It won’t surprise you that we’re all pretty active people in the office at PH and it’s rare we aren’t exchanging stories of what we’ve been up to outside over the weekend on a Monday morning.
Sadly though, we aren’t often spoilt by San Diego sunshine in the UK, so we regularly find ourselves cracking on in cold, wet and windy conditions.
‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad kit’ - a phrase you’d have heard regularly if you were a fly on the wall through my childhood, so I think it’s fair to blame my parents for the ever-growing collection of outdoor kit I have accumulated to cope with whatever the Met Office throws at us!
Andy doesn't seem to know whether he's come for an obstacle swim race
or to be the first man to cross the Atlantic by powered flight
Honestly, I didn’t realise I needed a dryrobe until I took the leap and bought one - it’s one of those pieces of kit that fills a hole you didn’t really know needed filling.
Nowadays, you’ll always find it stashed in the boot of my car ready to welcome me out of the sea after a swim, surf or paddle and I’m honestly not sure how I managed without it.
Although I’m shouting about the dryrobe being ‘my’ favourite piece of kit, I should add that I had to fight with multiple people in the office to claim this review as we all have one and love it.
If you’re not familiar with dryrobe, the dryrobe advanced is essentially an oversized, hooded, waterproof coat with a thick fleece lining. It’s the ideal piece of kit to throw on over the top of everything else ahead of a race start if conditions are bad, or change inside if facilities are limited.
I personally use my dryrobe most as a changing room in coastal car parks! It’s large enough to give plenty of changing room and protect you from the elements at the same time. If I’m in the sea particularly close to home, I’ll also sometimes throw my dryrobe on over my wet wetsuit en route home to a warm shower and that way the car seats are well protected.
Andy, JP and I were up in Glasgow racing the RedBull Neptune Steps event last weekend and all three of us were wrapped up in our dryrobes between each of our races. With the water temperature down at 8°C (46°F) - if you think that’s cold, it was 2.5°C (36°F) last year! - we wore them over our wetsuits, threw them off just before jumping in at the start and had them waiting for us again as soon as we finished.
The outer zip pockets are deep enough to stash the essentials and more (in fact, the pockets are so deep I ‘lost’ a pair of goggles in them just a few minutes before my Neptune Steps semi-final last year... 🤦)
Although not a cheap addition to your wardrobe, dryrobe do a brilliant job of building robust kit, which is important given the abuse it’s likely to see in its’ intended environment. You won’t find any feeble zips or poorly stitched seams on a dryrobe - the oldest dryrobe in the PH office (I believe a first generation, now ~7 years old) is still going strong so I can say from experience that they last.
In the office we all opted for the dryrobe ‘Advanced Short Sleeve’ (with custom PH branding, naturally!), which is similar to the very first dryrobe design released back in 2011. The design is simple but the small changes they have made since version one highlights how well received it has been in the market. I do like the addition of the internal valuables pocket (waterproof from both sides) on the newer designs though, that’s a great touch.
In summary, the dryrobe is one of those simple yet versatile pieces of kit that really ticks the box when you’ve been out getting it done, whatever the weather. For me, it’s right up there with the best pieces of kit I own and I thoroughly recommend you take a look yourself.