When the Northern Lights call…you answer. Our response was a 10 day trip of hiking, climbing, off-road exploring, undercarriage dismantling river crossings and most importantly establishing the best gas station lamb hot dog (Pylsur) on Iceland, which is conveniently found in Reykjavik. I won’t name names, but a certain member of our party removed their vegetarian halo for one of these dogs loaded with potato salad, Icelandic “ketchup” and fried + fresh onions. Enough about the food.
As our gas station hot dog barista exclaimed in her perfect Icelandic accent….
“Let the Party Begin” – Ecstatic Hotdog Barista
We planned our trip for early September to beat the fair-weather tourist crowds, highly recommended! For better or worse…better…we camped the entire ring road. Although at the time New England was still experiencing perfect late summer temps, Fall had arrived in Iceland. We packed gear for temps ranging from the 20s to 60s knowing that we would need to be prepared for roaming the temperate streets of Reikevik, hiking to remote waterfalls in the North and sport climbing basalt in the South.
The Arcteryx LT Atom Hoody was an absolute no-brainer slam dunk. This nuclear reactor disguised in a jacket served as my early morning pre-coffee body warmer / portable furnace. In addition, it comes belay buddy ready, camping pillow friendly and is fully Icelandic wind blocking able.
Weighing in at 13.4oz and insulated with Coreloft this jacket is both lightweight and compressible. This combination is a must for anyone who dabbles in ultralight hiking or is looking for the perfect travel buddy. Its versatility is endless, but if I had to pick a standout feature it would have to be the hood, it’s adjustable and form fit was extremely useful during Icelandic squalls and arctic gales.
Before Iceland, I had been using this jacket as my go to backcountry backpacking heater, winter morning Truffle walking companion and cold Scandinavian business meetings, Sweden, colleague. When the zipper blew out on me after 2 years of abuse Arcteryx fixed it no questions asked. Their customer service is second to none.
The final test was the 10 days of continued use in the land of hot springs and trolls. Its versatility, wicking ability, and heat to weight ratio sealed its place in the Gear Closet as GOAT status. Ending up at a 9.6 only due to the previously mentioned zipper issue (9 in quality) and Price (All Arcteryx gear is an investment in your Wilderness comfort, get it on sale and you’ve earned yourself a 10).
I’ll continue putting this mid-layer jacket to the test, but the day I see Tom Brady wearing this jacket I may just shut down the blog. That much GOAT would be too much to handle.
For more on our trip check out the video below. Hit me up for travel tips, camping sites, climbing beta etc. Also if you like cats…just skip to minute 5.
Disclaimer: No Icelandic cats were hurt in the making of this film.
– Bostonia Outfitters