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Rain wear/accessories for Iceland

Hi all, hoping someone has gone tried rainwear for Iceland and could give me some tips. Looking at Columbia rainwear and wondering if they're good to go over existing hiking pants?

Any rain gear recommendations appreciated.

What did you use as rain cover for smartphone? Camera? backpacks?

Posted by
1194 posts

The best rainwear is waterPROOF with taped seams. It should also be packable, which means it is unlined. This makes it easier to wear bulky layers underneath it.

I like a jacket that comes down to mid thigh. Even though this cut is a few ounces heavier, I find it gives better protection.

My favorite layering combo is base layer, Primaloft jacket, rain coat. You can add extra layers as needed, mix and match for temperature control, etc.

I’d recommend getting a water proof case for the phone. At a minimum, put it in a ziplock and keep it in an inner pocket.

You can buy a waterproof pack cover. The cheap solution is to pull a cinch style garbage bag cover over the pack, leaving only the harness.

Posted by
14269 posts

I haven't traveled to Iceland but I do have waterproof Columbia rain pants. They go over my regular jeans just fine so you should have no trouble over hiking pants which are thinner. They also work to block wind.

IF I were to buy rain pants again I would get the kind with longer zippers on the sides. Mine are older and just have vents and short zippers. I have trouble getting them on over boots but can wiggle my foot thru if in athletic shoes. I bought them in a last minute hurry when weather changed and I didn't have much choice and didn't realize what I really needed.

IF you can afford it get the more expensive waterproof fabrics as opposed to the non-breathable waterproof ones. They are awful and will just make you sweaty.

I like a jacket with a hood and I want the hood to have a small bill on it. I wear glasses and this helps keep rain off my face. I don't like to wear a baseball hat under the hood - just not my thing. I am currently using a Cabelas waterproof jacket that is mid-thigh. I'm on my 3rd year with it and it is still pretty good. Had to refresh the waterproofing at the end of winter and it worked well on a recent trip to Paris, Belgium and Holland with some spring rain and strong winds. This jacket has been very versatile as I have used it over 3 winters while shoveling snow and layered up underneath, on about 5 trips to Europe and at least the same number to Western National Parks during the spring/summer/fall.

Are you going to be backpacking? I've got a cheap cover for a day pack and it's barely worth it. I still tuck my iPad Mini into a ziplock as well as any paper. I am a birder so always have a bird guide and when I'm in Yellowstone I have a geyser guide.

When you buy the jacket also consider whether you can zip it up over a small purse. I travel with a small Eddie Bauer cross body wallet. I got rid of my Marmot Precip (very good waterproof jacket) because it was cut too slim for me to zip it over the small cross body. Now if I'm visiting somewhere and it rains I can switch out of my regular travel purse and use the small cross body with extra stuff stashed in the rain jacket pockets, including my phone.

Do you think you'll be using your phone in the rain? I have an Eddie Bauer Outlet in a nearby town and have seen the waterproof bags they have for phones.

My bottom line on the waterproof stuff - IF you have an REI or Cabelas near you, try some of it on. Sometimes the finish is "crinkly" and makes noise. I just hate that!

Also avoid purchasing anything that is just water-resistant even if it's really cute. It'll stop the rain for about 30 seconds and then you're wet. Useless for actual outdoor activities.

Posted by
7653 posts

On our April 2015 trip, we went glacier trekking, and the concern was more for snow protection than for falling rain, but our Gore-Tex jackets and bibs offered protection from both. You may be going at a rainier place and time of year, and might be wearing fewer insulating layers of long underwear.

If the Columbia pants are designed a little loose, to slip over other layers, they should work. I have at least one pair of navy blue Columbia rain pants, and pairs of other brands, but usually have put them on over hiking shorts and bare legs in warmer weather. Are your existing hiking pants made of cotton, or nylon, or some combination of fabrics? Your hiking pants may provide some rain resistance already.

We also have Showers Pass brand bicycling rain gear, which is designed for bike touring, but also worked while hiking in England.

A key feature is not only whether the rain gear is waterproof, but whether it’s also “breathable,” like Gore-Tex. A coated but not breathable fabric may shed water, but if you’re moving and sweating, and if that rain gear traps that moisture inside your pants or jacket, you can get wet and cold from your perspiration, even if no rain’s getting through. What specifications are described about the Columbia rainwear? Are there vented zippers, grommets, waist cinches? Those features can help the garments fit and perform better.

A Zip-lok bag can keep your smartphone dry, as long as it’s inside the bag. Our compact Olympus camera was specially designed to be extra shock and water resistant, and there are scuba diving cases for cameras that would probably be overkill, but there are other types of cases, made from vinyl or other materials that a camera or camping store might suggest. Our pack covers came with the backpacks, but you can get generic small, medium, large, or XL covers from REI or another outdoors supplier. Those don’t have to be breathable, just waterproof, and should have elastic around the opening and/or a draw cord to help ensure a snug fit on the pack, to keep out the elements.

Our whale watching tour provided waterproof coveralls onboard.

Posted by
14269 posts

Totally understand! I'm 90 miles from Cabelas and REI so when I go up there to shop I hit them all to see what's new, lol!

Posted by
8645 posts

I have Columbia waterproof rain pants and coat and they have worked fine in the biggest storms! I also like Ahnu waterproof hiking shoes. They keep your feet dry and warm.