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dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel review: a lightweight drying hoodie that’s so much more than a cute gimmick

The dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel is the summer version of the brand’s famous Jedi-style drying garments, beloved by surfers and wild swimmers

dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel
(Image: © Pat Kinsella)

Our Verdict

A brilliant, super-absorbent and highly practical robe-style wearable summer towel by the brand that pioneered the concept. Ideal for car camping escapades, outdoor activity-based events and day adventures involving wild swimming, kayaking and other water and paddle pursuits.

For

  • Very functional Soft and comfortable
  • Supplies warmth without overheating wearer
  • Organic material used
  • Good looking

Against

  • Carry bag not included
  • No pockets
  • No antibacterial treatment

dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel: first impressions

The dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel is a different kind of camping towel. Wearable towels have exploded in popularity in the past few years, and British brand dryrobe have led the charge, becoming beloved by the surfing, wild swimming and paddle-sport crowds particularly.

Specifications

• List price: $70 / £50
• Size (in use): 120cm x 85cm / 47in x 33in
• Weight (large): 1,133g / 2lb 8oz
• Material: 100% organic cotton
• Colors: Navy / Royal blue / Slate Gray / Pink / Red / Black

The benefits of having a handsfree towel are manifold, especially when you’re camping, when you might find yourself wandering some distance across a site to the showers, or walking back to your tent from the beach or after a swim in a lake or river.

In fact, it’s not unusual to see people sporting dryrobes for whole evenings around the campfire or at festival gatherings, because the warmth and protection they offer is so sumptuous it’s tempting just to keep them on long after you’ve emerged from the water and dried off.

There are various versions of the dryrobe, including some super-warm iterations, but the one I have tested here is the lighter robe, made from soft-feel organic cotton and intended for summer and fair-weather use when you don’t need quite so much thermal protection.

dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel: in the field

dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel

Designed and originally championed by water sports fans, now dryrobes are finding wider popularity among other outdoor pursuits enthusiasts (Image credit: Pat Kinsella)

I tested the dryrobe Organic Cotton Towel in a range of conditions, from car camping trips to riverside and coastal locations, to everyday use at local beach and wild-swimming spots. 

A fairly weighty product (especially when wet, obviously) it’s not something you’re ever going to take backpacking, but is ideal for use when you’re travelling to your campsite or day adventure area by car or van.

The sight of people wandering around campsites, beaches, pools and outdoor event sites wearing a dryrobe has become very commonplace. The robe-style wearable towel the company came up with has been much imitated, but never bettered. The brand is based on the North Devon coast in South West Britain, and the products are designed by surfers and beloved, it seems, by everyone who enjoys getting wet in the outdoors, whether they’re wild swimmers, kayakers or board riders.

Made from soft-feel organic cotton, this lighter version of the brand’s famous robe quickly dries you off, and supplies plenty of privacy and space to jettison swimmers / wetsuits and put pants back on. It does take a little while to thoroughly dry off, but it’s comfortable and practical to wear for extended periods when you’re hanging out in camp and at the beach.

Complete with a hood, it’s warm without being uncomfortably hot, and the generous unisex, short-sleeve design allows for plenty of freedom of movement, so you can do all sorts of campsite tasks without being hampered by the robe. Our only criticism is that, considering how many people keep the robes on for long periods of time, a pocket or two would be handy.

Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).