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Essential rain gear for a wet Danish winter (and spring, summer, autumn)

Winter in Denmark can be a shock to the system, particularly for those of us who come from warmer, drier climes. But if you know where to look, you can find the right rain gear to keep the Danish drops off your head.

Bicycling in wet Danish weather doesn't have to be
A rainy day in Randers, 2021. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

This roundup is unsponsored and the fruits of much googling, review-reading, and recommendation-begging by a sad, damp American.

Where to shop? 

To try things on, the best places are Intersport, Spejder Sport (home to Columbia, Patagonia, Asivik and FjällRaven) and Eventyr Sport, as well as outdoor outfitter Friluftsland.  

To shop the Danish way, put in the hours combing the racks at your local second hand or charity shop. If you strike out there, search by brand on or Facebook marketplace.

Rain jackets: Regnjakker

Your rain jacket is your second skin in Denmark during the damp winter months. Helly Hansen is a go-to brand, according to a Johannes, a Jutland native who offered his recommendation to The Local. The Norwegian company offers well-made jackets at a reasonable price point, ranging between 600 and about 1,500 kroner. These can be ordered direct from the manufacturer or on (the German one) for delivery in Denmark—if you want to try before you buy, go to Eventyr Sport.  

A budget pick is McKinley, which you can pick up at Intersport. These cost between 200-400 kroner.

The classic Scandinavian splurge rain jacket is Fjällräven—these are available in stand-alone Fjällräven stores, Friluftsland, Eventyr, and Spejder Sport, and cost a not-unsubstantial percentage of your rent starting at about 2,500 kroner and climbing north of 6,000 kroner.

Rain pants: regnbukser

Rain pants are a novelty to those of us who don’t come from bike cultures, but after your first rainy day cycling commute leaves you at the office with drenched trousers, you’ll understand the appeal.

The New York Times’ product review service Wirecutter highlights the Marmot PreCip Eco Pant as the best pick—here in Denmark, they’re available for men and women at outdoor gear purveyor Friluftsland for about 700-800 kroner.

McKinley also makes rain pants that will set you back around 200 kroner.  

Some of Patagonia’s rain pants, which we found at Spejder Sport, have side zippers for ventilation—if you’re on the sweatier side, this may be a good call. (Their website also proudly reports these rainpants roll up to the “size of a corncob.”)

Rain sets: regnsæt

Also on the market are rain sets, which are coordinating jacket-pant combos like this one from Asivik. It’s cheaper to buy the set rather than both pieces separately, but for many people it makes more sense to invest in a higher-quality rain jacket and go for a more affordable rain pant.

Backpack rain covers: regnslag til rygsæk

Backpack rain covers are an easy buy. Snag one on the way out the door at Intersport, Spejder Sport, or most anywhere that sells rain gear. Expect to pay about 60-180 kroner—just make sure it fits your backpack.

Gloves: Handsker

Your favourite fluffy mittens may not be well suited for your bike commute. GripGrab, a Danish company popular all over the world, offers a variety of waterproof and winterproof gloves— including the lobster style, which has split fingers that allow you the dexterity to ring your bell, pull your hand break and do a Spock impression at a moment’s notice. These are available at specialty cycling stores.

Rain boots: Gummistøvler

Perfectly serviceable budget rain boots are available at the same retail stores discussed above—though for longevity, look for boots made from rubber rather than PVC.

At a higher price point, Hunter rain boots are sold by Danish online retail giant Zalando and keep you dry and in style.

Tretorn is a Swedish brand over a hundred years old—their rain boots are available for both men and women through Spejder Sport and, of course, their website.

For women: available on the German Amazon website is the Asgard Women’s Short Rain Waterproof Chelsea Boot, one of the best reviewed women’s rain boots that doesn’t make you feel like you’re wearing clown shoes.

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When is it really spring in Denmark?

It’s nearly April and clocks changed to summertime last weekend, but it’s still cold, grey and bare outside. When should we expect it to actually feel like spring in Denmark?

When is it really spring in Denmark?

The spring equinox or jævndøgn passed earlier this month, meaning the days include more light minutes than dark ones.

Springtime is popularly considered in Denmark to be the months of March, April and May. Last weekend saw the clocks jump forward by an hour to summertime, meaning sunset is now close to 8pm and will get later each day until the summer solstice in June.

Although all these things are related to the “astronomical” spring now having started.

But this doesn’t mean that the kind of mild temperatures and sunshine people tend to crave by the end of the Danish winter are about to begin, as meteorological agency DMI recently explained.

There are some natural signs of spring already, although you’d be forgiven for missing them amongst the still-bare trees and harsh winds that carry a stronger association with winter.

Blackbirds can now be heard to sign in the morning and small shoots have appeared on some types of bushes.

While the spring equinox marks the astronomical start of spring, meteorologists don’t declare spring to have begun until the temperatures meet a specified range, DMI explains.

To qualify as meteorological spring, the temperature in degrees Celsius must keep up with the time in hours until noon: 8°C at 8am; 9°C at 9pm and so on until noon, when it should be 12°C.

A glance at DMI’s app for the next 10 daily forecasts shows peak daytime temperatures no higher than 9°C, so the weather forecasters are probably not going to call spring in the imminent future.

If this seems disheartening when the calendar is telling you it’s time to get out the light jackets and short sleeved shirts, there is some consolation: the summer “half” of the year in Denmark is actually longer than the winter “half” by around a week – that is, if you take the two equinoxes to be the markers dividing the colder and warmer halves of the year.

This is because the earth’s orbital path around the sun is elliptical, rather than circular. Because of this, the summer in the northern hemisphere – the half of the year when the northern part of the earth’s axis points towards the sun – is in the part of the orbital path where the earth is further from the sun, meaning it takes longer to travel through it.

If you feel like winter won’t go away, you can therefore console yourself with the thought that it will actually be “summertime” for a bit longer than it has been winter.

READ ALSO: Whatever happened to the EU plan to ditch the changing of the clocks?