How Big Should a Backpacking Towel Be?

By Michael Ferguson

When packing for a backpacking trip, there are many items to consider. One of the most important items is a towel.

It is important to have the right size towel in order to make sure you have enough space in your backpack and that the towel will be able to dry you off adequately. So, how big should a backpacking towel be?

The size of your backpacking towel should depend on the length of your trip and personal preference. For short trips or day hikes, a small lightweight microfiber towel is ideal.

These towels are ultra-lightweight, fast-drying and highly absorbent. They take up minimal space and can be easily rolled up for storage in a backpack or daypack.

For longer trips, it is best to opt for a larger backpacking towel that can cover more surface area and provide more coverage when drying off after swimming or showering. A larger quick-drying microfiber towel may be more suitable for these types of trips as they are still lightweight but offer more coverage. Additionally, some people may prefer natural fabrics such as cotton or bamboo which tend to be heavier but also softer and absorbent.

Another factor to consider while choosing the right size backpacking towel is its weight. Microfiber towels are usually lighter than cotton or bamboo towels but if you need something extra large then it may be best to go with a heavier fabric such as cotton or bamboo.


Choosing the right sized backpacking towel depends largely on personal preferences as well as the length of trip that you are taking. For short trips or day hikes, a small lightweight microfiber towel is ideal while longer trips may require something more substantial such as a larger quick-drying microfiber or natural fabric such as cotton or bamboo. Additionally, it is important to factor in weight when deciding which type of fabric is best for your needs.