We Love This: Winter Bathing
By Lena Hunter | Press photos
In winter, the sea temperature in the Nordics is roughly minus two to nine degrees centigrade. Positively balmy, according to Scandinavians, for whom an icy swim is about as banal as going to the supermarket. But winter bathing is also a social experience – once you’ve seen your colleague cursing and gnashing like a wild animal as they plough stiffly into a freezing lake, you’ll forge a unique and powerful bond. It’s a health and longevity-booster, a magic wand for the metabolism, and a point of Nordic national identity. Come on, it’s not that bad once you get in.
Changing robe by Dryrobe
Dryrobe started life as an item of surfing gear for discreet undressing on the beach, but today the half-towel, half-jacket has become a go-to for outdoor swimmers. Much like a prehistoric fish climbing out of a pond, Dryrobe has even evolved into a fashion garment – displaying a similar progression from ironic to stylish as that of Crocs. But that doesn’t detract from Dryrobe’s impressive specs: a waterproof and windproof outer layer combines with a fast-drying, super-warm lining in a perfect all-weather poncho for surfing, swimming, triathlon, camping, outdoor adventures or days at the beach. Plus, it’s 100 per cent recycled and available in a wealth of colours and patterns from black camo to cobalt.
Dryrobe Advance Long Sleeve, €185
All-rounder bag by Halite
The Fenris Recon bag from Norwegian outdoor specialists Halite is a true airtight, waterproof and durable all-rounder. Designed to fit close to your back, its low profile creates a stable and comfortable carrying experience, even on longer journeys. Meanwhile, a 100 per cent airtight and waterproof diving zipper gives your gear the best protection possible. It is fully welded with no stitching in the construction, meaning it’s submergible, floats, can be vacuum compressed to minimise the pack size, and shields against water and dust. The 90L model is sized to hold a comprehensive inventory of adventure gear – and it looks badass to boot.
Fenris Recon 90L Bag, €498
Extra-large towel by NORDBAEK
The almost unnecessarily large Hamam Towel from NORDBAEK is woven from 100 per cent sustainably sourced Oeko-Tex cotton – that’s two square metres of lightweight, high-absorption and fast-drying material. The Danish label was founded in 2017 by two ardent swimmers from north-coast winter-bathing hotspot Vedbæk, who understand the importance of good towel- coverage after a swim. On the day the brand was born, the pair recall that “large icicles were hanging from the pier, and it was freezing cold.” Yikes.
Nordic Hamam, €47
Lambswool beanie by Norse Projects
Copenhagen-based Norse Projects is renowned for their timeless blend of streetwear, workwear and high-end fashion. Their garments apply fine fabrics and palettes to utilitarian silhouettes, for unfussy, high-quality daywear that doubles as excellent insulation against the Scandinavian winter. The classic Norse Beanie is knitted in Italy from 100 per cent lambswool – perfect for warming your ears after a cold dip.
Norse Beanie, €60
Neoprene swim gloves and socks by Zone3
Although head-to-toe neoprene is optional – in fact it’s not permitted in some winter-swimming events – a solid pair of thermal gloves and socks are indispensable comforts for an icy plunge. Socks protect from sharp objects when wading in rough shallows, while gloves reduce the risk of discomfort or injury caused by freezing temperatures and will ease the pain of rewarming. Zone 3 is a favourite brand amongst triathletes, and these unisex Heat-Tech Boots and Swim Gloves are fine examples of market-leading coldwater must-haves.
Neoprene Heat-Tech Warmth Swim Socks, €49
Neoprene Heat-Tech Warmth Swim Gloves, €49
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