Why is it so hard to find outdoor gear which is practical, weatherproof and also stylish? It seems like I was asking myself that endlessly just before my Faroe Islands trip this June. I searched high and low – desperate to come across some sleek and cool gear which would keep me warm but didn’t look horrendous. It was a hard task but I’m pleased to report I am finally able to give you a ‘must-invest-in’ list for your trips to the cooler countries.
In this post, you’ll find incredible water resistant and windproof jackets, a vibrant beanie which just looks good with everything, practical hiking boots, waterproof gum-boots, leather gloves, a waterproof backpack and last but not least, an incredible new travel find: the Kosan 5-in-1 travel pack system.
Disclaimer: about fifty percent of these products were gifted to me to try out because I go to lots of adventurous places and the other fifty percent were purchased by yours truly. That considered, whenever a company sends me something to test for my audience, I always tell them I’ll send it back if it’s a dud – so you can be assured that these products are my favourites and I’m sure they’ll become yours too.
EEEEEEP – It’s winter and I’m cold…. what should I wear?
Want to be as toasty in winter like I am below?
Great! Keep scrolling….
Let’s start with this epic kit below – I’m wearing:
- An Icelandic branded (66Degrees) orange beanie which was an emergency purchase on board the ferry from Denmark to the Faroe Islands. It’s also available for men. Click here to shop.
- The Kara Parka: a fantastic winter coat from Helly Hansen, a real favourite of mine. This is lined with (what I think is) fleece and it’s so perfect for temperatures under 10 degrees celsius. They have a million and one parkas available if this one doesn’t float your boat. Click here to shop.
- The Bethed Boots: another legendary Helly Hansen product. These guys have been with me on 101 hikes and they still look brand new. Click here to shop.
- The Warm Pant: well, admittedly you can’t see that I’m wearing these pants under my jeans but like any self-respecting person, I didn’t think you wanted to see my Long Johns. In my eyes you can’t survive a winter’s day without warm long pants under your jeans. Click here to get yourself a pair.
- COS Gathered Leather Gloves: I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again – my life has greatly improved style-wise after discovering COS. Click here to see the gloves.
- The Kosan 5-in-1 travel pack system: this bag set has it all. It’s a two piece set which can become a 5 piece set, so really worth the investment. More about it below but click here to find out more:
More about the Kosan 5-in-1 system
This is an impressive invention for anyone who travels a lot. The company is currently selling its new product on Kickstarter and the story is admirable. Both entrepreneurs are young Canadians who have been travelling non-stop for years. After growing tired of finding virtually no suitable luggage for their needs, they decided to create what was missing in the market.
You get two bags which can be clipped together by industrial grade steel. In the end you’re getting five separate products: a single backpack, a backpack with a front clipped-on day pack for those transit days, a sports duffel bag, a messenger bag and a regular day backpack. Genius! More photos below.
Already interested in the Kosan system? Click here
This is me wearing it as a backpack.
This is a close up shot of the backpack.
This is what it looks like when you wear the full system. (See below.) It was designed like this for your travel days, when you’re going from A to B. To take these photos, I had to take a train to my friend’s house and I can happily say that I’ve road tested it for you. It’s comfortable and has even weight distribution so you won’t experience typical back pain like you would with regular backpacking products.
The system even has special straps which go around your stomach if you want, to make sure that your back is fully supported. Another plus? It’s water resistant and I can safely say (after today’s adventure) that it’s even snowproof!
A close up of the industrial grade steel clipping system.
I am pleased to be working with Kosan on this travel product! I’m a big sucker when I find something which is durable, practical but also stylish. I like the finishings on these bags – the brand isn’t ostentatious, in fact it’s rather subtle and some panels even look leathery. Click here to shop.
Another plus: it’s also for the boys! The Kosan bags are unisex and available in black and dark grey.
Did someone say duffel bag?
Ta da, it also becomes your new sporty companion.
And this is what it looks like as a duffel bag.
Don’t shoot the messenger!
And this is the small day bag as a front messenger bag. For reference, this is also the bag which turns into a small day backpack. We didn’t manage to take photos of that one, sorry! But if you click here, you’ll see a video where they explain how to work all five functions.
Storage capacity: goooooooood!
The legends at Kosan also finished the inside nicely. There are separate compartments with mesh netting to separate your toiletries, straps to hold your clothing in and word on the street is that they’re going to sell crushable packing boxes and zip bags to neatly organise your daily outfits. Oh you guys!
I can safely say, I walked through Frankfurt’s first day of intense snow (see below) in the above mentioned gear today. I arrived home unscathed, warm and very, very dry.
The Kosan Travel System is currently available on Kickstarter. If you would like to buy the bag, I’d appreciate you buying it through this link:
To keep this website running and to be able to give you as much free content as I provide, from time to time I work with companies who may pay me a small portion when I work hard for them. As this is a new product which I really believe in, I’ve done my best to promote it for them in the best way I can, by being honest.
I’ll be earning a tiny portion of the total cost of the bag if you buy it through me. But don’t worry, I’ll put that money to good use…. it’ll help pay off my next electricity bill!
A new product edition (pictured below) are my oddly shaped but really comfortable and practical gum boots from Aigle. There is neoprene fabric around the rim which suctions around my ankle, not allowing even a droplet of water to enter. Winning! Their boots are made of rubber so you can go splashing through as many puddles as your inner-child wants to. Click here to see all their gum boots.
Back to my other favourite brand: Helly Hansen
I fell in love with their fisherman’s raincoats when I was in Sweden a few years back and I bought myself this striking yellow coat. (I bought this long before yellow raincoats became a ‘thing’ on Instagram too.)
This is the Kirkwall coat and you wouldn’t believe how many people have asked me about this online!
But wait, there’s more! I also bought it in blue.
Now on to another Scandinavian favourite of mine: RAINS Journal
This backpack below was bought when I was in Amsterdam. You guessed it – I got caught in the rain so I ducked into a cool menswear store and picked myself up this rectangular, and fully waterproof rubber backpack.
It’s such a cool shape – click here to shop.
Here’s a close up of those Aigle rubber boots I mentioned before. The link to their store is here: Boots Shop – Aigle
Ember & Earth is another favourite of mine – owned by a couple of friendly Irishmen, they only make a couple of products, but they do them well. This green coat of mine (below) has been featured countless times across my posts. From memory I think it’s available in ten or so colours. Use my 10% off discount code (KaptainKenny) if you’d like one: https://www.emberandearth.com/
Well that’s all folks! I hope you found this post useful and inspiring for your next winter getaway! Be sure to let me know if I’ve missed any brands. I am always on the look out for gear which meets my travel needs.
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