We've all had that awkward experience with a towel coming loose while struggling to get changed at the beach. That's why in recent years changing robes have become quite the revelation for anyone who loves the surf and the water. By freeing up your hands and providing protection from the weather, they make getting changed on the sand or in cold car parks a little more enjoyable.
These towelling dry robes have taken the watersports world by storm, with reputable brands like Olaian, Vivida and Culthood catering toward water babies and hardened sea veterans alike. Amazon, eBay and Decathlon have far too many quality changing robes to choose from, so we've made your life a little easier by whittling them down to the very best of the best!
In this simple buying guide, you'll come to know the different types of changing robe materials and features, as well as learning a few defining features such as those all-important pockets. Keeping these things in mind will ensure that even on the bleakest midwinter's day, you'll be getting changed with a teeth-chattering smile on your dial.
A changing robe will either be a perfectly-slim travel companion or a thick and woolly number to keep the changing chills at bay. Whether it's made from cotton or microfibre will tell a lot about a robe's best features, but the thickness still needs to be addressed, especially when on the hunt for a microfibre variety.
Cotton changing robes are wonderfully warm, so they're perfect to whip straight on after exiting the cold British sea. They give the feeling of entering a cosy, comforting cocoon, and feel the most like a normal towel with good drying potential. Due to their thick cotton loops, they can absorb a lot of water.
Because of this water absorption, however, cotton generally doesn't dry as quickly as synthetic materials. This means that if you're surfing multiple times a day, you'll be lucky if your cotton robe isn't sopping wet by the end of it. Obviously, it all comes down to how well you mediate this throughout the day, but it's still something to consider.
Plus, as a result of their thickness, cotton robes won't pack down as compactly as those made from microfibre. This is OK if you're staying local, but it could make all the difference if suitcases or backpacks are at play.
Microfibre changing robes can either be super plush or ultra-thin. Either way, they are mostly made of polyester, which means they'll typically be quick to dry compared to their cotton counterparts.
The thin microfibre changing robes are lightweight and easily foldable to fit wherever you want them to, making them perfect for travel. They are the quickest drying changing robes available as their thin fibres can only absorb small amounts of water.
Plush microfibre robes are thicker, which allows for added protection against the elements. They subsequently won't dry as quickly as the thinner microfibre options, but they are a popular choice as they strike a good balance between warmth and drying time.
Changing robes have a few telling features to look out for. Finding the right robe for you might come down to a subtle difference in one particular feature – from pockets, hoods, changing holes and side snaps, there are different styles of robe that excel in different ways.
One feature that's sure to have you hanging around in your robe for a little longer than you really need to is a pocket. It may seem trivial, but having a deep pouch pocket to tuck your frozen hands into will have them thawing out in no time.
Some changing robes have even gone so far as to include a zip pocket to allow safe storage of your keys and phone while changing. This alleviates the risk of misplacing your essentials in the potentially cold and sandy car park. Clever changing robe fodder indeed!
What good would a changing robe be without a hood? Nestling your weary head into a comforting hood is one of the greatest pleasures of any changing robe experience.
It's the cotton and plush microfibre changing robes that will have your head covered and then some. Look out for words like over-sized, baggy, or simply just 'large' when on the hunt for the cosiest hood in all the land, especially if you have long hair that takes a while to dry.
Some of the higher-end changing robes also add drawstrings to their hoods, which are an even better option for keeping you more tucked away from the elements than you ever thought possible.
Side splits are built into changing robes for the sole purpose of giving your legs more room to move. By having this additional movement, you'll be able to change with ease and gain confidence in your ability to get dressed without taking an unfortunate tumble.
The additional leg mobility will also make walking and chilling in your robe pleasurable and easy.
Another small but clever feature to look for in a robe is the addition of a set of changing holes for your hands. By not having to put your arms inside the robe, you'll have extra mobility while dressing and undressing.
This can be a lifesaver when you're bending, reaching and wriggling back into your clothes, especially when your limbs have become numb!
Side snaps are a priceless feature for when you want some diversity in your changing robe. Their ability to turn your robe into a large beach towel in a matter of seconds is very useful, especially when the priorities of the day revolve around as much beach or pool time as possible.
Their interchangeability doesn't stop there though. With these nifty little snaps, you'll be able to clip your robe to a sun lounger or chair while on holiday, gaining extra comfort for lounging wherever you and your robe go.
