17 Gifts for Wild and Open Water Swimmers

A view from a river where wild and open water swimming takes place. Gift ideas

Are you looking for something for the wild swimmers in your life? Whether you are someone who braves the cold, and joins them in the water or patiently waits with a warm drink on the side, we’ve got the ultimate gift list for you. We’ve compiled things that will not only encourage them to continue on their wellness journey, but make taking the plunge all that more easier. 

Heading into the water during the summer is a much easier way that most people get into wild swimming, the real test is keeping it up throughout the winter. That’s why we’ve focused this gift guide to ease winter swimming as well as some simple necessities for all year round. 

1. Quick Dry Towel

A quick dry towel perfect for wild swimmers

Our recommendation: Dock and Bay Quick

Check price on Decathlon 

Quick dry towels are nothing short of a blessing when it comes to wild swimming. Their quick absorbance and light weight make them easy to carry and practical. Drying off with one of these towels is faster than a standard cotton towel, meaning you can get from the cold water into warm clothes just that bit quicker. 

Perfect for the winter swimming months, not only do they dry you quick, they themselves dry quickly when left hanging up around them home. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a daily swimmer or a once a month dipper, there are many benefits of having a quick dry towel.

We recommend the Dock & Bay quick-dry towel for its classic signature design and practical storage bag. It does an excellent job of drying you off and looks like a traditional towel which is ideal if you are also planning to take it on holiday. 

2. Pair of Wetsuit Gloves

Wetsuit gloves are a practical gift for open water swimming

Our recommendation: Zone 3 Swim Gloves 

Check price on Wetsuit Outlet

For most adventurous swimmers, heading out into the water all year round is the goal. Not only does cold water provide benefits for your health, it is good for your mind and well-being.

One way to make this challenge easier for the wild swimmer in your life is a pair of wetsuit gloves. Gloves keep your hands from getting too cold while swimming in cooler water.

Wetsuit gloves can come in different formations and thicknesses. Choosing the right one depends on the activity and the temperature of the water.

We recommend these Zone3 Gloves, which have been designed to prevent ballooning up and filling with water while swimming. Their long arms mean that they can be tucked underneath a wetsuit.

By having wetsuit gloves on, you can be sure to reach your personal best, even in the cold months.

3. Dry Robe

A long sleeve changing robe from Redpaddle Co is perfect for getting changed in

Our recommendation: Long Sleeve Pro Change Robe EVO

Check price on Red Paddle Co

Womens 

Mens

Taking the world by storm, dry robes are increasingly popular with water sports users and those who love to enjoy the great outdoors. Their long body and warm lining mean they are perfect for all weather.

From driving to the beach to changing out of your wet swimmers, having a windproof changing robe can make all the difference between getting into the water and not.

We recommend The Red Paddle Co Evo Stealth, which is designed to keep the weather out. Withstanding heavy rain, this hooded changing robe is packed full of premium features that are not available with other alternatives.

From its multiple waterproof storage pockets to keep your valuables safe, to having sizing that is based on height, the Evo Stealth will check all the boxes of a dry robe and many more.

Despite its heavy-duty and robust construction, the changing robe can be compacted into a hand-sized bag, meaning that it’s perfect for the on-the-go swimmer. The lining is warm and scratch-free, meaning that you’ll find all-day comfort.

4. Thermal Flask

Stanley flask is perfect for wild swimmers

Our recommendation: Stanley Classic Legendary Bottle 1L

Check price on Amazon 

Without a doubt, the best way to warm up after an open water swim is with a hot drink. That’s why we recommend a good thermal flask as a gift.

Available in various sizes and shapes, the Stanley Classic flasks keep liquids warm for up to 14 hours. With plenty of volume, sharing hot drinks among the swimming community couldn’t be easier.

Not only do thermos flasks warm you up from the inside, but we all know holding a hot drink acts as the perfect hand warmer while braving the cold.

For eco-conscious swimmers, a thermal flask is the perfect way to reduce waste and save costs, as bringing a drink from home can save you from visiting a coffee shop.

5. Wild Swimmers Wetsuit 

Our recommendation: Zone 3 Azure 2.0 Wetsuit 

Check price on Wiggle

Womens

Men 

If you’re looking to treat the wild swimmer in your life, then getting them a wetsuit is definitely an appreciated gift. By adding a neoprene layer between the sea and skin, you’ll not only prolong the time they can spend in the water but it also allows them to push themselves physically.

Differing from surfing wetsuits, the construction in an open water wetsuit is all about movement and flexibility. Although they may feel thinner, they offer warmth and buoyancy like any other wetsuit.

We recommend the Zone3 Azure wetsuit, available for both males and females. It’s a great overall wetsuit, suited to both open water swimmers and those training for a triathlon.

