Towelmate Beach & Gym Towels Lightning Review: Complicated Textiles

The gym problem: Which side of this towel was just on my skin, and which was on that nasty-ass machine? Or the beach problem: I want to take a dip, but where do I stash my phone? A product called Towelmate apparently has all these answers.

What Is It?

Towelmate makes towels tailored to specific activities. We tested the Beach and Gym versions.

Who's it For?

Beach bums and gym rats, respectively.

Design

The Beach towel is very large, at 36 x 70 inches. It has a built-in foam pillow, and a water-resistant, zippered stash pocket with compartments labeled phone, keys, and wallet. The Gym towel is only 16 x 28 inches. It has a soft side for your skin, a slightly stickier side that faces equipment, and a "germ proof" layer sandwiched between. An elastic strap helps hold it in place, and a zippered stash pocket has three compartments.

Using It

The Beach towel is big and comfy—very soft on top. The pillow feels great under your head, but it makes it a pain in the ass to pack. The gym towel did a pretty good job of staying in place, and it's about the right size for most machines. The skin side is nice n' soft, and indeed, wetness did not seep through the inner membrane.

The Best Part

The zipper pocket. Really nice to be able to stash a few essentials.

Tragic Flaw

These towels aren't very absorbent. They are less than ideal for drying off, which is generally what one wants from a towel.

This Is Weird...

The placement of the stash pocket in the Gym towel puts you keys and gadgets right in the middle of your upper back. Not comfortable during a bench press.

Test Notes

  • The Beach towel takes up almost an entire backpack because of that pillow, and it's not worth the tradeoff. Towelmate should have gone inflatable.
  • On some vertical machines, the Gym towel had a real tough time staying in place.
  • The pockets in both towels did an excellent job keeping out sand and moisture.

Should You Buy It?

Eh. They're kind of expensive for single-purpose towels. One might go as far as to call them novelty towels. For people who work out a lot, I can see the Gym towel making sense at $25. At $45, the Beach towel just doesn't cut it. It's too expensive, and too bulky. [Towelmate]

Towelmate Specs

• Size: Beach: 36x70 in. / Gym: 16x28 in.
• Material: Cotton
• Pockets: Yes
• Price: Gym: $25 / Beach: $45
• Giz Rank: 2.5 stars