Updated on November 5, 2020 by Lyric Fergusson
Icarry a towel with me anytime I know that I will be working up a sweat. Whether I’m lifting weights, hiking the mountains of the world, or playing a game of soccer with my kids. I hate dripping sweat and not being able to do anything about it. These seven sports towels have completely changed my game, and I can’t recommend them enough.
If you’re like me and hate feeling sticky and overheated, consider using a sports towel. They not only help you stay dry, but they also help keep your equipment clean and easy to handle. And, unfortunately, your kitchen towel won’t cut it.
The Best Sports Towels
Why it’s great: I’m a big fan of cooling towels, especially for activities where I’m really working up a sweat. The Chill Pal PVA is easily one of my favorite cooling towels that I have ever come across. Soak it in cold water, wring it out, and wrap it around your neck for instant heat relief. There’s nothing better after an intense game. There’s nothing more distracting during a competitive match than sweat rolling into your eyes–especially if you’re about to win.
It’s thicker than many cooling towels you will find, which helps the cooling sensation last longer. This means you won’t have to worry about always needing to soak it every 20 minutes. It also doesn’t drench your clothes, so you don’t have to worry about a soaked uniform.
Keep in mind: The towel does harden a bit when dry, which can be slightly uncomfortable. However, simply wet the towel once again, and it won’t be a problem. When you’re done using it, wet it and put it back in its carrying pouch, so it holds its shape.
Good for: Extra strenuous sports
Why it’s great: Youphoria truly is a towel that can be used for everything. Available in three different sizes and ten different colors, the towel is small, convenient, super absorbent, and fast-drying. I recently used this towel after a run–which, if you know New Mexico, you know how warm it can get–and it did an incredible job of cooling me down. It dried with no odor, which I found to be truly impressive because I worked up a serious sweat.
If you’ve ever used a microfiber towel before, you know they can feel extremely rough on dry hands. I never got that uncomfortable feeling with this towel, which makes a huge difference when you’re handling racquets, balls, etc.
Keep in mind: It is thinner than you may be used to. It may take some time to get used to the thinness, and it may have you concerned that it won’t be absorbent, but don’t worry. It dries extremely quickly.
Good for: Runners and hikers
Why it’s great: Desired Body’s fitness gym towels are some of my favorite towels that I have ever used. I’ve used them for hiking, kayaking runs, etc. They absorb sweat well and quickly. They’re super lightweight, fit in my duffle bag perfectly, and even come with a loop that makes for super easy drying. This is extremely important because microfibers towels can get ruined with high heat–so the less I throw this in the dryer, the longer it will last. Anytime I go to play a game, whether it’s a round of tennis or a lighthearted game of soccer, I make sure I have one of these towels with me at all times.
Keep in mind: The instructions for these towels do say to air dry them, so if you are used to throwing your gym towels in with a regular load of laundry, you might find this frustrating.
Good for: Everyday sports
Why it’s great: Made of 100% cotton, the Utopia towels are soft, thick, and can handle a whole lot of moisture. They are on the smaller side; however, I don’t mind this because sometimes you just need something little and light to get the job done–especially if you have a bag full of equipment. After one wash, these come out super soft, thick, and fluffy, and it feels like you’re wiping your face with a cloud.
Keep in mind: Before using, throw these in the wash by themselves. They tend to shed lint after washing for the first time, and no one wants lint covered clean clothing.
Good for: Less-strenuous games
Why it’s great: Made of 85% polyester and 15%, this combination of fabrics makes the towel quick-drying, absorbent, lightweight, soft, and ultra-compact. And although it may feel thinner to the touch, it’s surprisingly sturdy and long-lasting–two features that are important with sports towels.
I love this towel because it not only has a loop to air-dry, but it also can be thrown in with your regular laundry, so you don’t need to focus on any special washing instructions. In fact, the more time these towels spend in the dryer, the softer and fluffier they will be.
Keep in mind: There are large seams on the edges, so it’s smart not to scrub your face with too much pressure with these towels. It will help avoid any unnecessary scratches.
Good for: When you’re on the go
Why it’s great: I love the HOEAAS towels because there’s such a wide range of sizes, perfect for every sport. One of my favorite ways to exercise is swimming. With the size of large and extra-large towels, I am fully capable of wrapping the entire thing around me and drying off in a matter of minutes. I use the smaller towel that comes in the pack for days that I want to play other sports or go hiking, and it’s still large enough to wrap around my neck when I’m not using it. These towels come in eight different colors and five different sizes, so there is truly something for everyone. If you don’t need them for swimming, you can stick with the smaller, more packable sizes!
Keep in mind: The material of these towels is thicker, so it may take some time to get used to.
Good for: When you need to get dry quickly
Why it’s great: The HOPESHINE microfiber towel is thin, absorbent, and great for those that work up quite the sweat. I’ve washed mine multiple times, and it’s still as soft as the day that I got it. It rolls up nicely and can fit in a very small duffle bag, yet it’s the perfect length for wrapping around the neck when unrolled. They’re comparable to the Lululemon, without the hefty price tag.
Keep in mind: Follow the washing instructions when you first receive the towels. The color will likely bleed, and there will also be lint. To avoid ruining any other clothing items, wash these in their own load following the given directions.
Good for: All athletes
FAQs about sports towels
1. What is a sports towel?
A sports towel is one of the essential pieces of equipment that an athlete can have. They are used for wiping sweat and cleaning equipment (which can drastically improve your game).
2. Why is a sports towel important?
While wiping sweat may not seem like a big deal, moisture can make or break a game. There’s nothing worse than sweaty palms when you’re trying to grip a golf club or hold onto a baseball bat. They can also be used to wipe down muddy golf clubs or get oils off of golf balls.
3. What makes a good sports towel?
With all of the sports towels on the market, choosing the best one can be difficult. There are some qualities that you want to keep in mind when purchasing. Important features include quick-drying, absorbent, bacteria-resistant.
4. What size should a sports towel be?
The size of your sports towel truly depends on the sport that you are looking to play. If you plan to have an intense workout where you know that you will be heavily sweating, you will want a more oversized towel. If you are just looking for something on the go that will do the job quickly, you can get away with something on the smaller side.
5. How do you care for a sports towel?
When caring for a sports towel, I highly recommend checking the care instructions that come with the towel. Some require hand-drying, while others can be thrown in with other loads of laundry. When first receiving a towel, look at the instructions before use. There are times when you will need to wash it in a load by itself before using it for the first time to prevent color bleeding from sweat.
Your life will be genuinely changed when you start using a sports towel. They help you stay cool and dry and help prevent unwanted bacteria and germs.
Getting a sports towel that is best for you truly depends on what kind of activities you are doing. Whether you’re swimming laps, running on the treadmill, kayaking on a quiet lake, or hiking your favorite trail, each towel is not created equally. Think about what’s most important to you–absorbancy, size, material, etc., and decide from there. Use one of these seven towels, and I promise you’ll end the day happy and dry!