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Towel size

janiec

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino (2018)
#1
I'm debating between a small microfiber towel or buying a large Turkish towel. Both seem comparable in terms of weight and drying speed, and I'm not too picky about the feel. My question is are there usually changing areas in albergue showers? I don't care too much about modesty in showers/changing rooms, but it'd be awkward to walk down a hallway from the shower to my room in a small towel.
 

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davebugg

DustOff: "When I have your wounded."
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
I'm debating between a small microfiber towel or buying a large Turkish towel. Both seem comparable in terms of weight and drying speed, and I'm not too picky about the feel. My question is are there usually changing areas in albergue showers? I don't care too much about modesty in showers/changing rooms, but it'd be awkward to walk down a hallway from the shower to my room in a small towel.
I am curious to know, how is a large turkish towel the same weight as a small microfiber?

I carry a medium sized microfiber (12 x 15") that weighs about 3. ounces. I found it more than sufficient.
 

Anamiri

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
#3
Having taken a microfiber towel the size of a postage stamp the first time (I exaggerate a bit), it was not adequate.
I took a med-large microfiber one the second time, it was great - probably more than twice the drying area. The larger size towel was still very light, and the bonus of microfiber is that it dried quickly.
Generally I walked to the showers in my clothes, got undressed once in the cubicle.
I do know people who took light cotton sarongs/wraps - as a general use item including towel use. They would wrap around you.
Edited to add - I have noticed that there seems to be two types of microfiber towel, one that dries, and once that repels water, and slides off not drying at all. Ask me how I know. It would good to know the difference before purchasing. They look very similar in the packaging. Whats worse is they came as a two pack.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
#4

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Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
#6
I spent 4 years in West Africa where a pagna is the preferred towel and cover-up. It is a normally a yard of cotton cloth which dries in minutes. It weighs next to nothing and can serve as a blanket on a cool night. Just saying.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#7
I bring a very lightweight cotton flannel towel used for infants, a recommendation from @Anniesantiago several years ago. They absorb very well and dry quickly. I look for them at resale shops, such as Goodwill, for only $1.
I've tried the microfiber towels and totally dislike them. They feel like trying to dry off with my technical t-shirt. No thanks!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#8
I bring a very lightweight cotton flannel towel used for infants, a recommendation from @Anniesantiago several years ago. They ansorb very well and dry quickly. I look for them at resale shops, such as Goodwill, for only $1.
I've tried the microfiber towels and totally dislike them. They feel like trying to dry off with my technical t-shirt. No thanks!
The Packtowl is different than the Sea to Summit microfiber towel that I used previously. I can actually rub it on my skin rather than just pat my skin with it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#9
The Packtowl is different than the Sea to Summit microfiber towel that I used previously. I can actually rub it on my skin rather than just pat my skin with it.
Thanks for clarifying. I'll keep that one in mind if I ever feel the need to change it up. In the mean time, the one you use sounds like a great option and I'm sure will be good advise for others to consider.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#10
I have experimented with various towels and none of the options is ideal. In the end I have decided to take the smallest and least bulky one - a microfibre about 30 cm by 50 cm. I dislike the feel, but on the camino, I don't spend much time luxuriously drying myself after my shower. It does the job well enough and dries quickly.

I also carry a tiny one (less than 20 cm x 20 cm; I think it was intended to clean a computer monitor!) that I use in the morning after I have packed away my bigger one that has dried overnight. Then I have the tiny one pinned to my pack during the day. It dries, is accessible and is so small that it doesn't flap around or get dirty when I set down my pack.

Oh! The wonderful refinements that we work on, in between Caminos! Things to problem solve while walking at home.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central, Santarem-Santiago - 2017; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia - 2018
#13
it also depends how long your hair is as on the first Camino I took just a small microfiber tower that felt constantly damp after drying my body and long hair. On the second took two of these and that solved the problem, although still not a big fan of microfiber in general.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#14
I had a two year waiting period before I could do my first camino which gave me lots of time to experiment. Most of my towel experiments involved synthetic camping shop options. My admittedly totally subjective tests were based on weight, size, drying ability, length of time for towel to dry, and comfort factor. In the end I took a $2.80 towel from Daiso. It was a very thin, ultra-light, 100% terry cotton towel. Loved it and it worked perfectly. Still travel with it and have a couple stashed away for when this one wears out.
 
#15
For years my camino towel has been an old-fashioned cotton seersucker dishtowel.
Banal but absorbent and lightweight, it also dries quickly after use. Needless to say it is far too tiny to be worn!
I'm with the always knowledgeable mspath on this.
A seersucker tablecloth, after a visit to my neighbourhood tailor lady, has delivered three camino towels, one of which has been eagerly purloined by a fellow walker.
I get a good rubbity-scrub dry, not like that given by one of those patty-grabby synthetic camping towels. Horrid they are.
I will admit however, that the size of my stomach, in a state of relaxation, has determined that its use as an article of modest clothing, is considerably less than....limited.
Regards
Gerard
 
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DebR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#16
I'm debating between a small microfiber towel or buying a large Turkish towel. Both seem comparable in terms of weight and drying speed, and I'm not too picky about the feel. My question is are there usually changing areas in albergue showers? I don't care too much about modesty in showers/changing rooms, but it'd be awkward to walk down a hallway from the shower to my room in a small towel.
I’ve carried both on various Caminos and my preference is the Turkish towel, without a doubt. Light, dries well (and dries itself quickly), robust and gloriously multi-functional. No more microfibre for me...!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#17
Ok, people. I'm curious. Is a Turkish towel a thin white kitchen towel, or a bath towel, and what are the approximate dimensions? My mom used thin, kind of wrinkly white dish towels approximately 15"x24" in the kitchen and I'm wondering if this is the same thing.
@HedaP, what department is your towel purchased from?
 

Katycamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances St Jean to Leon Sept 2013; Leon to Santiago May 2014; Santiago to Muxia and Finisterre Sept 2015; Camino Ingles May 2017
#18
Having bought a pricey microfibre towel for first Camino I hated it.... horrible feel....
Just by chance in the pet supplies aisle of the supermarket I spotted a small terry type towel for drying dogs! Great colours too! It is now my camino towel.... very absorbent, light, dries quickly.... and dirt cheap to boot!
 

stgcph

Camino tortuga
Camino(s) past & future
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
#19
Here is another option. After having used a microfiber towel, which I didn’t much like, I bought a large size (80 x 120 cm) cooling towel made of polyester and charcoal bamboo fiber. It packs very small, weighs only 140 grams and dries super quick. I like it though it has some of that ‘smooth/slippery’ feeling on the skin.
 
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk in may (2017)
#20
I had read about the idea of bringing an extra tiny towel on this forum. I took a small scrap of linen and pinned it to my pack. It was brilliant because I could use it to quickly dry my face and hands when my other towel was packed. I used it every morning because most of my stuff was packed the night before and used it when I stopped along the way.
 

Yoyo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP – SdC (2017)
Waiting for an opportunity to walk again...
#21
Recently I found a 29 x 32" baby towel that packs only slightly larger and actually even weighs a little less than the 27 x 48" microfiber towel I took on the Camino and didn't like at all.
It's 85% cotton, with the terry cloth look and feel on one side only (see attached picture) which makes it quite thin and thus quick dry.
It is large and absorbent enough to dry my 5.8 ft body and shoulder length hair.
I can't "wear" it, but I found there was always enough privacy to change in/next to the shower stall.

[Edited to correct the measurements of the baby towel.]

IMG_2600.jpg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#22
it also depends how long your hair is as on the first Camino I took just a small microfiber tower that felt constantly damp after drying my body and long hair. On the second took two of these and that solved the problem, although still not a big fan of microfiber in general.
My hair is pretty long and thick. Before I start drying off I turn my head upside down, wring out as much water from my hair as I can, and wrap it up in my buff while I dry off, get dressed, etc.
 

DebR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances:
2013; 2014; 2015; 2017; 2018 (October)
#23
Ok, people. I'm curious. Is a Turkish towel a thin white kitchen towel, or a bath towel, and what are the approximate dimensions? My mom used thin, kind of wrinkly white dish towels approximately 15"x24" in the kitchen and I'm wondering if this is the same thing.
@HedaP, what department is your towel purchased from?
Mine is a full size towel, very light cotton that’s kind of like a kitchen towel. They wash and dry easily, and get more absorbent with use. Big enough to wrap around you or use as a picnic rug or bunk curtain too.
 

gittiharre

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Austria Czech Le Puy Geneva RLS V. Jacobi V. Regia V. Baltica/Scandinavica Porto Muxia
#24
I'm debating between a small microfiber towel or buying a large Turkish towel. Both seem comparable in terms of weight and drying speed, and I'm not too picky about the feel. My question is are there usually changing areas in albergue showers? I don't care too much about modesty in showers/changing rooms, but it'd be awkward to walk down a hallway from the shower to my room in a small towel.
Take a lightweight lavalava or sulu, silk is perfect and doubles up as a shawl. I use a muslin baby wrap as a towel as it dries in minutes and does not stink unlike microfibre. Both microfibre and turkish towels take too long to dry and microfibre does a bad job at drying your body anyway. It is also not a good environmental choice...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#25
Ok, people. I'm curious. Is a Turkish towel a thin white kitchen towel, or a bath towel, and what are the approximate dimensions? My mom used thin, kind of wrinkly white dish towels approximately 15"x24" in the kitchen and I'm wondering if this is the same thing.
@HedaP, what department is your towel purchased from?
Sorry Chris
Diaso is a Japanese chain that has a few stores in Australia. I think only Sydney and Melbourne. In Japan it is called a 100 yen store. Think a budget dollar store but with Japanese quality.
BTW As well as the synthetic camping towels I also tested silk scarves and squares of muslin. Everything worked it is just that some worked better than others. In the end an ultra thin terry cotton towel was my preference. Just one of the joys of this camino is we are all different.
Buen camino and I so wish I was going with you.
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
#27
I usually take a sarong. They are so multi-purpose and quick drying. Along with being a towel they can also act as a sleep sheet. My current one is long enough to cover me from neck to ankles.

