The aptly-named RH+ Iceland Jacket is a heavy-duty winter softshell which is warm, water resistant and more than a match for most conditions we’re likely to face in the UK.
The Iceland Jacket is made from RH+’s ‘Airdry Gold 250′ fabric. It’s the Italian firm’s warmest fabric and the jacket comes with a recommended temperature range of -6 to +8 degrees as a result.
That, in our experience to date, is a fairly accurate reflection of where the the jacket is most at home. It’d probably have to be a little chillier than eight degrees for us to reach for the Iceland, and temperatures rarely drop to -6 in the UK in daylight hours – and if they do you’ll find us in front of the fire rather than on the bike – but the Iceland has stood up to the coldest conditions – close to zero degrees- we’ve seen in the saddle so far this winter.
That’s just with a long sleeve base layer underneath, so add a mid-layer and we’re confident it can deal with colder temperatures still. This is the sort of jacket you’ll reach for when you need reliable clothing for a long, cold winter’s ride. That’s because the fabric is fleece-lined, windproof and is used on the jacket in its entirety. It’s also fairly water resistant, too. That’s not an advertised benefit but the Iceland Jacket does a good job at shrugging off drizzle and road spray and it’d take a fairly significant spell of rain for water to fully penetrate the three-layer bonded fabric.
The Airdry Gold 250 is also reasonably breathable in the right conditions – and impressively so for a fairly heavy softshell – but if things do get a little warm and sweaty then there are two large vents on the front of the jacket to compliment the full-length zip. The vents look like pockets at first glance but open the zips and they’re vents with a mesh lining. A word on the zips: they’re all large, so easy to grab at when wearing winter gloves, and have a cam-lock mechanism so sit flat against the jacket when not in use.
The fit is also good. It’s a reasonably close cut but not as athletic as something like the figure-hugging Sportful BodyFit WS Jacket. The fact that the fabric is fairly heavy means the jacket feels a little bulkier than some but not to the extent that it restricts movement and it’s a consequence of the warmth it offers on the coldest days.
Otherwise, the collar is high and offers good protection from the wind as a result, and the full-length zip can be done up entirely without suffocating the rider, while there’s an internal cuff on the sleeves to provide secure closure over gloves and keep the wind out. Out back, there are three generously sized rear pockets, as well as a central zipped pocket for valuables. A deep, RH+ branded elastic band provides a snug fit at the rear of the jacket.
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an all-black winter jacket and, given the constant gloom that’s seemingly cast over the UK from October to April, that could be a deal-breaker for some riders. A black/white/lime green option is also available, though that too is predominantly black. However, in defence of RH+, the Iceland Jacket has considerably more reflective detail than many similarly-styled jackets on the market, with piping on all four zips and reflective stripes at the rear and running down either arm.
RH+’s UK distributor, Veroli, offer the jacket in four sizes but the smallest is a medium, which is a shame as if you’re smaller than me (71kg, 179cm), you’ll likely find that too big.
At £175 the Iceland Jacket is up against some stiff competition but it offers a very good barrier against the depths of British winter. It’s at its best when the weather is really cold and is likely to be a warm and reliable companion in such conditions.