We put the new Squall® System to the test in Iceland’s rugged landscapes and unpredictable weather. Because if it works here, it’ll work anywhere.
First up, Happy New Year to everyone from the Lands' End Business team! Or, perhaps we should wish you "Gleðilegt nýtt ár!" as we come to the third and final installment of the Squall® System field test in Iceland. We'll let our art director, Mike, and his brother Tom take it from here.
Day 4: On the coast at Vík i Mýrdal
Completing our tour of the Golden Circle, we headed down to the remote coastal village of Vík i Mýrdal, population 318. The weather was bright and sunny, and temperatures must have been in the 40s that day, but the wind was something else—a good thing we had our Squall® System shells layered over ThermaCheck® 200 fleece jackets. A short video of our visit to Reynisfjara beach gives you an idea of what we were up against. And yes, it's a pretty incredible place to see, with its basalt columns and black sand, reminders that the Katla volcano is not too far away.
Looking out at the ocean, you can easily imagine a viking ship's crew splashing into the waves, happy to be returning home after days or weeks at sea. In fact, at the west end of the beach a series of jagged basalt stacks called Reynisdrangar emerges from the sea, and according to local legend were created when two trolls attempted to drag a ship onto the land. When daylight broke the masts turned into pillars of rock. Luckily for us, we didn't have trolls to contend with, just the fierce, unrelenting wind.
Day 5: The Road Back to Reykjavik
Our final drive back to the capital once again took us through a green but nearly treeless landscape dotted with small farms and overshadowed by dark volcanic bluffs and snowcapped peaks. Wherever we stopped the air was damp and the wind would have chilled us to the bone if we hadn't been wearing our Squall® System shells.
In the middle of what felt like nowhere, we saw a sign inviting us to "feed the horses." Both of us being animal lovers, we naturally turned off the highway and stopped next to a small herd of diminutive horses—don't call them ponies—a breed descended from animals brought to Iceland by Norse settlers 1,000 years ago. Thanks to their stocky frames and shaggy coats the Icelandic climate doesn't bother them much. We humans needed the extra layers of our insulated jackets and shells to protect us from the freezing wind and drizzle, which beaded up and rolled off the waterproof fabric.
It was a wonderful way to end our trip to Iceland. We hope we get a chance to visit again. Where to next? We haven't decided yet, but if it's a place whether the weather, climate and terrain push us to the limit, we know Lands' End gear will keep us comfortable and protected from the elements.