OR - DTO Extreme Ultralite Backpacking Towel
- Hello, review is ready for editing.
Link to this article as well: http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/test/OWNER%20REVIEWS/OR%20-%20DTO%20Extreme%20Ultralite%20Towel%20-%20Liz%20Kibby/
Discovery Trekking Outfitters
Extreme Ultralite Backpacking Towel
Reviewed by Liz Kibby
May 18, 2014
Name: Liz Kibby
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA
Height: 5’4” (1.63 m)
Weight: 121 lb (54.9 kg)
Biography: I am still relatively new to backpacking, although I am an avid day hiker and only truly feel at home in the outdoors. I’ve spent time hiking in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and I am getting ready to begin exploring the Appalachian Trail (AT) this summer and fall. I use a hammock and maintain a pack load of about 36 L (9.5 gal) right now, which I am working on reducing. I am comfortable hiking ten to fifteen miles per day (16-24 km). I enjoy quality energy bars and packaged food that just needs boiling water.
Manufacturer: Discovery Trekking Outfitters
Manufacturer’s Website: http://www.discoverytrekking.com/
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Model: Extreme Ultralite Backpacking Towel
Color Reviewed: Red
Other Colors Available: Moss, Navy, Dark Blue, Charcoal, Sage, Red, and Royal
Size Reviewed: Regular
Listed Dimensions: 28 in x 34 in (71 cm x 86 cm)
Measured Dimensions: 28.5 in x 33.5 in (72.5 cm x 85cm)
Listed Weight: 2.8oz (80g)
Measured Weight: 2.8oz (80g)
DescriptionDiscovery Trekking Outfitters' Extreme Ultralite Backpacking Towel (hereafter referred to as the towel) is manufactured from 100% polyester, a material that I like to think of as a hiker's best friend.
The fabric is not only silky smooth to the touch, but also contains Polygiene Recycled Silver Salt. This material is eco-friendly, safe for the user, and is completely natural. The materials all come from the US and the towel is cut and finished in Canada, where the manufacturer can be found.
The towel is marketed to backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, swimmers, and travellers. The towel comes in three different sizes, to suit each individuals' need. The shape is rectangular, and there are no logos, just a tag with instructions on the inside.
There are no loops or pouches that accompany the towel. This can be a good thing for minimalists, who will also appreciate that the towels can range from 1.3 oz (38g) to 6.5 oz (183g).
The silver, which has been micro-encapsulated to the yarns, naturally repels bacteria and odor, while the towel works to whisk away moisture and distribute it evenly across the towel, resulting in fast drying times.
It is extremely low maintance, machine washable, and stays fresh between washings, as long as the user takes care to keep deoderants, sunscreens, and lotions away from the material.
According to the designers, the larger towels will have increased drying capacity because they have more surface area to distribute the water on. This has yet to be tested by myself.
Initial ImpressionThe towel took a very short amount of time to ship out to me. This could have to do with the fact that I am reviewing it, or simply that I reside close to the Canadian border, in Massachusetts. In any case, it was sent to me on Monday and I received it on Wednesday, which was very enjoyable for me, as I was eager to test the product.
It arrived in a small packet, via air post, with everything clearly labeled and visible. Inside the package, the towel was folded and placed inside of a protective plastic bag, which I threw away upon opening it.
Included in the packet were three and a half pages of literature. The first thing I was shown was a half sheet of paper giving me the general overview of the towel, where to find their other products, and ways to follow the company on social media. This was helpful, I am not sure if everyone gets this same promotional paperwork, or if it was just for means of testing.
There were two full size, color pages that were included as well, which contained a more detailed description of the towel and it's materials, as well as some reviews and comments from other users. And of course, the last page was the packing slip.
The only thing I noticed about the paperwork was that some of it seemed to be slightly out of date, or still in the progress of being changed. When I compared the literature to what the website said, there was a different spelling of "ultralite" used at one point, and a page said there were two sizes and colors,when in fact that has changed by now.
The only suggestion I have about that is if you buy the towel, you may want to just double check the website to make sure the right information has been given.
The reviews the company chose were quite ambitious, so I became more eager to try out the product. One, for example, stated a user left the soaking towel on his shower floor for 24 hours and found it completely dry. Needless to say, I was curious to see if it would live up to the expectations.
Field ConditionsI tried this towel out for three weeks in all the conditions I could seem to find in New England to test it on. Believe me when I say that can include many different variations on weather and temperature conditions.
I hiked the Massachusetts section of the Appalachian Trail for one week, brought it with me to Granville State Forest in MA, went to Lee and Becket, MA with it, I also took a hiking trip in New Haven, CT as well.
