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Discovery Ultra Fast Dry Towel - Think of it as the Un-Towel

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Ultra Fast-Dry Towel from Discovery Trekking Outfitters

The lightweight moisture-management fabric of the Ultra Fast-Dry Towel pulls the water from your skin. When the moisture reaches the outside of the fabric, it spreads out to many times its original surface area, enabling it to evaporate very quickly.

Discovery Trekking Outfitters

The Bottom Line

If you are a swimmer open to new ideas that work, the Ultra Fast-Dry Towel is perfect for you. If you are a conservative, traditionalist kind of swimmer, then this towel is still a great towel, but you are probably not going to like it because of its stretchy, un-towel like feel. This is five-star swim gear, knocked down a bit because of the feel-feedback from those traditional towel lovers. I say get over it and join the un-towel generation. Note: no matter what kind of swimmer you are, this towel is a perfect emergency backup towel to keep in your gear bag for those days you forget to pack your regular towel.
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  • Takes the water off like no other towel I have tried
  • Lightweight, easy to pack, takes up less space than a traditional towel
  • The towel dries quickly, and still works even when wet
  • Antimicrobial silver treatment and SPF protection
  • Easy to use as a wrap after the pool or shower


  • Does not feel like a traditional towel
  • If everyone had loved it, no doubt this is a five-star item
  • Available in a lot of colors and a variety of sizes


  • Dries much faster than traditional towels - it gets you dry fast, and it drys fast after use
  • Lightweight and easy to pack - takes up less space than an old-fashioned towel of the same surface area
  • Antimicrobial silver treatment - helps keep the towel clean and un-funky smelling
  • SPF built-in - level dependent on fabric color
  • Easy to use as a wrap due to its stretchy nature - this also makes it feel unlike traditional towels

Guide Review - Discovery Ultra Fast Dry Towel - Think of it as the Un-Towel

The Discovery Trekking Ultra Fast-Dry Towel does what a towel should do. It takes water off of you. But it is a lot more, and a lot less, than that. Some of you may remember the old 7-Up commercials and the "un-cola" idea. The Ultra Fast-Dry Towel is the un-towel. You will either love it or hate it.

It gets water off of you (or off of anything) quickly, easily, and very, very well. It is great to use as a wrap coming out of the pool or the shower. It takes up less space in a gear bag than a traditional towel of similar surface area. I (and other swimmers) used it for about 6-weeks, and it is not showing any signs of wear and tear. It did not get stinky when left wet, in a gear bag, in the back seat of a car for a weekend (probably due to the silver content of the material, designed to act as an antimicrobial agent). Besides doing a quick job of drying me after a swim, it dries fast as well (when I remember to take it out of the gear bag in the back my car).

On the hate side? That is where my thought of an un-towel comes into play. Hate may be too strong; perhaps misunderstand, untraditional, or revolutionary are better ways to describe the feelings some of the testers tried to convey. "It dried me off, but it did not feel like a towel" sums up the reasons of those swimmers that said they did not like it.

Most of us think a towel is supposed to feel a certain way. This towel does not feel like a towel! It's smooth and stretchy. It was not that it did not work (it does, better than traditional towels), it is that it did not feel as expected. We all think a towel is supposed to feel a certain way on our skin, but the nature of the fabric used for the Ultra Fast-Dry Towel is a "lightweight moisture-management fabric" and is not what most people think of when they think of a towel. It feels odd.

Feel, not function. Get over it!

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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