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GEAR,  Product Reviews

Welcome the wild – previewing Speedo’s new Therma Change Robe

In the run up to its Wild Swim range launch in early 2024, Speedo has brought out a functional, stylish and genuinely weatherproof changing robe that provides an exceptional level of warmth without the weight you would expect. Allow us to introduce… the Therma Change Robe.

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A good changing robe needs to fulfil two main functions. First, it needs to be an instantly insulating layer that you can throw on as soon as you exit the water, ideally with a quick-drying inner fleece that wicks moisture away from your skin without getting waterlogged, and all the while being roomy enough so you can wriggle out of your wet things with modesty and ease. Once dressed, it steps into its second role, as a snug weatherproof coat that doesn’t feel the slightest bit damp, and which retains your body heat even as your core continues to cool down in the 10 to 40 minutes following your swim. Sounds simple, but to do both well involves some real technical innovation. Speedo’s Therma Changing Robe, part of the global swimwear brand’s new Wild Swim range, excels at both of its jobs while looking rather stylish to boot. 

Designed for warmth without the bulk

A long time in the making, this premium changing robe is designed with functionality, versatility and style in mind. On a first try on, it certainly looked stylish; more like a warm, weatherproof and slightly oversized parka with a great below-the-knee length. The second thing I noticed was the fantastically chunky two-way zip, designed to be easy to handle even with the chilliest of hands. 

The robe feels remarkably light and not overly bulky for the level of warmth it provides. The Sherpa fleece lining is soft and fluffy, and it has two large fleece-lined outer pockets, a micro-fleece internal pocket generous enough for a woolly hat and gloves, and a smaller internal zip pocked for keys and phone with a handy access hole for headphones. 

Trying it out at my local swimming lake, where the water was a brisk 14 degrees, the Therma Change Robe felt lovely and warm as I threw it on over my wetsuit and headed to the changing rooms. But like many outdoor swimmers, I often feel great getting out of the water and then begin to feel the cold to my bones around 10 to 15 minutes later. This is where the Therma Change Robe really came into its own as a post-swim coat, and you can tell there’s been some real thought and insight behind the robe’s thermal design. Despite having worn the robe over a wetsuit, the inner fleece felt dry to touch and the Hydroshell® outer – made with an ultralight two-layer construction including a lightweight, aluminium scrim construction in the robe’s mid-layer which bounces back body-heat without the weight of a bulky jacket – kept me from shivering as I gently warmed up with a brew beside the water.

When it started to rain, it had my back too. The Berghaus outer shell is fully waterproof, windproof, breathable and durable – and made from recycled fibres, too – so it provides excellent protection from the elements, while letting air flow freely. I also loved the large funnel hood, the drawstring waist (to protect against draughts) and the long sleeves with inner elasticated cuffs, all working together to keep me toasty post-swim. 

A forerunner of Speedo’s Wild Swim range

Speedo’s new Therma Change Robe has been a long time in the making, and it certainly delivers as a functional, versatile and stylish changing robe that caters to the specific needs of outdoor swimmers. It also heralds more from the global swimwear brand as the first drop of Speedo’s highly anticipated Wild Swim range, which will be launching in early 2024. The range will also feature an array of neoprene accessories such as swim socks, swim gloves and a front zip suit, as well as a towel robe, tow float and tow float dry bag. We look forward to seeing more!

Five things I loved about the Speedo Therma Change Robe

  • The level of warmth it provided without the weight you would expect. 
  • How quick drying the water-repelling Sherpa fleece lining felt, and how it wicked moisture from my skin without feeling wet. 
  • All the softness! The fleece-lined pockets for icy hands and super cosy funnel hood. 
  • The fact that it is genuinely weatherproof, with a Berghaus Hydroshell ripstop outer that’s waterproof, windproof, durable and breathable.
  • That both the Hydroshell and the fleece lining is made using recycled fibres. 

Any cons?

  • While great for keeping out chilly drafts, the elasticated cuffs were the only part that felt damp after I had worn it over my wetsuit. Next time, I’ll wriggle out of the top half of my suit before throwing it on after a swim.  

Gear Editor Jo Tinsley at Cleveland Pools, Bath

The Speedo Therma Change Robe, available in Khaki with Black Lining and Black with Neon Yellow Lining, is available from 8 November, priced £250. The Wild Swim range will be available from February 2024.

Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.