Nomadix (the Original) Towel – Complete Review

Nomadix towel folded and unfolded
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Rating and Summary

The Original Nomadix Towel (Full-Sized) is a high quality packable towel that has incredible stitching and materials, fantastic design and has stood up to months of abuse without fraying, losing material, or fading in color. I can certainly see it lasting for many years, and still remain as vibrant as ever.

In addition, the Nomadix Towel also has the key characteristics of an excellent towel – it dries at least 50% faster than a regular cotton, has antimicrobial treatment, and is super packable, amongst many other things.

However, it is a little bit on the heavier side because it only comes in a Beach size. Also, it’s on the pricier side. If you like large towels to dry off with, or you need something with versatile usage (like to use at the beach or also for yoga), I think the Nomadix Towel offers fantastic value for money even at its higher price point, simply because it’s going to last a lot longer than the other towels on the market.

That’s why the Nomadix Towel is my “Best Quality” and “Best Durability” Top Pick.

My ratings of the Nomadix Original Towel. Green is good, yellow is just okay, orange and red is bad.
Overall Score: 7.4 (out of 10)
Pros: High quality, fast drying, dirt repellent, comfortable, versatile
Cons: Heavy and expensive
Price: I paid US$38 for this.
Where to buy: REI (Click here)
Check out my YouTube video of the Nomadix Original Towel, if you prefer watching over reading.

If you enjoyed the video, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel right here:

Product Details

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

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

Price

The towel that I bought is the Nomadix Original Towel, Double-Sided. I bought it from REI Co-Op, and paid US$38 for it. And that was on sale.

My receipt from REI Co-Op. Red highlight is the Nomadix Original Double-Sided Towel.
My receipt from REI Co-Op. Red highlight is the Nomadix Original Double-Sided Towel.

You can check out the current retail price at this link here. Take note that the Double-Sided towels cost more than the Single-Sided ones. I don’t think performance differs, just the design.

Unboxing

I bought the Nomadix Original Towel from REI Co-Op along with a bunch of other camping stuff, so it came in a cardboard box like this:

Unboxing the Nomadix Original Towel from REI Co-Op (along with some other stuff).
Unboxing the Nomadix Original Towel from REI Co-Op (along with some other stuff).

After removing the plastic from the Nomadix Original Towel, here’s what the back and front packaging look like:

The front packaging of the unopened Nomadix Original Towel.
The front packaging of the unopened Nomadix Original Towel.
The back packaging of the unopened Nomadix Original Towel.
The back packaging of the unopened Nomadix Original Towel.

For the unboxing, you might want to watch the video embedded above instead; it’s much nicer there.

What’s in the Box?

The Nomadix Towel doesn’t come with a storage pouch, so you get only the towel.

Specifications

The marketed specifications given by Nomadix are pretty accurate, and you can check those out on the official Nomadix website or on the REI Co-Op website, but here are my personal measurements (may differ):

  • Length: 71 inches / 180 centimeters;
  • Width: 30 inches / 76 centimeters;
  • Weight of towel: 488 grams / 17.2 ounces;
  • Packed size: 9.5 x 8.5 x 2 inches / 24 x 22 x 5 centimeters;
  • Blend: 95% polyester and 15% nylon;
  • Made from: Recycled plastic bottles; and
  • Made in: China.

Features

The Nomadix Original Towel has a hanging loop, so you can hang your towel on a hook at home, on a clothesline in the outdoors, or even on your pack when you’re hiking. To do this, you’d need a carabiner.

Hooking my Columbia carabiner to the hanging loop of my Nomadix Original Towel.
Hooking my Columbia carabiner to the hanging loop of my Nomadix Original Towel.

If you’re at home, the Nomadix towel is machine washable and can be tumbled dry.

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 1
  • Drying 2
  • Odor Resistance
  • Grass/Dirt Repellence
  • Sand Repellence
  • Portability
  • Quality and Comfort

Absorbency

To test absorbency, I measured the amount of water in this blue bucket, and soaked the Nomadix Original towel in it.

I soaked the Nomadix Original Towel in a bucket to test its absorbency.
I soaked the Nomadix Original Towel in a bucket to test its absorbency.

After the Nomadix towel got completely soaked, I lifted it above the water and let excess water drip back into the bucket. When the water stopped dripping, I measured the water left inside the bucket.

