Lightload Towel by Dyna-E International

This ditch-bag worthy towel comes in a package the size of a hockey puck. "Gear Up" from our January 2, 2008, /SW eNewsletter/

Like one of those magic dinosaurs that grows out of a capsule, the Lightload Towel expands from compact packaging into a full-size beach towel.
Like one of those magic dinosaurs that grows out of a capsule, the Lightload Towel expands from compact packaging into a full-size beach towel.Www.lightloadtowels.com

Of the countless products marketed as "great for home, boat, or RV," only a select few actually make sense for a racing sailboat. It's probably best to leave the portable dishwasher at the dock, but someday you might be thankful for adding the Lightload Towel to your ditch bag.

This 36" x 60" towel comes in a waterproof package the size of a hockey puck and weighs only 5 oz. To use, rip off the plastic wrap, lightly dampen the edges of the disc, and carefully unfold the towel. Made of viscose, a cellulose fabric used in everything from women's stockings to Handi Wipes cloths, the Lightload Towel is quick drying, highly absorbent, and biodegradable.

The towel is reusable; unfortunately, the packaging is not. Once you've opened the plastic wrap, you can't return the towel to hockey-puck shape. Essentially, after initial use, the towel loses its best quality-- compactness.

For sailboat racing, the Lightload Towel is perfect for one-time, emergency use. It fits easily into a ditch bag, where you might call upon it to serve as insulation, as a bandage, or, thanks to the checkered graphics pattern, as a makeshift chess board. Hey, it could be a while until your rescuers arrive.