Good for keeping the hot Spanish sun off too!

I probably wouldn't wear one myself but that's another use.

I suppose they wouldn't be great for drying lots of hair. I don't have too much these days so not an issue for me.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#28
My rule of thumb for a decent hotel is one that supplies towels long enough to go around my waist without a revealing flash of thigh.

I carry this over to hostels as well and being mmm big this precludes the smaller towels so I've now gone for the second generation of travel towel that's more terry towel than chamois leather:

1520697098174.png

measures 1300mm X 700mm and weighs 275gm bone dry.

I appreciate that, for reasons of modesty, perigrinas would require one more than 700mm wide but it packs down to a mere 200 X 75mm roll.

Don't have to worry about hair drying (see avatar) but my first one (which got "daughtered" for a trip across the US) was, apparently, more than adequate.

Oh and one of my beloved KAM clips takes the worry out of it breaking loose when wrapped around my waist.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#29
it also depends how long your hair is
Despite being quite thin on top I had a lionesque mane flowing down in the direction on my shirt collar and took (seemingly) forever to dry.

In the London village where I was staying for several months in 2016, the all-gender hairdresser I frequented had military connections. In the chat about walking she suggested a Number 1 cut as being easier to manage and almost self drying. So it has been since then, with the added bonus of fewer barber visits each year.
 
#30
I had read about the idea of bringing an extra tiny towel on this forum. I took a small scrap of linen and pinned it to my pack. It was brilliant because I could use it to quickly dry my face and hands when my other towel was packed. I used it every morning because most of my stuff was packed the night before and used it when I stopped along the way.
An even better option for a quick wiper towel is one that golfers buy to attach to their golf club bag. It usually has a grommet making attaching to the pack easy with a caribiner. Only problem with them is they are usually made of cotton.

Personally, I take two microfibre towels. The first is a large one and is used on warm nights as a blanket. The small one is used as a washcloth ib the shower, or those rare, hot, luxurious baths.
 

kdespot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés SJPP-SdC Sept-Oct 2016
#31
Whichever of the many good suggestions listed here that you choose, just don't take one of those tiny towels that a few ascetics advise. Even though you're on the Camino, a shower is a shower. Struggling with a small piece of cloth just doesn't give you the fulfillment that you deserve after walking all those kilometers. A bigger towel doesn't weigh all that much more than the small version. If you decide you'd rather go small, you can always take a pair of scissors to it along the way.
 

NomadBoomer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2017), Vdlp (April 2018)
#32
I found grubby or soaking wet floors in some bathrooms an issue to put jocks on without getting wet. So it was useful to have towel big enough to wrap round.
 
#33
I have certainly created a few laughs over the past 8 years, but until this past year I have always taken a baby's nappy or old fashion diaper. They are 100% cotton, amazingly absorbant and dry in a jiffy. I brought two during my first Camino in 2010 and gave one to a fellow pilgrim who had brought a normal towel. I've changed over to a small microfiber travel towel recently when I left my nappy somewhere along a Camino. Luckily I found a replacement in an albergue lost in found.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#34
Recently I found a 73 x 82" baby towel that packs only slightly larger and actually even weighs a little less than the 27 x 48" microfiber towel I took on the Camino and didn't like at all.
It's 85% cotton, with the terry cloth look and feel on one side only (see attached picture) which makes it quite thin and thus quick dry.
It is large and absorbent enough to dry my 5.8 ft body and shoulder length hair.
I can't "wear" it, but I found there was always enough privacy to change in/next to the shower stall.

View attachment 40037
All I can say is that towel must be made for one big baby at 73"×82"! ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP – SdC (2017)
Waiting for an opportunity to walk again...
#35
All I can say is that towel must be made for one big baby at 73"×82"! ;)
:) Oh, that's what happens when you (rather: I) get cm and inches all mixed up. Thanks for pointing it out.
The baby towel would be approximately 29 x 32 inch.
 

Aussie Cossie Tanya

Walk over the day or the day will walk over you:)
Camino(s) past & future
June 2014
#37
I'm debating between a small microfiber towel or buying a large Turkish towel. Both seem comparable in terms of weight and drying speed, and I'm not too picky about the feel. My question is are there usually changing areas in albergue showers? I don't care too much about modesty in showers/changing rooms, but it'd be awkward to walk down a hallway from the shower to my room in a small towel.
Hi,
Live from the Camino. It's beautiful and perfect cool/cold temps (hard to dry anything though and always queue for the dryers). It is the BEST kept secret walking at this time of year. I also have long hair that needs a wash every now and then. I brought a sea to summit travel towel. It's just not coping and drying time is ridiculous and it just doesn't absorb well. I washed it heaps before the trip as well. I also brought a small facewasher sized kind of microfiber washer that I originally brought for long flight to get here and intended to throw out. Brought them for cleaning and dusting in a bag of like 20 different colours from Bunnings in Australia for about $10. It's perfect. I dry myself off completely with it and it drys in no time. Sea to Summit towel is being used to stand on out of the shower.. hope this helps.. cheers Tanya
 

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