Matador NanoDry Trek Towel Review – The Tiny NanoDry

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Rating and Summary

The Matador NanoDry Trek Towel is the tiny counterpart to the popular Matador NanoDry Shower Towel. The main differences between the two are in dimensions, packed size, towel weight, absorbency and of course, price.

Apart from these, the tiny Trek Towel is as high quality and feature-rich as the large Shower Towel, and can be used for anything, including showering (with one caveat of course), for those looking to cut as much weight as possible. Read on to find out more!

Me holding the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Me holding the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
4.3
Absorbency
9.6
Wringing
0
Drying
10
Odor
10
Grass
9
Sand
10
Portability
3.5
Comfort
8.9
Quality
Overall Score 8.2 / 10
Pros: Extremely lightweight, high quality, fantastic overall performance
Cons: Gets soaked pretty fast if you use it as a shower towel
Price: I paid US$17 dollars.

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To buy or check out the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel, here are some places:

Product Details


Here’s what we’re going to discuss here:

  • Price
  • Unboxing
  • In the Box
  • Specifications
  • Features

This is comparison post between the small Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and the large Shower Towel.

Price

I bought the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel from a local retailer and paid about US$17 dollars, while the Shower Towel cost me US$35 dollars. Both towels were full price at the time that I bought them.

For the current retail price, you can check it out on Amazon, Moosejaw or Backcountry.

Unboxing

Here’s what the front, side and back of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel packaging looks like:

Front packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Front packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Back packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Back packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Side packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.
Side packaging of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel.

For the unboxing or clearer images of the above, please watch the video embedded above instead; it’s much nicer there and definitely clearer too.

What’s in the Box?

So, what do you get when you buy a Matador NanoDry Trek Towel? You get a silicone storage pouch, and the Trek Towel.

Specifications

These are my personal measurements of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel. These may differ slightly from the marketed dimensions given by Matador.

  • Length: 15 inches / 38cm;
  • Width: 14.75 inches / 38cm;
  • Weight of towel: 0.56 ounces / 16 grams;
  • Weight of storage pouch: 0.6 ounces / 17 grams;
  • Packed size: 2.5 x 1.75 x 1.25 inches / 6 x 4 x 3 cm;
  • Material: Nanofiber;
  • Blend: 85% polyester and 15% polyamide (nylon); and
  • Made in: China.

Here’s a table comparing the specs of the small Trek Towel and the large Shower Towel.

SpecificationsTrek (Small)Shower (Large)
Dimensions15 x 14.75 in46 x 23.5 in
Towel Weight0.56 oz2.4 oz
Pouch Weight0.6 oz2.6 oz
Packed Size2.5 x 1.75 x 1.25 in5 x 3 x 2 in
MaterialNanofiber Nanofiber
Blend85/1585/15
Made inChinaChina

Features

Both the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and the Shower Towel have snap loops for hanging the towel anywhere.

The hanging loops of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel.
The hanging loops of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel.

For additional convenience, both are machine washable and can be tumbled dry.

The storage pouches of both the Trek and Shower Towels have an almost identical design. They are both made of silicone, and both have ventilation on one side. The only difference is that the Trek Towel has a stainless steel keyring, while the Shower Towel has an anodized aluminum carabiner instead.

Left: Matador NanoDry Shower Towel with aluminum carabiner.
Right: Matador NanoDry Trek Towel with stainless steel keyring.
Left: Matador NanoDry Shower Towel with aluminum carabiner.
Right: Matador NanoDry Trek Towel with stainless steel keyring.

Testing and Performance

And now, moving on to the meat of this blog post, here’s what we’re going to discuss next:

  • Absorbency
  • Wringing
  • Drying
  • Odor Resistance
  • Dirt Repellence
  • Portability
  • Comfort
  • Quality

Absorbency

The small Matador NanoDry Trek Towel absorbs about 40 mL, or 1.4 fluid ounces of water, while the large Shower Towel absorbs 150mL (or 5.1 fluid ounces) of water.

I soaked both the Matador NanoDry Trek and Shower Towels to test absorbency.
I soaked both the Matador NanoDry Trek and Shower Towels to test absorbency.

After dividing the amount of water absorbed by the weight of the towel, the Trek Towel has an absorbency ratio of 2.5 times, while the Shower Towel has a ratio of 2.2 times.

I’m not sure why there’s a difference in the ratios when the material is the same, but at least the difference isn’t too big.

Wringing

After soaking both towels, I also wringed them out.

I wringed out the water from the Matador NanoDry Trek and Shower Towels.
I wringed out the water from the Matador NanoDry Trek and Shower Towels.

The Matador NanoDry Trek Towel had 38% of water left after wringing, while the Shower Towel had 43% of water left after wringing. I guess there’s a slight difference because the Trek Towel is smaller and easier to wring out.

Here are the calculations for the Trek Towel in case you’re interested:

Water absorbed before wringing = 40 milliliters (1.4 fluid ounces)
Water left after wringing = 31 grams (weight after wringing) – 16 grams (original weight) = 15 grams = 15 milliliters, because 1 gram = 1 milliliter.
Percentage of water left after wringing = 15 milliliters / 40 milliliters = 38%.

Drying Test 1 (With Wringing)

After wringing, when left outdoors, the Matador NanoDry Trek towel took about 13 minutes to dry, while the Shower Towel took 14 minutes to dry.

