Finding the best towel to suit all of our travel needs can be rather difficult. Not only does it need to be lightweight and compact, but it needs to actually do it’s job. That is, absorb water, dry quickly and be comfortable to use.
When we find ourselves going on a bush walk where we know they’ll be a waterhole or beautiful creek to swim in, it’s a given that we all want to take our beach towels. But four beach towels (plus all of the other stuff you need to take) fill up a hiking pack rather quickly!
The Claim: A revolutionary new type of beach towel that’s lightweight, super absorbent, fast drying and totally sand-free.
It’s no different when you head for the beach and pack-horse Mum ends up with a humungous bag full of towels, water bottles, snacks, suncream and more. It’s a pain in the butt! Not to mention the soggy and sandy towels that get thrown back into the bag and manage to sprinkle sand in the car and van when you head home.
I’d heard a lot about the sand-free beach towels, so when Tesalate offered me their Beach Towel, plus their Gym Towel to review, I agreed.
So, how do the Australian made Tesalate sand-free beach and travel towels stack up against all of the odds? I have reviewed both towels separately, so read on to find out.
We received two Tesalate towels for the purpose of providing our honest opinion (all opinions remain our own). This post contains affiliate links, for more information, see our disclosures here.
Tesalate Beach Towel Review
We were asked to give an honest review of the Tesalate Sand-Free Beach and Travel Towel. So, we thought we’d put it to the test against a regular cotton beach towel and find out for ourselves, which one comes out on top.
We reckon the best way to figure it out is to pit the two towels off against each other in the following categories:
- Sand-free abilities
- Drying time
Each towel has been given a ★ Star Rating (out of five) for each category. Please remember, these are just opinions formed from our own perspective and experiences.
Is the Tesalate Towel really sand-free?
Let’s start off with the company’s biggest claim to fame. Tesalate beach towels are quickly becoming famous for being completely sand-free. We decided to put this theory to the test at a sandy creekside near our camp in country New South Wales.
I threw some handfuls of sand onto both of the towels, but I quickly realised that it was actually a dirty kind of sand. In fact I was a bit worried that the sand might leave dirty stains on the black and white side of my brand new towel!
But… I stood up and gave them both a good flick.
With the Tesalate, all the sand slid right off, like water off a ducks back. I was pretty impressed. The regular towel shook off pretty well too, but there were the odd bits of sand stuck in the cotton.
Next, I tried wet sand. I noticed that with wet sand you do need to be a bit more firm with your shaking, but the Tesalate towel did come out on top here. I can’t say it’s 100% sand-free when it comes to wet sand – it still felt wet and gritty where the sand clumps were.
I’ve given it a 3-star rating because with dry sand it’s brilliant, but with wet sand it’s not completely sand-free.
- Tesalate: ★★★
- Regular: ★★★
Apparently the Tesalate can hold up to one litre of water, which is rather a lot. I thought I’d test out the absorbency of the towel when we spent a few hours at some Artesian Hot Pools as we were travelling around.
When I got out of the water and put the Teselate towel around me, I felt like I was wrapped in a giant chamois! The towel seemed to just suck the water right off me, it was great. It wasn’t long before the towel was cold and wet.
With a regular towel you really need to dry yourself off with it to be dry, whereas the Tesalate just absorbs it right off your skin.
- Tesalate: ★★★★★
- Regular: ★★★★
Another claimed attribute of the Tesalate towel is its fast-drying super powers. When I hung both the Tesalate towel and the regular towel on the line to air-dry, I was able to see that the Tesalate dried in about half the time of the regular cotton towel from the natural sun and breeze. Both started out equally wet from swimming.
But the real test, I thought, would be to see how well the Tesalate dried inside the van by being thrown over the shower rail at night. As a full-time nomad we’re not always able to hang our towels outside to dry.
Bear in mind that our shower is not large, but I decided to squish both the wet Tesalate towel and the wet cotton towel next to each other on the shower rail to see how much they would dry over night.
The next morning I was stoked to find that the Tesalate towel was completely dry! As I would have expected, the cotton towel still hung damp.
