TIME spent in the great outdoors has always been instrumental in improving our physical and mental health, but that’s never been more important than it is right now. As the seasons change and we are forced to socialise and exercise outside, we need the right gear.
To quote one of Scotland’s favourite sons, the inimitable Sir Billy Connolly: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing.” And these wise words fit perfectly with the ethos of the Sittingsuit.
Thanks to start-up Norse Supply and some Danish innovation, I’m now fully geared up for a Scottish winter spent outside. The Sittingsuit is an ingenious, extra layer of protection from chill winds and rain that simply allows you to stay outside longer. Imagine a sleeping bag that you can wear, that’s light and easy to transport and you’re part of the way there.
In order to tell you more about this useful addition to your winter wardrobe, I’ll take it from the top. The hood is huge, allowing plenty of space for you to wear your favourite woolly, bobble hat underneath. But it also has toggles to pull it in around your face, offering protection from icy winds. The suit is big enough across the shoulders to accommodate even the bulkiest rugby player and the arms are wide enough to slip easily in and out of (if you swim outdoors, you’ll appreciate the importance of this).
The zipper is chunky and easily located due to the bright orange strip that runs the length of it. This also makes it easy to open and close, even in the dark. Not only is the padding warm, but it is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles, keeping you cosy and giving you an environmentally conscious warm glow. The Sittingsuit is designed to be floor length for maximum coverage.
The body length measurement is 172cm, but to give you a rough guide, I’m 5′ 10” and it sits just a little below halfway down my calf. I love the feeling of being wrapped up from head to toe. The suit has no pockets, but the slits where they would usually be are practical for access to the pockets in the clothing you have on below. The beauty of this is that there’s no need to transfer your phone, keys or wallet when you pop the Sittingsuit on.
I put the Sittingsuit to the test at a family sausage sizzle and found it kept me warm, but gave me plenty of freedom of movement to fetch and carry as is always required. It was even spacious enough for my son to climb inside and sit on my knee as we gathered around the fire.
The next day brought the usual Sunday morning swim in my local reservoir. I have a changing robe already, as getting dressed quickly is essential when swimming in winter conditions. The Sittingsuit is much lighter and easier to carry than my usual robe and it would also fit easily into my waterproof tow float if I needed to take it with me. The ample width made wriggling out of my wetsuit as easy as it ever can be and those wide arms enabled me to speedily slip my arms out and grab various items of clothing to pull on before the shivering took hold. With no time to spare, I made the usual dash from swimming to watching my daughter play football and the Sittingsuit stayed put and kept me cosy on the blowy side-lines.
I’d gladly pop this into my bag and take it to our local beer garden to enjoy a pint or two and I can’t wait to take it camping. There’s a world of outdoor fun to be had, even in winter and with the Sittingsuit close at hand there’s nothing stopping me from getting out there and enjoying it.