When you’re traveling, whether it’s on an adventure or a chill beach vacation, having a towel on hand is ideal. You’ll want to dry off after swimming, showering, and even hiking—and you won’t always be somewhere with towel service. Better yet, when you carry a travel towel along, you don’t have to worry about packing a gigantic, full-size towel along.


Not to mention: “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have,” according to Douglas Adams.


On my recent trip to French Polynesia, I brought along the Nomadix Original Towel. Sure, I mostly stayed in places that had extra towels on hand, but having to pack those along when I went out exploring was a bit of a pain. This 72.5-inch by 30-inch towel weighs only 16 ounces, and rolled up, is a little larger than a Mission-style burrito.


Made of 90 percent post-consumer recycled polyester, the towel absorbs 4 times its weight in water and dries 4 times faster than traditional cotton terry towels. Its small loop and tight weave decrease drying time, and all you need is to hang it in the breeze and it dries in time for your next adventure.


Design printed on front and charcoal gray on back, the towel is also sand and pet hair resistant—which saves you from transferring said sand and pet hair onto yourself when you use the towel to dry off. At home, I have one tucked in the back of my vehicle, just in case of an impromptu beach stop. I’ve also used it for beach yoga class on occasion.


The Original Towel lists for $39.95 on the Nomadix site. It comes in a wide variety of print options, from Relax Dusk (a graduated rainbow print) to Yosemite National Park Valley Night (a black-and-gray study of Yosemite Valley).