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Rating and Summary
The Rainleaf Microfiber Towel is one of the most popular microfiber packable towels on Amazon, marketed to be suitable for all kinds of activities, including camping. So, I couldn’t resist but to buy it and try it out for myself.
In summary, compared to the 9 other camping towels that I bought as well (featuring popular brands like Packtowl, Matador and Nomadix), the Rainleaf towel was only average in terms of performance. It wasn’t the best in any of the tests, and had some weaknesses. Nevertheless, it still beat a cotton towel in almost all aspects, like wringing, drying, odor resistance, dirt repellence and portability.
Also, I kept in mind that the Rainleaf towel was one of the (if not the) most inexpensive towel that I bought, costing a third (or even less) of the price of the other towels. At this price point, I think the Rainleaf towel is a solid camping towel pick. While you can’t expect the best quality materials or performance, it’s great for the occasional or first-time camper.
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Here’s what we’re going to discuss here:
- In the Box
I bought the Rainleaf Microfiber Towel from Amazon (because it was highly recommended by Amazon ratings), and I paid about $12 U.S. dollars for the Large size. This was the retail price at the time with no additional discounts.
The Rainleaf towel came in an Amazon paper package, and looked like this out of the package:
It’s just the Rainleaf towel in a storage pouch, with an attached tag, both of which are in plastic wrapping. For more details on the unboxing, I think the process looks nicer on video so do check out the video embedded above.
What’s in the Box?
So, what do you get when you buy a Rainleaf Towel? Basically, you get a storage pouch, the towel, and a thank you card with short instructions on caring for your Rainleaf towel. (Check out the video for this.)
The following specifications are from my personal measurements of the Rainleaf towel (and differ a little from the marketed dimensions by Rainleaf on Amazon, which frankly, don’t make the most sense):
- Length: 46 inches / 117 centimeters;
- Width: 23 inches / 58 centimeters;
- Weight of towel: 156 grams / 5.5 ounces;
- Weight of storage pouch: 12 grams / 0.4 ounces;
- Packed Size: 8.5 x 6 x 1 inch / 21.6 x 15 x 2.5 centimeters;;
- Blend: 85% polyester and 15% polyamide/nylon; and
- Made in: China.
The Rainleaf 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. For additional convenience, you can use a gentle machine wash to clean it.
As for the storage pouch, the front is mesh for ventilation, while the back is made of a lightweight material. The storage pouch also comes with a hanging loop, so you can use a carabiner to hang it outside your pack, just like this:
Testing and Performance
And now, moving on to the meat of this blog post, here’s what we’re going to discuss next:
- Drying 1
- Drying 2
- Odor Resistance
- Grass/Dirt Repellence
- Sand Repellence
- Quality and Comfort
To test absorbency, I measured the amount of water in this blue bucket, and soaked the Rainleaf Microfiber towel in it. After the Rainleaf towel got completely soaked, I lifted it above the water and let excess water drip back into the bucket, like this:
When the water stopped dripping, I measured the water left inside the bucket.
From this testing, I found that the Rainleaf towel absorbed 400 milliliters (or 13.5 fluid ounces) of water. Since it weighs 156 grams, total absorbency is 400 divided by 156, which is about 2.6 times.
I did the same thing to a similar sized cotton towel and found that it had a much lower absorbency of 3.26 times.
After soaking the Rainleaf Microfiber towel, I wringed out as much water as possible.
After wringing, the Rainleaf towel weighed 310 grams, or 10.9 ounces. After doing some calculations, I found out that 39% of water was left. Here are the calculations in case you’re interested:
Water absorbed before wringing = 400 milliliters (13.5 fluid ounces)
Water left after wringing = 310 grams (weight after wringing) – 156 grams (original weight) = 154 grams = 154 milliliters (5.2 fluid ounces), because 1 gram = 1 milliliter.
Percentage of water left after wringing = 154 milliliters / 400 milliliters = 39%.
As for the cotton towel after wringing, 46% of water was left.
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 Rainleaf Microfiber 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 Rainleaf towel clocks in at 310 grams (or 10.9 ounces) after wringing. When left outdoors, the Rainleaf towel takes about 43 minutes to dry; and when left indoors, it takes about 6 hours to dry.
I weighed the Rainleaf towel at certain time intervals to determine the percentage of drying, and here they are:
- 0 mins: 310 grams / 10.9 ounces (0% dry)
- 15 mins: 252 grams / 8.9 ounces (38% dry)
- 30 mins: 197 grams / 7 ounces (73% dry)
- 43 mins: 156 grams / 5.5 ounces (100% dry)
- 0 hours: 310 grams / 10.9 ounces (0% dry)
- 1 hour: 287 grams / 10.1 ounces (15% dry)
- 2 hours: 257 grams / 9.1 ounces (34% dry)
- 3 hours: 230 grams / 8.1 ounces (52% dry)
- 4 hours: 198 grams / 7 ounces (73% dry)
- 5 hours: 174 grams / 6.1 ounces (88% dry)
- 6 hours: 156 grams / 5.5 ounces (100% dry)
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).
As the Rainleaf Microfiber towel’s original weight is 156 grams, adding 100mL (3.4fl oz) to it will bring its weight to 256 grams (or 9 ounces). When left outdoors, the Rainleaf towel takes about 28 minutes to dry; when left indoors, it takes about 4 hours to dry.
