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This is a great piece of simple cheap kit...before I started trekking I didnt know you could get these materials on the market. The advantages are numerous...it packs light, only about 50 grams for a medium size and 100 grams for a large towel. It drys unbelievably fast, much faster than cotton, you can dry it in a tent, even in snowy season 4 conditions and when its a bit sunnier you can simply strap the towel to your bag and walk along with it, just drying it out.
The secret is in the material itself, it a kind of cotton / synthetic mix. For a big towel it packs so lightly and tightly that it really does defy belief, and then you think OK so it feels weird and at first it is not as absorbant as say cotton, that much is obvious. But although it is not as readily initially absorbant, if you wipe yourself down with the towel for long enough it does take in the water. It just takes a little longer....to be honest I fail to see what other alternative there is, a cotton towel simply take sup too much room and would be to heavy when wet.
I have a large towel myself as the medium level towel may be good enough for alpine climbing or fast hiking, lasting for about 4-5 days before getting a little bit too scumy, but I go on expedition climbs lasting for weeks so the bigger towel is needed. It costs £16, I payed a bit more, but I have had my towel for a bit longer, this cost may be more than a cotton towel, but the benefits are far greater and well worth the cost. And in terms of hiking and especially climbing gear, £16 is not much at all.
The material is very thin and looks very flimsy, but it does absorb water eventually, you just have to be regirous with the drying. I use this on week long expeditions and I have to admit, after a week with no wash it does start to hum a bit, it picks up on sweat and BO quite easily and the smell will not leave until you wash it. But it is still better than nothing. It is easy to machine wash or hand wash, I have done both with this towel and it rids itself of dirt and scum easily and smells like rosies again.
It comes in a cotton net bag with a material top and zip lock. Sometimes its a pain in the backside putting the towel back into this bag as its quite small, in an effort to keep the weight and size down, no point in having a small towel only to have a puffy big bag. Sometimes the towel doesnt go in properly and the bag can look out of shape and bulgy, but this is nto really a problem. Who cares what it looks like.
It really isnt a matter of recommendation...if you hike or climb and are outdoors overnight...this piece of kit is a big must...essential kit end of story.
I have had my Lifeventure Soft Fibre Towel for ages now. There was a choice of two colours when I bought mine - one pink and one blue. You can probably guess which colour I chose. I didn't buy this for using for sport related activities, though it has also come in useful for that, over time. I primarily bought this for camping as I thought it would be far better to take this with me rather than a normal, standard sized towel. I paid £14 for mine thought I think they probably are a couple of quid more than this now.
The towels haven't actually been around for that long - possibly three years or slightly longer, but they are a great invention and I would really recommend them to anyone. It's lightweight and absorbent and actually the material feels completely different to any towel you will use in your house. It dries super fast -(eight times faster, to be exact) and it absorbs ten times its own weight in water. So, you can probably see immediately why it's so handy for me for camping trips with the little lad. You don't want to have to be lugging round a great bath towel with you up a mountainside, do you?
More often than not, there is no time to hang my normal towel over a tree branch and get it to dry off properly before I pack it away in my rucksack and move onto the next camping spot. We tend to move around a lot, especially if we are on a fishing expedition. What happens is that I'll pack my massive sized towel away whilst it's still damp, I forget about it until it's too late, and then subsequently I find it stinks and started to go mouldy. Well, this won't happen with the Lifeventure Soft Fibre Towel as it is treated with a special antibacterial covering which means it will not go mouldy, even if by some chance it hasn't managed to dry itself off - which would be unlikely, anyway, as it dries so quickly.
The towel I have is the extra large one - the hand-sized towel would be no good for a bloke of my girth. It packs down really very small and it comes in its own carry case with mesh front. Overall, I am very impressed indeed with this brilliant little towel and can thoroughly recommend it.
When packing for hiking or camping trips, inevitably everyone wants to reduce packsize and weight. One area where major savings can be made is swapping a traditional towel for a microfibre one.
Weighing it at just over 200g for a towel 125x80cm this towel takes about an eigth of the space a standard towel would.
