I take at least two daily showers and have problems with cotton towels getting damp, smelly, and yucky because they can’t dry quickly enough in the hours between. I recently turned to an item I’ve had for a year and used for the opposite intended purpose — the Ergodyne Chill-Its is designed to keep someone cool on a hot day by absorbing a lot of water and evaporating gradually. But, since it’s moisture-absorbent, it can also be used for the effectively inverse purpose: GET YOU DRY FAST!
Begone, caveman towels! The Chill-Its is made of reputedly NASA-friendly PVA, so consider it a space-age material. It’s extremely compact (and I do wish for a larger surface version because reaching behind my back can be hard), but you may very well feel amazed when such a small thing (it rolls up into a tight little scroll) gets you pleasantly dry in a couple minutes, and can be thoroughly wrung out for use. It’s actually a refreshing exercise to squeeze and feel how much water it’s collected — and is released.
Another drawback for some may be the Chill-Its’ rubbery surface, although I enjoy experiencing diverse textures, and got used to it fairly quickly. But conversely, a big plus about that: the surface won’t pick up sand or trap lint/fuzz as cotton does, so you can take it to the beach without residue.
As for this writing a Chill-Its runs about US$9 — the same or less than “the old way of doing things” — so thankfully here’s a case where better tech isn’t cost-prohibitive. I give it my highest recommendation for making such a regular thing so much more fun.