Travel gear: 66°NORTH keeps you warm
By Sarah Sekula
When you decide to trek through Iceland, one of the world’s most extreme climates, I highly recommend outfitting yourself like an Icelander. In that regard, when I climbed Hvannadalshnúkur, Iceland’s highest peak, in May I made sure to bundle up in a 66°NORTH jacket. This bright red Vatnajökull Softshell uses a new fabric called Polartec Power Shield Pro. When it comes to protecting yourself from extreme weather conditions, it is a popular pick. But ever since Jake Gylenhall wore it when he teamed up with Bear Grylls to tape a few episodes of Man vs. Wild, it’s been flying of the shelves even quicker.
Beyond the A-listers, consider this: 66°NORTH is an 85-year-old company that outfits the Icelandic Rescue Teams, Reykjavík Police, extreme athletes, hardy fishermen and scores of Icelanders. Oh, and me. Case in point: Throughout my 13-hour hike up Hvannadalshnúkur, with temps ranging from 32 degrees fahrenheit to the mid-40s, I was never chilly. I traipsed through snow (packed and soft), trekked atop a glacier and slogged my way through windy conditions. Good thing the jacket is 99 percent windproof.
Better yet, it was easy to move in because it has shaped elbows. It’s lightweight and breathes extremely well — perfect for a super long hike. And you can easily ski, climb, fish or golf in this jacket, without moisture building up inside. The company’s CEO sums it up well: “We have the best laboratory in the world to test our clothing,” he says. You can say that again!
The island is a living study of extreme geological and weather conditions. Changes in weather can occur in the blink of an eye. It is common to see a combination of sun, rain, sleet, snow and ice blizzards in the course of a single hike or trek up a glacier. In other words, this Florida girl was glad to be prepared for any of those extremes!
Check out a clip of Jake Gylenhall braving the elements in Iceland:
Man vs. Wild – Bear Grylls and Jake Gyllenhaal Take on Iceland
66 North gave me this product to review, but I am free to write whatever I want.