This morning I received a set of three Lightload Towels. The manufacturer claims that these towels are the lightest( 5 oz. or 140 gr.) and most versatile towels around. Even better, they say these are not just towels but can be considered as a multi-pupose survival tool. The towels are made of 100% viscose, quick drying and wickable.
For a travelling cyclists one of the rewards after a long , and hot adusty day on the road is a (hot) shower. To dry yourself you’ll need a towel. A towel that is as lightweight as possible but on the other side can absorb plenty of water. Can the Lightload towel stand ” The Cycling Around the World Test” ?
Lightload towel in use
My initial reaction after unpacking, what initially looked like a set of three pill boxes, was: “Are these towels, where are my towels?” It took me a little while to figure out that dipping in water softens the towels up and gets the wrinkles out. The “pill box” quickly then transforms into a 30 x 60 cm towel that absorbs a lot of water. The towels dry quicky and feel soft on your skin. According to the FAQ pages on the Lightload Towels website, they last for about two months.
The initial package
But are these towels useful for cyclists travelling and trekking around the world? Well, on a very long trip I would typically use a more durable towel. But as an extra “emergency supply” these towels could be useful. The manufacturer claims that the Lightloads can also be used as “pot holder, seat or pack padding, water of coffee filter, First Aid supplement or even as fire starter”.
Add some water and seconds later your 30 x 60 cm towel is ready
I wouldn’t use it as a serious water filter but for the rest it’s probably ok. And of course you could use it as a pot holder or pack padding, but anything soft can do such a job. I also tried my luck to use it as a fire starter. I was not too impressed. Ok, I was able to set in on fire but it petered out after a few minutes. I’ve had better results with dry paper and a few drops of (car)gas from my camping stove to get a fire going.
So what’s the verdict?
Good for use as an extra disposable towel (very lightweight and very compact) on bike and camping trips. The Lightload towels seem less suitable for the alternatives mentioned on the pack.