It doesnt feel like a normal towel, more like a chamois you get with your car but it performs just as well if not better than its cotton counterpart where it matters. Its absorbancy is great for such a small product even though it doesn't feel like it. It doesnt run smoothly over skin so requires to be dabbed which takes a bit longer so can be a bit annoying if the shower room in use is cold.
It dries very quickly it the sun or a breeze and has no noticable weight or volume increase when its fully saturated.
You can pick these up for £10-25 dependant on size so it is a cheap way of making a major impact on your travel kit.
It doesn't give you the nice soft feeling you are used to from a cotton towel but it does what it needs to do and the savings in weight and size makes it a great investment.
When I go o holiday I always have a problem with fitting everything into my suitcase and that's just my clothes without trying to fit a beach towel in there as well, that was until I discove4red the Lifeventure Soft Fibre Advanced Trek Towel. It is the ideal towel to take on holiday with you, light and takes up hardly any space means I no longer have the battle of trying to fit a beach towel into my case plus I have extra space to take more clothes with me.
The Lifeventure Towel comes in its own little storage pouch, this is black and grey in colour with a mesh front to show the colour of the towel inside, in my case the towel is pink. At the top of the pouch are the words "Lifeventure Trek Towel" written direct onto the tough material of the pouch in white writing, just below this on the grey part of the pouch is says "Soft Fibre" this is written in white and orange lettering. The pouch is square and made entirely of a tough fabric, it has a small black zip with a pink tag, the zip runs half way down each side and across the top of the pouch, this allows the pouch to open to a reasonable width to remove the towel inside and also fit it back into the pouch easily, the pouch with the towel inside measure approximately 18 x 12 x 3cm, the whole thing really is quite small so it can easily be carried around in various sized bags including suitcases and sports bag. Even though the pouch itself is small the towel easily folds up to fit back inside it, I did wonder whether getting the towel back into the pouch would be a problem, however so far I have had no problems with this at all.
The Lifeventure Soft Fibre Towel basically has a similar appearance to a regular towel, we actually have 2 a pink one and blue one, they come in a variety of sizes including medium, large and extra large, the towels we have are both extra large. They are fully edged around all four sides as with regular towels in a fabric to match the colour of the towel and are finished to a high standard. I did wonder how soft these towels were going to be and thought they could be a bit rough to dry on, after all the purpose of us having these towels was to take on holiday for beside the pool and on the beach, however the towel are actually extremely soft, they feel as soft as a regular beach towel when wrapped around you and in no way rough at all.
The main benefits of the Lifeventure Soft Fibre Advanced Trek Towel include the fact that it is 6 times lighter than a regular beach towel, it dried 8 times quicker than a beach towel and it takes up 1/8 of the packing space compared to a regular sized beach towel. It was these facts that drew my attention to the towel and I just had to have one and give it a got. As I have said we ordered the extra large ones and when they arrived folded up in the small pouch I really didn't think they were going to be big enough however when unfolded the towels are plenty big enough and measure 62cm x 110cm. As soon as the towel was unfolded I could instantly feel that it was much lighter than a regular towel which was really going to help with the weight of my suitcase when going on holiday, and when it came to packing the towel it simply slotted down the side of my clothes inside the suitcase, unlike with regular beach towels which do not roll up very small at all. The next test was going to be the absorbency of the towel and also the drying time. I took the towel with me on our last holiday a few months ago and decided to test it out by the pool, after having a swim I wrapped the towel around me to dry off a bit and was surprised to find that this extremely light towel was very absorbent, it seemed to soak the water straight off of my skin without having to rub, I often find that beach towels are not overly absorbent and tend to move water around on your skin rather than soak it up but the Lifeventure Towel literally dried my skin within seconds. I left the towel on our balcony to dry, now normally with a beach towel you find it is still a little on the damp side the following morning, but later that evening I went to feel the towel and see how it was doing and it was totally dry, I was very impressed with the drying time. The fact that the towel dried so quickly meant that at the end of the holiday I did not have to pack a damp towel wrapped in a carrier bag in my case. This towel is also treated with an antibacterial, this is designed to help reduce odour build up and degradation of the fabric, I'm not sure about degradation of the fabric as I have never experienced this but after our holiday I did notice that the towel still smelt reasonably fresh despite being used by the pool and on the beach several times, the towel had got wet and been dried numerous times and there was no horrible damp smell at all.
