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When you think of beach culture, a few things always come to mind. Warm sun. crystal clear waves, and the eye-catching gear that decorates the sand like bright, colorful swimsuits, umbrellas, and surfboards. All of them have become icons of the shore, but one quintessential beach item often gets overlooked – the towel.
While designers have put signature spins on the swimsuit and artists have made boards their canvas, the humble towel hasn’t really crossed over from function to fashion due to its typically bland colors and predictable designs. But, things are changing. If you’re looking to put some flair into the way you dry off, give this Slowtide review a read.
Slowtide started out selling high-quality printed towels to beachgoers. They’ve since expanded their inventory to include blankets, bath supplies, and ponchos, offering their stylish products to anyone who wants to bring a hint of beach culture to their home.
The company’s uniquely designed towels have garnered a lot of attention. Over 7.3k people follow the brand on Facebook and over 112k do the same on Instagram. Slowtide has also caught the eyes of many news outlets like Vogue, GQ, Forbes, Hypebeast, Harper’s Bazaar, and Outside.
Are these pretty towels really worth coming back to after hanging 10 or are they just a wipeout? To help answer that question, my Slowtide review will take a closer look at all of the details on the company’s products, policies, promos, and customer feedback.
Overview of Slowtide
Though Slowtide officially launched in 2015, co-founders Kyle Spencer, Wylie Von Tempsky, and Dario Phillips had been cultivating the idea of a towel company that made functional art for many years.
In the beginning, Kyle and Wylie were high school friends from Hawaii who pursued careers in design, leading them to create clothes and shoes for influential skate brands like Billabong and Hurley. Eventually, they reconnected after finding themselves working for the surf style industry in Hawaii.
Kyle and his wife had the initial idea to design artwork for towels, noticing that no one had really tapped that market. While Wylie jumped on board with the idea, the time and capital needed to start their own company proved overwhelming and Slowtide wound up on the back burner.
Then, they met Dario, another footwear industry vet. He loved the idea of doing for towels what brands like Hershel had done for backpacks, making them an integral part of skate and surf fashion. Dario helped give Slowtide the push they needed to go from idea to full-fledged brand.
Now, with headquarters in Hawaii and Costa Mesa, California, the three partners design, market, and sell assorted towels and beachwear that capture the essence of the beach culture that has always been part of their lives.
While Wylie, Kyle, and Dario are the brand’s creative core, Slowtide has also teamed up with various artists, photographers, and even brands like Coors and defining beach culture band the Grateful Dead who’ve contributed their own unique designs.
Slowtide has grown into a very respectable company over their six-year run. Their products are made with either organic and/or otherwise sustainably sourced Cotton LEADS-certified cotton textiles, or totally recycled polyester fibre that has the Global Recycled Standard seal of approval. Their fabrics are also Oeko-tex certified to ensure they don’t contain any harmful chemicals.
Slowtide also ensures the manufacturers making their beautiful and durable products are working ethically. All of Slowtide’s producers (who are primarily based in China but include manufacturers around the world) have gone through a third-party assessment from Sedex, the Supplier Compliance Audit Network, or Amfori. These organizations oversee production environments to ensure safe and fair working conditions.
In addition to the brand’s dedication to showcasing artists and creating an environmentally responsible product, Slowtide also helps out a number of nonprofits, including: Waves for Change, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Surfpop, Surfrider Foundation, North Shore Lifeguard Association, Good360, Know Your Rights Camp, Black Lives Matter, NAACP, Feeding America, and Equal Justice Initiative.
Now that we’ve learned more about the brand’s roots in this Slowtide review, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of shopping with this beach culture staple brand:
- Creatively designed towels and beachwear that stand the test of time
- Products created with environmentally friendly materials through ethical means
- Reasonably priced
- “Give $20, Get $20” referral program
- Ships internationally
- Financing options available with Klama
- 30-day return policy
While the company has expanded beyond essentials like towels and changing ponchos since their inception, my Slowtide review will focus on these legacy products that helped build the brand’s foundation.
Slowtide Towels Review
Slowtide towels come in a variety of colors, patterns, and yes, brand logos. For this Slowtide review, I’ll be looking at the Bear Bones Towel, the Aurora Quick-Dry Towel, and the Liquid Prism Quick-Dry Towel, all best-sellers worth considering.
Slowtide Bear Bones Towel Review
If you’re a Grateful Dead lover who wants to compliment your long, strange trip to the beach with an accessory that pays homage to the legendary band, look no further than this towel featuring their signature marching bear logo. That said, the Bear Bones Towel isn’t just for fans.
If you or your kids tend to mix up or misplace their towels at the pool or the beach, or if you’re looking for something that’s hard to miss, the Bear Bones Towel might be the ideal solution.
This 100% sustainable cotton towel has a striking color palette of bold blues and soft pinks set against a white background, meaning it’ll easily stand out in a crowd. Plus, the repeating, all-over bear print is happy-go-lucky and cheerful, making this a perfect towel for your little ones or those who are a kid at heart.
