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Test: Jeans vs Rain Kilt

For this experiment we contacted our local beach lifeguards to see if they were keen to do another waterwear test for us.

They are always looking out for new ways to have fun and loved the idea, so we went to the beach on a quiet summer morning to check things out.

Rain Kilt


Two lifeguards dressed in their usual adventure swimming kit, like tee-shirts, anoraks and jeans. One wore the long nylon rain kilt instead of the jeans, and looked really stylish in this all black outfit.

The lads were buzzing with anticipation as they grabbed a beach ball and ran into the sea. That was easy wearing jeans, but the rain kilt slows one down a bit while wading into the water.

After splashing about in the shallows and getting all soaking wet during their ball game, they decided to go for a swim in deeper water. They swapped the rain kilt and jeans around, so all had a chance to try the new outfit.

When they came back, looking happy, we asked them what the difference is between swimming in jeans and a rain kilt.

Test Results

Swimming in jeans is fairly easy, but harder than shorts. The rain kilt is easy for swimming front crawl (freestyle) as it floats close to the legs. Breaststroke is harder as the kilt forms a bit of a sail when you bring your legs forward, just like a long poncho does. This slows you down.

Running on the beach is fun, feeling good as the wet nylon flaps around the legs. Wading in the water is slower than in jeans but feels really nice. Trapped air billows it out as you enter the water, but a quick pull at the waist band lets the air out.

Our swimmers found the rain kilt to be much more comfortable that tight jeans. If feels roomy and soft, floating around the legs when you're in the water. On land it also felt good, even when wet, but it dries quickly anyway.

As a thank-you for their help, we gave each of them his own rain kilt, or swim kilt as they call it. A few weeks later we heard that the swim kilts are often used for their swim training.

anorak with kilt v jeans