I brought my Lifeventure Soft Fibre Towel online from Amazon and it cost me £16.99 per towel, compared to a regular beach towel this is quite expensive as you can pick them up very cheap, however I would definitely say that this towel is well worth the money, it has so many benefits and in my opinion is so much better than a regular beach towel, it is also suitable for sports, again as it has an odour control, dries quickly and fits neatly into a small pouch taking up hardly any room in your bag. Despite being a bit pricey I would certainly say it is worth the money, and has also proved to be hardwearing, our towels have been used on several occasions and look as good as new.
I would definitely recommend the Lifeventure Soft Fibre Advance Trek Towel, it is the ideal towel to take on your travels or to use in sport activities, it is small and lightweight, taking up hardly any room in you bag or suitcase. It dries a lot faster than regular beach or sports towels and is very absorbent. The towel is hardwearing and suitable for people of all ages coming in a variety of sizes. I would say that this is a product for the whole family.
I bought one of these a few months back and i absolutely love it.
Trek towels have only been around for a few years. They are made by two companys sea 2 summit and lifeventure, which this one is. Lifeventure is the popular choice and is readily avaliable at any outdoors shop such as millets.
The towel, is not really like a towel at all because the material is completley different. It is made from a special material which absorbs 10 times its own weight in water and drys 8 times faster than a usaul towel. For me it does its job perfectly, the only problem is that it does not have the same feel as your usual towel because it is not a thick or soft and fluffy. Another cool feature of this towel that i like is that it is treated with antibacterial meaning you can pack it away wet and it won't go mouldy, but also means it does not have to be constantly washed.
However, by far the best thing about the towel is that it packs down really small, so it is perfect for backpacking and trekking, which is great for me because i am always travelling.
It is worth mentioning that the towels are fairly small and mainly hand towels. If you are looking for a decent sized towel, which you can wrap around you, then the extra large is a must!
This is one of those products that you are going to love or hate.
I are firmly in the 1st camp but my girlfriend, sister, mum and just about every other female I have spoken to about it can't stand the thing. Basically, if you are looking for a big fluffy towel to wrap yourself in after a long hot bath then this is not for you. If on the other hand you are looking for something practical that dries you quickly and won't take up 2/3 of your bag then I cannot recommend this towel highly enough.
I bought a large Lifeventure towel for £24 from an outdoor pursuits shop around 6 years ago (Nowadays you can buy them for £15.37 at Amazon). I was due to go on a 4 week backpacking tour and despite my initial reservations about the price I really didn't have room in my backpack for all my things plus a large towel. The big selling point for me was that this towel weighs next to nothing and once folded into its bag measures around 20cm by 8cm by 3cm. Unfolded the size is just about large enough to be wrapped around my waist - although it certainly isnt big enough to cover all your body at the same time.
The first time I used the towel I was completely amazed. It is very thin (even thinner than an average facecloth) but I just needed the towel to touch my arm and the water would be absorbed. I was therefore able to dry myself much more quickly and with less effort than with a standard towel. Over the years the effect has become less dramatic but it still does an excellent job. Also because the towel is so thin it is much quicker to dry. With a standard towel it may take a few hours on the radiator for it to dry off - with this one 30 minutes or so and you are done. If you are struggling for time you can just shove the towel in its bag and put it inside your main bag, safe in the knowledge that it is not going to get your other belongings wet.
One word of warning: make sure that you wash it regularly as if you use it 4 or 5 times in a row it is going to start to smell and the smell is hard to get rid of.
For me this is an essential part of my sports bag and suitcase. It goes with me every time I go to the gym, every time I go camping and every time I go on holiday. I really cannot recommend it highly enough
This is an essential piece of kit for camping and backpacking, and one that I´ve used so many times over the years, and more than got my money´s worth out of. One of the main problems when packing to go backpacking is space - there´s so much you think you could take, but ultimately you don´t need half of it. As such, it´s important to cut down on unnecessary size and weight where possible, and this is a dream for this purpose.
