Quick drying towels comparison: Jack Wolfskin vs Sea to Summit

The first one I purchased was Jack Wolfskin’s one: tiny, compact and drying really fast. Perfect for outdoor. But not that much indoor. Although I was able to dry myself after taking shower, having something a little bit bigger would be much more comfortable. At a regular outdoor shop I purchased another towel from a brand I already knew: Sea To Summit. Was that a good choice?

After a couple of months I had become somehow skeptical about the “super absorbent and quick drying” towel from Sea To Summit. It seemed half-functional, absorbing the water perfectly while not really drying. I pursued an experiment in order to gain some objectiveness.

First, I dipped corners of both towels and a random kitchen cloth for 5 seconds and let it dry, next to each other. The temperature was between 25-27°C, no direct exposure to sunlight, the same humidity (bathroom) and air circulation around each of them. The result was:

Time Jack Wolfskin Sea To Summit Kitchen Cloth
25 min. Doesn’t feel completely wet. Let’s say 50%. Not much changed. Not much changed.
35 min. Feels almost dry. Let’s say 80%. Not much changed. Not much changed.
45 min. Completely dry. Let’s say 100%. Still wet. Still wet.
100 min. Stays dry, surprisingly. Feels drier, still wet. Feels drier, still wet.
Difference in size

Since the amount of water absorbed in 5 seconds by both towels could be different, I repeated the experiment with a different approach. This time the amount was exactly the same, both towels laid flat and there was no air circulation around. The temperature was between 28-29°C. And the result not much different:

Time Jack Wolfskin Sea To Summit
20 min. Feels quite dry. Let’s say 70%. Completely wet.
30 min. Almost dry. Let’s say 85%. Not much changed.
70 min. Completely dry. A little bit better, but technically speaking: still wet.

I am not saying here that Jack Wolfskin products are better. I don’t know. Perhaps if they made their towel of the same fabrics, the effect would be the same. But what I am pretty sure about is, that what Sea To Summit advertise as a quick drying towel made of some kind of magic material, is a fake to put it mildly, because you can get the same result with an ordinary kitchen cloth. Or just your regular towel from home, for the 15% of the price.

Difference in fabrics. Tek Towel from Sea To Summit on the left.

The winner? If you need a quick drying towel someone can truly recommend, buy Jack Wolfskin Wolftowel Ultra. It is really compact, so go for as large one as they offer.