Choosing an Outdoor Changing Robe: What to Look For and Consider

Here we cover key features & must haves to consider when choosing a changing robe.

An outdoor changing robe is an incredible piece of wearable gear that can elevate your adventures & explorations in the coldest and wettest of conditions. Choose your robe well, and you’ll enjoy the piece for years to come. As such, it’s important to do your research and ensure you’re getting the changing robe that is right for you, retaining the features and functionalities that are the most useful to your outdoor life.

Changing robe innovations, materials, and features have expanded immensely in the past few years. What was initially crafted by various brands as a waterproof layer over a “warm” lining, changing robes now offer so much more. At least that is the case with the modern innovations lovingly crafted by the Vivida Changing Robe design team.

From fabric performance to endlessly useful functions and features, a changing robe is more than an outdoor coat – it’s a piece of wearable gear that is designed to keep you dry and warm in the coldest and wettest of weather and beyond. Its versatility has never been as apparent as it is now.

Here are some key features we find most important when purchasing an outdoor changing robe. Take a look and see which features resonate most with you and what you’ll find most useful.

WATER & RAINPROOF

One of the most important features of an outdoor changing robe is its ability to keep water out. The All-Weather Changing Robes from Vivida Lifestyle boast a high-performance outer shell, which is made of 100% recycled plastic and proves to be the ultimate defence from the elements. But there is more to the outer shell than just waterproofness. Here are the incredibly innovative details of the Vivida Changing Robe’s shell properties:

  • 4-way stretch facilitates movement & freedom
  • Made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester
  • Multilayer technology brings increased levels of waterproofness:

Layer 1: Bionic Finish® Eco PFC-free durable water-repellent coating allows water to bead-up and roll away

Layer 2: Soft-touch peached 100% post-consumer recycled polyester

Layer 3: 5000mm waterproof laminate

We recommend keeping a close eye on the outer shell technology used in the changing robes you consider, as this is your first layer of protection from the elements, and will be a very important aspect of staying warm and dry.

WARMTH & INSULATION

Arguably, the other most important feature of a changing robe is the warmth and insulation it provides. In the most frosty of temperatures, you want to be able to count on your robe to provide warmth as you spend time in the great outdoors. This includes the immediate respite from cool temps, as well as more long-term insulation. The Vivida All-Weather Changing Robe is built for exactly that in mind. The air pockets found within the QuiltedCloud fill in the Vivida Puffer, and alternately, the Vivida Sherpa Robe’s synthetic lambswool fleece lining, keeps in the warmth whilst wicking away moisture. Whether one style is warmer than the other, the Vivida design team had this to say:

The inner lining of the Sherpa Fleece is warmer & cosier upon immediate touch, however after time the Quilted Puffer will keep you warmer thanks to its ultra-insulating QuiltedCloud fill, which traps warmth to preserve your body heat to a greater extent than the Sherpa Fleece will.

All in all, the Quilted Puffer will keep you warmer, longer; though we didn’t necessarily design one to be much warmer than the other; they’re just different. The Quilted Puffer design is totally unique — Vivida are the first to bring this puffer style into the changing robe category – making it the most versatile and warm changing robe on the market today.

With this in mind, be sure to understand the insulating qualities – both long term and short – your changing robe will provide, and which will serve you best.

LINING OR FILL

Highly related to warmth, and depending on the feeling you prefer, Vivida provides the option of a Puffer version with fill, for a cosy, plush sensation and incredible, long-lasting warmth, as well as the more classic style, which in Vivida’s case is Sherpa lined. Every brand uses different lining material, each with their own level of insulation and qualities of eco-friendliness. Here is the breakdown of the Vivida Sherpa versus Puffer qualities:

Vivida Puffer All-Weather Changing Robe: honeycomb fleece lining combined with the ultra-insulating, QuiltedCloud fill, traps warmth to preserve your body heat.

QuiltedCloud Fill:

 ✓   Synthetic fill Insulation, mimics properties of down – warming the body quickly. While the recycled honeycomb fleece draws water away from the skin.

 ✓   QuiltedCloud Synthetic Down (Fill weight 135g)

 ✓   Warmer over long periods of time

Vivida Sherpa Lined All-Weather Changing Robe:  fleece lining keeps in the warmth whilst wicking away moisture

Advanced fleece lining:

 ✓   Warms body quickly while drawing water away from the skin

 ✓   Sherpa fleece (synthetic lambswool) made from 75% Repreve® Recycled Plastic Bottles, 25% Polyester

SUSTAINABILITY

If you plan to enjoy your robe in the great outdoors (and why wouldn’t you?!), it makes perfect sense that you may want to keep the environment in mind when deciding which one to call your own. While there are a variety of ways a garment can be made to reduce its impact on resources, we recommend taking a close look at the materials and processes used – keeping a close eye on marketing jargon, to not be fooled or ‘greenwashed’ into believing a product is more sustainable than it actually is.

As innovations are constantly improving and evolving, some key components of a great eco-friendly robe might include; post consumer recycled materials, PFC-free coatings, recycled materials that meet Global Recycled Standards, and recycled lining fabrication. Here are Vivida Changing Robe’s Eco-Friendly Specs:

  • Outer shell, made of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester
  • Bionic Finish® Eco PFC-free durable water-repellent coating
  • Sherpa fleece (synthetic lambswool) made from 75% Repreve® Recycled Plastic Bottles (Sherpa changing robe)
  • Premium wadding insulation (100% recycled polyester), with a lightweight lining (100% recycled polyamide) (Sherpa changing robe)
  • Soft-touch peached 100% post-consumer recycled polyester

DRAFT COLLAR & HOOD PROTECTION

An oversized hood is a must-have for any protective & warm changing robe. Vivida’s line of changing robes integrate a roomie hood with a drawcord adjuster that can be secured when needed. In addition, the Vivida changing robes include a draft collar – this is an extension of the collar around the neck that can be zipped up to protect the entire neck and lower portion of the face. This collar is a game-changer in extreme weather.