Whereas a regular towel takes up loads of space in your bag - and worse than that, gets soaking wet when you have a shower and takes ages to dry, meaning you end up packing it damp and smelly, which is hardly pleasant to use - this is small (barely larger than an A5 envelope) and dries quickly. In fact, it never really gets wet - it´s made from a material that dries your body but doesn´t seem to soak up the water. Granted, it´s not as absorbent as a normal towel, but it´s worth the small loss.
It comes in a small black carry-pack like the one shown above, with a zip down the front and a mesh section in the corner. Unlike some products which never go back into their original packaging, this is easy to re-pack and takes up no more space than when you bought it. The pack´s a great idea, and you can easily slip it into a bulging bag without problems.
You do need to hang it up somewhere after using it to dry, ideally, but if you´re in a hurry, you can always pack it immediately knowing that it won´t soak your clothes. The towel can be washed in a washing machine, but if you can´t do this for a while, it can still be re-used time and again without becoming smelly. I´ve had mine for years, used it on many trips, and it´s still great.
If you´ve got tons of space or you´re going on a short trip, perhaps this isn´t for you - but for backpackers and campers, who have to carry their bags around and need to save space and weight, this is just a brilliant product which makes life so much easier. It comes in different sizes, from the hand towel shown above to a large size - I have the medium one, which is a good all-round option, and still packs very small. Highly recommended.
I agree with the previous reviewer on this. The reason the towel dries quickly is because it hardly absorbs any water. They stick to your skin, making them hard work and uncomfortable to use, and they leave you damp. These are a long way from being usable - you'd almost be better off drying yourself on a t-shirt.
I went travelling about 5 years ago and owned one of these towels and to be honest I hated it. I plan on going travelling again at the start of next year, and having read such a lot of positive reviews of this and similar products, I decided that maybe they'd gotten a bit better over the last few years, so bought one to use this weekend as I was visiting friends in Liverpool.
So, have the travel towels improved significantly from 5 years ago? NO. Have the travel towels in fact improved at all in the last 5 years. NO.
If you haven't used one of these then its hard to describe what it feels like to dry with them. I'm struggling to find the words, however I would say it has an almost cling film type feel to it. Like your drying yourself with a normal towel packed down into cling film to make it a bit smaller. Furthermore, they don't even really dry you properly since the towel doesn't really properly absorb the moisture. Finally, use them about 3 - 4 times and you will find they start to smell a little, and the smell is impossible to rid from the towel despite furious washings (maybe that's just me, I don't know!)
Now obviously the main advantage of these towels is that they save you space and are lightweight to carry. That said, I own a couple of cheap thin towels that can be rolled up to a fairly similar size, and have the added benefit of actually working as towels. I really don't understand why everybody loves these things, they are simply awful.
Horrible feel, horrible smell. Just horrible
I can't believe that I'm sitting here writing a review of a towel but, really, this is such a great product. Towels are always one of those tricky things that you're never quite sure whether to pack or not. You load up your bags with a couple of bulky towels and then arrive at your destination to find your room fully equipped in the towel department. Alternatively, leave them all behind and you arrive to find that you've only got a hand flannel to dry yourself with after a shower. This towel is the answer.
OK, it's not cheap, but it's worth every penny. I bought an X Large one from Field and Trek and have never regretted it. It's a large towel that is fantastically water absorbant so dries you really quickly and yet it is so light and folds away very small. It also dries very quickly and will be ready for use when you need it again. It also means that, if you're leaving straight away, you don't have to stuff a damp, smelly towel into your bag.
The towel itself is incredibly soft and pleasant on the skin, if such things concern you. In fact, the only problem that I've ever had with this towel is that my dog also seemed to quite like it and decided to chew a hole in it when it was hung up on the washing line!
Whether you are a hardcore backpacker or a casual weekend tripper then I would recommend that you get one of these towels. You won't regret it.
I have owned my Lifeventure travel towel for 3 years and its yet to let me down. I initially bought it for £22.99 from Cotswold Outdoor however you can get it cheaper now. It comes in a handy carry mesh pouch (as seen in the photo). My towel is the "Large" size and its big enough to wrap around myself (all 12 stone of me!). The material is antibacterial, feels soft on your skin and dries in about 15-20 mins. The towel is very lightweight and compact weighing in at approximately 250g and measures 62cm x 110cm when opened fully. Its now the only travel i take with me on holiday. I also take it when i do watersports or just out on a hike. By the way, i always put mine in the washing machine- and it washes just fine.
