The Gorilla Eco Recycled Changing Robe keeps me snug and warm after open water swimming and best of all, it’s made from 100% recycled plastic!
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I’ve always loved swimming and grew up by the seaside here in England. On my travels, I’ve found some very special places to swim. However, it was only this spring that I started swimming almost every day whatever the weather with the Bluetit Chill Swimmers. Sometimes there are just a few of us, other times there are more than 30 of us, giggling, chatting and whooping for joy as we swim and bob about in the sea.
The very first thing I did, however, before my first swim with the Bluetits was buy a changing robe. It was spring and still not that warm and I knew the sea would be cold. I wanted to be able to whip off my wet swimming things as soon as I got out of the water without the risk of any embarrassing mishaps or being freezing cold.
Changing robe verses Dry Robe
There are several different styles of changing robes and many different brands. Which type of robe you opt for depends, in the main, on the time of year you wish to use it. Generally speaking, a dry robe is great for the colder months, while a changing robe might suit you better in the summer.
Dry Changing Robe
A dry robe is an oversized coat with a water and windproof outer layer and a fleecy inner layer. Some people use them to keep warm and dry after taking off their swimming gear, while some change inside the robe. They can have a full-length zipper, or they can pull over your head.
They’re perfect for keeping you warm on chilly summer evenings and throughout the winter; however, they are quite bulky to store and carry and range from between £90 and £150. So they’re quite an investment if you aren’t certain how much use you’ll get out of them. They’re probably too warm for a sunny summer’s day here in the UK
A changing robe again is an oversized garment, often a towelling robe used to change under after swimming or other water sports. They usually don’t have a front opening but pull over your head. The cost is much cheaper. They make a great robe to start off with, especially in the warmer months. However, you’ll find that you’ll want a dry robe as well on colder days and for the winter months.
Gorilla’s Eco-friendly changing robe
I looked around at the different options and settled on buying from a local company called Gorilla Robe. They’re based in Emsworth, just a few miles along the coast from my home in West Sussex.
What I love about my Gorilla changing robe
1. It looks great
There are various colour options to choose from, but I particularly loved this floral changing robe costing £32.99. It proved a great hit with the ladies I swim with too and several of us have them now.
2. There’s plenty of room for changing
Even when I’m still wet from swimming when everything tends to cling to your damp skin, there’s plenty of room to get dry and dressed.
3. It’s warm, soft and cosy
For late spring through to early autumn, my Gorilla changing robe is thick enough to keep me warm but it’s not too heavy or bulky to carry down to the beach.
4. Wide, long sleeves
The armholes are really wide so it is easy to pull your arms through them to get changed inside your robe and slip them back out again. The length of the sleeves makes sure you keep your modesty as well as keeping your arms warm on chillier days. There are also two smaller pocket-like openings below the sleeves for easy access when changing. I tend not to use them though as it is so easy to slip my arms inside the changing robe when needed and then back through the sleeves again when I’ve finished changing.
5. Handy front pocket
Whether you want to keep your hands warm or you need a place to pop your undies the large pocket at the front is very handy.
6. Cosy hood
I’ve rarely needed it, but if I swim in the evening, when the temperature drops, the hood keeps me lovely and warm.
7. Fast delivery and free returns
All items are shipped free of charge and anything you order before 2 pm arrives the next day. If you find your robe is the wrong size and you wish to return it you have up to 30 days to do so and Gorilla will pay the return postage.
8. Eco friendly
All Gorilla ECO changing robes are made using waste plastic according to the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and with OEKO-TEX certification. There is around the equivalent of 15 one-litre plastic bottles in each robe.
What I don’t like about my Gorilla changing robe
It’s pretty much perfect. I do occasionally swim in the rain in the summer. and it would be even better if it were rain and windproof – a summer dry robe so to speak – but 99% of the time it’s spot on for changing on the beach in the warmer months here in the UK. An inside pocket would be handy to keep my undies in too but that is also a minor thing.
My Gorilla eco-friendly changing robe in this pretty floral design has proved invaluable. I bought a large size to accommodate my ample size 22 hips and it’s perfect, despite being only 5 feet tall. There’s plenty of room to change in it and it’s not so long that it drowns me. I like the longer length to help keep me warm. If you do find the size you order is quite right for you, all you need to do is pop it in the post and Gorilla will send you another and they will pay ALL the postage.
My changing robe from Gorilla has been much admired in my swimming group and now several ladies are regularly seen in flowery changing robes on the beaches in Bognor!
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