Its key features are flexibility, buoyancy, and a comfortable fit. The low neckline and blind stitch seams make it a comfortable wetsuit for those starting out in the open water swimming world.

6. Warm Fleece

A black fleece for wild swimming

Our Recommendation: Regatta Classic Fleece

Check price on Amazon

A main part of wild swimming is making sure it’s done safely, even after exiting the water. One of the major risks in the sport is the body temperature falling too low. That’s why we think a fleece is a perfect gift.

Fleeces are ideal for throwing on after changing. They’re cosy, warm, and lightweight; throwing them into your kit bag before heading to the local swimming spot is the perfect solution for tackling the cold you feel after the plunge.

Having a full zip means they are easy to put on underneath a changing robe, leaving no time in the wind chill. And with they’re naturally quick-drying ability, you won’t worry about wet hair dripping. 

7. Changing Mat

Changing mat can make all the difference while wild swimming

Our Recommendation: Orca Swim Changing Mat

Check price on Wetsuit Outlet

Even with all the right equipment to keep you warm in the water, there is nothing more vulnerable than getting yourself changed outdoors. That’s why the next gift is a changing mat.

This simple yet practical piece of equipment prolongs the life of a wetsuit by preventing it from scraping across the rough ground, as well as keeping your feet that much warmer by creating a layer between them and the cold ground.

For the avid wild swimmer, they’ll know the struggle and appreciate the difference changing on one of these mats. Once you’ve finished changing, the mat turns into a storage bag, meaning you can quickly change out of the wet gear and store it by pulling the drawstring.

8. Wild Swimming Book 

Wild Swimming book cover

Our Recommendation: Wild Swimming: Hidden Dips in the Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of Britain

Check price on Amazon

Getting out in nature and exploring the simplicity and beauty of swimming spots is one of the many attractions to the activity. We recommend this book as a gift for wild swimmers as it’s a comprehensive guide to spots across the UK.

With over 300 lakes, rivers, and waterfalls to discover, swimmers will be inspired to book trips, weekends, and holidays to visit these breathtaking dips. It includes information for families, ratings on safety, and even the odd pub recommendation for the post-swim drink.

Whether you’re hoping to join the swimmer as they explore the gems the UK has to offer or hoping to inspire them to get out and about, this gift is one that will be appreciated.

9. Neoprene Beanie

Wetsuit beanie for open water swimmers

Check price on Wetsuit Outlet

Our Recommendation: O’Neill 2mm Neoprene Beanie

One of the most valuable additions to a wild swimmer’s gear is a neoprene beanie. Providing warmth and protection from the cold, taking the plunge into incredible spots across the UK is easier with one of these.

Not only is a neoprene beanie useful for dipping into the sea, but it can also be used for other water sports like kayaking or paddleboarding. With a leash on the back, the beanie can easily attach to a wetsuit to secure it.

We recommend the O’Neill Hood, which is lightweight, double-lined, and has a comfortable fit. Designed to support the body in regulating heat, this neoprene beanie is essential for every open water swimmer.

10. Waterproof Pouch

Key pouch with a card and key next to it

Our Recommendation: Aqua Pac Stash Waterproof Pouch

Check price on Decathlon

A small and simple gift: having a waterproof pouch to store keys, cards, and phones while out in the water will never not be useful.

One of the most reliable brands for these is Aquapac. They have been designing waterproof casing since 1983 and are at the top of the market. Their sturdy and reinforced pouches are trusted among the watersports industries and come with a one-year guarantee.

The pouch has easy access, which is ideal for cold hands, and sets this pouch apart from others on the market. Along with being waterproof to 50m, it’ll be a reliable and trusted companion to many wild swimmers.

The carry cord makes it easy to take around or tuck into your wetsuit so you can focus on the swimming ahead. Not only does it protect from water, it also keeps out dust, dirt, and sand, making it useful for all beachgoers everywhere.

11. Tide Clock

North Core bamboo tide clock

Our Recommendation: Surf Accessories Northcore Desktop Bamboo Tide Clock

Check price on Amazon

A necessity for those coastal wild swimmers, a tide clock is the perfect gift as it means you can always check when the tide is just right for those swims.

Providing the current tide at a glance, it can be perfect for deciding on some last-minute swims or getting the latest information on the sea state. Whether you love to walk the dog at low tide or surf, this gift is useful for any household.

With a 12.5-hour window between tides, they aren’t the same every day and become an hour later. Heading out onto the water at the optimal tide can make swimming experiences more enjoyable and impactful.

Not only that, it is the perfect complement to a beachside home; guests and visitors will comment on the clock, and it works as an excellent discussion point.

