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We test the dryrobe Advance to find out if it can add comfort and convenience to wild swims.

Dryrobe advance long sleeve web
Best for...
Anyone who enjoys wild swimming and cold water immersion.
Value
7
Quality
9
Performance
10
Looks
7
Comfort
10
Overall Score
9
+
The length and the inner poacher pocket.
Lack of hanging hook and small keys/phone pocket.
dryrobe.com

Dryrobe supplied Team GB's diving, swimming, and triathlon teams at the last Olympic games, enabling them to keep warm and dry in between heats. It certainly does that. The 100% recycled fleece lining magically lifts moisture from your body without becoming saturated, perfectly balancing insulation with the ability to wick moisture from the skin. Liquid then evaporates through built in venting so you can get in and out of the water all day without the robe ever feeling damp.

I headed down to the meandering River Monnow for an early morning wild swim to test these claims. The natural waters are bracing to say the least, so after 10 minutes of purposeful breaststroke you're suitably refreshed and ready to warm up. With the dryrobe at the water's edge, that's an easy task. It's specifically designed with wide arm holes and roomy sleeves so that wet bodies can slip into it. As soon as you're into the robe you feel the warmth and protection from the synthetic lambswool lining and waterproof, windproof external shell.

Although dryrobes are built to be roomy, if the primary purpose is wild swimming I would recommend sizing up for maximum elbow room. For day to day use like watching kids play sports for hours on end in winter, choose your regular size.

Of course, that's not the end of the story, part of the function of a changing robe is exactly that, to be able to change. A large poacher's pocket inside the coat holds dry clothes, enabling you to wriggle and squirm your way out of your swimming costume with dignity intact. This works as well as you might imagine, it's an effort, but ultimately, it's a good solution.

Once dressed you won't want to take the dryrobe off, especially on a cold winter's day. The fleecy lining somehow remains dry and doesn't transfer moisture to your dry clothes, allowing warmth to build up quickly and your body temperature to return to its normal state. I'd previously struggled with chills half an hour or so after my swims, but the dryrobe seems to have done away with those problems.

As well as the poacher's pocket there's a small, zipped valuables pocket inside. This just about holds a phone and large clutch of keys; more space here would have been welcome as it can be a bit of a fight to close the zip.

Overall, we're super impressed with the dryrobe and the difference it makes to comfort and convenience on a wild swim. It will be a staple of our river-swimming kit from now on.

READ NEXT: Wild Swimming Safety Tips

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