66° North is Iceland’s version of North Face – outdoor gear designed to protect you from extreme temps while allowing you to still look stylish. You can’t walk around Reykjavik for more than a few minutes without seeing some of the gear displayed in shop windows or on a billboard. There’s a store right in the center of Reykjavik on Bankastraeti and several more scattered throughout town (as well as across the country).
While you might first be tempted to dismiss the store as another tourist shop, don’t. Not only is 66° North gear exceptionally well made and stylish, it’s also authentic; Icelanders have been wearing the gear for decades (the brand’s been around since 1926) and still wear it in everyday life. It’s the most popular brand of outerwear in Iceland and is the brand of choice for the Icelandic Rescue Teams and Reykjavík Police.
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66° North makes for a great (and useful) Iceland souvenir that will last you for a long time to come. If you’re going to pick up some 66° North gear, bring the high-limit credit card though. It’s not cheap. Basic fleece pullovers start at around $150 and the costs just go up from there. A gorgeous shiny-finish down-filled puffy parka is around $400 and longer jackets can go up to $600. Vests, pants, and accessories like hats, gloves, and scarves are also available.
If you plan on purchasing more than a hundred dollars’ worth, it may warrant a trip to the 66° North outlet just outside of Reykjavik. But make sure you’re committed to buying before you go and that you plan to spend a lot, otherwise the cost of a rental car or taxi will offset any savings.