I’m a big fan of packing quick-dry towels for travelling, which is why they made one of the items on this 120+ road trip essentials list.
A great little addition to the Tesalate towel is its handy built-in hook for hanging it to dry after use.
DRYING TIME RATING:
- Tesalate: ★★★★★
- Regular: ★★★
I found that the Tesalate towel wraps around your body (like a sarong) over your swimmers really easily as it’s very slimline. A regular towel just feels overly bulky and awkward when you wrap it around your body.
Both the cotton towel and the Tesalate towel are comfortable to lay on at the beach, in a grassy park or by a river. I find both styles to be nice and soft, but the Tesalate gets an extra star here for its ‘wrapability.’
- Tesalate: ★★★★★
- Regular: ★★★★
The Tesalate towels come in a large range of patterns and colours. I was surprised to find that there’s pretty much a design to suit every age, style and gender. One thing that is really appealing is that these towels are double-sided. Each Tesalate towel comes with the signature black and white triangle design on the back, so you can use whichever side suits your mood.
In saying that, there are millions of beach towels on the market these days, so the world is your oyster when it comes to finding a style and colour that you like.
- Tesalate: ★★★★★
- Regular: ★★★★★
I thought the best way to get a good look at the size difference between the Tesalate and the regular towel that I used for the comparison was to draw up a table filled with the numbers.
|Length||80 cm (31 inches)||80 cm (31 inches)|
|Width||160 cm (63 inches)||165 cm (65 inches)|
|Weight||520 grams (with the bag)||660 grams|
It’s easy to see that the Tesalate rolls up super small and fits nicely (every time) in the handy drawstring bag that comes with it. You could basically fit two Tesalate towels in the space of one regular towel. That’s exactly what travellers are looking for with their beach bag, hiking pack and suitcase. In fact I didn’t even roll the towels up tight in the picture above, so you could condense them even more if need be.
Some people complain about the Tesalate towels being too small. They do have the Towel For Two size, which is basically the size of two regular towels put together.
- Tesalate: ★★★★★
- Regular: ★★★
The Tesalate towels are made from what the company calls Absorblite microfibre technology, consisting of 80% polyester + 20% polyamide. It’s due to this mixture of materials that makes the towel super soft, lightweight, absorbent and quick drying.
Polyester in particular is a petroleum-based fibre that uses harmful chemicals in the process, which doesn’t make this towel an environmentally friendly option. Organic cotton and hemp are more sustainable fabrics, which are generally biodegradable as well.
We’re not impressed with the fabric components.
- Tesalate: ★★
- Regular: ★★★★
Normal-sized Tesalate towels – $79 AUD;
Larger ‘Towel for Two’ sized towels – $139 AUD.
Would we pay that much for a travel or beach towel? No, even though they are very cool and are very compact. However I would consider paying that much if the fabric was eco-friendly.
It’s super easy to browse the range and order here. We found shipping to be really quick with regular updates and communication from the company.
- Tesalate: ★★
- Regular: ★★★★
Things I DO Love About the Tesalate Sand Free Beach Towel:
- Very absorbent
- Gorgeous colours and designs
- Slimline and easy to wrap around like a sarong
- Super compact
- Handy storage pouch for your bag
- Sand-free with dry sand
- Hanging hook for drying
- Soft and comfy
- Double-sided designs
What I DON’T Love About the Tesalate Sand Free Beach Towel:
- Not 100% sand-free with wet sand
- Feels a bit like a chamois when wet
- The fabric is completely synthetic and not eco-friendly
- The price point is too high
Honestly, I think there are better competitors on the market who deliver a better price point with a more earth-friendly fabric.
|TESALATE TOWEL REVIEW|
Tesalate Gym Towel Review
When the team asked if I’d consider doing a Tesalate Gym Towel review from a caravanning and camping perspective, I did have to stop and think about it for a red hot minute.
After perusing the size and features of the Tesalate Workout Towel, I’ll admit, I could see the potential in this one item serving many purposes for the regular camper, caravanner and hiker.
