Winter testing in Northern Sweden

Car magazine Road Rat sent a writer and photographer team to Arjeplog, a town in northern Sweden where a number of car manufacturers undertake winter testing. We equipped them with clothing to match the conditions.

Deep within the forests of northern Sweden is the town of Arjeplog. In winter, its monochrome landscape invites stark contrasts: short days reveal nature at its most pristine, while long, star-studded nights are deafeningly silent and eerie. But there is a major draw to this faraway town. It is during these dark, cold months that teams of engineers from the world’s major car manufacturers arrive to test new models under a veil of secrecy and to put them to the test in an extreme environment.

The rigorous testing that takes place here goes on to influence global changes within car manufacture, ensuring that our engines start and perform in the coldest conditions.

We teamed up with high-end automotive magazine Road Rat, as they joined the army of engineers heading into the Arctic Circle. We equipped photographer Greg White and Jaguar Land Rover test driver Matt Crane with Endurance Lightweight Parkas; ideal for protection against the extreme elements in Arjeplog.

Daytime temperatures in January shifted between -8ºC and -15ºC, with occasional wind chill on the frozen lakes pushing the mercury closer to -20ºC.

“The atmosphere is bone dry and without any wind to supercharge its progress through your clothes, at first you could believe it’s not that chilly at all. But this is a different type of cold, a still and sneaky kind that needles its way under your skin, leeching the warmth from your blood and making your bones feel brittle.” - Richard Porter

So, how did the Endurance perform in these conditions?

At first there were concerns as to whether a jacket weighing just 950 grams could possibly protect the team’s vitals. But, as the 100% goose down began to loft and the jackets quickly inflated, the guys became progressively warmer. Fleece-lined pockets, waist cords, ample storage and a great hood configuration were also praised.