DryRobe Review – Triathlon’s most expensive towel
I bought my own short-sleeved Dryrobe ‘towel’ in 2020 and love it so much that it warrants a quick review as the outdoor swimming season in the Northern Hemisphere gets underway. I’ll be using this to dress and undress on the occasions that I drive to my nearby lake at Shepperton.
But what does a glorified towel costing WELL IN EXCESS of £/$100 have to justify the massive price premium over a regular beach towel with a simple hole cut out for your head to go through?
Here is a quick summary of the review with more details if you page further down covering things like sizing, sleeve lengths and alternative products
Price - 40%40%
Build Quality & Design - 80%80%
Usefulness for outdoor sports & activities - 95%95%
DryRobe is far from being a perfect product. Yet I’m very happy with my purchase of the DryRobe for this review, in super-simple terms it keeps me snug after open-water swimming, it has all the right kinds of secure pockets in all the right places and I can save time by quickly jumping in the car and heading straight home.
The exterior fabric is robust and waterproof but the interior feels highly synthetic and sweaty. That sweetly summarises the DryRobe experience.
There is nothing special about DryRobe that cannot easily be copied and the competitive products I could have reviewed are probably equally as good and certainly significantly cheaper.
The big advantage of DryRobe is its brand.
The brand is well-recognised as the market leader in outdoor swimming circles and buying anything else might make you look less cool…if that bothers you. The Dryrobe brand exudes the confidence of a well-made product that you might not be so sure you will get from an unknown competitor brand when buying from a website you’re also not too sure about.
The DryRobe product range is a little confusing when it comes to choosing the one you want to buy. If you plan on spending time standing around then it’s best to buy the long-sleeved version for extra warmth – for example, you might be a pool-side swim instructor.
If like me, you want DryRobe for functional post-swim uses then you want the short-sleeved version which gives you a bit more mobility and is essentially as warm.
You get a hood on all models for extra warmth. For post-swim usage, you will generally not need that extra warmth but the chances are you’ll end up using the DryRobe on holiday on a windy beach at some point and the hood will come in handy from time to time in use-cases like that.
- Many design options and colours
- Discrete way to get changed and/or stay warm
- Time saver – wear and go.
- Looks ‘pro’
- The price is exorbitant
- The synthetic fleece liner is somewhat sweaty on warmer days
- A number of customer service complaints in 2021 lockdown
DryRobe Design Details
The two exterior pockets are LARGE and the zip is sturdy. There is plenty of room to get most things in these pockets including your hands to keep them warm as the pockets are also nicely lined with fleece.
The single interior pocket is smaller but plenty big enough to keep some valuables. Whilst there is an interior zip, it’s not as sturdy as those on the exterior.
The main front zip will close both ways and that’s handy when you are at that final stage of undressing and require a little extra space…you just unzip from the bottom.
Some competing designs have velcro straps at the end of each arm, personally, I don’t think they would work too well and DryRobe’s simplicity and good function win the day for me.
The average man or woman between 5’8″ and 6’2″ (173cm-188cm) will be fine with the medium size, if anything I would say the sizing comes out a little on the large size. It doesn’t really matter if the bottom of the robe is knee-length or lower.
These sizing guides help if you are unsure.
DryRobe Style Choice
The DryRobe website could perhaps be more helpful and to the point. Like this…
- Short-Sleeve – for mobility
- Long-Sleeve – for super-extra warmth
- Hood – for super-extra warmth and windblown sand. All models have a hood.
There is also the option for a ‘towel DryRobe’, I’ve NOT reviewed that product here. These are even more towel-like than the regular models! You might think twice about getting one of these as the towel DryRobe does not have a waterproof outer layer. I would NOT get one of these for sport-related usage other than occasional, casual beach sports.
DryRobe Review: Fit
There is plenty of room for me with the DryRobe. You can see from the arms at the side that there is a vast amount of space.
DryRobe Colour Choices
There are 4 choices of colour for the lining and 8 or more outer layer colours, with ‘special editions’ popping up from time to time. The red or grey inners are most popular.
DryRobe Treatment & Composition
Do not tumble dry or dry clean your DryRobe.
DryRobe is 100% polyester and needs to be washed separately on a delicates cycle. Personally, at this price, I will hand wash it – just in case.
DryRobe Review: Alternatives
There are a surprising number of decent-looking alternatives with Frostfire looking good and RipCurl looking cool.
- HUT – very similar designs and construction, typically 30% cheaper
- FROSTFIRE – very similar designs and construction, typically 30% cheaper
- AOMEDNX – similar looking and similar quality at half the price (50% cheaper)
- RIPCURL – the same price as DryRobe, own design
- PERFECLAN – similar looking and similar quality at half the price (50% cheaper)
DryRobe Discounts, Pricing & Availability
DryRobe is always available directly from the manufacturer although 2021 has seen several reports of bad customer service, especially when making returns (see TrustPilot). Most DryRobes are also usually available on the major Amazon stores and I’ll link to those below where you have much more certainty of service if you need to make a return.
As the market leader, you will find discounts hard to come by when buying in-season. If you want to save 10% then I’d sign up for a DryRobe newsletter and wait until they have one of their periodic sales – typically at the time of year when you least need to buy one 😉 Is it worth waiting for months to save £/Eu10?
Headline DryRobe Review Prices
These link to your local Amazon.