From the lush rolling hills in county Limerick to the snow-capped peaks in county Wicklow to the craggy coastline on the Dingle Peninsula far to the south, the Emerald Isle boast some of the world’s most stunning topography—and some of its most unpredictable weather. No matter what the meteorologists may forecast (its rarely sunny for 24 hours straight), it always pays to pack clothes, gear and accessories that keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Check out these essential for a “green” Ireland getaway” that won’t leave you all wet.
Eagle Creek’s Adero Vita 55 L ($215)
On a short-term trip, you’ll need one main piece of luggage to get you from point A to point B—without the hassle of extra weight or bulk. Eagle Creek’s Adero Vita 55 L is just the right size for you to cram in your sweaters and warmer scarves, and don’t be afraid to pack it tight—Kevlar stress-transfer stitching will keep it together. It’s fit for a woman’s narrow shoulders and an assist hip belt takes pressure off your lower back. Walking around at night? Reflective trim will alert Ireland’s bat-crazy drivers that you’re on the sidewalk. Our favorite part: At just 4 pounds, 5 ounces, it will keep you from tipping the scales at baggage check-in—even on bargain flight with lower allowances.
REI MultiTowel Lite ($20)
A quick-dry towel is a traveler’s best friend. Some hotel towels aren’t much bigger than a washrag, so it’s good to have your own top-notch version on hand. This one absorbs up to eight times its weight in fluid, yet 90 percent of the liquid can be easily wrung out to speed drying time. Its super-light, synthetic fabric is compact, and takes up almost no space in your bag. It comes with a case and its quick-attach loop makes it easy to hang out to dry. If you’re in a hurry, clip it on to your bag and let the air dry it while you’re in transit. It’s machine washable and it’s antimicrobial fabric remains odor free.
GoLite Sarek Softshell Travel Hoody ($125)
Since Ireland regularly gets chilly, damp, and rainy—even in the summer—you’ll want a lightweight, super-warm layer. The Sarek is a cross between a sweatshirt, a polar fleece and a jacket. It feels as light as a feather but it’s as warm as a wool sweater. Banish bulky outerwear in your backpack and trade for this wind-resistant lined hoody. Two drawstrings allow you to pull the hood tight around your face. It layers best under a vest, a heavier coat, but in late spring or summer it can also stand alone as a light jacket.
Under Armour Women’s Running Quickstep Socks ($8)
Don’t let your feet get wet and cold in Ireland—you’ll be miserable, and they won’t feel warm ‘till you’re stateside again! The key to comfort: Bring cozy padded socks. These Under Armour athletic-fit socks are perfect for cold weather travel: Signature Moisture Transport wicks moisture and accelerates evaporation. Plus, they’ve got embedded arch support that reduces foot fatigue and bolsters circulation. The socks are cushioned in selective areas, which provides maximum shock absorption. They also have a seamless toe so you won’t have to worry about that annoying pinched feeling.
Eagle Creek’s Salta Vita ($225)
For longer trips that involve gear for hiking, mountain climbing and trekking, you’ll want a larger bag. The extra 10 L in the Salta Vita make this pack worth every penny. The Salta Vita has all the features of a good multi-day pack, like a cushy waist belt and dedicated hydration-pack pocket. So you can hit the trail and not worry about which pack to bring. This one has it all: It’s built specifically for travel, with a suitcase-style U-shaped zipper and a backpack-strap stow-away panel that zips over the suspension system when you’re flying.
By Patty Hodapp, The Lost Girls www.lostgirlsworld.com