Best swimming towels: Lightweight options for triathletes

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 kit 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

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 65cm x 110cm and weighs just 120g. 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 gray. 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 claimed a 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 favorite 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 color options are green, cyan and pink, but you can also choose black or gray 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.

Buy the Trespass Bamboo towel from Amazon

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 color 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.

For more help choosing your triathlon kit, check out our favorite swim robes and shampoos.

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