Iceland Packing List | What To Pack & Wear In Iceland

what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland

 

Iceland is a magical place! With the constant weather changes even in summer, knowing what to pack for Iceland is an important part of your trip planning for the country visit. Below you will find tips to help with your Iceland packing list plans.

 

Iceland ranks at the top of naturally beautiful countries of the world, with some of the most hospitable people. Now, Iceland is a land of spectacular scenery, but the weather is highly unpredictable and can become extreme. So if you are planning to visit Iceland, you need to pack for rain, sun, snow, and the wind, and you need to pack smart because you can’t pack everything. Remember that the average summer temperature in Iceland can be  10-13 degrees with the highest at around 20, while winter temperatures can be as low as -10 degrees with the Northern part of Iceland recording as low at -25 degrees in some winters. I shared a post with tips and tricks on everything you need to know about experiencing Iceland by Campervan. I thought I would now share tips on what to wear and what to pack for a trip to Iceland.

I have tried to split this so its easier to see what to pack in terms or a short trip to Iceland by way of your essentials and city exploring, Blue Lagoon, Iceland layover(the same if doing a golden circle tour)  and then details for gadgets, outwear, backpacks, warm clothing for people staying in Iceland a little bit longer and embarking on active itineraries, hiking, glacier walks etc.

 

Also See:

 

What to Wear in Iceland | Your Essentials

 

Layers

Owning a quality coat or jacket is one thing, but what you wear underneath also counts. Irrespective of the time of year you are visiting Iceland, you will still need some layers of clothing to keep yourself warm, dry and comfortable. Pack at least 2 thermal tops and leggings (US). Also include wool sweaters, two fleece jackets, wool socks, and long sleeve shirts. You can also pack a pair of long thermal underwear to keep your legs warm during outdoor activities such as hiking. If you are visiting in the summer, you will still need your thermals! It gets warm but the weather in Iceland changes dramatically from location to location. Remember this little island country is filled with glaciers, geysers, and volcanoes so all of those things play a role in the mish-mash of constant weather changes.

 

 

Iceland - Jokulsarlon Lagoon - Jökulsárlón - Glacier Lagoon in Iceland - Diamond Beach-7
Iceland - Eldhraun - Volcanoe Lava Moss Field-3

Outerwear

If you are making your trip in the summer, pack a warm but lightweight jacket that can give you enough warmth in the Iceland summer. Also, remember to pack a rain jacket because it rains in Iceland throughout the year. Both my husband and I swear by our Mountain Equipment jackets (US). You may have seen these jackets feature on posts on Trolltunga and Snowdonia. They are one of the best selling and multi-award winning GORE-TEX® Pro jacket for mountaineering. They are super light but incredibly warm and provide weather protection for those that head into the mountains whatever the weather. They will keep you dry during Iceland’s wet weather as well as keep you warm without the need for a heavy coat or raincoat. Perfect whether battling blizzards on a Scottish winter, Iceland’s unpredictable weather or hiking Trolltunda overnight. You can also pack the winter coat like I did for city exploring too if you want to stay warm while exploring Iceland, as temperatures can drop to freezing point in some months. For your pants, waterproof pants are perfect as they will keep you warm and dry. Pack a pair of snow pants for the winter season and one or two pairs of denim for indoors. Remember not to wear denim on an outdoor trip! You will thank me. Gloves to keep your hands warm, scarves and knit beanie hat to keep your head warm and protect your ears from the frigid cold and strong winds of Iceland. You might also need to bring your sunglasses because of the hazy conditions, and a sunscreen might be helpful if the sun decides to brighten your holiday.

 

Mens and Ladies Jackets

 

 

 

Reykjavik City Exploring | Iceland Packing List

what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland

When exploring Reykjavik, your clothing doesn’t need to be as drastic as what you need to pack when heading towards places like glacier lagoons and glaciers along the Ring Road. The city can be a little warmer because of lights, the population in much the same way London is doesn’t get a cold as the rest of the UK due to many factors like dense population for one. Reykjavik’s is very much like that. We visited in the summer and the weather although warm compared to how cold Iceland can get it still does get cold so you can still wear your normal clothes I would still recommend packing thermals for under clothes comfort and warmth. Warm jumpers are a key investment in any wardrobe, both men, and women. In addition to jumper dresses for the ladies. I packed a pair of Camper boots which come with fur on the inside. Stylish and cozy all in one. The pictures below were taken in July. Although it does not look like it I am layered up in thermals, a jumper dress and super warm Camper boots and a wool coat. Yes, this is summer in Iceland!