12. Dry Bag

Red paddle company dry back pack perfect for wild swimmers

Our Recommendation: Waterproof Backpack – 30L

Check price on Red Paddle Co

Investing in a dry bag is a practical and sensible choice for any watersports enthusiast.

A dry bag provides a waterproof solution to keeping items safe while out swimming; this can be everything from electronics to towels and snacks. By having everything in one bag, it’s easy and convenient.

As well as keeping water out, it also keeps water in. So once you’re finished with keeping your dry stuff safe, it can act as a wet bag where you store your swimming equipment.

So whether you’re buying a gift for a local wild swimmer or one that likes to travel to the perfect spot, a dry bag is an essential accessory for their outdoor activities.

13. Rechargeable Hand Warmer

Rechargable hand warmers are a useful gift for wild swimmers

Our Recommendation: OCOOPA UT3 Lite Magnetic Hand Warmers

Check price on Amazon

There is a gadget for everything these days, including one to warm your hands up. This may seem a little excessive, but it is a gift that will not only be helpful, it isn’t one the wild swimmer would think of buying.

Compact, simple to operate, and fast-heating, an electric hand warmer fits easily into pockets and works fast to warm up your hands. Useful for many different outdoor sports, this gift is useful and powerful even when wearing gloves.

Being electric, these far surpass the traditional single-use hand warmers. Lasting for up to 7.5 hours on the lowest setting, the hand warmer can help warm you up for many swims before needing recharging.

If you aren’t convinced by us, check out the reviews for this product.

14. Whistle

Blue whistle

Our Recommendation: Classic Safety Whistle (Blue)

Check price on Decathlon

For a small, yet important gift for a wild swimmer, we suggest buying a whistle. Easy to attach to a swimsuit or a wetsuit, this can be vital for safety.

Carrying a whistle when swimming can be important for emergency signaling in the event of something unexpected happening. The loud and piercing sound carries longer distances than a voice and is clearer that someone’s attention is required.

While a whistle is simple, it is an invaluable safety accessory and an ideal gift for the peace of mind that they can communicate in a challenging situation. It’s not only a thoughtful gift, it’s practical and caring.

15. Ear Plugs

Orange ear plugs

Our Recommendation: EQ Seals Ear Plugs

Check price on Amazon

When it comes to being in and out of water, swimmer’s ear is a common and unwanted issue. It can be painful and irritating, while also taking a long time to clear up.

One of the best solutions is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The easiest way to do that is to wear earplugs while swimming. They stop water from entering the ear canal and protect against any foreign objects.

Some people enjoy wearing earplugs while swimming as it can improve concentration and focus by reducing distractions such as pressure changes or the sound of others on the water. Increasingly, people are using earplugs more and more while out enjoying the ocean, making this a popular and sought-after gift for wild swimmers.

See more on ear plugs 

16. Wetsuit Socks

Wetsuit socks from Zone 3

Our Recommendation: ZONE3 Neoprene Swimming Socks

Check price on Wetsuit Outlet 

Wetsuit socks are a key component of any open water swimmer’s kit list. Their primary goal is to provide insulation and prevent feet from getting cold.

Trapping a thin layer of water which is warmed by the body, wetsuit socks are ideal for regulating temperature. Often, feet are the hardest to warm up after swimming in a natural body of water, by having socks on, you’ll prevent heat loss from this area.

They also protect feet from cuts, scrapes, and stings from wild swimming locations. Often, water across the UK has poor transparency, meaning you can’t quite see where you’re stepping.

These Zone 3 neoprene swimming socks are designed carefully to provide warmth and comfort while also being securely fitted. The sock itself is longer than most industry typicals and can easily be tucked into the wetsuit, providing no exposed skin and a firm hold.

17. Waterproof Watch 

Nixon surf watch can be a perfect gift for open water swimming

Our Recommendation: NIXON Heat Surf Watch

Check Price on Wetsuit Outlet

Looking for a gift that is useful both on and off the water? A waterproof watch is both a stylish and purposeful gift for a swimmer. From timing their lengths to making sure they aren’t spending too long in cold water, having the time will come in handy for anyone. Yet, it doesn’t stop there.

With a sleek and minimal design, the Nixon Heat Surf Watch looks just as good off the water. The strap is designed to withstand the biggest surf and be multifunctional.

With an LCD screen that includes time, date, and timers, it’s easy to navigate with only two buttons. Letting you focus on your sport without all the fuss, ideal for open water swimming.

Finding a gift for a wild swimmer doesn’t have to be tricky, making sure you get to know where and when they like to swim and you’ll find something both practical and thoughtful on our list. 

For more gifting ideas, check out our gifts for surfers. 

About the author

Win a £500 gift card from Vivida Lifestyle

We’ve teamed up with sustainable waterwear brand Vivida Lifestyle to offer you this amazing prize.

Related posts