On every trip we’ve taken with Chloe, she’s needed to have at least one bath. A puppy layette list we saw included a “superabsorbent” towel, but it’s taken us a while to find the one that works best. (It’s kinder to your hosts to bring your own dog towels, and a good dog towel will do a better job than a terry cloth towel anyway.)
My first effort was a Soggy Paws towel, which is adorable and has useful pockets at either end for your hands, but it’s bulky, no more absorbent than a good towel for humans, and takes as long as a regular towel to dry. My second effort was a PackTowl (size L) that I bought at REI, which is wafer-thin, truly superabsorbent, dries rapidly on its own, and will survive being dried in a dryer if you forget and shove it in there with your dryables. All good, but really expensive at $19.95 per towel (or towl).
My third and final effort was a package of ShamWow! towels that I got at Costco. They too are superabsorbent and dry rapidly on their own. They are less bulky than the Soggy Paws towel, but thicker than the PackTowl. The Costco price was very good ($27.99 for 8 large and 8 small towels), but their regular price is also reasonable ($19.95 for 4 large and 4 small towels). Their only real flaw is that you can’t dry them, but so far I haven’t. One other, tiny flaw is that they aren’t so easy to handle the first time out of the box — they’re stiff and not stunningly absorbent — but after that first use, they work well. I use the small ones for paw wipes and spot baths, and the big ones for serious baths (they’re a good size — sufficient coverage, but not as unwieldy as a full-size human towel).