S2S Pocket Towel first look

Over the past couple of years I’ve been using an MSR packtowel. I know some people don’t bother with a towel, but at 53g, I think the extra comfort and utility is worth it. Although I’ve found it to be very good and is absorbent enough to dry me after a shower, after a few machine washes, the material goes a bit hard and scratchy.

When I was buying my Catalyst Jacket I noticed the Sea To Summit Pocket Towel, which looked quite good value. It is advertised at 42g, but is actually 58g, without its storage pouch (another example of manufacturers being too optimistic with weights!). It is somewhat smaller than the MSR towel (40 x 80 cm, vs 51 x 92), but thicker. The material is a lovely silky microfibre, which feels beautifully smooth on the skin.

I’ve not used it yet, but I suspect this will be replacing the MSR towel. I will take it on my next trip and report back.


23 thoughts on “S2S Pocket Towel first look”

  1. Interesting, thanks! My own little Packtowel does the business, but the texture is unpleasant now I’ve been using it for a few years. I’ll keep an eye out for one of these.

  2. I’m as game as the next guy to be buying the latest lightweight camping gear, but aren’t the cheap-and-cheerful microfibre window/kitchen clothes from places like Wilkinsons perfectly good for the job? At 4 for £2, they work fine and are disposable if necessary… I find one, wrung out at the half way point, is perfectly fine for full-body and hair drying after a shower. Haven’t tried weighing one but I usually have one in my wash kit and a 2nd in my kitchen kit (which also eliminates rattles).
    They’re certainly better than the pertex travel towels I was using in the early 90s!!!

    1. That’s a great idea. Only downside is they are a bit small. S2S is nice and silky and not that expensive.

      1. On a practical, getting dried basis they work.
        Ok, so they won’t hide much of your dignity if you’re wondering around but it is usually too cold when I’m camping for much of that!
        I can feel a comparison test coming on…. will this get as involved as stove comparison movies???

      2. Certainly worth thinking about, especially for short trips. You won’t get a movie out of me…perhaps Darren or George will oblige! 😉

  3. I have been looking around for a replacement for my old Life Venture towel for some time now.The ones which initially caught my eye were the MSR Ultralite towels.The small version weighs a measly 21g and the Large a modest 63g.However,after looking at them in detail in a shop,I have to say that they are wafer thin and they just did not appeal to me.Anyway,I have found that the Rohan shops stock a large selection of sea to summit gear including the towel which you mention.I have unpacked one and fondled it and yes I did end up buying it!!As you say,it has a nice silky feel and it is now packed away in my rucksack in readiness for my next trip.

  4. Sorry Robin,have only just clicked on the link on your posting and it sounds like you already have the ULTRALITE version of the MSR towel.(I think that they also do a standard version which is a little heavier)Incidentally,you will probably be aware that there is a Large version of the S2S pack towel which the Company state weighs in at around 110/112g.

    1. Yes mine is the Ultralite one from Bob and Rose. It’s been fine and it’s lighter than others. I’m hoping that the S2S will be large enough.

  5. I’m thinking about giving light load towels a shot (12×24 in, .6 oz) . For the post-hike hot springs here in Japan I usually carry 2 (one to dry, one to wash/ feign modesty with). Have an REI copy of the MSR towel I like as well, just a smidgen heavier than light load though…

  6. interesting discussion here. I thought I was in a minority of taking a towel (for lightweight hikers that is) but seems you are all at it 🙂

    My normal lightweight option isnt lightweight compared to the above…I use a paramo towel. Its 130g so (cough cough) quite heavy but the texture is nice and it doesnt go scratchy

    I hadnt thought of the disposable microfibre cloths before but makes sense…I think I will try it out next time

    for me a towel is indespensible especially in inclement weather. wipe your gear down, wipe the fly inner down and in a waterproof stuff sack helps double as a thin pillow. In the summer it can be worn under hats for sun cover (that “Vietnam jungle look” 🙂 ) and also if you happen across a tarn, lake or river as a towel after skinny dipping! 😀

  7. Haven’t tried the skinny dipping, but dunking the towel in the tarn and wearing it around your neck is nice and refreshing…
    Yes the microfibre cloths do go scratchy after a few washes, but I ‘trade them in’ against new ones with swmbo as she seems to get through them on a regular basis…

  8. Hi Robin,
    I have been curious about these Lightloads for a while and it doesn’t seem that they are very popular.
    As they are lightweight, it seems strange.
    So, i have now ordered one to check them out.

    I will post what i find on arrival.—Alan

      1. Yes. I noticed that Amazon has now got them.
        That’s what has spurred me to order one and the cheap price tag. Ordering from US can be a pain as you are probably aware.

  9. Last year my wife came home from shopping pleased to have found me some travel towels in Blacks. Strangest things – the bubble pack gave the impression they were in plastic boxes but on unwrapping they were shrink wrapped. The instructions were to drop them into some water(!) to rehydrate!!!
    The result – huge white cotton towels that can’t be repacked in the original form and are just as much of a pain to use camping as any other cotton towels…
    Maybe that, and the old pertex towels, is why I’m a towel skeptic…

    1. Well done Alan. Looks very interesting. It’s so cheap I’ll give it a go. The S2S is rather luxurious though.

  10. Hi guys, a couple months ago I bought a Mens XL Lightweight MTS Short Sleeve Crew at REI. It is made of the same Polartec Power Dry materials as the Discovery Trekking Outfitters towel on the Gossamer Gear Website….need I say more.

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