From this testing, I found that the Nomadix towel absorbed 1,150 milliliters (or 38.9 fluid ounces) of water. Since it weighs 488 grams, total absorbency is 1,150 divided by 488, which is about 2.4 times.

I did the same thing to a similar sized cotton towel and found that it had a much higher absorbency of 3.26 times. Although the Nomadix is quite a bit heavier than the cotton towel, it absorbed the same amount of water, giving it a lower absorbency.

Wringing

After soaking the Nomadix Original towel, I wringed out as much water as possible.

Wringing out the Nomadix Original towel to see how much water would be left.
Wringing out the Nomadix Original towel to see how much water would be left.

After wringing, the Nomadix towel weighed 1,141 grams, or 40.2 ounces. After doing some calculations, I found out that a whopping 57% of water was left. Here are the calculations in case you’re interested:

Water absorbed before wringing = 1,150 milliliters (38.9 fluid ounces)
Water left after wringing = 1,141 grams (weight after wringing) – 488 grams (original weight) = 653 grams = 653 milliliters (22.1 fluid ounces), because 1 gram = 1 milliliter.
Percentage of water left after wringing = 653 milliliters / 1,150 milliliters = 57%.

As for the cotton towel after wringing, 46% of water was left. The Nomadix towel was much bigger, so I found it more difficult to wring out.

Drying Test 1 (With Wringing)

To test drying time, I conducted 2 separate drying tests.

This first drying test measures how long it’ll take the Nomadix Original Towel to dry after being completely soaked and wringed out as much as possible (this is to mimic the situation where you’re drying your towel after you wash it while camping).

As mentioned above, the Nomadix towel weights 1,141 grams (or 40.2 ounces) after wringing.

Weight of the Nomadix Original towel after wringing - 1,141 grams (or 40.2 ounces)
Weight of the Nomadix Original towel after wringing – 1,141 grams (or 40.2 ounces)

When left outdoors, the Nomadix towel takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to dry; and when left indoors, it takes about 16 hours to dry.

I weighed the Nomadix towel at certain time intervals to determine the percentage of drying, and here they are:

Outdoors:

  • 0 hours: 1,141 grams / 40.2 ounces (0% dry)
  • 0.5 hours: 928 grams / 32.7 ounces (33% dry)
  • 1 hour: 738 grams / 26.0 ounces (62% dry)
  • 1.5 hours: 540 grams / 19.0 ounces (92% dry)
  • 1 hour 45 mins: 488 grams / 17.2 ounces (100% dry)

Indoors:

  • 0 hours: 1,141 grams / 40.2 ounces (0% dry)
  • 2 hours: 1,023 grams / 36.1 ounces (18% dry)
  • 4 hours: 937 grams / 33.1 ounces (31% dry)
  • 6 hours: 873 grams / 30.8 ounces (41% dry)
  • 8 hours: 808 grams / 28.5 ounces (51% dry)
  • 10 hours: 723 grams / 25.5 ounces (64% dry)
  • 12 hours: 638 grams / 22.5 ounces (77% dry)
  • 14 hours: 560 grams / 19.8 ounces (89% dry)
  • 16 hours: 488 grams / 17.2 ounces (100% dry)
Drying the Nomadix Original Towel indoors and outdoors to see how long it'll take to dry after wringing.
Left column, top image: Cotton outdoors
Left column, bottom image: Cotton indoors
Right column, top image: Nomadix Original towel outdoors
Right column, bottom image: Nomadix Original towel indoors

On the other hand, the cotton towel took 2 hours and 15 minutes to dry outdoors, and a whopping 27 hours to dry indoors.

Drying Test 2 (100mL)

This second drying test measures how long it’ll take for 100 milliliters / 3.4 fluid ounces of water to dry off. This is to recreate a situation where you take a shower and dry off with the towel while camping, and also to conduct a more fair drying test (where all the towels that I test absorb the same amount of water – 100mL).

Adding 100mL (3.4 fluid ounces) of water to each towel (cotton and Nomadix Original towel).
Adding 100mL (3.4 fluid ounces) of water to each towel (cotton and Nomadix Original towel).

As the Nomadix Original towel’s original weight is 488 grams, adding 100mL (3.4fl oz) to it will bring its weight to 588 grams (or 20.7 ounces). When left outdoors, the Nomadix towel takes about 26 minutes to dry; when left indoors, it takes about 3 hours to dry.