I lost my carry pouch whilst travelling in China. On the off chance i rang up Lifeventure who kindly sent out another pouch for free- it arrived the next day. Excellent after sales service and i can`t recommend Lifeventure products highly enough.
My lifeventure travle towel is now 4 years old.... and still going strong.
I bought one for a trek across Europe where space was limited in my pack. It came back a strange shade of blue with an odd whiff about it, bt undeterred Iput it in the wshing machine and it came out good as new!
The giant sized travel towel takes up about an eight of the space of a normal bath towel and weighs next to nothing. at over 150cm long it can be used as a towel, a sarong, it can be draped over a lounger to make some shade when you get too hot on the beach.
As a towel it absorbs water like its going out of fashion. It can be rung out and reused so no waiting hours for it to completely dry. However if you do need to dry it, this'll take about an hour in the sun. It does need a good wash as you can imagine with sea water, pool chemicals, sand and sun cream it does get a bit smelly. Washing it out in the sink is no problem though.
People ask me what it feels like. It is a microfibre material. Very thin and also very soft. It does feel like you are using a chamois leather when wet but it does the job! I'd rather take one of these (I now have 6 of different colours and sizes) than a normal towel, knowing I can take more clothes or buy more souvenirs out there.
It might seem like an odd time of year to be thinking about holiday essentials. However, Im off on holiday in a few days time and it has prompted me to think again about the things that I cant leave home without . I want to tell you about my single best ever travel buy and why its so much more versatile than you would expect. If you buy only one product to improve your holidays then this should be the one. Why not think about putting one on your Christmas list?
Intrigued? You should be. If I was on commission I could pay for an extra holiday with the number of sales my husband and I have inspired with the Lifesystems 'Lifeventure' Soft Fibre Trek Towel just by taking these on trips with us. Turn your travel companions green with envy. We even bought these for my parents when they planned a 'round the world' tour.
Lifesystems? Who are they?
Lifesystems started out as a specialist company that supplies advice and medical equipment for people travelling on expeditions to far-flung places. These products include such items as: small first aid kits; emergency dental repair kits (no, I don't want to think too much about DIY fillings either); mosquito nets; survival gear; water purification systems; eco-friendly soaps and other 'essentials' for the seriously hardy (or show off gimmicks for the rest of us). They have a website - www.lifesystems.co.uk - with lots of info about other products but nothing about the towel I'm going to describe.
So do I have to climb Everest to buy their products?
A lot of the range won't appeal to the 'two-weeks on the beach' traveller but the trek towel is an exception and should be useful for most travellers whether they are off to conquer Kilimanjaro or drink cocktails in Marbella.
Do I need a holiday towel?
Those old enough to remember Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy will recall that every traveller should know where his towel is. I believe this still holds true. He proposed a number of uses but unfortunately I can't lay my hand on a copy right now. They would have been things like swatting away swarms of bees, making a flag or an emergency landing pad for a space ship or stuff of that ilk.
Here on Earth, you can use a towel to lie on the beach, as a sarong, to tie up as a bag to carry things, you can build a wind-break or a sun shade or perform daring feats of origami to fashion decorative items (not a joke - housekeeping in Egypt and Thailand do this). At a pinch, you can even use it to dry yourself.
***The Beach Holiday
If you are off on a very short break where you don't need to wash (or a longer one with companions who have no sense of smell) - then hoorah! You may not need a towel.
If you are off to a nice hotel with a free supply of copious bath and beach towels then maybe you don't need your own. However, even in those circumstances you may not want soggy towels hanging around your hotel room and you might want to avoid the aggro that some reviewers have described when hotels work a 'one in one out' exchange for your beach and pool towels.
You may need a towel if:
* You get frustrated by the tiny scratchy little tea towel-sized offerings you get in many hotels and B&Bs
* You have long hair and need one towel for your body and a second for your hair
* You like to take a towel with you to a public beach or on a snorkelling trip?
