The huge rise in popularity of outdoor swimming and paddleboarding in the past few years has also seen a huge increase in the demand for waterproof changing robes.
It’s no real surprise because for ¾ of the year the air, sea, or both is bitterly cold here in the UK. The chances of it raining and being windy are also pretty high, so a simple towel just doesn’t do the trick of helping us get changed and avoiding hyperthermia (or something close to it).
Waterproof changing robes have been a game-changer for many. For me especially in the cold winter months after a windsurf or surf I just get my robe on, whip off my wetsuit and drive home in it. My aim is to get home and dry as soon as possible after a cold session, and changing robes really help speed up the process.
I recently got my hands on a changing robe from a company called Voited. A newcomer to the UK adventure/surf wear scene, they have produced a robe that is both incredibly practical, looks great and is very eco-conscious.
Before we get into the details, let’s learn more about the brand itself…
Who are Voited?
Voited is a global brand, with roots in America. They create high-quality gear that is made to last whilst aiming to reduce the impact of manufacturing on the environment with sustainable sourcing and production.
The owner, Frank Voit, has been in the activewear business since its inception. Having been the COO and General Manager at the likes of Billabong, Element, RVCA, Von Zipper and Neil Pryde Waterwear, it would appear he knows exactly what it takes to become successful in this industry.
This newcomer already has the pedigree and knowledge for producing gear active people love to wear.
First impressions of the Voited DryCoat
The Voited DryCoat changing robe arrived in its own stuff sack bag which immediately got my attention. It packs away far small than what I imagined and is much more lightweight than other brands on the market.
This is a huge bonus for me as I’ve never taken a changing robe on a van trip because they just take up too much space. However, my initial thought with the Voited robe is that I finally have a robe that can take with me on trips!
Practical inner linings
The lightweight feel of the robe comes in part from a complete rethink of the inner lining material. Most other changing robes are designed with a really thick synthetic fleece lining throughout, which although looks really cosy, is not super practical because it stays damp for ages and is pretty heavy. Maybe it’s the saltwater, but also I’ve found the synthetic fleece quite itchy when driving home.
Instead, the Voited robe has a unique approach for the inner lining and used different materials depending on its location.
So there is no thick synthetic fleece throughout, rather a quick-drying microfleece that gets the water off the body quickly. It’s also plenty warm enough so no concerns there.
Around the mid-drift you’ll find an incredibly soft insulation panel, which Voited has trademarked as CloudTouch™. This is a nice touch that makes the robe feel extra cosy.
The hood and arms are lined with a thick polar fleece, which is one of the warmest fleece fabrics around that also does a great job of repelling water and is quick-drying – ideal.
Wind and waterproof exterior
The outer shell is very different from other brands. Most go for heavy nylon, whereas Voited has opted for a 50D ripstop fabric that feels light and looks quite different to other brands.
The ripstop fabric is slightly textured with small squares, which is the weave’s thick reinforcement yarns. Before I read more about ripstop, I just assumed it meant it’s kind of a rip-proof material, which is wrong. These thick reinforcement yarns stop rips from spreading once started. This is great for windsurfers and kitesurfers who tend to spend time sitting on their butt rigging their equipment, which is when damage to the robe is likely to occur.
The ripstop is laminated with 2500mm water resistance on the inside and Teflon EcoElite™ on the outside…all you need to know is that it’s definitely waterproof and no wind penetrates this layer.
In between the outer shell and inner lining is an insulating 3D synthetic featherlight recycled fibre that adds nicely to the warmth of this robe.
This seems to be the driver for many people buying a Voited robe and is commented on quite a lot in reviews.
Everything about the changing robe is eco-conscious which is wonderful to see. It looks like Voited have spent quite some time sourcing materials that fit their sustainability goals.
The ripstop fabric is made from 94 recycled plastic bottles and the Teflon EcoElite they use for the water resistance is the first renewably sourced, plant-based, non-fluorinated durable water and water-based stain repellency finish.
The 3D synthetic featherlight insulation layer is 100% recycled too.
The Voited DryCoat looks classy with subtle branding on the breast and right arm.
I have the black robe but I love the colour choices available, with the March Grey and Moment Camo looking very cool.
There are pockets neatly placed throughout the robe, but my hands spend most of the time in the fleece-lined chest hand pockets – a very smart addition.
Overall, the look of this changing robe is great and you’d feel comfortable enough to use it as a warm coat to pop out to the co-op or pub.
I’m 6’2 and have a large, which fits perfectly.
Anything I’d change
It’s not a huge deal because the robe is big enough, but I’d like the option of zipped side entry for changing – That is two holes on either side of the hips where I can pull up my wetsuit or trousers but keep my arms in the sleeves.
The only other thing is the ripstop fabric creases up pretty easy. However, I’m sure these will go after some wear.
- Microfleece body to shed water and for quick dry
- CloudTouch™ added warmth insulation panel for lower back
- Adjustable Polar Fleece lined hood
- Polar Fleece lined hood and arms
- Full length 2 way reversible YKK zipper
- Zipped chest pocket with inner liner
- Front flap cargo pockets provide ample and accessible storage
- Internal zipped phone pocket
- Welded cuff with adjustable velcro wrist-straps
At £129 this changing robe is pretty much bang in the middle of the cheapest and most expensive robes on the market.
After reading about the sustainability of the robe and that these eco-materials no doubt cost more to manufacture, you can 100% appreciate the robe is priced fairly. So if you want a classy looking, practical and environmentally friendly robe, then you can’t go far wrong with the Voited DryCoat.
Where to buy
You can buy the changing robe directly from the Voited 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.