It soaks up water quickly to dry you. It releases water quickly to dry itself. Quite a trick, and one that makes for a dynamite pack towel. Soft. Lightweight. Cool colors.

The Packtowel ultralight, by Cascade designs. Large is $18.95 at Backcountry outfitters, 227 E. Front Street, Traverse City. 231-946-1339.

Note: This article was first published in August 2006 and was updated for the web February 2008.