Again, I weighed the Nomadix towel at certain time intervals to determine the percentage of drying:

Outdoors:

  • 0 mins: 588 grams / 20.7 ounces (0% dry)
  • 10 mins: 545 grams / 19.2 ounces (43% dry)
  • 20 mins: 506 grams / 17.8 ounces (82% dry)
  • 26 mins: 488 grams / 17.2 ounces (100% dry)

Indoors:

  • 0 hours: 588 grams / 20.7 ounces (0% dry)
  • 1 hour: 552 grams / 19.5 ounces (36% dry)
  • 2 hours: 518 grams / 18.3 ounces (70% dry)
  • 3 hours: 488 grams / 17.2 ounces (100% dry)

In contrast, the cotton towel took 40 minutes to dry outdoors, and 7 hours to dry indoors. 

Drying the Nomadix Original towel indoors and outdoors after adding 100mL or 3.4 fluid ounces of water to it, so see how long it'll take to dry.
Left column, top image: Cotton outdoors
Left column, bottom image: Cotton indoors
Right column, top image: Nomadix Original towel outdoors
Right column, bottom image: Nomadix Original towel indoors

Odor Resistance

For the first odor resistance test, I went to the beach and soaked the Nomadix Original towel in seawater. After, I wringed out as much seawater as I could, and sealed the towel in a plastic bag for 4 days, or 96 hours.

Soaking the Nomadix Original Towel in seawater to test its odor resistance.
Soaking the Nomadix Original Towel in seawater to test its odor resistance.

After the 4 days, the Nomadix towel had a damp sea smell. It was quite faint, and not strong at all. It didn’t smell too unpleasant. The Nomadix towel is treated anti-microbially, so it did pretty well in the odor resistance tests compared to the other camping towels that I bought.

For the second odor resistance test, I took a shower and then dried off with the Nomadix towel once, then sealed it into a plastic bag immediately, also for 4 days.

After the 4 days, the Nomadix towel didn’t have a smell at all, which was a pleasant surprise. This means that if you’re in a rush, and you need to pack your Nomadix towel without first drying it, the antimicrobial treatment will prevent odors from developing.

For the third and last odor resistance test, I used the Nomadix towel every single day for 7 days without washing it. In between uses, I hung the towel indoors on a rack.

After the 7 days of continuous usage, the Nomadix towel had no smell. I’m pretty sure that I could have gone longer without it smelling at all, but I decided not to (for hygiene purposes).

In contrast, the cotton towel started smelling like rotten food in the first test, smelled musky in the second test, and had a musky (but not too strong) smell in the third test.

Grass and Dirt

For the grass and dirt test, I dragged the Nomadix Original towel along some grass and also stepped on it.

After picking it up to check, I found that the Nomadix towel picked up a few stray leaves (well, 2 stray leaves, to be more specific).

Dragging the Nomadix Original towel over some grass; it picked up a few stray leaves.
Dragging the Nomadix Original towel over some grass; it picked up a few stray leaves.

Then, I shook the Nomadix towel to see whether the stray leaves would fall off. They did, and the Nomadix towel was completely clean after shaking it a few times. (I actually didn’t even need to shake it much.)

I did the same to the cotton towel, which picked up more dirt that couldn’t shake off easily (there were still tiny pieces of dirt stuck when I got home).

Sand

For the sand test, I covered both the Nomadix Original towel and the cotton towel with sand. Basically, the same thing as the grass test above. Some sand stuck to the Nomadix towel after picking it up from the beach floor, and here’s what it looked like:

Some sand stuck to the Nomadix Original Towel while at the beach (before shaking).
Some sand stuck to the Nomadix Original Towel while at the beach (before shaking).

I was a little surprised by this, considering how many people use the Nomadix towel as a beach towel.

Nevertheless, when I shook the Nomadix towel after to see whether the sand would fall off, it did, and very easily. The Nomadix towel was clean after shaking.

The results were the same for the cotton towel.

Portability

The Nomadix towel weighs 488 grams, or 17.2 ounces, whereas the cotton towel weighs 337 grams, or 11.9 ounces.

Weighing the Nomadix Original Towel in ounces – 17.25 ounces.
Weighing the Nomadix Original Towel in ounces – 17.25 ounces.

The Nomadix is heavier because it’s a beach towel and is much bigger.

Unpacked size of the Nomadix Original Towel compared to a regular cotton bath towel.
Unpacked size of the Nomadix Original Towel compared to a regular cotton bath towel.

