When a towel simply wont suffice where do you turn to for the equipment that encompasses an all round package that will allow you to change without exposing yourself, which will keep you warm both pre and post swim and which will protect you from the elements.
The DRYROBE having been tested my myself in a variety of situations does appear to do all that it says on the tin. Many a clothing change has taken place in a car park or alongside a lake or river and even the beach, where, whilst in the water not a breath of air has moved nor the heavens open, and yet the second you get out the water and attempt with shivering hands and body to remove wet clothing and done the many layers that will grant you warmth. Inevitably with wind and rain surrounding you and whilst attempting to cling on to the last remnants of dignity as your nether regions are exposed you can guarantee ‘human’s in a variety of forms be it dog walkers, hikers, photographers etc will suddenly appear and even worse they want to come over and have a chat!
Cue the Dryrobe, this one size fits all unisex garment is ideal in all manner of locations and situations. Having tested it at events (Cold Water Swimming Championships in London and the Chill Swim in Windermere) I can attest to its warming properties. The synthetic lambswool lining wicks away the moisture from your body allowing you to warm up faster, pull the arms in and jog on the spot for a few seconds and you will create instant heat which stays until you are ready to relinquish it. Once dressed a quick shake of the garment and it’s as good as new to use again (ideal for those who dip more than once a day!) The size of the garment permits full use of your arms and hands to get dressed without fear of bodily exposure (ideal for when you are explaining to the uninitiated what you are doing on a frosty morning emerging from a lake). Having granted entry to the robe for a friend to warm up as well I can confirm that two persons of average size can share the robe if required for a rapid warm up post ice swim. The hood ideal for even the biggest of heads and for those ladies with long hair that have previously been prevented from keeping the head and neck area warm by a pony tail, those days are now long gone! The arms are angled to prevent unwanted flashings of flesh and can also be pulled in for extra warm should you need it. Unlike other robes this one is fully shower proof, with its outer layer made from robust material that would not snag no matter what vegetation I took it though.
This robe is truly multifunctional, if you do not own a waterproof bag but wish to bring your clothing and shoes to the water’s edge is you can wrap it around your goodies and swim assured they will remain dry for you to put them on. Getting changed in your van or as I have done on my car seat, (the wind was literally blowing me off my feet post swim), placing it fleece side down I able to get dressed without the resulting wet seat to sit on all the way home. It is fully windproof (its only me that isn’t) and stood up well in 40mph winds on a sandy beach on the Isle of Lewis recently. The only sand that got in was that which I had placed there in my attempts to remain upright in the wind, a quick shake and it was as good as new. It even became an impromptu wind break when I wanted to eat after a river swim and is perfect for those quick trips out of the house to retrieve items from the car etc.
The robe comes in two designs, The Original Dryrobe and the Dryrobe Advanced, both have the super sized zips so no fumbling when your hands are completely numb, the Advanced having the slight advantage of having pockets and a place should you wish for an MP3 or ipod, for those of you that wish to listen to happy tunes before a swim. The inner pocket is large enough (A4 size)to store smaller garments of clothing such as a base layer or running tights to shorten the time to fully dressed and also ideal if you have a walk to get back to where you have stored your clothing, Trying to find that elusive place to hide your keys is also a thing of the past should you get the advanced model with a choice of two internal lined pockets to pick from, it does appear that they have listened to customer feedback and upgraded to suit the swimmer/surfer/kayaker. The one and only drawback I could find (and I did look hard) was its bulk, a handy drawstring covering (aka sleeping bag style) would make it the perfect accessory to any swim or trip out. But in waiting for the next advance in design it is no loss to the experience of being able to get dry, dressed and warm fast. Future plans for the robe include personalised branding for clubs, schools, teams, groups and sponsors, which is wonderful and will make your own robe ‘findable’ in the mass that you will see at events!
Once you are dressed keep it on, at events now you will see many a swimmer wearing them, bare or neoprene denotes the intention to swim, clothed either a spectator or post swimmer. In fact lend it to a spectator to keep them warm or let them use it while you swim and you will find reluctance for it to be returned to its rightful owners. Both robes are perfect in all weather conditions and will tolerate even the most aggressive or should that say wobbly of wetsuit removals, spacious and instantly warming whilst protecting you from the elements, so let those ‘human’s’ come over for a chat, no longer worried where I will change or who I might flash a bit of flesh to, the Robe is with me everywhere. Rating given 9.5/10 ….a full 10 would have been given if it had a storage bag.