As a triathlete, it’s fair to say you’ll be using a swimming towel more than most, whether that’s after a pool swim, in transition or during a sweaty turbo trainer session.
The best swimming towels are highly absorbent, fast-drying and, crucially, lightweight enough that you’ll hardly notice it in your bag.
Large towels that pack down into a small pouch are excellent options, but smaller options are handy for using on a turbo or in transition when you just want to dry your feet. You may also want to look out for towels with handy hanging loops, anti-odour properties and sustainable construction.
To help make your search easier, we’ve tracked down a range of swimming towels for you to consider.
Best swimming towels for triathletes
Sea to Summit Airlite Towel
The standout element of the Sea to Summit Airlite Towel is its innovative scalloped edge, which is created using laser cutting techniques. This clever design feature makes the towel even lighter and less bulky than many other products on the market.
The towel also comes with a ‘stuff sack’, which packs the extra large (54cm x 132cm) towel down so small it can fit in the palm of your hand. In fact, when packed down, it’s said to only weigh a measly 70g. There are also small, medium and large sizes available.
Sea To Summit also claims it can absorb over three times its weight in water. Due to its size and light weight, this could be a good option for post-swim, in transition or while indoor training on the turbo or treadmill.
Red Original Quick Dry Microfibre Towel
- Buy now from Red (£24.95)
Designed as a product ‘for adventurers’, this microfibre towel has a number of practical qualities. Red Original says it can hold four times its weight in water but dries fast and has anti-bacterial and anti-odour features, meaning it shouldn’t start to smell in your pack.
Also, this towel comes with a strap and loop, making it easy to hang out to dry. As for size, it’s 80cm x 150cm, yet around half as heavy as a standard cotton towel.
LifeVenture SoftFibre Printed Recycled Towel
Microfibre products are usually made with a high percentage of polyester, so when a sports towel contains recycled or sustainable materials, we’re keen to find out more about it. Recycled bottles make up 66% of this one, which measures 90cm x 150cm and weighs just 203g. The best bit? It’s also completely recyclable, so it doesn’t need to harm the planet.
Like most other microfibre products, this towel is said to be absorbent, yet lightweight and extra soft. In fact, it’s said to be able to take in nine times its weight in water.
Mountain Warehouse Microfibre Travel Towel – Large
This microfibre towel from Mountain Warehouse is another option. It’s available in a range of colours, including navy, red and grey. At 70cm x 130cm, it’s a useful size for drying off after a pool swim, too.
With an 80% polyester and 20% polyamide mix, this towel is said to be soft to the touch and has a claimed weight of 300g. Mountain Warehouse says it also mops up more than 1kg of water.
Fit-Flip Microfibre towel
For the option to tailor your swim towel to your own personal preference, try this design from Fit-Flip. It comes in a range of different sizes and colours, and gives you the chance to select your favourite one.
The towels go from 30cm x 50cm – perfect for turbo sessions or drying your feet in transition – all the way up to full-sized swim towels at 100cm x 200cm. Among the 12 colour options are green, cyan and pink, but you can also choose black or grey for a smart monochrome look.
As a handy add-on, these towels also come with a small press stud, so you can easily hang it out to dry when needed.
Big Jim Microfibre Towel
This microfibre towel from Big Jim is another option worth considering, which comes in a bright blue shade. At 90cm x 180cm, it’s large enough to be used as your main towel after pool swims. Thanks to the fabric’s ‘super tight weave’, it’s said to be able to absorb up to eight times the amount of water a regular cotton towel would.
Despite this, the towel is just 2mm thick, so it won’t take up much space in your pack once you’ve stashed it away. It’s also said to dry quickly and has a claimed weight of 330g.
Trespass Bamboo Towel
This option from Trespass is made with a bamboo microfibre material, which is a great sustainable option when compared to more traditional fabrics.
It’s 60cm x 120cm in size and folds up into a small zipped pouch to take on the road. In fact, the towel doesn’t fill the bag, so there’s room to keep your other bits and bobs safe and secure inside too. Trespass says the fabric dries rapidly, making it a convenient choice for triathletes.
Nabaiji Microfibre Pool Towel
Specifically designed to be used around the pool, this microfibre towel from Decathlon is 80cm x 130cm and is said to dry quickly. It’s also claimed to be highly absorbent, and the manufacturers say it’s most effective when you pat rather than rub your skin.
With an 87% polyester and 13% polyamide blend, this towel weighs just 203g and is said to wash easily without damaging the fabric over time. If the colour isn’t quite right for you, check out the other versions. It’s available in navy, teal, orange and blue stripes.
Speedo Sports Towel Blue
Due to its small size (40cm x 30cm), this Speedo Sports Towel is best suited for drying feet in transition or moping sweat up during turbo or S&C sessions. It’s available in both blue and pink, so you can choose the one to suit you. The fabric is said to be highly absorbent and quick to dry, as well as lightweight.
M&S Microfibre Geometric Beach Towel
You don’t always need to head to specialised sports retailers to get your hands on kit you can use for training and racing. M&S sells this lightweight microfibre towel, which is one to consider for post-swim, indoor training and transition. With its colourful geometric design, it’s a cheerful addition to any gear setup and, thanks to its StayNew technology, it should keep its bright colours after many washes.
The towel is 90cm x 160cm and comes with a useful travel bag to keep your bag neat and tidy. As an added bonus, at least 30% of the material is recycled, so it’s kinder on the environment than a lot of other lightweight swimming towels on the market.