The Human Shammy

Wick-er Warmup towel dries fast and resists mold.


The high-tech materials found in underwear and outerwear are making their way into the towel market. The Wick-er Warmup towel, made by Discovery Trekking Outfitters in Vancouver, is a polyester fabric that wicks water away from the body and then dries almost as fast as you can get it on a clothesline.

Wick-er Towel

The lightweight towel is made with Silver, an anti-microbial technology that kills bacteria, so the towel will not develop a smell, no matter how often you use it or how rarely you wash it. This Silver lining is permanent too; it wont wash out.

The towel is a good fit for those who are in and out of the water several times a day. Its the shammy&emdash;without the smell&emdash;for humans. Its size and weight make it ideal for packing and carrying, and its quick-drying, anti-bacterial features make it a great choice for boaters.

The towel works by pulling water away from the body and then distributing it across the surface of the fabric. Cotton towels absorb moisture into the fiber, and so take longer to dry. The Wick-er Warmup pulls moisture around the fibers rather than absorbing it, allowing it to evaporate quickly.


Practical Sailor tests, the Wick-er Warmup towel dried three times faster than a thin cotton towel. Practical Sailorfound that fresh water dries quickly, salt water rinses out easily, and sand shakes off with a couple of flicks.

The towel comes in a dozen colors and is sold in four sizes, ranging from a body-wrapping beach towel to a runner or golfers face cloth. Prices range from $29 for a 58 x 34-inch beach towel to $6 for a 10 x 10-inch face cloth.

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Practical Sailor has been independently testing and reporting on marine products for serious sailors for more than 45 years. Supported entirely by subscribers, Practical Sailor accepts no advertising or any form of compensation from manufacturers whose products we test. Testing is carried out by a team of experts from a wide range of fields including marine electronics, marine safety, marine surveying, sailboat rigging, sailmaking, engineering, ocean sailing, sailboat racing, and sailboat construction and design. This diversity of expertise allows us to carry out in-depth, objective evaluation of virtually every product available to serious sailors. Practical Sailor is edited by Darrell Nicholson, a long-time liveaboard sailor and trans-Pacific cruiser with more than three decades of experience as a marine writer, photographer, boat captain, and product tester. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.


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