I love a good review to help decide what gear is best for any adventure, and I also have a rather bad shopping habit for gadgets and gizmos, so why not write about what i love...
In this section, if you click a link, its to something I have bought with my own money and think is genuinely good enough to recommend, but i may also get an affiliate kickback from the supplier to help keep the website and club hosting fees paid.
With the explosion of water based adventurers taking up SUP'ing and Open Water swimming especially since the start of the pandemic, and the notoriously brutal British mix of summer rain and wind, changing robes have become a staple bit of kit this last year for many.
Whether it is for practical use to change at the seaside after an epic marathon paddle, or simply for slouching around the house and garden between zoom calls they are a warm, cosy and a dry way of sheltering from the inclement elements that can otherwise cast a shadow over our most enjoyable moments.
I searched many a review and advert before coming across this local startup. I was impressed by the videos, claims, and especially price, so decided to give it go.
I'll start with the bad bit. The delivery time was unacceptablly long. Weeks too long... I did choose to have customisation, to get the Curious Monkey branding added, and to be fair, this is outside of Gorilla Robes control so i'll cut them some slack. If I'd ordererd off the shelf it would have been with me in a couple of days which is perfectly fine. I've had lots of chats with Barney from Gorilla and he has kept me up to date thorughout with the delivery issues, and always been super helpful so kudos for customer service. Another benefit of buying from a small local firm.
Now the good bits.
As Anthony Joshua keeps telling us on the Google adverts. SHOP LOCAL. This is a small firm set up just a few miles down the road near Hayling Island. They are not a multi national conglomerate with a million competing business areas. They make changing robes, they only care about changing robes. It shows through in the design.
So my initial thoughts after unwrapping..
Its freaking amazing! I have not wanted to take this thing off. The quality is absoutely top class. It is so warm, and so comfortable I could lounge in this for days. The outer shell is windproof and has some excellent design touches, the seams look very robust and I cannot see even the worst that our seaside. The zips are easy to find and large enought to use with cold fingers or gloves on.
The kangaroo pouch on the front is big enough for everything you could want, and has a neat design of side pockets you can reach through behind it so you can warm your hands up and still securely keep phone and keys and hot flask of tea without fear of it falling out. The velcro on the wrists also means you can further lock yourself down against the drafts
The lining is super warm and soft, its not quite Oodie thick, but some sheep is definitely colder at night because of the farmers clippers. Its not your standard terry towelling found on usual cheap robes.
The overall design is different to what you get with the best known brands, in that you get twice as many zips here. More to go wrong maybe, but having the two up the sides does mean your modesty is better protected if you need to unzip for better access to change wetsuit. I dont think you should have too many issues there though, as this thing is huge and you can easily get your arms in without issues. I perfer this as its more of a poncho than giant overcoat, so it feels more like a huge oversized hoody than big flashers coat..
Overall I'm really genuinely impressed with this Gorilla Robe. Its allmost half the price of the equivalent DryRobe Advance and to me offers more thoughtfully designed features, and quality seems to be up there like for like. The fact its also a local company with great customer service seals the deal for me.
Check them out here and tell Barney you're from Curious Monkeys. He may even be able to give you a discount, or have the logo added!