So now that I've bumped up my [hot] yoga practice by about 1000x percent I've had to invest in expanding my collection of fitness apparel and yoga accessories. Perhaps "had" isn't the best word, but since I admit to being on the lazy side, I don't really feel like doing laundry night, especially since my building has the worlds most inefficient washing machines, which means a single load costs $5 (!).
That being said, I've tried to be as thrifty and economical as possible, which means scouring sale racks and discount stores, like Marshall's. After all, I am a grad student, we're not exactly getting paid the big bucks. Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my entire family has a minor obsession with Marshall's. I admit that I go there at least once a week. It's a sickness, I know, but dammit, their prices are just so good!
So, the other day I was heading off to a hot vinyasa class and I thought I would check and see if the Marshall's on the way (yes, I have to pass a Marshall's in order to get to yoga, which means I have to pass a Marshall's on a DAILY basis, ugh) had any yoga towels. This was a shot in the dark, so I had an extra bath towel in my bad since my YogiToes towel was still drying from being washed the night before (again, I live in a cave, things don't dry).
I'd like to take a moment here to say that there is nothing wrong with bringing a beach towel to yoga. I know how it works, if you don't have your special "yoga" towel you don't feel like you're part of the cool kids club, but let's be honest. The towels are expensive. What really matters is that you're going to class. That being said, I do suggest investing in a yoga specific towel, not constantly having to worry about slipping or your towel rolling up on you will eliminate a lot of distractions. Personally, I find yoga towels to be convenient because I (1) go to yoga on a regular basis, and (2) sweat A LOT and end up sliding around A LOT and screwing up my towel all the time, which ends up being a big distraction for me, since I'm OCD about having a perfectly straight, smooth mat and towel.
Moving on, the point is that Marshall's DID have some yoga towels. And they were only $14.99, score! The Calmia Super Grip Yoga Towel has proven to be a pretty good deal.
As I've repeatedly mentioned, because apparently I really like to stress to the public exactly how gross I am, I sweat a lot. I mean, my shins sweat, that's how much I sweat. I'm that annoying person who accidentally flings you with their sweat in a crowded class (sorry about that, I really can't help it). Not pretty. I've put this towel through the ringer, using it in various yoga classes over the past week. The only test I haven't given it yet is a bikrim class, but I'm pretty sure I know how it will do. Here's my analysis:
The Calmia towel is a pretty good deal, especially if you get it on sale or at Marshall's, which looks likely since it doesn't seem to be available on the Calmia website, which has me thinking it's being phased out of their line. The towel is made from a 80/20% mixture of polyester/polyamide micro fiber with PVC slip dots on one side. It's long than the average yoga mat, which is nice for tall people. The anti slip dots are in a cute little flower pattern, and when placed dots down on my mat they do a good job of keeping the towel in place. The only time my mat moved was at the end of one class where I was super sweaty and rolling around trying to stretch in a really ungainly way. I'm thinking it was more my fault than the towels.
The towel itself is pretty thin (much thinner than my Yogitoes), but is also fairly absorbent. Because it is thinner it's not quite as heavy, and therefor I think it probably stands to chance that it might move a little bit more than a Yogitoes towel. If I took this to my bikrim class it would probably soak through faster than my Yogitoes towel, but I'm pretty confident it would still stay in place, at least until the very end. It would probably start to wrinkle towards the end of the floor series, especially if you're getting tired and not moving quite as deliberately.
In conclusion, if you can find one for a good price go for it, it's less than 1/4 the price of a YogiToes and for the most part performs fairly well. I think it's a great and highly affordable towel, and if you see one, especially if it's on sale, I suggest you go for it.
And that, my friends, is the longest review ever written about a towel.
Good to note: So far as I can tell this company is based in the UK, was developed by a working mother, and isn't evil. I'm not sure where else in the States you can find them, as I've never seen them before - this is somewhat unfortunate as they seem to be more affordable than many other brands available.
If you're not doing hot yoga then I would recommend flipping the towel over so the sticky flowers are facing up, then your hands and feet are less likely to be slipping around...although then you're going to get pretty little flowers imprinted all over you, so who knows.