No matter who it’s for, this lightweight towel will cover you up and get you dry with its 34” x 62” surface area. It also has a hanging loop for easy storage above ground and is printed with reactive dye so the bold pattern won’t bleach out in the sun.
The Bear Bones Towel is $40, and its soft yet durable cotton fabric and fade-resistant properties will pay for itself with time – especially if the owner is an energetic kid!
Slowtide Aurora Quick-Dry Towel Review
Surfers have gnarly board designs, divers have their distinct and colorful wetsuits emblazoned with the occasional group logo, but how does the regular beachgoer look rad as all get out?
If you’re looking for something that everyone else on the shore will notice, that also gets you dry in a hurry, check out the Aurora Quick-Dry Towel.
The Aurora is another towel released as part of the brand’s Grateful Dead collab, but you don’t have to be familiar with the band to appreciate its look.
The band’s iconic skull-and-lightning bolt logo is cast in contrasting coral and blue, placed front and center against an eclectic galaxy tie-dye background for a fresh take on the edgier side of skate and surf aesthetics.
This 30” x 60” towel is narrow and compact, but hardly small on performance. The 100% recycled polyester fibres of this double-sided, lightweight towel will get you dry in no time while also preventing any sand from sticking.
With all that and a built-in hanging loop for easy storage, this $40 Sustainable by Design award-winning towel is perfect for attention seekers and jam band fans alike.
Slowtide Liquid Prism Quick-Dry Towel Review
Hey you – if you’re a Pink Floyd fan, I found a towel that will definitely speak to you. But just like with the brand’s Grateful Dead series, you don’t have to know anything about the band to enjoy the Liquid Prism Quick-Dry Towel’s arty design.
This towel has it all: Super absorbent polyester fabric that resists sand collection, a hanging loop for easy storage off the ground, and a nod to the legendary image of light refracted through a prism from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album cover.
Slowtide incorporates the prism into their towel’s design with a little of the brand’s signature flare. One side is printed with the prism in daylight, with added blotches of color and an all-over raindrop print suspended over an abstract city skyline. The other side shows the same scene at night, but with swirls of paint curling like smoke replacing the rain.
This 30” x 60” iconic towel can be yours for just $45. Now you can keep dry while showing your appreciation for good music and great art.
Slowtide Poncho Review
Are they raincoats? Hoodies? Bathrobes? Well, the answer is both yes and no. They’re the Slowtide Ponchos, hooded cover-ups that do a bit of everything.
Whether you need something to lounge in after taking your wetsuit off or want to discreetly and quickly change out of your trunks, you’ll want to check out these best-selling, innovative pieces.
Slowtide Waterproof Changing Poncho Review
If you need to towel off or warm up, but don’t want to stay in your wet clothes, then get your hands on the Waterproof Changing Poncho.
It’s got all the bells and whistles you’ll ever need: DWR exterior coating to repel water, a hood and front pocket on the outside, plush cotton terry lining, and sneaky access points on the inside of the pocket so you can discreetly reach in and swap or remove your suit. It’s perfect for when you need to keep dry, get dry, or change into something dry.
This poncho comes down to just below the knee and has wide T-shirt sleeves. This version comes in one color, because when you want to get warm fast after a long swim, no color catches the rays and heats you up better than classic black.
The versatile Waterproof Changing Poncho comes in sizes S/M and L/XL and retails for $100.
Slowtide Indigo Sun Changing Poncho Review
Okay, so maybe you get hot really fast or maybe black isn’t your color! Whatever the case, if you like the versatility of Slowtide’s classic Changing Poncho but want something a bit more cheery or slightly more affordable, check out the Indigo Sun Changing Poncho.
While this version doesn’t have the original’s DWR coating, it still has a wide hood, front pocket, cotton lining, and discreet interior access.
The Indigo Sun version also lets you blend into the vibe of the calming waves with the free-flowing shades of blue and white printed on the poncho in a linear tie-dye.
Available in S/M and L/XL sizes, the Slowtide Indigo Sun Changing Poncho is $80.
Slowtide Makai Changing Poncho Review
Heading to a luau right after your reef dive, but don’t have time to change into casual clothes or dry off? No sweat. Just pull on the Makai Changing Poncho, with its print of leaves, Birds of Paradise and pineapples, and hula the night away.
In signature Slowtide poncho style, it has a comfortable sustainable cotton interior; pocket on the outside with hidden access on the inside, and a relaxed, easygoing look and fit that’s a perfect compliment to the island-inspired print.
This version comes in S/M and L/XL in adult sizes, but is also available in a kids’ version, in case your beachgoing mini-me wants to get changed fast and lounge in style.
The Slowtide Makai Changing Poncho is $80 for adults and $50 for the kids’ size.
Who Is Slowtide For?
In this Slowtide review, I’ve focused on how these products would benefit those who live, work, or play near a shoreline.
However, you don’t need to go to the ocean to enjoy these products. Beach towels are just as useful at home in the bathroom too, with many people preferring their oversized dimensions, light weight, terrific absorbency, and great style to standard bath sheets.
Slowtide ponchos would also make for stylish and durable bathrobes or loungewear. And because the towels and ponchos come in a variety of sizes and designs, they suit a wide range of people of all ages.
