REI Multitowel – old vs new

I’ve long been a fan of the REI multitowel thanks to its light weight, comfort compared to other camping oriented towels, and great performance. REI claims that you can wring out something like 90% of the water, meaning that you can carry a smaller towel than you normally would have to thanks to its immediate reusability. REI likes to put the towels in its super clearance at around 30% of the original price, so I have accumulated quite a few over the years. I like adding to my vast piles of gear a la Scrooge McDuck and his gold, so I picked up a few more at this year’s at the recent super clearance, but was surprised to see that the towels have changed since my last purchases of them.

rei_towelsOn the left is the old one, on the right is the new one. One of the big reasons that i liked the old version was that it didn’t feel like rubbing a wet suede jacket against your skin, unlike the REI Multitowel Lite or the MSR towel. The new Multitowel does not have the same textured surface that the old one did (you can see the checkered pattern that the old one had), so I was skeptical about its comfort and performance. I am happy to report that although it does not feel exactly the same, the new towel is still comfortable to use, even on the body of hairy beasts like myself. It also still wrings out an admirable amount of water, enabling you to wring it and then reuse it right after you have soaked it full of river water. It does take up a bit more room compared to the chamois type ones, but being lightweight cloth, you can stuff it in just about any crack in your pack.

The Multitowel appears to temporarily be unavailable on REI’s site, but i am sure that they will have the same or a new version up soon. Hopefully it will be as nice as their last two versions.