This winter I’m taking part in the Polar Bear Challenge, which means I’ll be swimming in open-water without a wetsuit twice a month between November and March. It goes without saying that the water is going to be very chilly!
After swimming in cold water, it’s vital to warm up quickly and efficiently. Getting dry and dressed within 10 minutes of your swim is essential as that’s when the afterdrop hits and the shivers will start. In preparation for my swim challenge, I’ve been stocking up on warm clothing which can be put on without too much faff.
Changing robes are perfect for any type of outdoor activity, particularly swimming. They are an oversized poncho/coat, with a waterproof outer layer and soft fleece lining. They are roomy enough so that you can throw it on over your wet clothing, and get changed underneath without exposing yourself to the wind (or to other people).
Dryrobe is a popular brand of changing robe for outdoor activities, but they are quite pricey at £150. I did some research into Dryrobe alternatives, which provide a warm, weatherproof layer at a more affordable price…
7 Dryrobe alternatives
1.Charlie McLeod Eco Sports Cloak– £119.95
A great eco-friendly option, this changing robe is made from 1100 recycled plastic bottles! Every purchase comes with a free drybag.
2. Selkie Swim Robe– £99
The Selkie swim robe has extra-long zip pulls for cold fingers and V vented side panels for ease of movement.
3. Moonwrap Waterproof Changing Robe– £89.99
The fleece-lined hood can be used like a towel to dry your hair- ingenious!
4. Smoc Smoc Weatherproof Change Smoc– £125
Smoc Smoc’s are lined with bamboo, which is a natural highly-absorbent, insulating, hypo-allergenic fibre. Each robe comes in a bag which is made from off-cuts of fabric and can be used for standing on while you get dry.
5. TYR Alliance Podium Parka– £128.99
The soft, brushed outer shell and honeycomb brushed inner fleece provides 25% additional warmth than traditional parkas. This changing robe includes both an inner phone pocket and adjustable hood.
6. Zone3 Polar Fleece Parka Robe– £99
This is the option I ended up purchasing- I love the cosy polar fleece lining and the zipped internal pockets for storing keys, phone etc. For reference, I am 5′ 5″ and bought the Small, which is oversized and roomy, but not too large.
7. XK Swimzi– £95
The XK Swimzi has a weatherproof outer nylon shell with taped seams accompanied by an incredible super soft-warm handle Sherpa fleece inner lining.
An added bonus option!
8. Vivida All-Weather Sherpa Changing Robe– £159
This sherpa-lined robe has the ability to pack down into a tow float or transform into a travel pillow.
I’ll be living in my Zone3 Parka Robe, it’s already been such a great investment for winter swimming.
I’m doing my Polar Bear Challenge for charity, raising money for Saint Francis Hospice- any donations would be hugely appreciated:
Do you use a changing robe for outdoor activities? What’s your preferred brand?