Drying the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel outdoors.
Drying the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel outdoors.

When left indoors, the Trek Towel took about 1 hour and 30 minutes to dry, while the Shower Towel took 1 hour and 45 minutes to dry.

The Trek Towel probably took a slightly shorter time to dry because it has a little less water after wringing.

Drying Test 2 (15mL)

For this test, I added 15mL (or 0.5 fluid ounces) of water to each towel.

When left outdoors, the Matador NanoDry Trek towel took 13 minutes to dry, while the Shower Towel took less than 10 minutes to dry.

When left indoors, the Trek Towel took 1 hour and 30 minutes to dry, while the Shower Towel took less than 1 hour to dry.

Drying the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel indoors.
Drying the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towel indoors.

The Shower Towel dried much faster because it has a much larger surface area.

Odor Resistance

Both the Matador NanoDry Trek towel and the Shower towel have anti-microbial coatings and are great at odor resistance.

I dried off with each towel after a shower and sealed both of them in separate plastic bags for 4 days, and neither developed any smell.

Dirt Repellence

I dragged both the Matador NanoDry Trek towel and the Shower towel along some grass, stepped on them, and checked to see what they picked up.

Both of them picked up nothing at all, and were still clean.

Both the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towels don't pick up any dirt.
Both the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and Shower Towels don’t pick up any dirt.

Portability

The Matador NanoDry Trek Towel weighs 16 grams or 0.56 ounces, while the Shower Towel weighs 68 grams or 2.4 ounces.

Here’s what the Trek Towel looks like beside the Shower Towel from the side:

Packed size of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) beside the Shower Towel (right).
Packed size of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) beside the Shower Towel (right).

When I hang the Trek Towel and the Shower Towel from my pack, neither drag on the ground.

To fold the Matador NanoDry Trek towel, half it 4 times, roll it up, then put it back into its storage pouch. You can also stuff it back in without folding, but it’s a tight fit.

Comfort

Both the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and the Shower Towel are made of the same nanofiber material. Both of them feel quite soft against the skin, both have the same thickness, and both feel quite sticky against the skin, so do pat instead of wipe.

Thickness of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) and Shower Towel (right).
Thickness of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) and Shower Towel (right).

The only difference in comfort is the sizing, as the Trek Towel is much smaller than the Shower Towel.

Quality

As for quality of stitching, material, hanging loop and storage pouch, I did not notice any differences between the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel and the Shower Towel.

I did buy different colors though. I bought the Charcoal color for the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel, and the Rust color for the Shower Towel. I felt that the Charcoal color stained slightly less than the Rust color, but both still bled quite a bit, so I recommend washing your NanoDry towels a few times before using them, no matter what color you buy.

Bleeding of the Matador NanoDry Charcoal color (left) and the Rust color (right).
Bleeding of the Matador NanoDry Charcoal color (left) and the Rust color (right).

Summary of Differences

So, what are the main differences between the small Matador NanoDry Trek towel and the large Shower Towel?

DifferencesTrek (Small)Shower (Large)
Dimensions15 x 14.75 in46 x 23.5 in
Packed Size2.5 x 1.75 x 1.25 in5 x 3 x 2 in
Towel Weight0.56 oz2.4 oz
Absorbency40mL / 1.4fl oz150mL / 5.1fl oz
PriceUS$17US$35

The main differences are in the full dimensions of the towel, the packed size of the towel, the towel weight, how much water the towel can absorb, and also the price.

Other than these, I did not really see any obvious differences in terms of packaging, features, drying time, odor resistance, dirt repellence, quality, or anything else.

Recommendation

Matador recommends the small Matador NanoDry Trek Towel as a hand or face towel for hiking and trekking, and the large Shower Towel for showering.

But if you need to cut ounces, you could use the small Trek Towel as a shower towel, as long as you don’t mind wringing it out a few times while you’re drying yourself off.

I’m 5 foot 3, with slightly longer than shoulder length hair, and I’ve used the Trek Towel after my showers. I need to wring it out once, or at most twice, while drying off. Personally, I’m not a big fan of wringing the towel out while trying to dry off, so I would pick the large NanoDry Shower Towel for showering. But that’s just my opinion.

Sizing of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) vs. the Shower Towel (right).
Sizing of the Matador NanoDry Trek Towel (left) vs. the Shower Towel (right).

Apart from the table of differences above, the small Matador NanoDry Trek Towel is as high quality and feature-rich as the large Shower Towel. I think the Trek Towel is a great high quality pick for a hand, face, or even a shower towel for anyone looking to cut as much weight as possible.

If you want to check out how the Trek Towel compares against other backpacking towels on the market, you can click here: The 5 Best Backpacking Towels: I Bought & Tested Them All (complete with YouTube video).

Me holding all 5 backpacking towels. From left to right: Sea to Summit AirLite Towel, Matador NanoDry Trek Towel, Matador NanoDry Shower Towel, Sea to Summit Pocket Towel, and PackTowl UltraLite.
Me holding all 5 backpacking towels. From left to right: Sea to Summit AirLite Towel, Matador NanoDry Trek Towel, Matador NanoDry Shower Towel, Sea to Summit Pocket Towel, and PackTowl UltraLite.