The introduction of waterproof changing robes to anyone who does outdoor sports has been an absolute game-changer, especially if you don’t have a van to get changed in. The early adopters were surfers, paddleboarders and swimmers, but these robes have also found a place on rugby and hockey pitches, keeping the substitutes warm, dry and ready for action.
More recently these robes have been picked up by people who just want a super warm, comfortable and waterproof coat. They’ve been seen in Waitrose and on dog walks and in the local gastro pub. I’ll be honest, I’ve also used mine for mid-winter, windy, rainy walks and it was perfect.
Basically, waterproof changing robes are for anyone who wants to enjoy the outside when the weather is less than ideal.
Vivida Lifestyle has built a changing robe that is extremely comfortable and eco-conscious, with some features made from 100% recycled materials. They offer a classy choice of colours and has all the features to make sure you can get changed easily and stay warm at the same time.
The stylish features and smooth outer shell differentiates this robe from competitors because it feels and looks like an oversized coat. The Vivida changing robe isn’t just a thing you wear for 5 minutes whilst getting changed. You’ll want to wear it to the beach, walking on the beach and practically in any situation where you want to stay warm and dry.
It’s the smaller features that make the Vivida a premium robe, such as the discreet branding, pack-away bag, silicon-gripped ribbon zip-pull (great for when you can’t feel your freezing fingers) and peaked hood.
We reviewed the Vivida Sherpa Robe, but you should also check out their Puffer Robe. This robe has all the same features plus synthetic down puffer stitching on the upper body, and a very nice and upgraded hood.
Table of Contents
Who are Vivida Lifestyle?
A brand born out of true love of water sports, Vivida are passionate about creating high-quality, premium gear that won’t let you down. I met the owner David by chance when we were both in Brazil a few years ago, and the brand he’s built is as authentic and purpose-driven as he is.
They have created a range of watersports gear, from changing robes to ponchos, surf bikinis and wetsuits. All have the same look and feel with sustainability in mind.
Vivida tests its gear to the limits and have a great community of watersport professionals on hand to provide instant feedback. This ethic of continual feedback and improvement means the products you buy are fit for the professional athlete, as well as the weekend warrior like you and me!
Vivida waterproof changing robe review
Coming in eco compostable packaging, Vivida makes you feel good instantly by reminding you you’ve bought a sustainable product.
The ‘fossil grey’ colour has a soft matt finish and along with the understated branding, the robe looks very cool. I’m not a huge fan of feeling like a walking billboard and clothing that has the logo or website plastered around in huge letters always looks quite cheap to me.
From inside to outside, the robe feels soft and warm. Once you start looking at the details and features, you’ll know you’ve spent your money wisely.
With pockets, drawstrings and velcro all in the right places, the Vivida changing robe is as functional as it is fashionable. The straps and pull strings around the hood and arms mean you can tighten up any gap to stop almost 100% of the cold wind coming in.
The hood is different to any other waterproof changing robe I think I’ve seen. Instead of a bit of material that’s just added to the neck, it’s properly shaped, stitched and looks more like a hood on a coat. The little peak, draft collar, drawstrings, and fleece lining makes the hood super cosy and keep your head toasty warm.
There are pockets throughout the changing robe all with a different purpose and design. The exterior pockets at hip level are where you’ll warm up your hands after a cold winter session. These pockets are deep and lined with a microfibre towel-like material, which makes a lot of sense.
The fleece-lined inside breast pocket is zipped and perfect to hide a phone or keys. There is also a key clip which is perfect for me because I’m forever losing them when getting ready for a session on the water.
At the base of the robe, there is a large mesh-lined pocket that has a reversible pack-away bag (one side water repellant, the other soft fabric lined). This is a very cool idea, so after your sea swim, you can get changed in the robe and then shove your swimsuit into this large stash pocket. No more wet swimsuits dripping in the car on the way home!
Weatherproof and warm
The outer shell is very different to other changing robes on the market. For example, the Dryrobe and Gorilla feel rugged and tough, whereas the Vivida outer layer is smooth, soft and elegant.
The soft water repellant and windproof shell is made from a 4-way stretch material, which really helps with movement and getting changed. It’s not a simple outer shell by any means, which is why you are paying a premium for the robe, as Vivida explain the layers are built from:
- 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
The synthetic sherpa inner lining is soft, warm and present throughout most of the robe. The arms, hood and 90% of the body is covered in it. The lining only stops around knee height and is replaced with a water-repellant fabric, which makes total sense. The sherpa lining is pretty good at soaking up moisture and the base of the robe always gets pretty grubby and wet.
Vivida Lifestyle has done very well at sourcing materials that are sustainable and ethically made. They can stand by what they say and prove their sustainability credentials with certifications, as seen on their website.
From the compostable packaging to recycled plastic and non-harmful prints, you can feel good that the product you’re wearing is doing its bit and making a minimal impact on the earth’s resources.
Back to the primary reason these robes exist, they are for getting changed in. The Vivida changing robe has wide armholes and a body big enough to manoeuvre in and out of a wetsuit and swimsuit.
I’m 6’2ish and the large is a good fit.
Vivida suggests going down a size if you’re planning to use it as an oversized coat.
Vivida changing robe details
- Minimal sealed seam construction
- 4-way stretch waterproof, windproof & breathable shell
- Low-profile & adjustable hood for a close-fit
- Sherpa fleece (synthetic lambswool) made from 75% Repreve® Recycled Plastic Bottles, 25% Polyester
- Premium wadding insulation (100% recycled polyester), with a lightweight lining (100% recycled polyamide)
- Deep external hand-warmer pockets
- Large internal stash pocket with bungee clip for pack-away bag
- Internal zipped pocket for phone & valuables (with key clip)
- Adjustable velcro cuff fastening
- Premium matte-black, durable water-resistant zip
Vivida has priced their robes at £165 for the Sherpa Changing Robe and £240 for the Puffer Changing Robe. This is at the higher end of the market, but as always you get what you pay for and it’s quite clear this is a premium, high-quality changing robe.
You’ll easily get your moneys when you start wearing it as your day-to-day coat!
Buy these robes directly from Vivida’s website >
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.