Take the plunge with our guide to everything you’ll need for safer cold water immersion.

Wild swimming – whether in lakes, rivers or the open sea – has become a lockdown phenomenon. Sure, it may have started as a means of working off all that banana bread, yet several studies have shown that there is a raft of benefits of cold water immersion besides the calorie burn – from strengthening your immune system to boosting mood and heart health. We have written a full guide to wild swimming here if you are new to the sport, with tips on podcasts, books and Instagram accounts to follow. This week, we’re sharing a round-up of the best bits of kit to invest in if you are thinking about taking the plunge – think smart, practical buys not only to keep out the chill, but to make the whole experience easier and safer, too.

Rapanui




The perfect gift for a wild swimmer, this bundle from Rapanui includes all the layers you’ll need before and after your dip. It includes a towelling robe to dry yourself off modestly, as well as a cosy hoodie and beanie to warm yourself back up in style. £95. Buy it here.

Rains




We love this stylish nylon backpack, which is ideal for carrying all your wild swimming accessories – including hats, goggles and the ever-important Thermos. The roll-top, wide opening is easy to navigate with numb fingers. Plus, its neat, secure clip-fastening means that you won’t lose anything in the depths. £75. Buy it here.

Dryrobe




Hands-down, the one bit of kit every wild swimming evangelist rates is a Dryrobe. It is, in essence, an oversized zip-up robe that’s lined with snuggly towelling and roomy enough to change underneath – toastily and in private. The outside is wind and waterproof to protect you from the elements all year round, with plenty of pockets to keep your valuables safe. £150. Buy it here.

Swim Secure




If you are swimming from A to B and need to take your belongings with you, the Swim Secure inflatable dry bag will keep your clothes dry, as well as acting as a safety device to increase your visibility while in the water. Genius, no? £30. Buy it here.

Sea and Stream




Neoprene isn’t just for wetsuits (although you’ll probably be needing one of those too). Sea and Stream has a range of important neoprene swim caps, gloves and booties to keep your extremities warm and help you retain body heat to make entering and exiting the water easier and safer. They’re pretty smart too, as demonstrated by this swim cap (£27). Buy it here and explore the rest of the range, too.

Alpkit




The Outdoor Swimming Society rated this long-sleeve swimsuit for its insulated front panel and affordable price tag. We love that it’s made of ocean plastics and offers UPF of 50+, which makes it a great all-year-round buy. £34.99. Buy it here.

Wiggle




One of those bits of kit you don’t know you need till you’ve got it, this clever drawstring changing mat allows you to stand on a clean dry surface, get changed and simply close up the mat to hold all your wet kit in one waterproof bag, ready to transport home. Smart. £24.99. Buy it here.

Sigma Sports




These Aqua Sphere goggles are great for open-water swimming. They offer great underwater visibility and polarized lenses with 180-degree vision to keep you aware of your surroundings. There’s a clever system to tighten straps for gloved hands, too. £35.50. Buy them here.

Red




Paddleboard company Red is passionate about reducing ocean plastics. In the pursuit of the same, it has created a fully stainless-steel alternative to the Thermos to allow you to take a nice warm brew to the beach and avoid purchasing a disposable takeaway cup. A versatile design, it comes with two lids: one for pouring hot drinks (it holds three cups of coffee) and a sports bottle spout for cold drinks. Durable, stylish and well designed by people in the know. £26.95. Buy it here.

Rip Curl




Salt water will quickly degrade your wetsuit. This specially formulated shampoo from Ripcurl is, then, essential. It will clean away any residue post-swim and disinfect it too, ready for your next dip. £9.99. Buy it here.

Birkenstock




These Birkenstocks are a brilliant, waterproof, lightweight sandal to slip on and off at the beach or on the river bank. Available in a range of colours, you can simply wash off sand, salt or mud with ease. We love them in white. £35. Buy a pair here.

Elephant Box




A reward nestled in your bag to devour post swim is all part of the pleasure of wild swimming. This robust stainless-steel tiffin tin from Elephant box is a great size to slip into your backpack and keep your sweet treat safe. £24. Buy it here.

April 2021

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