But even so, it packs down to about the same size as the cotton towel. Here’s what it looks like beside the cotton towel from the side:

Putting a cotton towel (left) and the Nomadix Original Towel (right) side by side for a packed size comparison.
Putting a cotton towel (left) and the Nomadix Original Towel (right) side by side for a packed size comparison.

The Nomadix doesn’t come with a storage pouch, but does come with a hanging loop for easy carry and drying. Unfortunately, because it’s so big, if you’re not tall like me, the Nomadix will drag on the ground. You also need a carabiner to attach it to your pack. 

I hung the Nomadix Original Towel on my daypack and it drags on the ground.
I hung the Nomadix Original Towel on my daypack and it drags on the ground.

To fold the Nomadix towel, just keep halving it until it packs down as small as possible.

Comfort and Quality

The Nomadix towel is soft and smooth to the touch, and isn’t stiff at all. It’s very comfortable, because it does not stick to my skin, and after I dry off, it doesn’t leave me feeling like my skin is still wet.

The Nomadix Original Towel doesn't stick to my skin, so I can wipe instead of having to pat down.
The Nomadix Original Towel doesn’t stick to my skin, so I can wipe instead of having to pat down.

As for sizing, it’s much bigger than a regular bath towel. As for quality, the black stitching is consistent with no gaps, and the material is intact with no loose threads or fraying. After about 4 months of light usage, the weight of the Nomadix towel was still the same, so no material was lost, and the printing on the towel did not fade. It also does not bleed when washed.

The quality of the Nomadix Original Towel is superb with incredible stitching and durable material.
The quality of the Nomadix Original Towel is superb with incredible stitching and durable material.
This picture was taken after 4 months of usage – still looks good as new.

The hanging loop is stitched down nicely to the towel, and is really secure, but you have to bring a separate carabiner to hang it in most places.

To sum up, the Nomadix towel is really comfortable, and the quality is amazing.

Pros and Cons

For pros, the quality of the Nomadix towel is fantastic, and I can see it lasting for many years. It’s very easy to shake dirt and sand off of it. It dries at least 50% faster than a regular cotton towel, and is one of my faster drying camping towels. It’s soft and super comfortable, it doesn’t stick to my skin and it dries me off very well. Last but not least, it’s a great overall towel with versatile usage.

As for cons, I found that this size of the Nomadix towel is a little too big for me, because it drags on the ground and the size also makes it difficult to wring water out. It’s also a little heavy, and is my heaviest camping towel. I think Nomadix has other lighter and smaller variations, which I didn’t buy, but I might in the future. You can check those out on the official Nomadix website if you want to. Also, the Nomadix is my most expensive camping towel.

Recommendation

Would I recommend the Nomadix Full Sized Towel?

The Nomadix Original towel folded up; it's compact for such a large Beach-sized towel.
The Nomadix Original towel folded up; it’s compact for such a large Beach-sized towel.

Well, if you like large towels and you don’t mind the slightly heavier weight, the Nomadix towel is a fantastic, high quality pick as a camping towel. It dries at least 50% faster than a regular cotton towel, smells a lot better, shakes off dirt better, and packs down to about the same size despite being much larger.

Compared to the other camping towels that I bought, the Nomadix towel is one of the fastest drying, one of the most comfortable, and one of the highest quality.

Just a few advantages to having the Nomadix Original towel as your camping towel.
Just a few advantages to having the Nomadix Original towel as your camping towel.

It is also much more versatile, and is the best towel to use at the beach, for yoga, etc. It is expensive though, but for the added durability and quality, I do believe it’s worth it. That’s why the Nomadix Towel is my Best Quality and Best Durability Top Pick.

If the Nomadix towel is out of your budget, or you need something more portable, and you want to check out other camping towel options in the market, I do a complete review on the 10 Best Camping Towels out there, so you could consider check out this post: 10 Best Camping Towels

I bought, tested and compared 10 of the best camping towels – PackTowl Personal, PackTowl Luxe, Sea to Summit DryLite, Sea to Summit Tek, Nomadix Original, REI Multi Towel, REI Multi Towel Lite, Matador NanoDry Shower, Wise Owl Towel, and the Rainleaf Towel.
I bought, tested and compared 10 of the best camping towels – PackTowl Personal, PackTowl Luxe, Sea to Summit DryLite, Sea to Summit Tek, Nomadix Original, REI Multi Towel, REI Multi Towel Lite, Matador NanoDry Shower, Wise Owl Towel, and the Rainleaf Towel.