If a changing robe has one side snap on each side, its purpose is to give you more privacy while getting changed. Snapping shut the bulk of the armhole will really tuck you in so there'll be no accidental flashes while you go about getting changed inside.
Many surfers and fish-people in general want the biggest and baggiest changing robes available. With an over-sized changing robe you will benefit from more space to get changed in and less chance of your privacy being compromised. Also, your surfer 'steeze' car park cred will go way up if you're adorned in the baggiest, comfort-crushing robe.
Changing robes have become so popular in recent years that you can now find a perfect fit for the whole family. From your toddler to the still-growing 18-year-old giant you somehow helped to grow, there's now a changing robe for everyone. Just be sure to check out any sizing guides against your measurements.
Now you're savvy to the different materials and features that changing robes have to offer, it's time to reveal the ten very best changing robes online in the UK today. From super stylish to plain and simple, there's something to suit everyone's taste in this eclectic list.
|Material||85% polyester, 15% cotton|
|Side Snaps||2 for privacy|
|Size||70 x 70 cm|
|Material||85% polyester, 15% nylon|
|Size||0-3 yrs, 46 x 36 cm|
|Size||102 x 76 cm|
|Side Snaps||2 for privacy|
|Size||105 x 85 cm/120 x 95 cm|
|Size||6-9 and 10-13 yrs|
|Material||85% polyester, 15% nylon|
|Size||109 x 78 cm|
|Material||85% polyester, 15% spandex|
|Pockets||Pouch and inner-zip pocket|
|Hood||Over-sized with drawstring|
|Size||102 x 68 cm/75 x 112 cm|
|Material||88% polyester, 12% polyamide|
|Size||Medium or large|
|Pockets||Pouch and zip pocket|
|Hood||Over-sized with drawstring|
|Size||110 cm long|
|Size||110 x 86 cm|
Jian Ya Na
Surf Poncho 500
Changing Robe Towel Poncho With Zip Pocket
Changing Robe for Women & Men
Hooded Poncho Towel Changing Robe With Zip Pocket
Changing Robe Towel Poncho with Hood
Kids Hooded Towel Poncho
Extra Large Thick Hooded Beach Towel Changing Robe
Beach Basha Changing Poncho
Original Baby Hooded Poncho
Children's Unisex Outdoor Changing Robe
The Changing Robe That Has It All for Less
A Plush Microfibre Robe With Pockets Galore
The Ultimate Changing Robe and Lounging Towel
Vivida's Emphasis on Style and Design Is on Show With This Robe
Plush and Over-Sized - This Robe Has You Covered in Style
An All-Cotton Robe to Keep the Kids Warm
An Oversized Changing Robe With Steeze and Ease
One of the Originals That Prides Itself on Quality and Warmth
The Finest Changing Robe for Any Prince or Princess Under 3
A Cute and Inexpensive Changing Robe for the Kids
|Type||Cotton||Plush microfibre||Thin microfibre||Plush microfibre||Plush microfibre||Cotton||Plush microfibre||Cotton||Plush microfibre||Thin microfibre|
|Material||100% cotton||Polyester||88% polyester, 12% polyamide||85% polyester, 15% spandex||85% polyester, 15% nylon||100% cotton||Polyester||100% cotton||85% polyester, 15% nylon||85% polyester, 15% cotton|
|Pockets||Yes||Pouch and zip pocket||No||Pouch and inner-zip pocket||Pouch||Pouch||No||No||No||No|
|Hood||Oversized||Over-sized with drawstring||Slim||Over-sized with drawstring||Oversized||Standard||Over-sized||Oversized||Large||Standard|
|Side Snaps||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||2 for privacy||No||No||2 for privacy|
|Size||110 x 86 cm||110 cm long||Medium or large||102 x 68 cm/75 x 112 cm||109 x 78 cm||6-9 and 10-13 yrs||105 x 85 cm/120 x 95 cm||102 x 76 cm||0-3 yrs, 46 x 36 cm||70 x 70 cm|
If the water and its holy healing powers have got you hooked, line and sinker, maybe it's time to invest in a beginner surfboard or a stand up paddleboard? Both are excellent ways of making the most of all the wonderful waterways and seas that the British isles have to offer. Follow the links below for more expert buying advice.
Changing robes have become an invaluable addition to the checklist of anyone who takes their water-time seriously, making those awkward and unwanted changing moments a thing of the past. We hope through reading this article that you've found the perfect changing robe; the one that is set to keep you warm and equipped for whatever is likely to come your way.
Author: Connor Macanally
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