Again, I weighed the Rainleaf towel at certain time intervals to determine the percentage of drying:
- 0 mins: 256 grams / 9 ounces (0% dry)
- 10 mins: 217 grams / 7.7 ounces (39% dry)
- 20 mins: 182 grams / 6.4 ounces (74% dry)
- 28 mins: 156 grams / 5.5 ounces (100% dry)
- 0 hours: 256 grams / 9 ounces (0% dry)
- 1 hour: 223 grams / 7.9 ounces (33% dry)
- 2 hours: 195 grams / 6.9 ounces (61% dry)
- 3 hours: 175 grams / 6.2 ounces (81% dry)
- 4 hours: 156 grams / 5.5 ounces (100% dry)
In contrast, the cotton towel took 40 minutes to dry outdoors, and 7 hours to dry indoors.
To test odor resistance, I went to the beach and soaked the Rainleaf Microfiber 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.
After the 4 days, the Rainleaf towel had a damp sea smell, which didn’t smell sour, musky, or even too unpleasant at all. The Rainleaf towel is treated with an antibacterial coating, which prevents foul smells from developing.
I actually conducted 2 other odor resistance tests, but didn’t have time to edit this into the video above. You can check out these 2 odor resistance tests in this post though:
10 Best Camping Towels
Grass and Dirt
For the grass and dirt test, I dragged the Rainleaf Microfiber towel along some grass and also stepped on it.
After picking it up to check, I found that the Rainleaf towel picked up a few specks of dirt.
Then, I shook the Rainleaf towel to see whether the grass and dirt will come off, and everything came off, so the Rainleaf towel was clean after shaking.
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).
For the sand test, I covered both the Rainleaf towel and the cotton towel with sand. Basically, the same thing as the grass test above. There was some sand that stuck to the Rainleaf, and some of it didn’t come off even after shaking.
As such, I don’t really think the Rainleaf is a great pick for a beach towel, because it’s not that sand repellent.
However, for the cotton towel, no sand stuck to it after shaking, which was surprising.
The Rainleaf towel weighs 156 grams, or 5.5 ounces, whereas a similar-sized cotton towel weighs 337 grams, or 11.9 ounces.
It is also significantly more compact. Here’s what it looks like beside the cotton towel from the side.
Both the Rainleaf and its storage pouch come with hanging loops for easy carry and drying. Unfortunately, if you’re not tall like me, the Rainleaf will drag on the ground if you hang it on your pack.
To fold the Rainleaf, first fold it in thirds, then keep halving it until it fits back into the storage pouch. You can also just stuff it back into the pouch without folding, but the pouch won’t close, and a little bit of your towel will be exposed.
Comfort and Quality
The Rainleaf towel is smooth to the touch, but feels quite stiff. It also tends to stick to my skin, so I have to pat down instead of wiping. Also, after drying off, my skin would still feel a little bit damp. As for sizing, the Large size is a bit smaller than a regular bath towel.
As for quality, the stitching is consistent with no gaps, but there is a bit of fraying on one of the corners, while the body of the towel is still intact with no loose threads.
After about 4 months of light usage, the weight of the Rainleaf towel was still the same, so no material was lost. However, the color tends to bleed a bit, especially on the first wash.
The hanging loop is secure, though the catch does feel a bit stiff (and also a bit cheap, like the plastic-ky kind of cheap). As for the storage pouch, it has loose threads and a little fraying on the inside.
This hasn’t affected my use of the pouch though. I would also prefer a zippered opening so that when I stuff the Rainleaf towel inside without folding, it wouldn’t stick out.
To sum up, the Rainleaf towel isn’t that comfortable, and the quality seems to be decent, apart from the fraying.
Pros and Cons
As for pros, the Rainleaf Microfiber towel is decently compact and lightweight, and is one of my lighter camping towels. Though just for clarification, many other camping towels don’t weigh that much more (just a few ounces more).
Most importantly though, the Rainleaf towel is my most inexpensive camping towel. It costs less than half the price of my Packtowl Personal, and less than a third of the price of my Nomadix towel.
As for cons, the Rainleaf towel has a lower than average absorbency of 2.6 times, and there’s a little bit of fraying of the stitching in one of the corners. Ultimately you do get what you pay for. While the Rainleaf towel isn’t expensive, the durability doesn’t seem to be high either.
As for drying, wringing, odor resistance, sand and dirt repellence, comfort, and quality, the Rainleaf towel was average compared to the other camping towels I bought. So, neither a pro nor a con for these.
Would I recommend the Rainleaf towel?
Compared to other camping towels on the market, the Rainleaf towel is about average in terms of performance and there’s nothing really outstanding about it. But I think the main selling point is its inexpensive price.
For just slightly over $10 U.S. dollars, you get a pretty good camping towel that beats a regular cotton towel in almost all aspects, like wringing, drying, odor resistance, and portability. However, just bear in mind that the Rainleaf towel is less absorbent, less comfortable and less sand repellent.
In contrast, most of the other camping towels that I bought cost at least $20 U.S. dollars, up to almost $40 U.S. dollars. So, if you’re looking for a camping towel on a budget, I think the Rainleaf towel is a great pick.
If 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