** Back packing / over-landing / roughing it a bit
Last year we went spent two weeks on a truck and camping trip in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. It rained nearly every day and all the other travellers who had regular cotton towels spent days trying to get them dry - moving them from one camp site to the next as the mouldy smells and strange fungal growths started to take hold. We were smug with our trek towels.
You should definitely consider a trek towel if:
* You are staying in youth hostels or budget accommodation where you can't be sure about towel availability or cleanliness
* You are moving from one place to the next and don't want to pack a soggy towel
* You are going somewhere where the weather can't be guaranteed to be good enough to dry out your regular towel
OK, so I'm going to need a towel, why can't I just buy one when I get there?
Yep, I've gone through that thought process too. I thought 'Why fill my case with a towel when I can nip down the bazaar and pick up a jazzy new one for a few pounds?' So I did just that - forgetting that any brand new towel is treated with special chemicals that make it feel soft, fluffy and bouncy but render it almost entirely water repellent. It's like trying to dry oneself on a mackintosh.
I can just take an old one with me and bin it if there's no space in my case
You can indeed but are you sure your new bikini and St Tropez self-tan will be set off nicely by your grubby old bath towel with the fraying edges?
If you are going to just one location you may be fine but a lightweight fast drying towel that takes up almost no space will always be handy.
More about the Lifesystems Lifeventure Trek Towel
Trek towels are made from a soft, highly water-absorbent wonder-fabric. It feels a little like a very fine 'fleece' fabric. They can absorb up to eight times their own weight in water and when you wring them out, they release 90% of that water. I've not done any experiments to prove that - it's what the manufacturers claim and I have no reason to disbelieve them.
This means that despite being extremely good at sucking the water off your hair and body, they dry really quickly even under cool conditions.
It also means that if you do some hand washing on your holidays, you can roll the items in your towel and suck out lots of the excess water before you hang them (and the towel) up to dry.
They come with their own little mesh-fronted carry cases which mean that even if you fold it up and bag it straight after using it they won't go smelly and nasty or make everything in your bag damp. In fact, last year Lifesystems made a change to the fabric used by treating it with a special anti-bacterial coating to reduce any risk of smelliness even further.
(We routinely use the carry case as a 'valuables bag' as it's just the right size to keep your tickets, passport, currency and other goodies in. It's easier to put a neat little bag in the hotel safe deposit and if you are really paranoid about security, you could use cable-ties to seal the bag.)
The towels come in a variety of sizes:
Hand 33 x 66 cm
Large 62 x 110 cm
XL 80 x 124 cm
Giant 90 x 140
We have two XLs - but only because I've never seen the giant ones until now. My advice is buy the biggest you can afford. The extra weight is negligible.
Most shops stock them in blue or blue. Its a sort of turquoise blue. However, if you hunt around on the internet, you can find them in red as well. I wish there were more colours because as these towels get more and more popular, different colours would help to avoid the risk that someone walks off with yours by mistake.
**Where can I get one?
Many outdoors shops stock these towels - places like Milletts, Blacks, Mountain Warehouse etc. You can also find them on line by googling 'Lifesystems and Towel'. Stockists include www.gapyearshop.com and www.gear-zone.co.uk amongst many others.
These vary widely so be sure to shop around. Typical prices are:
Large £17.99 (although I've seen as low as £11)
They aren't cheap - but actually, if you compare that against the price of a new fluffy bath towel, it's not at all bad.
I weighed my extra large towel and a bath towel of about the same size. Weighed dry, the Lifesystems towel weights 225g and the regular towel 630g. Both have been weighed dry.
When packed in its neat little case, the manufacturers estimate that the towel takes up only 1/8th of the space of a regular towel. Loads more space for all your shopping!
What about me, I never take a holiday?
If you don't travel then maybe you go to a swimming pool or to a gym - these towels are great for that as well.
If you have kids who aren't always terribly hygiene conscious, why not get them a smaller one of these for the school showers? When I was at school we used to have 'smelliest kit bag' competitions - and towards the end of term some of those bags could move faster round the field than we could. The antibacterial treatment on these should help prevent your children from winning both smelliest kit back and mouldiest towel competitions.
That's it! What are you waiting for? Get to your piggy bank and get down the shops - you'll be glad you did. We've had ours for 5 years and they still look like new.