender: M
      Email address: r dot caffin at acm dot org
      City, State, Country: Sydney, NSW, Australia

      Backpacking Background

      I started bushwalking (the Australian term) when I was about 14 yrs
      old, took up rock climbing and remote exploration walking at
      University, later on took up ski touring and canyoning. These days I
      do all my trips with just my wife. Our preferred walking trips in
      Australia are long ones: about a week in the general Blue Mts (east
      coast of Australia) and Snowy Mts (alpine region), and up to two
      months long in Europe and the UK. Ski touring trips would also
      typically last up to a week. We favour fairly hard trips of some
      length and prefer to travel fast and light. Many of our trips are
      exploratory in wild country which sees few other walkers. In between
      these long trips we do some day walks, often exploring the start of
      longer trips. On average, we would spend at least two days per week
      walking or ski touring. Over the last year or two I have become
      converted to the concept of ultra-lightweight walking, and have been
      cutting my total pack weight down from 18 - 20 kg (40 - 45 lb) to
      about 12 kg (26 lb) for week-long trips. I have been designing and
      making our own ultralightweight gear for our own use and maybe for
      sale as well. We have been using a PackTowl for the two of us for
      some years, but had not been completely happy with it.
    • Shane Steinkamp
      Nicely done, Roger. Upload when ready. I have a few edits for your consideration. Shane Towel Monitor ... EDIT: Need to update your date. ... after a shower
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2003
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        Nicely done, Roger. Upload when ready. I have a few edits for your

        Towel Monitor


        > Review Date: 9-July-03

        EDIT: Need to update your date.

        > However, I found that the microfiber towel was noticeably harder to use
        after a shower
        > than a cotton terry-towelling one, and this was curious.

        EDIT: This sentence still confuses me after several reads… I’m not sure
        what you’re trying to say. Consider revising.

        > Summarising that I would have to say the towel does dry us pretty well and
        pretty fast
        > well on trips.

        EDIT: Summarizing

        EDIT: Delete second ‘well’
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