Look, I know what you’re thinking. Why should you bother paying $49 for a towel to throw on the floor or wipe the dishes with? I get it, I’m a tightwad too. It would really have to offer some solid value for me to even consider that. But I am all about minimalist travelling and keeping the set up simple, easy to use and clutter-free.
So, stay with me as I work through the pros, cons and uses of the Tesalate Gym Towel for caravanning and camping.
Remember the old traveller’s rule – each item you pack must have at least two uses.
What I want to look at is how versatile the Tesalate Gym Towel is and precisely how many uses it has for caravanners and campers. That way you can decide for yourself whether it’s worth handing over $49 for one or not.
Gym Towel Features
Let’s start off with the technical aspects of the Tesalate Gym Towel.
- Size: 100 cm x 45 cm
- Compact & lightweight
- Hook for hanging
The Tesalate Gym Towel is made from a microfibre. Depending on what your standpoint is with microfibre fabrics, that alone will determine whether you see this as a positive or a negative.
Tesalate claim that they use a “safe antimicrobial additive,” which results in the towel being fast-drying, bacteria-killing and odour-free. It’s the fungi, which grows from the bacteria found in sweat, that causes towels to become smelly. So, the antimicrobial fabric works against the fungi, which is what makes the Tesalate Gym Towel odour-free.
Size & Compactness
The great thing about microfibre towels in general are their ability to roll up really small and tight. The Tesalate Gym Towel is no exception.
Rolling your towels in a drawer, box or cupboard is always the best way to store them. They take up less space and you can easily see and grab what you’re after.
Because of their slim sizing, they are very lightweight as well – especially good if you’re conscious of how much weight you’re carrying in your caravan, camper or hiking pack.
|TESALATE TOWEL SIZE COMPARISON|
|Tesalate GYM Towel||100 cm x 45 cm|
|Tesalate BEACH Towel||160 cm x 80 cm|
Patterns & Colours
One draw card of the Workout Towel is it’s double-sided design. In fact, it’s a feature of all Tesalate towels.
I’m a huge fan of the versatility of having two different designs to play with, depending on what look you’re going for or what you want to use the towel for. It’s also nice to flip the towel over and have a second side if one side gets a mark on it.
There are a whole range of designs available, with pretty much a style to suit everyone (gender, age, intended use etc.). The towels featured in this article are just two of the beautiful designs you can choose from.
One of the Tesalate claims to fame is that the towels are quick-drying. I’ve had my Tesalate Beach Towel for over a year now and the kids and I use it all the time. I can 100% confirm that it dries quicker than our other regular towels.
But, as when you’re trying to get any towel dry, wind and sun are key. Any towel that hangs limp inside the house or van is going to take forever to dry without sunshine, warmth or a breeze.
In saying that, when I spread my Tesalate out over the shower rail in the van to dry over night, it’s always a lot drier in the morning (if not completely dry) that what the other, regular towels are. So, from a travelling standpoint, I see the fast drying time as a huge draw card, especially where space and time are a restriction.
The hook on all of the Tesalate towels is such a simple, yet handy feature. You can use it to hang the towel off various things to either store it or get it dry.
I also really like the idea of using this smaller towel for things like wiping up spills, throwing around your neck for hiking, wiping hands and dishes etc., for the simple reason that it will dry much quicker than a regular-sized towel.
Not only will the towel dry quicker, but the smaller size means that you don’t need as much space available to spread it out. You can easily throw it over your spare tyre (unless it’s covered in outback dirt!), the back of a camping chair or literally any other space that you can find.
For plenty more towel drying ideas, check out these 10 great travel clotheslines.
Tesalate Towel Uses for Caravanning & Camping
Okay, let’s get into what we’re all here for. What are some of the uses for the Tesalate Towels when it comes to caravanning and camping? I’ve come up with as many uses that I can think of and would actually use the towel for. But if you can think of more, please share them in the comments down the bottom.
The Tesalate Towels get a huge tick from me as hand towels. There’s nothing worse than a hand towel hanging wet for hours in a tiny caravan bathroom or around your campsite, so the quick-drying quality of the Tesalate is a good thing.