To summarize this section of my Slowtide review, I find the brand is for everyone, not just for those who appreciate beach culture.
Slowtide Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
To get a sense of what real Slowtide customers think of the company, I consulted a number of online Slowtide reviews and found that many had great things to say about this brand.
Aside from a few customers who received a defective product – something that’s not unheard of in retail and is easily rectified by the company – the vast majority of people genuinely love these towels and changing ponchos.
During this Slowtide review I noted that customers rave about how well the materials actually work to dry them off, particularly compared to other towel brands.
One of the reviewers on the brand’s website said the Liquid Prism Quick-Dry Towel is, “Lightweight and absorbs a lot of water. Best towel for pool/beach.”
Other products featured in this Slowtide review were also ranked highly by customers on the brand’s site:
- Bear Bones Towel – 5 out of 5 stars based on over 840 reviews
- Aurora Quick-Dry Towel and Liquid Prism Quick-Dry Towel – 5 out of 5 stars based on nearly 300 reviews
- Indigo Sun Changing Poncho and Makai Changing Poncho – both have 5 out of 5 stars based on over 500 reviews each.
When it comes to Slowtide’s ponchos, people are enjoying the comfort they provide.
A reviewer of the Waterproof Changing Poncho on Amazon says: “Really good changing towel!!! My last one was an FCS and this new one is much better in thickness, comfort and feel. I highly recommend.”
This poncho also got a great overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 32 Amazon customer reviews.
Overall, for this Slowtide review I find that many who’ve bought Slowtide’s products have made them their go-to brand.
A reviewer on customer review platform judge.me says: “When I think of my favorite brands out there Slowtide is at that top. Over the years I’ve gotten multiple towels for myself and loved ones. Also have a couple blankets and looking forward to getting the robe/bath bundles for my place. Truly unmatched quality and design.”
Is Slowtide Worth It?
Based on everything I’ve considered in this Slowtide review, I see no reason not to purchase from Slowtide if their innovative products and unique designs appeal to you.
Their products are comfortable, high-quality, stylish, made from sustainable materials, and the company gives back to so many different nonprofits and tries to do business in a way that’s healthy for both workers and the planet.
Given the brand’s level of customer satisfaction, and the high level of performance and visual appeal of their products, for the purpose of this Slowtide review I think many shoppers will find their products a worthwhile investment. Even if you won’t be hitting the waves and just need a towel for your bathroom, Slowtide is still a great brand for you.
Slowtide Promotions & Discounts
Currently, you can get free shipping on orders over $100, and, until January 15, 2022, you can even get free returns and exchanges.
The brand is also offering a 10% discount if you subscribe to their emails, which also unlocks giveaways, sale notifications, and other Slowtide promo code offers. Most recently, the brand was running their ENJOY20 code, for a 20% discount on merchandise until December 3.
More regularly, you can participate in their Give $20, Get $20 program. If you refer a friend, you’ll get $20 toward your next order and they will receive a $20 discount code for their first purchase for at least $100.
Also, if you go to the bottom of the page, you’ll find the Win a Year’s Supply of Slowtide. There, you can enter your email to be entered for a chance to win a year’s supply of Slowtide’s products.
Where to Buy Slowtide
Aside from the brand’s official site, at the time of this Slowtide review the brand’s products retailing on a number of sites, including but not limited to Amazon, Nordstorm, and Urban Outfitters.
Who owns Slowtide?
Slowtide is still proudly owned and operated by its original founders, Kyle, Wylie, and Dario.
Does Slowtide ship internationally?
In addition to the US, the brand ships to Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, and Japan.
What is Slowtide’s Shipping Policy?
US shipments will take 7-10 days to arrive, and international shipments can take anywhere from 15-21 days, depending on destination. Once an order is placed, it can currently take up to a week to process due to substantial order volumes, the brand’s small team, and the current conditions.
As for pricing, you can get free US shipping on orders over $100. Orders below that amount will be charged a flat rate of $10 for standard ground shipping, and more for expedited shipping.
International shipping fees vary based on destination, with the customer responsible for any customs fees.
What is Slowtide’s Return Policy?
If you’re unsatisfied with your order, Slowtide accepts returns or exchanges within 30 days of the delivery receipt. To accomplish this, you can either:
- Visit their Returns portal and either selecting to return or exchange to get a full refund or credit to make a new order. Once this process is completed, US customers will receive a prepaid return label so they can mail back their parcel.
- Contact customer service via their email address and have them initiate the return or exchange process for you.
For refunds, you can expect your money to be sent back through the payment method you used in the original purchase within 15 business days. You will receive a confirmation email when this is done, though it may take 2 additional days for the money to drop into your bank account.
International orders are also eligible for 30 day returns, but return shipping is not covered.
How to Contact Slowtide
If you have any questions beyond this Slowtide review, you can get in touch with their customer service team via email, which is monitored during office hours, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. PST.
You can also contact them via their website, or even by snail mail:
- Email: [email protected]
- Contact Form
- California Headquarters: 336 East 17th Street #203, Costa Mesa, CA 92627
- Hawaii Headquarters: 59-592 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
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