Clothes for a cold, wet and windy climate(19 Posts)
My DH and I are off to Iceland in January for a (short and bankrupting) trip of a lifetime. After a bit of research I have found that I am not at all equipped to deal with really really really cold, wet and windy climates.
The advice is: wool, merino preferably, thermals
Waterproof AND windproof outers- coat, shoes and trousers.
Mittens- not gloves.
Close fitting clothes, to keep the skin free from wind.
We will be doing a few tours to the glaciers, and going to try to see the Northern Lights. No crazy hairbrained adrenaline sports going on so I don't need ski wear, unless its purely recommended for comfort.
Uniqlos thermals are synthetic but people recommend natural fibers. Any suggestions for this, but with Uniqlo prices?
I will buy water and wind - proof overtrousers but I have read that jeans are a BIG no-no. I own one pair of trousers (well, that's a lie, I own several but they are too small). What trousers are suitable for this trip, if I can't wear jeans. I need something comfy enough to wear thermal leggings under, but close enough that I can put the outer trousers over them. I would prefer running sort of trousers, as I am trying to take up trail running anyway. Can running leggings go over thermal leggings comfortably?
I need a waterproof coat, that covers my bum (a long one would be ideal) and budget is £80. I have seen a Trespass one but I covet a Merrel ones. Any recommendations?
And finally- trail running shoes. As above, I do need these anyway so any recommendation for waterproof ones would be great.
Decathlon and Surfdome are both great for cold-weather gear. We did Lapland last December and bought merino thermals from Gap (mad, I know, but they fit well and were surprisingly good). Silk inner glove liners can be picked up on ebay or Surfdome and help keep hands warm.
Decathlon do their own range of thermals and coats - make sure none of your thermals contain cotton (the cheaper ones will) and buy some very good quality leggings to go over your thermals in place of trousers.
Crag hoppers do good reasonably priced waterproof wind proof trousers. To maxx often have silk or merino leggings and base layers. I'm a sweaty mare so go for natural fibres as man made ones honk on me. TMI.
Good socks and double layering can be a lifesaver. I'd go for a decent waterproof coat and layer under it. Debenhams good for coats and crag hopper stuff.
Thanks TimeTo and 80s. I have read about silk lining gloves so I will have a look at them. Not mad at all- more like sensible! I think I might get silk sock liners.
80s, that's interesting as I heard that merino doesn't make you sweat so it can last for 2-3 wears. I will have a look at the Debenhams website in a minute. Definitely will be double -and triple- layering.
Decathlon for cheap merino thermals and glove liners and all that stuff. Their outer layers are good too.
For glacier trips etc I'd probably get skiing salopettes to wear with thermals rather than layering waterproof trousers over other trousers.
Mountain warehouse have 50% off at the moment check there first.
Remember you only need this stuff for your trips, so don't go too mad buying kit. Only buy what you'll need. Trail shoes will let the wind through you'll need something more substantial.
Considering the conditions Icelandics live in they don't really buy into the whole head to toe outdoor gear dressing. In the villages/towns you need good waterproof shoes or boots that you'll be taking off in many places, a good duvet/down coat and pretty much your usual clothes.
You'll love it, the scenery changes constantly and the people are unique.
We went in Feb last year, got base layers from sports direct post Christmas sale. Got a warm.coat from one of the outdoorsy shops. I wore jeans but with leggings underneath and decent socks with boots.
We did a day of glacier/waterfalls etc that was -14 and I was warm enough. (Some of the people on the trips in thin fashion jackets and a scarf were miserable though)
DH is warmer than I am and only wore a Base Layer on his legs when we went out a night. I'm cold all the time so always layered up. But can honestly say that I never felt cold and it hit -18 at night. And we definitely didn't spend a fortune!
You're only going for a few days - don't go mad, just out up with perhaps being colder than is comfortable?
Jeans aren't very warm, but you could wear tights under them to keep warmer. They don't dry out quickly if they get wet - are you expecting to get wet? And if you do, are you going to be far away from being able to get changed?
A couple of long sleeved vests is a good idea, wool jumper or two, and a warm, reasonably rain proof coat.
