A swim parka can be really useful, especially when swimming outside in cold weather. This great piece of clothing keeps you warm and comfortable, before you go for a swim or right after you get out of the water. It’s designed for this purpose – it has a warm lining on the inside, a hood and protects you very well against outside conditions.
They are popular not just among swimmers, but among lifeguards and coaches too. Even though swim parkas have a pretty obvious function, some are simply better than others. This is why we’ve selected some fantastic products to help you choose the best swim parka for your activities. Also, take a look at the buying guide to learn more about the features swim parkas offer.
Let’s get started.
How To Choose A Swim Parka – Buying Guide
Selecting the best swim parka jacket mainly depends on your needs and preferences. They are all designed to make you feel warm, whether you are dry or wet when wearing them. However, there are some differences regarding the features, so some parkas might suit you better. Take a look.
All swim parkas have a lining. This is a layer inside the jacket which makes your body warm. There are usually two options when it comes to this – fleece or false fur (faux fur). Fleece is generally more comfortable and feel nicer on the skin, especially when wet. It dries you off nicely, and swimmers usually prefer this type. Fleece used today is completely synthetic – made from polyester, but it retains the same qualities like it was natural.
On the other hand, some parkas are lined with faux fur. It’s a good choice, but it can feel scratchy, especially when wet. If you plan on using it only before you go in, then you shouldn’t have any problems. Also, this lining material takes a bit longer to dry off when wet. The third option is the cotton lining, similar to a regular bathroom towel. Even though this can feel very comfortable, it can sometimes soak in a lot of water.
Pockets are incredibly useful to have on your swim parka. Most come with two side pockets, but some models have additional pockets included, both on the outside and inside. This allows you to keep your equipment on you, for example swimming cap or goggles. Also, you can take your music with you and put your device in one of the specially designed pockets. It’s a nice addition if the pocket has a Velcro strap or a zipper to prevent things from falling out.
Even though the main purpose of a parka is to keep you warm, you shouldn’t be boiling inside. This is why some models have vents, allowing the air to circulate and cool you off when needed. Your new swimming parka can have ventilation under the arms, or have flaps in the front or back.
This is pretty straightforward for swim parkas – they are made as a long coat with lining and a hood. The goal is to cover large part of your body, so they have long sleeves and reach down to your knees usually. We already discussed the lining and pockets which are very useful. The hood is a must-have on a parka because your head needs protection too, especially when you have wet hair right after you come out of the water. It’s important that you feel comfortable in your parka.
Most often swim parkas are made from polyester or nylon (polyamide). Manufacturers choose materials to give the parka all the qualities a swimmer requires. The two materials mentioned make the parka waterproof and wind resistant, which in combination with the lining makes this piece of clothing warm. This is important, because people who need a parka jacket swim right before putting it on, and have nothing more than a swimsuit underneath.
Swim parkas are usually very durable. They withstand sun, chlorinated water, sunscreen and everyday use quite well. This isn’t something you need to buy often, especially if you are an adult swimmer and you get the right size. With good maintenance, a swimming parka can last you for years.
Q: How to care for a swim parka?
We mentioned that in order for the parka to be durable, some maintenance is required. Luckily, it’s nothing too complicated. You should dry off your parka after every use. Never pack it wet because this can cause mildew or a bad smell. You can hang it to dry, and you can even put some in a dryer.
Sometimes your parka needs washing. This is because of the dirt, chlorine from the water of too much sunscreen. You can either wash it by hand with a mild soap, or you can put it in a washing machine on a gentle program (unless manufacturer specified otherwise). Pay attention that some bright colored parkas may bleed while being washed. Afterwards, dry it completely and store it away from direct sunlight.
Q: Why do I need a swim parka?
You need a swim parka to prevent you from getting cold before or after a pool session, during your workouts after swimming or in a chilly dressing room. It’s very useful for all people who are swimming outside, and this is why it’s popular among triathletes too. There are other uses too – you can wear in on your trip to the gym, and some can be used as a raincoat. No matter if you are a swimmer or not, this is a great piece of equipment.
Q: Are all parkas waterproof?
Most parkas are waterproof, but not all of them. You should always look into the specifications before buying to see if your swim parka is going to protect you against rain too. All products in our swim parka reviews are completely waterproof so you have nothing to worry about. They are also wind proof, which is a big plus.
Globo Surf Overview
If you are one of the people who have swim trainings on open pools or you feel cold after you exit the water, then you should definitely look for a swim parka. Buying the best swim parka can be a wise decision, because it’s a long lasting piece of clothing you can use for years. And because of the versatility you can use them to protect you against wind and rain in other everyday situations too. Try it out and see!