 

what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland

 

 

Blue Lagoon | Hidden Pool Packing List

what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland - Blue Lagoon

Swimwear

Iceland has many thermal pools that are popular among tourists. In fact, your trip is not complete if you didn’t visit one of them, the Blue Lagoon in particular or the beautiful hidden seljavallalaug pool in the mountains. Don’talso forget to pack plenty of swimwear including hair and beauty products. The minerals in the blue lagoon is super drying for the hair. I would highly recommend packing hair treatment products like Phyto or Aveda hair travel kits to fit damage to hair for after you visit the Blue Lagoon. Pack a quick drying towel for when you visit Seljavallalaug pool as there is nothing in terms of service in that location.

 

 

Mens and Ladies Travel Kits

 

 

 

what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland - Iceland mountain pool

Beauty Products

You should remember to pack things such as moisturizers, lip balm, hand cream, and so on to protect your skin from the cold weather. There are plenty of travel hair beauty kits that cater to sensitive, dry and oily hair and skin. With the cold and wet weather in Iceland, especially if you are visiting Iceland over a week or even two. Stock up on decent skin care to protect your skin while exploring.

 

Hiking and Walking | Active and Adventurous Explorations of Iceland

Footwear

Iceland is a wet country, and the landscape is varied, so you must remember to buy quality water-resistant hiking shoes, waterproof pants and waterproof jacket that are comfortable to wear about. You could take along a pair of boots too. As I said above, although I took Camper boots these were also warm but these also double as walking boots because of the sole. I would recommend packing something with fur or wool lined boots like Ugg or  Camper, and  Sorel,

Mens and Ladies Winter Boots

 

Other Items to consider

Thermos Flask and Reusable Water bottle – Pack a thermos for hot drinks and a reusable water bottle for Iceland’s pure drinking water.

Emergency kit –  Some of the essentials you should pack include pain relievers, motion sickness pills, Band-Aids, sterile gauze pads, hand sanitizers, pocket tissue and so on. I pack one for any adventures that include a little of outdoor activities in much the same way Iceland is very much one of those countries that will center around outdoor activities whether you are exploring glaciers, walking along slippery waterfalls. An emergency kit should be part of your packing list for Iceland.

Day bag or Backpack (US) – Pack a small day bag or backpack where you can throw things such as your camera, gloves, knit hat, water bottles, etc. You might also want to make sure this is waterproof too if possible. It rains a lot in Iceland and you want all your gadgets dry!  With everything safely in your day bag or backpack, you can keep it somewhere and continue exploring glaciers or waterfalls conveniently.

Head Torch – You will definitely need this for when you arrive at campsites at night if you camping in Iceland or just heading out to places like the hidden mountain pool whose changing rooms have no lights.

Wool Hats, Socks and Scarves – No need to explain why it’s important to pack some thermal socks, wool hats, gloves and decent winter scarves for Iceland. You need them for both Summer and Winter in Iceland. More so for Winter travels.

Guide BooksLonely Planet’s Guide to Iceland, Marco Polo Guide to Iceland (with pullout map), A Rough Guide to Iceland and National Geographic’s Iceland AdventureMap.

 

Travel Backpacks (Include waterproof backpacks)

Gadget and Technology

Iceland has many hidden gems to explore and experience and with that in mind, you will be to capture it. I would highly recommend packing additional batteries for your Nikon or Canon cameras. I have at least 3 spare batteries for my DSLR.  Pack a power bank (US) in addition to in-car multi-port USB charger (US). Consider packing a phone drybag (US), power cube (US) so you can charge many of your gadgets when you don’t have Many power sockets.

Photography Equipment

A DSLR camera – Most of you know that I have a Nikon DSLR but for those that like the camera on the lighter side check out Sony A6000 (US) Fujifilm X-T2 (US) or Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II (US),  which are all super light and take amazing shots and you don’t have to carry a heavier Canon/ Nikon DSLR. I will try and do a travel camera post on the best cameras for travel soon.

