What kit to wear in Iceland on motorcycles

Here’s what kept me warm, dry and protected with the right kit

Riding in Iceland is an intense environment, a land of extremes, and so knowing what kit to wear is vital. Here’s a run through of what kept me warm, dry and protected. Please note that I am not paid for this video or information, and it is created to help others from the experience I had. There are of course different preferences and opinions on kit.

Warm and dry riding motorcycles in Iceland is priority number one!

Iceland is a land of absolute extremes and riding here on motorcycles going through the rugged terrain and mountains puts you in some seriously, seriously cold conditions so I’m here to talk to you about what kit I have brought with me to Iceland.

  1. The most important thing I would say is making sure that you are warm and dry if you are dry and warm you are going to be enjoying this environment so make sure that you have some waterproofs that you can trust and I’ve learned from experience that when they say they’re waterproof it doesn’t necessarily mean they can live up to Icelandic extremes of waterproof so I’ve been in the Adventure Spec jacket and I have not had a drop of water come through it. Absolutely incredible highly trust it
  2. I’ve been wearing military waterproofs on my lower half and again they have kept me incredibly dry.
  3. Underneath that I’ve actually had a Gore-Tex layer. Now the reason why I’ve had both is because I don’t personally always trust Gore-Tex gear for the duration of the waterproof requirements that we’ve had in Iceland and here it’s wet from above and below because you’ve got water crossings and puddles everywhere.
  4. As well thinking about waterproof we always ride with our Cardo intercom systems as well and a lot of the intercoms on the market would not withstand the requirements of the weather here, so make sure you’ve got a decent intercom if you’re going to be using it. When we think about the terrain out here the ability to chat between us is really good for safety because there is random unexpected obstacles that we can warn each other about and make sure we’re all riding safely as a group. See here for 15% off Cardo Systems and here for why I use intercoms.
  5. A woolly hat definitely essential when you stop to take those photos or have a break. It’s amazing how cold your head gets when you take your helmet off, so make sure you’ve got a nice woolly hat with you.
  6. When it comes to your feet… they’re going to get wet. If you are lucky enough to have waterproof boots that’s fantastic. But within the group we have found out that waterproof boots don’t necessarily mean your feet are going to stay dry, because when you’re in a river water is going to go over the top! Waterproof SealSkinz socks is an absolute must I’ve got through the week six days riding with two pairs of socks. They generally don’t dry overnight so it means you’ve got a pair on and a pair off drying, and this means that your boots can be absolutely saturated but the contact with your skin is remaining dry.
Iceland is full of water crossings
Iceland is full of water crossings
  1. Depending what you like to ride with gloves are a really important one for keeping you warm. I tend to enjoy an enduro pair of gloves which are not waterproof and I find that when I’m physically warm and riding even if my hands are soaking wet they don’t get cold. I’ve got two pairs of Hebo enduro non-waterproof gloves, which means I’ve got a dry pair and then I do have some SealSkins fully waterproof gloves. They’re a lovely treat in those last couple of hours of the day when I want to warm my hands up and keep them keep them dry.
  2. I have two pairs of goggles and I’m going to be honest, I actually have only used one pair because I haven’t got them wet enough that I’ve needed to switch them out so with these goggles I’ve gone for the Scott Prospects, which have a light sensitive lens. Changing with the light from sunglasses if it’s bright or if it’s dark cloudy and overcast they will go clear. This means that you’ve got the best of both worlds as far as far as your vision goes.
  3. The bikes out in Iceland with Ridewithlocals have Enduristan panniers but having a camelback with some of your essentials and water is a really, really good recommendation. Mine is a Leatt and this is fully waterproof so anything I put inside is going be alright… especially if I was to have an unlucky dip in a river.
Enduristan panniers
Enduristan panniers
  1. If you think Iceland is going to be a gentle poodle on motorbikes think again. Coming with Ridewithlocals we are doing some insane enduro train across lava fields and peaks and mountains so the body armour very, very important. If you do fall off you want to know that you’re protected, because if you have an injury out in the mountains in Iceland it’s going to be a difficult rescue. I’ve got the Leatt Airfit, which I find incredibly comfortable, super protective.
  2. I’ve got Leatt knee guards as well. I decided to wear the knee guards because of the sort of riding. I didn’t feel like I needed my full x-frame protection.
  3. As far as warmth goes I have decided to go for a layering system so underneath my gear I have full merino leggings and top. The beautiful thing about merino is that if you sweat and get wet and or accidentally get a little bit damp…and the wool is still warm to wear. I then layer it so on some of the more freezing cold days I’ve actually had four merino wool tops on underneath my Adventure Spec jacket and I have been warm and toasty it’s just a case of you working out how many of those layers you need
  1. A snood is an absolute must keeping that wind protection off your face so I have two snoods because they do seem to get a little bit wet when you’re riding along out here so pack some of these. Hoorag is a good shout for custom snoods.
  2. You’re going to want a pretty solid pair of boots riding in this terrain obviously, it’s enduro. I’ve got the Leatt5.5 GPX. I absolutely love them. They are not waterproof and they don’t pretend to be waterproof so that’s where the waterproof socks are really important. Just anticipate that you’re going to have wet boots for the whole of your riding experience but with the right socks on you don’t have wet feet.

That is a run through of the kit that is keeping me warm and dry here in Iceland.

You can see the full adventure in my two-part video of riding Iceland:

Part 1:

Part 2:

We did six days riding on Husqvarna 701s, covered roughly 1400km doing 9 to 11 hour riding days and got to see the real Iceland – which is unseen by most tourists.

Learn more about Iceland with my 15 facts to know article and video.

For more on the company we rode with see www.ridewithlocals.is

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebookLinkedIn and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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