Get Summer Ready: Must-Have Beach Changing Robes

Author: Sophia Purnell

It wasn’t too long ago when all we had to dry off on the beach was a damp towel caked in sand. Thankfully, times have changed, and we’ve come a long way since then thanks to the joys of changing robes. But how to choose the right one for you? Hopefully, I can offer some insight here- based on my own waterfront experience- that will help you decide.

An image of a Vivida changing robe.


  1. What Is a Changing Robe?
  2. Are Dry Robes Worth It?
  3. The Joys of a Changing Robe
  4. What Should I Look for in a Changing Robe?
  5. How to Choose the Right Changing Robe for You
An image of a green Vivida changing robe.

What Is a Changing Robe?

Changing robes can vary from the more minimal towelling beach poncho to a fully insulated weatherproof behemoth of a coat. They’ll dry you off, you can get changed in their voluminous folds, and in waterproof changing robes you can warm up too. Most of us cold water enthusiasts have at least seen someone sporting one at the waterside. Comfortably enclosed in snuggly swathes of fabric, happily whipping their swimsuit off without any worries about flashing the locals. These oversized post-swim cover-ups are often also referred to as change robes, dry robes, robies, and swim robes.

Are Dry Robes Worth It?

If you’re anything like me, you might have wondered if a changing robe is worth the outlay. After all, everyone has towels and winter coats, why the need for a hybrid of the two, at some considerable expense? Well, after years of exposed flesh in biting winds, and scrambled changing at the waterside, I can wholeheartedly say yes, they are!

An image of a fossil grey Vivida changing robe.

The Joys of a Changing Robe

    Offering protection from the elements right up until you’re ready to get into the water is a major plus from the outset. The English summertime isn’t known for its consistently beautiful sunshine, so a bit of shelter until go time is a delight! 

    Being able to sling your towel over your head as you change in comfort is a true luxury I cannot recommend enough. No worrying about holding it up with shivery hands, no concerns about exposing yourself. Just pure cosiness and lovely absorbent fabric to snuggle you back into your dry clothes. Bliss!

    What Should I Look for In a Changing Robe?

    The best changing robes should feature a fully weatherproof outer, plenty of waterproof zip-fastened pockets, and an insulating fleece or quilted lining. I always look for two-way zips and nice roomy sleeves and chest, to make changing inside the robe a breeze. At seven months pregnant I can still get my bikini off under my fully zipped-up changing robe within seconds. And getting my dry clothes back on doesn’t take me too much longer! 

    Ethically made fabrics are also an important feature, and knowing the waterproof elements are made from recycled plastics is great for peace of mind. Vivida’s fleece linings are super-soft and quickly wick away water from the skin. These high-tech materials are just what’s needed to dry off and warm back up in record times.

    For warmer days and sunnier seas and climates, towelling ponchos are ideal. Again, a nice roomy, hooded design is optimal, with lots of space to get a wetsuit off. I prefer an ultra-absorbent microfibre one over classic cotton towelling robe, any day. Much lighter in weight, lovely and soft, and ultra-fast drying- just what I want for long sunny days on the beach.

    How to Choose the Right Changing Robe for You?

    The right changing robe for you will entirely depend on when and how you plan to use it. If you’ll be spending a long time in the cold British seas, or enjoying water sports year-round, warming up fast once you’re out will be essential. One of Vivida’s weatherproof, beautifully insulated changing robes would be the ideal choice. Even better, they pack down small into their accompanying travel bag, making them ultra-portable in better weather.

    For any sun seekers amongst you, or for splashing about in the surf on glorious summer’s days, I would recommend an adult poncho towel robe from Vivida’s surf changing robes range. Lighter-weight and super-absorbent, they can dry you off after a quick swim or surf and be ready to dry you off again an hour later. 


    Like many people that I’ve swum with, it took a while before I took the plunge and invested in a changing robe. I was not prepared for the upgrade it gave to my every waterside experience! And like all of my adventurer friends, having bought one, I’ve never looked back.


    Sophia Purnell is a writer for TIDAL Digital, covering a wide range of topics. She enjoys swimming year-round in the rivers, lakes, and reservoirs of Yorkshire and Greater Manchester, as well as taking regular breaks to visit family in the South-West and the Cornish coastal waters. When not in her swimwear, she also is a keen Yoga and Pilates enthusiast, with an interest in all things related to health and well-being.