The 10 Best Sports Towels

Updated May 25, 2018 by Jordan Melcher

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. You might be surprised by how often a gym or fitness towel will come in handy. Workout buffs, campers without much extra room for gear, boaters, beachgoers, and travelers staying in hostels will find these sports towels very portable, and practical. Our selection includes options both small and large in various materials, including microfiber. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best sports towel on Amazon.

10. Swol Fitness Fast Drying

9. Deconovo Microfiber

8. Desired Body Fitness

7. Relefree Microfiber

6. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping

5. Shandali Yoga Travel

4. YogaRat SportLite

3. Cages Way 2 Cool

2. Sunland Ultra Compact

1. Youphoria Sport Multi-Purpose

What Makes One Sports Towel Superior to Another?

When choosing a sports towel, most people tend to go with whatever looks good and is affordable. But this is a short-term strategy that rarely yields the best results. If you want a towel that looks good, does the job, and will last, it pays to understand how a sports towel actually works.

Read any sports towel's description (or label) and you're likely to find that the towel has been designed by using a polyester blend. You're also likely to find that the towel was designed by using microfibers. Microfibers are remarkably efficient at absorbing liquid, and they dry much more quickly than traditional fibers. Microfibers are also durable, which is important, given sports towels are constantly being either washed or wrung out.

Repeat washing means you'll want to avoid buying sports towels with a low thread count. Low-thread towels are a lot more likely to fray or snag in the wash. Over time, they may feel rough against your face, as well.

Ideally, you'll want to choose a sports towel that comes with its own carrying case. A separate carrying case will allow you to transport the towel wherever you go, and it can also keep your gym bag from smelling like dry sweat. If you shower after every workout, it helps to find a sports towel that comes with a pouch for toiletries built in.

In the final analysis, a sports towel is whatever you make of it. Taking the time to research and purchase a high-quality towel significantly decreases the chances that you'll want - or even need - to replace it.

Sports Towels ... They Aren't Just for Athletes, Anymore.

The term sports towel is reductive. It creates an impression that people should only be using these towels to wipe off massive pools of sweat. In reality, a sports towel is unique by virtue of its design. And while the average sports towel may cost a few dollars extra, it's also bound to last longer and prove more versatile than any run-of-the-mill towel ever could.

Sports towels come in a variety of sizes, which means that you can buy one for the beach. What's more, certain top-of-the-line sports towels come with UV protection, which means you can avoid getting sunburns if you're laying out and you fall asleep.

Sports towels are ultra-absorbent, and they're custom-made to be wrung out. This means they're great for sopping up spills or laying down on bathroom floors. A sports towel's microfibers are usually stain resistant, which means they're great to keep on hand in any kitchen, if not a restaurant or a pub.

Sports towels come in flashy colors, which might be appealing if you have any kids. They also come in matching sets, so you can stack them in any pool house or indoor gym. A sports towel is soft, which means that you can use it as a yoga mat. Certain sports towels are also odor resistant, which means that you can use them as a bed liner for your pets.

From The Turkish Towel to The Sports Towel (A Brief History)

Towels date back to 17th-Century Turkey, where they were handwoven long and thick, so that they could be wrapped around the body. These early towels were made of cotton, and known as peshtemals. Peshtemals were specifically designed for wearing at the Turkish baths.

As production grew and costs decreased during the mid-to-late 18th century, towels became a requisite part of any home, or public spa, or hotel room. Next came the marketing and expansion of towels by type and division. Over the course of several decades there were bath towels and beach towels and hand towels and foot towels and oven towels and disposable towels, and towels that very much looked the same, but were designed differently, depending on specific needs.

Sports towels were originally invented for swimmers and divers during the second half of the 20th century. The goal was to produce a towel that would not only absorb water but also dry quickly enough for the swimmer to reuse it every time he or she exited the pool. Unlike bath towels, these early sports towels were durable and resilient enough to be wrung out without losing their texture. Sports towels became more lightweight and compact toward the end of the 20th century as the technology surrounding microfibers began to improve.

Today, sports towels are a major industry, with microfiber blends of polyester, viscose, and polyvinyl providing benefits including stain resistance, odor resistance, and even UV protection from the sun.


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Last updated on May 25, 2018 by Jordan Melcher

Born in California, Jordan moved all over the country before deciding that maybe he should just come back to the Golden State and stay for a bit. He’s a writer and musician who holds strong opinions about most things.


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