The Cintamani Road Test - The Reykjavik Grapevine

The Cintamani Road Test

The Cintamani Road Test

Published June 10, 2005

We’ve been looking at the ads the last few months, we’ve seen Icelanders walking around in the gear. When Paul and I realized that we had to tour the whole country and visit somewhere around a dozen key sites for upcoming issues in only four days, we thought this would be the opportunity to test the gear we’ve always wondered about.
If you show up in Iceland with just street clothes, what can you buy to make a trip around the Ring Road, with hiking, whale watching and various mayhem more comfortable, we asked the people at Cintamani.
“First, take a look at pants. We have something called a wet wind,” our assistant at Cintamani told us. He handed us some moderately lightweight wind and rain blocking pants, and then matched them with an outer shell jacket. We then picked up some lightweight fleece.
Great stuff, but, as we openly worried, it all felt a little lightweight.
“For the highlands, this is too light, but for the Ring Road, this will be excellent,” he told us.
We tried to pretend like we hadn’t said anything about cold, as we realized we were coming off a little weak.
The Test
First thing to say about Cintamani’s magic pants and outer shells, if Iceland ever gets their own version of The Sopranos, the mafia will be sporting these clothes. They feel like a cross between pajamas and jogging gear, even when walking in high wind and light rain. During a one-hour hike, we were laughing about this, in fact.
As the trip went on, we did our best to test the crap out of the pants and gear. In our most absurd moment, Paul and I spent seven hours on a rubber boat in the open ocean dressed only in Cintamani summer gear. Having done this, I can say Cintamani summer gear is NOT good for open ocean travel for longer than five hours.
Beyond that, for hiking, driving and something Paul labelled g-money-glacier-pimpin’, we swear by these pants, shells and lightweight fleece.
You can stop by the Cintamani warehouse, as we did, and get personal assistance in clothing yourself for a trip, or you can pick the clothes up on the Internet and at many large sporting clothes shops in the country.
Cintamani, Austurhrauni 3, 210 Garðabær, 533-3800, www.cintamani.is.

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