Renting vs buying: outdoor equipment for your Iceland trip (Two options compared)

In this post, I’ll be comparing renting the outdoor equipment you’ll need once you arrive in Iceland or purchasing them outright. 

We get a lot of questions about our service since many people aren’t used to renting their outdoor hiking equipment. 

I’ll be reviewing each option by;

  • How handy they are
  • Affordability
  • Suitability for Iceland 
  • Convenience 

Make sure to read all the way to the end so you can make an informed decision and get my recommendation! 

Outdoor Equipment in Iceland

Before I begin the review I wanted to quickly let you know our background. 

We rent hiking equipment and have responded to an incredible amount of questions from worried travelers. 

So I decided to write a quick post in order to shed light on some worries and questions you might have. 

So let’s dive right into it! 

Outdoor equipment for Icelandic weather

Man in a 3L jacket

Let’s begin with what type of weather you have to prepare for.

What makes Iceland cold is the wind and rain. I wrote a post where I go into more detail about the Icelandic weather. 

Check it out!

When thinking of buying clothes for the weather in Iceland you’ve got to choose a material that is both water and wind resistant but will also provide warmth.

Getting all three in the same garment will be expensive. 

I recommend that you purchase clothes that are wind and water-resistant and wear layers to stay warm.

Parkas are ideal for winter since they are warm, keep the wind away, and repel a lot of water.

While in the summer months you want a shell or a raincoat. 

On the other hand, you can just rent the outdoor equipment with us! 

Renting outdoor equipment in Iceland?

Is it handy to purchase or rent? 

There are benefits to both, let’s start with buying your own.

The handiest part of purchasing your own clothes is, control.

  • Control over the color, 
  • Choose the exact size
  • Choose the look of the garment. 

You’ll of course own it and be able to use it in the future as well.

So if you plan on doing more traveling to the colder parts of the world, then buying clothes is definitely the way to go! 

A person outdoors

While the benefits of renting are;

  • More eco-friendly
  • Cheaper
  • Less stuff in the bag

When it comes to handiness both options are fairly evenly matched. In the end, the question becomes, are you going to use the clothes afterward? 

And there’s more!

Clothes suitable for Iceland 

When thinking about suitability for Icelandic weather, think of water resistance! 

In that sense, you can of course purchase the items for Icelandic weather anywhere in the world. 

The clothes we rent are specifically chosen to combat the Icelandic weather. 

So in case of suitability, renting the outdoor equipment has a slight advantage since it’s chosen by the locals that know what you need! 

Rental convenience in Iceland?

Now convenience is pretty hard to measure. 

So let’s go through the process step by step. 

If you buy the clothes then you, of course, have to do your research and make sure to get the right clothes for Icelandic weather. 

It’s not a big inconvenience but something to be aware of. 

Then you…

  • Check your bag in
  • Check into your hotel 
  • You’ve got the clothes 
  • Use them when you need them

Very convenient if you ask me!

If you decide to rent the clothes. 

Then you…

  • Come to Iceland
  • Either pick up the clothes at our store or we deliver them to your hotel
  • Use them when you need them
  • Return them to our store or leave them in the lobby. 

So having your clothes on you is definitely a bit more convenient. Though we make the experience as hassle-free as we can!

Then again…

Affordability 

When it comes to affordability, renting is the best option, no doubt about it.

Let’s compare the two.

Renting a parka in Iceland

How much does it cost to buy a parka? 

Buying a parka in Iceland

How much does it cost to buy a similar parka from a big brand?

purchase a parka

And the shoes follow the same pattern

But there’s more!

Of course, you have to bring the items to our little island. 

And as anyone who’s traveled with their outdoor equipment can tell you, they take up a lot of space.

Luggage

How much does luggage cost on United, Iceland Air, and Easy Jet? 

Iceland  Air: 

69$ for an extra 23kg bag in Iceland Air.
Around 35$ extra (instead of Economy light) for Economy standard, which includes a 23kg bag

United Airlines: 

100$ for an extra 23kg bag in United Airlines.
Around 150$ extra (instead of Basic Economy) for Economy which includes a 23kg bag.

Easy Jet: 

From 11$ for an extra 23kg bag in Easy Jet. note that it costs more, but if you’re lucky you might find a flight where you can add a 23kg bag for 11$.

On average it costs around 35$ extra for Standard Plus (instead of Standard) which includes a 23kg bag. 

There is just no way around it, renting the clothes is much cheaper than purchasing them.

Final notes

So, let’s review.

Purchasing outdoor equipment brings with it a lot of security and it’s convenient in terms of always being with you. 

While our rented outdoor equipment is tailor-made for Icelandic weather and is considerably less expensive. 

So which is better for you?

You should rent the clothes if:You should purchase the clothes if:
You don’t own the clothing

Unsure what clothes you need

Want to save money 

Not planning on using them again
You plan on using them after your Icelandic trip

You absolutely need the perfect fit

You want to choose the color.

In my humble opinion, I would recommend renting the clothes. 

‘Well, there’s a shocker!’ You say and throw your hands up.

But in writing this post I struggle to find any reason to purchase the outdoor equipment you need for your Iceland trip unless you know that you’ll need it afterward.

You’ll be secure in the knowledge that the clothes will handle the Icelandic climate, you’ll save money and can spend the money on other experiences!

Check out our selection!

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