Drone – I currently have a DJI Phantom 3 Pro (US) which I took with me to Russia(post to come soon), I have just upgraded to a DJI Marvi Pro (US) which I am hoping to take to Israel next month as its just a lot easier to pack and travel with than the Phantom 3. Both take amazing footage but for me if you are going to be traveling a lot with your drone I would really recommend getting the Marvic Pro or Marvic air (US) which is smaller.

GoPro and Accessories (US) – For our trip to Iceland with the spray from waterfalls and the rain you will either need a decent cover for your DSLR camera or a camera with an easy waterproof case. In my case I used my Nikon and GoPro interchangeably. In most of my Iceland pictures, you will not even notice which pictures were taken with which camera as the quality for the GoPro for both video and image are really good.

Camera Stabilizers/Gimbal (US)- A great addition to your kit if you want smoother videos.

SD Cards – You have no idea the photo opportunity that awaits you in Iceland. Be sure to pack extra SD Cards.

Filters – Whether you want to counter the harsh light during the day or want to add a touch of tone to your images then consider packing some filters. You can see some of the effects from some of my images taken at the Glacier Lagoon on Jokulsarlon.

Chargers – Additional chargers and batteries are a must. Most camera batteries are made from Lithium-ion and these lose their charge quickly in cold conditions so Iceland being super cold. Your battery life may be unusually shorter so when not using your camera then keep it in a camera bag to preserve battery life. That goes for your phones to with are made with the same type of battery.

Camera cleaning products – If like me you carry several camera lenses, then consider packing some microfiber cloths and camera cleaning kit.

 

More on Iceland

Guide to exploring Iceland by Campervan – With tips on booking camper vans in Iceland

How to find Iceland’s hidden pool in the mountains

Sleeping Under waterfalls plus how to find the hidden waterfall

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what to wear in iceland | what to pack for iceland

8 Comments

  1. Iceland looks like such an amazing destination! I can’t imagine how cold it must be there! I am thinking of traveling to Iceland in March. Looking for for tips on what to include in packing list for Iceland in March? Any tips on essentials Iceland packing list items I shouldn’t miss out on?

    • October 3, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Iceland in March, I can imagine to just be thawing but will still very much been a little cold so again packing warm and comfortable clothing is a good idea or clothes that you can easily layer up and take off as you get warmer. I hope all that helps.

  2. Michelle - iceland packing list winter
    October 2, 2018 / 2:09 pm

    Having the will to travel is one thing, knowing what to carry along while traveling is another. I am heading to Iceland in winter and I am a little nervous about my iceland packing list for winter travel. Is there anything else I need to pack considering it looked cold when you visited Iceland in the summer. I am wondering what the weather will be like when I visit in Winter. I just dont want to be caught out. Also would the Iceland ring road packing list any any different from any other packing list for a trip to Iceland? Thanks.

    • October 3, 2018 / 2:23 pm

      As I advised Lilian please also check out my post to get an overview of what else you can pack. Iceland weather can be unpredictable sometimes but for winter packing list for Iceland thermals and a good jackets to keep you warm are a must pack item. As are good shoes with a good grip.

  3. Lilian snow - iceland packing list january
    October 2, 2018 / 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the post and the pictures. We are heading to Iceland as a group in January or Februrary and finding it had nailing down an Iceland trip packing list. Also we may be doing a little bit camping during then. Still looking at the weather but wondering if you have any ideas or tips a camping in Iceland packing list? All tips will be appreciated as this is out first time visiting Iceland.

    • October 3, 2018 / 2:20 pm

      Hi Lilian, you have definitely picked a cold month to do camping in London. You might also want to check out my post on campsite in Iceland. As far as Iceland packing list for January. Its going to be cold so among essentials to pack for Iceland, musts are thermals body and socks too. A good jacket that holds in body heat would also be ideal. The list above as well as check out my posts on Snowdonia and what to pack for Norway will all give you a rounded view of items not too miss out on. They also include tips on thing you can bring with you and things you can rent or things that will already come with a campervan in Iceland should you choose to rent one.

  4. Matthew
    October 20, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    With limited room in my suitcase and two little children, I wanted to do some digging into how cold it actually gets in Iceland. This has helped massively, and makes me stress a little less! Thank you for the great tips.

    • October 21, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      Always glad to help. Have a great time in Iceland.

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