Altogether, I have traveled with the towel 215 mi (346 km) total so far, and plan to keep trying it out as the weather gets much warmer as well. The towel has travelled from 19' elevation to 3,000' (5.8m - 914m), and has ranged from temperatures of 40F-78F (4.4C-25.6C) so far.
I have used it so far as a body towel, hair towel, bandanna, sweat rag, to wipe off rain from my hammock, even to brew coffee. Although I haven't had it for long, I have used it for everything I have used backpacking towels for in the past, and then some.
I have let it dry by hanging from my hammock, from trees, draping it across grass or bushes on sunny days, to even letting it dry around my neck and over my back like a cape when in a hurry.
ObservationsAt less than 3 oz (85g) this towel is really great for ultralite backpacking trips. Considering the large surface area of the towel itself, I would consider this a good bet for anyone, such as myself, that likes to be able to use something environmentally-friendly and safe, while also feeling as if they are using an actual "towel".
By that I mean, it is more than just a washcloth-sized piece of material. I have used those as well, not this brand, but that size. I have found it difficult to do as much with those smaller sizes. This one is large and ultralite, which I love.
Using the towel itself, I quickly picked up the proper moisture-wicking technique that would result in the fastest and most thorough drying experience. It takes a lot of water to soak this towel through.
One day, determined to see what it would take to get it fully soaked with water, I used it to dry myself, my hair, my cooking utensils, fly and outside of my hammock, and the towel still wasn't saturated.
It was then that I began to use it for coffee. This isn't something I have ever done before with a hiking towel, although I have observed many before me do so, and I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked.
I am not sure if I was imagining that the towel smelled slightly of coffee after that, or if it really did pick up some of the scent. I am inclined to say the former, because I even used it for two days straight to wipe sweat off my body (on days that were almost 80F(26.7C)!) and everything on me but the towel actually became quite fragrant in the meantime.
What I love the most about the towel is the awesome recycled silver that is embedded right into the actual fabric. Machine washing just made it slightly softer, but other than that almost nothing could change the fabric's feel or look.
The soft texture of the towel is quite nice to the touch, and I even use this towel on days when I am not hiking! I simply step out of the shower and I am dry in two minutes flat. Of course, it helps that I chopped off all my hair right around the time I got it. With longer hair, maybe three minutes to get all the moisture out to an acceptable dampness.
The only potential downfalls to the towel I could spot were a lack of a protective pouch or a loop or hook to attach it to my pack. I made due because I had some handy clips attached to my pack, but without those I would have just ended up tying the towel to my pack or, once, around my neck.
Those aren't very big issues for me and my method of backpacking, but I would hate to lose it because I didn't tie it tight enough to myself.
Drying never took too long for me, including drying the towel on overcast and humid days as well. The shortest time I saw it dry was in about 3 minutes during a sunny, hot day. The longest was an hour and a half at dusk, which really wasn't bad, considering. By that time I was in for the night anyway, and if it had taken all night it wouldn't have bothered me.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this ultralite backpacking towel by Discovery Trekking Outfitters to fellow backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Working with the company has been very enjoyable. They were responsive, sent the towel quickly, and have remained active throughout the testing period. It was never hard to find information via their site or e-mail.
I don't want to say anything bad about anyone, but I do enjoy the Canadian gear manufacturers. They seem to go the extra mile for customers in many ways. At least, from what I have experienced so far.
I look forward to using this towel a lot in the future, and I am very pleased with the acquisition. I will be looking forward to using more of the manufacturer's products sometime soon.
So glad to see another woman working to join our ranks. While we are very thankful of your interest in writing reviews for this group and for eagerly posting your first 2 Owner Reviews (ORs), experience has shown us that it is more efficient for both the Editors and yourself if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews. As such, this OR will be put in the "On Hold" section of our Edit Queue until OR #1 has gone through to completion and you have had a chance to revise this one keeping in mind what you learned while going through the process the first time around.
If you have any questions please let us know.
Editors Team Director
Hi Jamie,Nice to hear from you, I am very happy to be here working with BGT.I understand what you mean about the ORs, I was actually thinking about that the other day (editing it again after going through my first editing/publishing process), and I appreciate you touching base with me about the way you handle such matters.Looking forward to continuing work with you,Liz KibbyOn Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:50 AM, "jdeben@... [BackpackGearTest]" <BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
HI Liz,So glad to see another woman working to join our ranks. While we are very thankful of your interest in writing reviews for this group and for eagerly posting your first 2 Owner Reviews (ORs), experience has shown us that it is more efficient for both the Editors and yourself if you post your first review, have it edited, approved and uploaded before you post your second and subsequent reviews. As such, this OR will be put in the "On Hold" section of our Edit Queue until OR #1 has gone through to completion and you have had a chance to revise this one keeping in mind what you learned while going through the process the first time around.If you have any questions please let us know.Cordially,Jamie DeBenedettoEditorsTeam Director