Here are some reasons why I really like to use the Gym Towels as hand towels:
- Generous size, without being too big
- Gorgeous designs for the bathroom/ campsite
- Highly absorbent
Much like using the Tesalate Towels as hand towels, they also make fantastic tea towels. They’re bigger than normal tea towels, meaning that you only need one for a big load of dishes, rather than getting two wet.
Another use is to lay one down on the table or bench as a ‘dish mat,’ if you don’t have enough drying space.
Plus, the designs are really bright and funky. While you can’t change the furniture around in a caravan, a fresh set of textiles always makes the place feel like new again.
Using the Tesalate Gym Towel as a tea towel:
- Very stylish prints and patterns to brighten up the van or camper
- Super absorbent for drying the dishes
- Bigger than a regular Tea Towel
Sometimes you just feel like the van or campsite needs some sprucing up, which is where I do love to have a few different fabrics on hand. To be honest, tablecloths aren’t always very practical in a caravan, as they just slide off during travel. But when you’ve stopped for a few days and feel like adding a splash of colour, the Tesalate Beach & Gym Towels are perfect.
The colours and designs make them versatile enough for a table covering as much as a tea towel. Plus, don’t forget that they have the black and white design on the back if you want to flip it over for a different look.
Although they are a perfect fit for the standard adjustable caravan/ camper table (without overhang), the Tesalate Workout Towel also looks really lovely spread out diagonally across an outdoor table to display your drinks and nibbles at happy hour.
Rainy days in a caravan or tent really suck and one of my pet peeves is wet feet being walked through.We have a heavier, more solid door mat, but I don’t like how long it takes to dry. I always fold the usual door mat away on rainy days and put a towel down instead for people to wipe their feet on.
The Tesalate Gym Towel is the perfect size for the entryway and looks really nice too. I like that I can easily throw it over the shower rail to dry relatively quickly, then the usual door mat can go back down.
It’s important to note that Tesalate Towels are pretty lightweight and will probably move around a bit on the floor. They could potentially be a slip hazard, especially for kids, older folk and drunk folk, so I wouldn’t recommend using them if you’re worried about any of those things.
One of these funky designs would also look really nice as a floor mat at the sink in a van or just inside the tent door.
If you’re likely to go hiking while you’re camping or travelling, the Tesalate Towels are perfect to roll up into your pack. The gym towel is smaller and more compact, while the beach towel is great for swimming and using as a rug for lunch stops.
Here are a few reasons to throw a Tesalate Towel into your hiking pack:
- Super absorbent
- Rolls into a small space
- Wipe your face and neck when you’re sweaty
- Dry yourself off if you go for a dip in a river or creek along the way
- Wet the towel and put it around your neck to stay cool
- Use it to sit on for lunch
- Small enough to throw over your pack to dry while you’re walking (without it hanging down and getting in the way)
Drying off your Gear
It’s pretty common to wake up in the morning to damp camping gear (chairs, tables, awnings, bikes, tents etc.). And quite often, you need to pack up and hit the road right after breakfast.
If you’ve got a Tesalate Towel in your supply, I’d recommend whipping it out to wipe down your gear as much as you can before you pack it away. The towel is absorbent enough to soak up the dew, but small enough to throw over a back seat in the car or a table in the camper, to dry while you’re driving.
Tesalate Towel Conclusion for Caravanning & Camping
It’s easy to see that the Tesalate Towels provide a wide array of uses for you while caravanning and camping.
In my opinion, if you were looking at purchasing the Gym Towel anyway for your workout sessions, it’s well worth looking at how you can put it to good use while travelling. Having many purposes for one item really stretches the dollar value.
If you’re solely considering purchasing the Tesalate Towel just for your caravanning and camping adventures, there are undoubtedly a whole host of uses for that singular object, which saves space and ticks the “each item must serve multiple purposes” travel rule.
Towels Made from Recycled Water Bottles!
Check out the range of eco Australian Made sand-free beach towels at Adventure Awaits, which have all been made using recycled water bottles!