Unless you're trekking for days away from civilisation, you need some common sense applied before you spend £££££
My hands and feet really feel the cold I bought along with me fake fur lined mittens, thermal fleece lined tights from M&S and thermal ski socks. Though you can buy the wool socks from Iceland at a good price when you get there as long as you bring lining socks with you as they will itch.
I bought ski wear with me and I'm glad I did. We did the husky sledding and it was so cold even in March. I lived in my hiking boots but we did glacier walking and caving. A really good hat is important as well. I got a fake fur woollen hat with ear flaps.
Weather is unpredictable you definitely need waterproofs.
Iceland is beautiful. I recommend the I Heart Reykjavik walking tour its fun and they will show you the best places to go. Also pick up a copy of Grapevine the local magazine it will tell you the best bars and restaurants. Its free and hotels distribute them.
I see MrsL's point about the money, but i think certain things could be useful in the UK also and therefore not a waste. Merino thermals are always going to be lovely, and would be great in winter here instead of several bulky layers, similarly a really good waterproof jacket perhaps with a removal lining could be an investment. I think M&S do merino tights though which might be a more economical layer.
I agree you do use the stuff back home. I got a 66 North parka in the sale from a previous trip which I bought in Reykjavik from their outlet shop and it gets good use on cold days.
Thinsulate hats and gloves can be found cheaply on most market stalls or discount shops, and eBay of course. Not very pretty but my god they're warm.
DP laughed at my fleece gloves. Then he begged me to let him wear them
If it's just a trip, I'm not sure investing in natural fibres is worth it? Most technical wear is synthetic anyway.
Primark fleece lined tights, uniqlo heat tech tops, thinsulate hats and gloves all sell well year after year. It's cheap, it's light to pack and will layer up to keep you warm when you're out and not very active.
Think of your trip as an extended bonfire night - you dress knowing you're going to be standing still, bloody freezing and looking up. Now expand that thinking to your trip. Layers, practicality and use at a layer date.
Some really useful tips, so thank you all! I do feel the cold easily so I am definitely thinking that I will make use of the thermals, coats, hat and gloves. The silk socks and gloves I will use less frequent but they will come in handy and anyway, I definitely don't want cold feet.
Mmm, merino base layers are SO pricey and I need two tops and two pairs of trousers so I think I will get the heattech ones from Uniqlo.
Good point about the trail shoes. I will look into footwear more closely then. I hate walking on ice so if I get something that will help with that then I will definitely get use out of it at home as well as in Iceland.
The thing with jeans is that from reading the TA page, they are a BIG no no. I am thinking of perhaps these:
www.gap.co.uk/browse/product.do?cid=1045930&vid=1&pid=000111960014, with base leggings underneath and then waterproof trousers over. They are probably the only thing that I won't wear again but it sounds like they are the one thing that I absolutely need. Apart from a coat of course.
Thanks for the extra tips Zara. I had seen the iheart website- she has good advice on clothing too! And I will look out for the paper
You will be MISERABLE if your jeans get wet. They take ages to dry and get you really cold. I learnt this once on a wet hike. Anything cotton has that problem, but jeans esp bad as they are so thick.
I would get synthetic hiking trousers, Mountain Warehouse does budget ones so I would look there maybe.
Helly Hansen base layers are good and can be bought for around 20-30 pounds on Amazon. I agree merino bases are too expensive if you don't think you'll be using them much afterwards.
When in January are you going? I would not buy a thing until after Xmas unless I was going right at the beginning of the month. You can genuinely get sale bargains straight after Xmas so I would wait.
We're not going until the last weekend in Jan but I am hoping to get some bits for Christmas presents. Also we are going to Ashford tomorrow so hoping to get some real bargains. I am pretty sure that there is a Mountain Warehouse there too!
I went in Lidl today. They had merino sports tops and leggings. I think they were £7 each. If you have one close by it would be worth checking.
I should go. It might get me over my fear of landing on an icy runway.
I went skiing at winter park in Colorado. I got a very cheap ski suit from mountain warehouse for £50. With lots of layers and thick ski gloves I stayed quite warm.
It's the damp that makes you cold and miserable like our weather.
DH reckons you are better at about - 10 over there than + 5 here.
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