Saturday, January 1, 2011

Product Review - MSR PackTowl Nano

Rating: 4 out of 5 - Recommended

I have been looking for something to replace my 1oz cotton bandanna for some time now. My goal has been to find a synthetic towel that is about the same weight, is more absorbent, and dries quicker. I've tried Lightload towels, but have found them to be way too fragile (somewhat like a paper shop towel). Other synthetic towels I have tried were much heavier, so I've stuck with my trusty old cotton bandanna. This one made by MSR is just what I was looking for...



It comes attached to this nifty little stuff sack, but I can't imagine what for...marketing?

Therefore, in my typical fashion, I immediately modified my brand new product. In fact, I can't think of many things I buy for backpacking that I don't modify. I got out my seam ripper (a MYOG guy's best friend), and removed the grosgrain webbing that attached it to the stuff sack.

After removing the "extra" stuff, I now have a synthetic bandanna that is slightly larger than my old cotton bandanna (18 x 23 in size medium compared to 20 x 20). It is about twice as absorbent, dries almost instantly (just wring it out and hang it from a pack strap for a few minutes), and weighs only 0.9oz (0.1 oz lighter than a cotton bandanna). The claimed product weight is right on, as soon as you remove and the parts that you don't need (which weigh an additional 0.3oz).

For me, I actually cut it into 4 equally sized pieces and take only half of the towel, 2 small pieces that are 9 x 11 1/2 inches. That way I can always have a clean dry one if the other is dirty or wet, or use one for washing and the other for drying.

After cutting, you need to singe the edges with a lighter or torch to keep the material from fraying.

For Juggy, this replaced her bandanna as well, and she also takes an additional quarter sized piece for a wash cloth, which replaced her old thicker one and saved her an additional 0.3oz.

A successful piece of gear...a little lighter and a lot more effective!

Get yours here at the Mountain UltraLight Store.

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