With some success Keela has set out to keep you cosy on those ‘wee days oot’ with the Bahookie Changing Robe, writes Mike Gormley.
This is something a bit different from Keela which I spotted for the first time at the OTS exhibition in the summer and is from a whole new range of items that go under the term of ‘Wee Days Oot’.
You will need to put on your best Scottish accent (is there any other sort? Ed.) as you read these names. The garment from this range we have been trying out is the Bahookie, which is slang for buttocks. Not quite sure why, but I guess it’s what it covers up. Also from this range, but not tried, are the Drookit (i.e. Drenched) drying robe, the Coorie (i.e. Snuggle) Blanket, and the Smirr (i.e. fine drizzly rain) Poncho.
Although these are serious items of gear, as you soon appreciate when you try them on, there is an element of fun attached and this came across while at the show. As many will, I am sure, know Keela is based in Scotland and is justly proud of this. These items are all made in Scotland and Keela have had a bit of fun with all of it. As a maker of serious and perhaps ‘gnarly’ outdoor gear, well suited to the high peaks of Scotland and beyond, this new range is aimed at the less harsh and hardy and perhaps closer to home outings; though perhaps this will depend on your viewpoint. Hence the title of ‘wee days oot’ or, if you need a translation ‘small days out’.
Getting serious for a moment I can see these items actually having some very serious applications. In any situation where you, or someone else, gets cold and / or wet these are just perfect to put on over the top of whatever you may or may not be wearing [*see Footnote]. As our winter in UK is now on us, perhaps these are ideal to have in your vehicle as a ‘just in case’ item. If you get caught in the snow, or break down, what better than a Bahookie (or Coorie Blanket) to keep you warm and dry if outside the vehicle or even in it?
The Bahookie is in essence a changing robe, as used by wild swimmers and the like, and also by sportsmen and sportswomen in those between times of warm up to getting onto the field of play; and then afterwards for a controlled ‘warm down’. There are just so many potential applications for these, but I have to say it is a great way to extend those valued outdoors times round the BBQ or fire pit as it gets chilly but you don’t want to go inside. Wrap up in a Bahookie and pour another glass of mulled wine or glühwein.
This changing robe comes with its own carry bag which also doubles as a comfortable seat cushion in addition to its real use, which is to attach to the hem of the main garment with press studs becoming a foot cover / warmer, so making it all into one cosy bag. I have not tried this yet, but it would make a perfectly acceptable sleeping bag. The interior material is, and I quote Keela, a super soft fleece… and it is. There is a hood of the same materials, so the damp stays out and the warm stays in. Winter or summer this is a bit of kit that will find a multitude of uses.
The colours are also a trip into the Scottish dialect with a wry smile and really have little to do with real colours other than being adopted by the Keela gang. Perhaps the design meeting was done along with the odd wee dram for additional and traditional inspiration? My test Bahookie is in Timorous Beastie / Par for the Gorse. Other colours in the range are:- Timorous Beastie with Fabulous Fyvie; Wee Dook with Loch Depths; Highland Coo with Loch Depths; Where’s Nessie with Dreich Day. There are various size options but in general the sizing it ‘generous.
If you are wondering, as I was, what it say on the back this translates from Scots Gaelic as Explore The World Around You. A pretty good sentiment in my book.
And finally, on this project Keela has cooperated with ‘The Ootsider’, a company dedicated to helping the homeless, and a donation is made to them from every sale from this range.
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*Footnote: On a recent cold and snowy day out on Dartmoor the Bahookie came in handy for keeping an injured young person cosy until we were able to get things sorted out. Thanks to Griston for modelling in the snow as, on privacy grounds, we were not able to photograph the youngster involved.
[images © Mike Gormley]