The Vivida hood is also designed with a strategically placed peak – to prevent water dripping from the edge of the hood onto the face or into the hood. The Sherpa style has added foam support to help keep the shape in place.

TRAVEL FRIENDLY & PACKABLE

Considering the likely need to take your changing robe with you to new and possibly far-off places, the packability of a changing robe may be one component you may not initially consider. This often overlooked, yet important aspect of a changing robe can make a big difference if you plan to travel with your robe. A bulky robe can take up an entire backpack and no one wants to sacrifice other trip necessities because their robe is hogging up key real estate. 

The Vivida All-Weather Puffer Robe, for example, packs down to 40cm x 40cm x 15cm and fits snuggly in a small bag provided, that doubles as a travel pillow. Similarly, the Vivida All-Weather Sherpa Robe packs down to 35cm x 30cm x 15cm and also fits into this same handy travel pillow/ bag. As any well-worn traveler knows – an object that does double duty in usefulness is worth its weight in gold. 

If you find a brand does not list the size dimensions its packs down to, be forewarned that this omission of information could indicate a bulky and non-travel friendly size. We encourage you to look further into this if it’s information you find important.

POCKETS

Correctly placed and sized pockets are a game changer when it comes to changing robes. In using your robe, you will soon realize this and be grateful for well-designed pockets in the just-right locations. In particular, it’s especially useful to have both outer and inner pockets, with the outer being waterproof. This allows easy access to what you need without unzipping your robe, whilst still keeping those items dry. In addition, to store items you don’t need to access as often, that inner pocket is a perfect, concealed place to keep the things you know you’ll need with you. 

WEIGHT

In relation to the packability quotient, the weight of your robe is essential not only when traveling with it, but also when wearing it. A size medium Vivida Puffer version weighs M 1.45kg, while the Sherpa robe in medium weighs M 1.3kg (weight of the other sizes can easily be found in their descriptions).

You may compare this to other robes which you’ll find generally weigh more, on average. In designing the Vivida Changing Robes, we felt that if lighter fabrics provide the same or more insulation and warmth, then any extra weight is a hindrance, especially when you can enjoy the innovations of modernized, lightweight and high-performance fabrics. 

FIT & FEEL

While the technical features of your changing robe are hugely important, the fit and feel of this garment is just as important. Does it feel good when you put it on? Are the fabrics comfortable to the touch? Vivida Change Robes are unique for their premium peached soft-touch feel – a quality no other robe provides. We also integrated 4-way stretch material, which facilitates movement & freedom.

Another fit & feel question should include; does the fit accommodate your body to allow for free movement and the ability to do what you need to do while wearing, without being restrictive or tight? Generally, you should choose a changing robe with an oversized fit so you are able to change easily inside. That being said, your robe should not be so large that your arms disappear in the sleeves or you feel you are swimming inside your robe!

Check the sizing guide of your robe, such as for the Vivida Changing Puffer or Sherpa Robe, and select the size that aligns with your measurements. With Vivida’s Changing Robes, you do not need to size up to allow for adequate changing room, you can simply order the size you would in a standard jacket, and in accordance with the sizing guide measurements.

ZIPPER FUNCTIONALITY

While a zipper may seem like a small part of a wonderfully warm package, the zipper is actually more important than you might think. For the Vivida customer, we made sure to incorporate a two-way zipper so that you could unzip not only the top of the robe, but the bottom as well. This allows for more movement and changing room when needed.

Additionally, if you think about where you may be wearing your robe – perhaps climbing up a rock or the side of a hill to get to your destination, you may need to take some very wide steps and stances, which is where the double zip comes in handy. You can still keep the jacket closed and stay protected whilst opening up the bottom portion for greater mobility. In addition, an easy-grab, gripped & oversized zip puller is an especially appreciated feature when your hands are freezing cold – in which case, a small, slippery puller would not do. These seemingly slight, yet important considerations in zipper design make life in a changing robe that much easier and more enjoyable.

SMALL TOUCHES

To round out all the many features that make a changing robe worth every bit of your research, here are some small touches that we felt compelled to include. These unique additions were important aspects of creating the most versatile and thoughtful robe on the market today and nowhere will you find this combination of features that we hope exemplify the heart and soul of the Vivida Changing Robe.

 ✓  Concealed wrist gaiters, keep warmth in and rain, wind, cold & dirt out of sleeves (Puffer style)

 ✓ Minimal sealed seam construction (Sherpa style)

 ✓ Reinforced side slits for moving freely

 ✓ A neck hanging loop to easily hang your robe anywhere without damaging or stretching fabric

 ✓ A sewn in ‘I Belong To” label to place your name (and phone or other information if needed)

 ✓ A travel pillow case, to allow your robe to be stored in a convenient bag whilst also functioning as a travel pillow wherever you may need it

 ✓ Modern, clean, aesthetic design with earthy tones and minimal branding. Stylish and functional – a piece you could wear from the lakeside to a chilly, rainy night out with friends.

 

We hope this helped illuminate the features you have to choose from in the world of outdoor changing robes. But more importantly….where will your robe take you next?

Enjoy the journey~