If you live with or are an athlete (especially triathletes, swimmers, and any endurance sport for that matter) you know all too well how quickly your laundry basket fills up with workout clothes, socks, and of course towels. It seems that upwards of 50% of my laundry each week is comprised of towels. I use them for everything from drying off after a pool workout, to wipping off the sweat from my face during a track set, or covering my bike on the trainer. Towels are pretty generic and basic without much need for glitz or glamor; you wipe yourself down, throw it in the laundry hamper, grab another one for your next workout, and repeat. Such a common household item is hard to improve upon, so I was skeptical when I saw Discovery Trekking better version of the towel. How could you make a towel better? What is wrong with my Spongebob Squarepants towel that I have used since the 8th grade?
The major problems with the basic towel is that it does not dry you off completely, does not dry quickly, and consequently, leaves you with a heavy, damp, and smelly towel that not only gets everything else in your bag damp but stinks it up too. To solve this Discovery Trekking created a special type of material that absorbs moisture not into the fibers like traditional towels, but around the, allowing for quicker evaporation. To eliminate smell, the towels contain trace amounts of silver, a proven antimicrobial. This is all fine and dandy, but the really question is does it work? Is it a good tool for a triathlete, and is it worthy of putting in my gym bag? I decided to put these test through several rigorous tests:
- The race test: Grade A I decided to test out these towels in my last race. I always have two towels in my transition bag in T1, one I spread on the ground next to my bike, and the other I throw over my handle bars. The ground towel I use to wipe off my feet before I put on my socks (if I am doing a 70.3 or above, otherwise I go without socks) and the hand towel I use to wipe off my core quickly. It worked amazingly well in the race but better yet, after the race the towels were not damp like they usually are and folded easily into my transition bag without added bulk.
- The pool test: Grade B The pool test is one of the more critical tests since I most of towel use occurs after my swims and strength sets. Once again the towel dried amazingly quickly. By the time I had dried off after my post swim shower to when I had finished packing up (about 10 minutes), the towel was completely dry. It also did not any chlorine smell. I will say though that the thinness while convenient, was slightly off putting. I personally like to have a nice thick, terry-cloth towel after a warm shower, but this was definitely a good substitute and more compact.
- The Bike Trainer test: Grade A+
Final thoughts: The towel passed all of my tests and it has definitely won a place in my transition and pool bag. For everyday use such as using it in the bathroom I think I will go with normal, thick Spongebob Squarepants towel.
You can find out more information about the Discovery Trekking towel here: http://www.discoverytrekking.com/towels