Slowtide Towel Review: Quick-Drying Camping and Travel Towels

These surf-inspired quick-dry towels are a great choice for everything from the beach and travel, to the gym, pools, backpacking and camping.


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Slowtide is one of the latest brands to elevate a daily essential – the towel – into an item of functional gear that is suitable for drying you (and your gear) while traveling, at the beach, pool, gym, camping, or after activities such as paddleboarding, surfing, a sweaty workout or hot yoga session.

This Slowtide towel review explains the key design features that make their popular sand-free, quick-dry towels (which are made using dirt and sand-repelling microfiber materials) a great option for all of those activities, and why these surf-inspired towels made it onto our list of the best quick-dry towels in our buyer’s guide.

About Slowtide towels

Slowtide’s towels are designed to be of premium quality and made using sustainable materials and methods.

So, you can expect one of these towels to be a pleasure to use, highly functional, and last you a long time and a lot of use.

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The company also partners with artists, photographers, designers, and brands to create unique prints for their range of towels, including not just their quick-dry travel, surf, SUP, and camping towels but also some of their other products.

This means you’re essentially buying a work of art – and not just a boring old single-color, single-pattern basic towel.

For something you use every day, why not bring a bit of color and style to the ritual of drying yourself off?!

Although they originally started with beach and surf towels, Slowtide now offers a range of towels, including travel towels, Turkish towels, and bath towels, as well as other textiles such as changing ponchos and outdoor blankets.

Slowtide quick-dry towel review

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We keep our Slowtide towels in our DIY campervan, as that’s where most of our adventures start 🙂

This Slowtide review focuses on Slowtide’s quick-dry towels, which are designed to be highly absorbent, sand-free towels – and therefore very adventure-worthy.

While the most obvious uses for one of these towels would be to take to the beach or surfing (they’re sometimes referred to as being ‘sandless beach towels’), actually these properties make quick-dry towels a very versatile addition to your adventure gear bag (or gym/yoga bag, for that matter).

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A towel that dries quickly weighs less, packs down small, is easier to pack up after use (without getting your car/bag as wet as a regular cotton towel), and is less prone to what I call ‘stinky towel syndrome’!

You know – that’s that wet, damp smell that happens when a towel doesn’t dry out fully.

For more about the advantages of quick-dry towels, visit our quick-dry towels buyer’s guide.

Key features

The first thing to know about these towels is that, like most technical towels, Slowtide’s quick-dry towels are made from an absorbent polyester microfiber material.

In Slowtide’s case, the polyester is sourced from 100% recycled materials – predominantly, recycled plastic water bottles, which are transformed into the polyester fibers used to create the towels.

As well as being absorbent, this material is also good at repelling dirt and sand. This means if you drop it or put it on a sandy/dusty surface, it’s not going to cling on to those small bits of grit and sand – which can make for some unpleasant drying!

Unless, of course, you intentionally wanted to exfoliate 🙂

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When comparing the towels to regular cotton towels, the first thing you notice is how much more compact and lightweight they are – even when dry.

There’s much less bulk to store and fit into your backpack or duffel when you take the towel places, whether that’s camping, the beach, paddleboarding or the gym.

They also feature a hanging loop, which can be particularly useful where you need to keep the towel off the floor or want to hang it on the outside of your tent or backpack to help it dry.

Slowtide towel designs

The quick-dry towels in this review feature double-sided prints rather than other styles that may only be available with single-sided prints.

This is an important differentiator – perhaps personal preference, but given the choice, I always choose a double-sided design.

Because many of the designs are developed by partnering with artists and other brands, and also to keep the variety coming, some designs are limited edition.

Having a limited edition towel means you can pretty much guarantee you won’t have the same one as the person next to you when you head down to the beach.

It also means that if you see a design you love, it’s best to grab it while it’s available because they tend to sell out.

The striped black and white towel pictured is currently available on Slowtide’s website as of the time of writing this review – it’s called the ‘Badlands’.

The other two designs (the bright floral pattern and colored patterned style) may have more limited availability (you can check the current range of designs on this page of their website).

Slowtide towel sizing

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The towel sizes vary by style and type.

The Slowtide Turkish towels and the appropriately-named oversize towels are larger than their quick-dry beach towels and other traditional beach towels.

The quick-dry towels featured in this review measure 30 x 60 inches, which is a good size beach towel.

Cost and where to buy

Slowtide’s towels vary in price depending on the type and size towel you choose. Most of the quick-dry towels they offer, including the styles shown in this review, cost around $40-45.

The company also periodically offers sales and discounts – you can check the latest prices and take advantage of current special offers by shopping directly on their website using the button below:

They also offer free returns and exchanges, and free shipping on orders over $100.

Review summary


As the founder of Trail & Kale, and seasoned marathoner & ultrarunner, Alastair loves bringing our readers independent running shoe reviews and gear insights to help you run your best. Learn more about Trail & Kale here.


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