The call it a changing poncho, a changing towel, and/or a changing robe. Maybe it has multiple names because looks like all 3 of those things.
Regardless, the changing poncho keeps you warm after your surf sessions. It acts like a towel and soaks up the residual water after towel drying. And lastly, it makes changing out of wetsuit or bathing suit a little more private as you do so on the side of the road, on the beach or in a public parking lot.
For $20 - $60, we’ll take one … maybe two.
What Are Surf Changing Robes/Towels?
Is it robe? Yes. Is it a towel? Yes. Is it a robe-shaped-towel poncho? Um, yes?
Call it what you will, a surf changing poncho is a robe/towel is used to provide warmth and protection from harsh winds and temperature after a surf. As a towel it can be used for drying after the surfer has removed their wetsuit.
Surfers, but men and women, can change into this garment after removing their wetsuit and before they wear their regular clothes.
Some surfing changing ponchos will come with hoods while some will not.
Considerations When Buying a Surfing Poncho
Here are the most essential things to consider when choosing a surfing poncho for both men and women:
Thickness – A good changing robe should be made up of thick material that provides warmth. When surfing you are likely to get wet and therefore cold. Wearing a surfing poncho will protect a surfer from direct exposure to cold which may lead to ailments and missing school, work, and most importantly, winter surf.
Cost –Buy a good surf changing robe/towel that offers the maximum benefits at the best price. This means looking at the different features and comparing different products that offer similar benefits. But ultimately, you need to find one that fits your budget.
Size & Fit–While an oversized poncho may offer greater protection from the wind it may be cumbersome to walk around in. A small sized poncho will not meet its intended purpose. Let the word “poncho” be your sizing word friendly. It should be loose and longer, but not drag on the ground.
Let’s Review Some Surf Ponchos
Call 'em what you will ... Here is a list of the best surfing ponchos / changing towels / surf changing robes on the market for men and women.
DORSAL Thick Microfiber Surf Poncho - Wetsuit Changing Towel Robe
DOSAL has managed to build both a reputation and following in the water sports niche. This product is our ultimate favorite because of the following reasons:
- Comes in a universal length
- It is a hooded poncho that offers protection from cold and harsh windy conditions
- Made from thick microfiber that offer warmth and at the same time is soft and non-irritating against the skin
- It doubles up as a towel
- It is machine washable
Rip Curl Men’s Wet AS Hooded Towel
This hooded surfing changing poncho offers extra protection and warmth and prevents the wind from blowing directly against the neck, head and the ears. Its masculine design makes it ideal for use by men. It is made with 100% cotton which is sift on the skin, warm, and absorbent.
The logo is embroidered at the front. It also features a front pocket that can hold your wax, key, and other similar goodies that you may wish to carry to your surfing exploits.
More Ponchos, Er, Robes (And Changing Towels)
Other than the two mentioned above the following are also good surfing ponchos to consider.
Catalonia classic Surf Poncho Changing Robe - Hoodie Towel
The runner up choice is the Catalonia surf poncho changing towel robe because:
- This surf poncho changing towel robe is hooded. It therefore offers maximum protection against the cold and wind.
- It doubles up as a towel. It is made from thick microfiber which is absorbent making it ideal for use as a towel.
- It is machine washable
Expect to pay $25 for this surfing poncho.
Rip Curl Winter Surf Poncho Change Changing Robe
This poncho is among the best there is when it comes to braving a winter surf. It features a thick winter lining to offer maximum warmth. It comes in a large size to allow the surfer to change in and out without getting exposed to the cold.
It is also one of the few surfing ponchos that are waterproof and windproof at the same time. In case of any form of drizzle, the skin remains protected.
We want to go surf in a blizzard just looking at this thing.
Dock & Bay Adult Towel Poncho Changing Robe
This hooded surfing poncho is made from microfiber which is warm, thick, and highly absorbent. It is also compact and lightweight; dries three times as fast as regular cotton ponchos. Something to consider for you dawn patrol straight to work surfers.
It comes in two large sizes that can accommodate most surfers. It comes in 6 different colors to ensure that the surfer is spoilt for choice. Beach cabana sold separately.
