|Bonus: looking like a Jedi|
The company made improvements to the design and sent me a Hybrid HD Chawel to try out. This Chawel addresses minor complaints I raised in my original review. The side pocket is now big enough to stow it instead of using a separate included carry bag, although I couldn't zip the pocket closed. With a larger neck hole, I was able to change fully under the Chawel, slipping out of my swimsuit and into a T-shirt and shorts.
The back panel of the Hybrid HD is a thick fleecy material, making it more useful as a blanket and providing greater warmth while changing on chilly days. This Chawel is also longer, almost too long for me (I'm 5'3"), but that increases its utility as a blanket or sleeping bag/liner.
I had some concern that the large arm openings would enable passersby to glimpse more of me that I care to show in public, but my surf buddy assured me nothing private was visible.
The Hybrid HD Chawel is a step up, and it's now my changing room/towel of choice for surf trips.