Finding the ‘perfect’ beach bag is turning into a never-ending search, but this year I might just have found the perfect beach towel. In our Sumoii beach towel review, we put it through its paces to see how it measures up for both function and value.
With summer just around the corner, we’ve whipped out the Esky, rounded up the beach gear and filled our calendar with great trips and weekend escapes.
We are always on the lookout for the most inviting beach, lake or swimming hole and that means we’ll be in and out of the water, often several times a day. We want our swimmers and towels handy at all times.
When Sumoii beach towels contacted us recently to put their towels through our real-life test we added them straight to the beach bag. And with a quick detour through the washing machine every few days that is pretty much where they have stayed.
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So what makes Sumoii travel towels so good?
A towel is a daily staple so we often don’t think beyond the function of it getting us dry as quickly and comfortably as possible. That’s the key features of a towel beyond doubt, the bare basics for consideration, but a beach towel doing dual duty as a travel towel throws up some additional requirements.
A soft and durable fabric
Cotton, bamboo or microfiber are the most common towel fabrics. We’ve used the fluffy terry cotton, the bamboo loop pile equivalent, the more compact Turkish cotton and in recent years the newer technical fabrics. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Traditional towels share similar issues when it comes to using them as a beach towel and packing them for travel; most are bulky, some a bit scratchy or stiff, they take forever to dry and can give you an extreme exfoliation from the amount of sand that ends up stuck to them.
The sumoii towel is made of micro-fibre, a modern synthetic fabric created by weaving superfine threads, finer than a strand of silk. It’s a broad category though encompassing everything from kevlar to nylon so don’t assume that two micro-fibre fabrics will look or perform the same.
The Sumoii fabric is very soft yet dense, so it glides smoothly over the skin. It wicks the water droplets away on contact and is very comfortable and gentle to use.
Compact and lightweight
Until this year our usual beach and pool towels have been a large brightly coloured terry towelling. I like that they are large to wrap myself in when I get out of the water or to lie on but they get super heavy when wet, dry very slowly and that can mean they get smelly if you have to pack them before they have fully dried out.
We like to travel with our own beach towels particular when headed to tropical destinations but I’ve found it useful to have a compact towel in our bag even in Japan in the middle of winter when we found a hot spring at the end of our hike to Minoo Falls.
These images say it all really, our terry cotton towels are a solid armful vs our Sumoii beach towels that are barely a handful even in my podgy little mitts. You can imagine the difference this makes when fitting them into a beach tote, backpack or suitcase!
What’s even more surprising is that the Sumoii towels are larger than the traditional beach towels, their compact packaging doesn’t mean you give up that generous size when it matters.
Made to last
A beach towel has a tough life and you want it to retain all the great features that made you choose it in the first place so quality is important. It needs to withstand being stood on, sat on, shoved in the bottom of your bag, transported wet and regular trips through the washing machine.
In addition to the great feel of the fabric that we’ve discussed above, I was impressed with the production quality. All hems are neatly rolled and sewn including the sand corner flaps and pocket. The zip is great quality, it’s sealed to keep sand and moisture out, sits perfectly flat and slides smoothly.
Little features like an elasticated loop make it easy to hang outside the motorhome or on the hotel bathroom door to dry. Laundering is simple, a cold wash in the machine then hang it up to dry. You can give it a quick tumble dry on gentle if you want but I haven’t found it necessary and no iron is needed.
One of the most common times we carry towels with us or travel with them is when we’re going to spend time at the beach or lake. With a traditional towel that first swim is fantastic, you dry off, pop your towel down to sit on or do something else for a while then for the rest of the day the sand is stuck fast into every little loop and gap in the weave. Every swim after that feels like drying yourself with sandpaper.
Of course we’re old enough to know what’s going to happen, we might even sit it carefully up on top of our beach bag or lay it out on a convenient rock to dry but it doesn’t matter, the sand still gets in and at some point you’re going to want to sit on it.
I’d go as far as calling these sand repelling, a step up from just sand resistant.
Able to absorb twice its own weight in water the Sumoii beach towel will dry you off fast. The smooth texture is soft on the skin and wicks droplets away from the skin like a chamois.
Because it can absorb so much liquid but dry out very quickly itself, the towel will continue to dry you effectively time after time, even if you swim and dry off multiple times in quick succession.
We were really impressed from the first time we used the Sumoii towels, we intentionally didn’t give them an easy pass, we wanted to know exactly how they performed. We’d been sitting on them on the sand before heading in for a swim, dried off on them and whilst wet lay on them on the sand for an hour or so. After a second dip, we just grabbed the towel, gave it a flick and the sand ALL came off.
Quick to dry
A wet towel isn’t nice to use, it’s much heavier to carry and if you pack it away wet it will go smelly pretty quick. We were really impressed by how quickly our Sumoii beach towels dry.
By the time we got back from our second swim the towel was virtually dry even though we’d been sitting on it on the sand in-between times. Looped over the back of our camp chairs in the shade during lunch they were dry again and ready to go.
Convenient to carry
The towels come with a handy mesh bag to carry and store them in. Often with carry bags, I can’t get the item back in after the first use but these have been in and out regularly over the past month.
During that first beach test, half an hour after our swim the towels were dry again, a quick shake and they could be easily folded back into their carry bags. When I opened them up in the laundry later that night to add to the washing machine there was no mess, no sand on the floor or in my bag.
Corner sand pockets for stability
An innovative feature of a Sumoii beach towel is the corner flaps, scoop a little sand into each on a windy day and it’ll hold the towel in place.
This was one of the features I’d read about and it’s just enough to stop those refreshing sea breezes blowing your towel around when you have it laid out on the beach.
The sand doesn’t stick and empties right out when you pack up so you won’t have a sandy mess in the car and at home later.
Secret pocket for valuables
This wasn’t even on my radar as a feature for a towel but a couple of beach trips later and I wonder how we ever did without it. On one of the corners is a secret water-resistant pocket for concealing your valuables like car keys, wallet or phone.
Gear left on the beach can be a target for the wrong sort of attention while you’re out in the waves with your friends. Beach bags scream ‘valuables in here’ but a towel, even a rather pretty one doesn’t.
Phones and electronic car keys are also sensitive to sand in their bits so the nylon lined pocket with sealed zip is perfect. When you tuck in your phone and keys and scrunch or fold the towel the hidden pocket and it’s contents are virtually undetectable.
Fast and free worldwide shipping
Sumoii beach towels are Australian designed and based right here on the Gold Coast. I mean really who has more demands on a beach towel than those on the Goldie with 57 km of golden sand beaches and year-round surfing and swimming just down the road.
These towels are designed to take everywhere and even better you can buy them from anywhere with free shipping both here in Australia AND internationally.
The shipping was also incredibly fast arriving in my hands the next day, that was impressive given a birthday card recently took over a week to make its way across South East Queensland.
You can choose yours now from the full range of colours and order directly from Sumoii.
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