As an avowed sand-hater, I was delighted to discover that the beach didn’t find its way home with me after using this towel. Not only did it repel sand from itself, but it also really helped me wipe sand off my body too, as well as drying me off. The only downside is that it’s a bit small and lightweight – it doesn’t stand up very well to wind – but it definitely does what it promises. Plus, there are other larger sizes if you want to trade up.
If you've ever been to a beach and ended up with half the Sahara inside your car or on your carpet when you got home, you can probably appreciate the appeal of a sand-free towel.
Sand-free towels of the kind made by Australian brand Tesalate (there are other options on the market too, such as those from sustainable brand Sand Society and Target) are designed to repel sand rather than collect it in clingy crevices.
We took a Tesalate towel to one of Sydney's fine-sand beaches to find out if it keeps the sand at bay, along with doing its main job of drying.
Tesalate towels are designed to repel sand – and stop it ending up in your car and home.
What is the Tesalate towel?
At a glance, these brightly coloured and patterned towels look like standard beach towels. The difference is that they're made with a thin, synthetic microfibre that the brand calls 'AbsorbliteTM'.
The fabric is designed to repel sand to stop it clinging to the towel and ending up all over your car or home once you pack it up and leave the beach. It also comes with its own waterproof carry bag so you can keep water drips out of your car.
The brand claims that the towel's fabric is extremely absorbent, holding up to a litre of water without dripping, and fast drying, needing just half the drying time of a standard beach towel.
Does it really repel sand?
I took my towel to the beach on a particularly windy day. The first thing I noticed was that, no, the towel doesn't completely repel sand, as though armed with an invisible shield. If the wind is whipping it up, some sand will inevitably find its way onto the towel.
But the real test came when I went into the water and emerged with sandy feet (I rubbed extra sand up my calves for good measure).
When I dried my sandy legs with the Tesalate towel, the sand wiped away easily and didn't remain on the towel at all. This meant that once I left the beach and walked back up onto the footpath, both my body and the towel were entirely sand-free.
Self-confessed 'sand-hater' Alex Carlton doing gruelling research on a Sydney beach.
Does it get you dry?
Yes – not only did the Tesalate towel easily dry me off when I got out of the water, but the fact that sand didn't cling to me either made me feel much more 'normal' and less wet-and-sandy than I usually do when leaving the beach.
To make doubly sure, I also used it at home after a shower and it performed just as well as my standard bath towels.
Does it get itself dry?
I'd read a few online reviews claiming that the Tesalate towel is tricky to dry once it gets super soggy, contrary to the manufacturer's claims.
So I plunged it into a sinkful of water, alongside a standard beach towel, wrung it out and hung it on a line in a moderately warm room, but out of direct sunlight.
Again, it performed really well – and was dry in about half the time of the fluffier cotton beach towel.
A few quibbles
If you like the sense of being wrapped in a nice, chunky, fluffy towel, this is not the product for you. The fabric is thin – more like a tea-towel's thickness than a standard towel – which also means it flips around a fair bit in the wind.
The 'Regular' size is also on the smaller side – 160cm x 80cm. My 165cm frame lay on it fairly comfortably. But if you like a bit more room to spread out, it might be worth investing in the XL size, which is 160cm x 160cm.
Would I recommend it?
Yes. I can't say it will ever convert me into a sandy-beach person – give me a rocky sea entry or a nice, sand-free pool any day.
But if you love the beach but hate the sand, this would be a great addition to your towel arsenal.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.