Creatures Black Surf Poncho
This surfing poncho comes with a hoodie for extra warmth and to serve as a shield from the wind. It is made from 100% cotton which is lightweight and at the same time warm and durable.
It comes in black which is easy to clean. It has an internal pocket where you can store keys and any small accessory. It comes is a generous universal size.
Dakine Pancho Chanjo Changing Towel Poncho
The Pancho Chanjo is ultra- absorbent and easy to clean and dry. It has a visible front logo that enhances the modest design. It is hooded with draw strings for a perfect hoodie fit.
It features a large front pocket for stashing keys and small accessories. It is designed with a generous fit for easy changing in and out. It also comes in one universal fit.
Open Road Surf Poncho
This surfing poncho is made from 100% cotton making it comfortable against the skin, absorbent, and durable. It is designed for a perfect fit for most body sizes having a large head opening and sizable arm holes. This makes changing in and out of the poncho easy. It is also machine washable.
Quicksilver – Hoody Surf Poncho
This is a premium changing rob that is designed to serve as a hood and poncho at the same time. It features a sublimated print against a black backdrop to enhance the design. It is made from thick cotton velour fabric which is warm and absorbent. It also features large front pockets to enhance style and convenience.
Oakley – Surf Changing Poncho
This surfing poncho is made from 100% nylon which means that it cannot double up as a towel. It is however water repellant and will prevent you from getting wet.
It features YKK zipper and a Velcro pocket for holding your essentials. It has a large fit for easy slipping in and out. It is also machine washable.
O’Neill Men’s Typhoon Hooded Beach Towel
This is a men’s hooded surf poncho that also doubles up as a beach towel. It is designed with pockets at the front for convenient storage. The design is pretty much bare and targets comfort and ease of use. It is made from cotton that provides warmth and high absorbency.
BESTA Surf Poncho, Wetsuit Changing Robe/Towel with Hood and Front Pocket
BESTA surf poncho is a changing robe that is designed for warmth and comfort. It is made from a thick microfiber that makes it absorbent and suitable for use as a towel. The poncho is hooded to offer extra protection against wing and cold experienced due to temperature changes when one has left water. It has a large front pocket that may be sued to warm your hands as well as to hold your wax or keys.
Vulken Extra Large Thick Hooded Beach Towel Changing Robe
This is an “extra thick” surfing poncho that can be used as a beach towel as well. It comes in one universal size to accommodate people of different sizes.
With a hood, surfers will not need to worry about getting exposed directly to cold or wind. The design has plenty of room to allow for easy slipping in and out. As much as this poncho is thick it is made from lightweight material that is soft and compressible. Lastly it is machine washable and dries fast.
SUNN CUBE Surf Poncho Changing Robe with Hood
Hey Good Looking, this is a unisex surfing poncho that is made of 100% microfiber polyester that is very absorbent. It comes with an oversized hood to offer protection from the sun, rain, and wind protection.
The hood also helps to secure the poncho in place while you are walking. It features a large kangaroo pocket for storing wax, keys, or wallets. It comes in a universal design in three different colors: Navy, Sea Blue, and Black.
Megawodar Microfiber Hooded Poncho Towel
This poncho for surfing is made from an absorbent microfiber polyester that makes it ideal for use as a towel as well. It is unisex and comes in a universal size meaning that any surfer can comfortably use it and at the same time look a little like you are wearing Superman's get up. We did say "a little".
The large hoodie provides protection from the sun, rain, or wind. It also helps to secure the poncho in place when you are walking or changing.
Driftsun Surf Poncho, Wearable Changing Towel with Hood and Pocket
This poncho was once the only one on our list that had a fruit pattern, watermelon slices to be exact. Alas, all good things must come to an end. They updated the fruit pattern with this non-fruity color.
This wearable surfing poncho offers the benefits of a surf robe as well as a surf towel at the same time. The interior is warm and cozy ensuring that cold is adequately locked out. It comes in one size. It has a large front pocket to shield your hands from the cold and also to hold small items such as keys.