What do you want for Christmas? If your immediate answer isn’t a neon pink, fluffy dryrobe then read the rest of this post. If your answer was “what else do I want from life,” then I agree with your fashion choices.
The first time I noticed dryrobes was at Nottingham during team tryouts. An awful lot of people were wearing them and while most people are wrong about a lot of things, apparently they got this one bang on. Being much colder than I really wanted to be I decided to look into ordering a long sleeve dryrobe (considering its supposed to keep you warm I don’t see any reason to get short sleeves other than to show off the muscles you think you have but don’t). I was faced by two daunting propositions: first, WHAT COLOUR! Second, damn it’s expensive. Starting with the obviously more important of these two issues, the colour selection was quite interesting… There were colours on the inside and/or colours on the outside. Starting with the outside options we had the bog standard “cobalt blue” and “sky blue” which both rather reminded me of the colour of bleach, a rather uninteresting purple, red that didn’t quite pull off the Ferrari look and camo which would inevitably result in a lot of “where have you gone” jokes which would be funny for the first 30 seconds and then result in you wishing you’d gone for the pink. I skip ahead. Having decided on the safe option – black on the outside it was time to choose the inside colour for which they had even more exciting options than before: black, black, grey, grey, grey, red, green, blue or pink. I admit that the grey looks kind of swish and certainly if you want to blend in with the rest of the herd I would choose grey (black just doesn’t cut it and white wasn’t available), but I chose pink because I knew it would annoy just sort of people that I dislike. Pink is most certainly the correct choice (incidentally if you have the pink dewerstone life shorts, everyone can accuse you of colour coding and you can admit that was exactly what you were intending). The second less interesting issue was the price tag of £140. Initially I wasn’t too sure, but considering the amount of great reviews dryrobe have and the fact that most serious paddlers seem to have something of the sort I decided to follow my herd instinct and get one.
The first thing I noticed after it arrived when I tried it on was just how comfortable it was with the soft fluffy inside lining. Frankly it felt like I could fall asleep in it, except that I would probably get heat stroke because my house had the central heating on and I was already beginning to sweat just touching the fleecy bit. This moves me on to how warm it was – initially I was a bit skeptical but when you pick it up you realise just how thick the material is. This of course makes it reasonably heavy, but trust me – when you’ve had an hours session at Hurley this Christmas you’ll want it to be thick and warm. The fleece lining is actually hydrophobic; I think dryrobe call it something else a bit more sciency but it’s hard to see how you could be soaking wet and put on what appears to be a fleece without it absorbing any water or getting wet and cold. This however is not the case, I don’t know how it works but it does. I have put my dryrobe on over wet kayaking gear and it stays dry and actually seems to channel the water off of your kit. This does not mean you can immerse your dryrobe or go swimming with it unless you’d like to discover how long you can hold your breath. This does mean though that if you want a winter garment to keep you warm during breaks without having to change out of wet gear, or a quick and easy method of getting changed in a public car park without traumatising the people around you and passers-by then a dryrobe is perfect. I know that Northcore and Palm also make a similar sort of multi-purpose changing “Thneed” type thing, but realistically from what I’ve seen of them the dryrobe is clearly a better quality item and as a result, despite the hefty price tag I would buy one again, and again and again after that – it just has to be in pink.