So, you’ve decided to take a trip to Iceland! Yay! Excited already? Why shouldn’t you be!

This is an excellent time to witness the country’s incredible landscapes, come close to fewer tourists, and soak in the freezing yet excellent vibes.

However, in the midst of all the elation, don’t compromise with your packing. Those of you who are thinking that there’s a lot of time left to pack, then you’re highly mistaken. There is never an ample amount of time when packing for such a trip. It’s always good to pack early.

The weather in Iceland is as unpredictable and varied as its gorgeous landscapes. Packing additional layers is obviously the key to travelling there.

Summer temperatures (i.e. from mid-May till September) generally range between 10-13°C with moderate sunshine.

While in winters, the temperatures go down to -30°C in some parts (mostly Northern). This is accompanied by strong, freezing winds which can show up any time of the day.

Whether you are fond of the cold weather or not, keeping yourself warm and stylish at the same time is essential especially if you want to enjoy your Iceland trip.

This article thus gives you important information on a list of ‘must-have’ items when travelling to Iceland, irrespective of the season. Have a look.

Packing list for Iceland

  1. Fleece jacket
  2. Wool sweater
  3. Waterproof jacket
  4. Rain paints
  5. Windproof gloves and hat
  6. Swimsuit
  7. Scarves
  8. Thermal Base Layers
  9. Warm socks
  10. Waterproof hiking boots

Jackets and Sweaters

street girl walk, Things to do in Tallinn, EstoniaAs obvious as it may sound, fleece jackets and wool sweaters are the best clothing items to keep you warm in the freezing cold temperatures of Iceland. This is especially true in winters.

If we talk about summers, even if the temperatures are moderate, the winds can be so chilly that they leave you cold.

Alongside, make sure to carry a waterproof jacket as you cannot trust Iceland’s climate. There will always be a chance or rain anytime of the day.

In fact, you can invest in a heavy jacket which solves both purposes of providing you warmth and at the same time dry. 5.11 tactical jacket is a good option to consider.

Windproof gloves and hats

Again, because of the cold, wintry climate, windproof gloves and hats are essential to have to protect yourself from the wind chill.

one snowboarder with snowboard walking on winter mountain top new zealand snowboard skiYou can opt for water-resistant ones too, but these are not essential unless you’ll be engaging in snow-based activities like snow-boarding, skiing, sledding and others alike.

Waterproof shoes/ boots

girl phone, what to do in helsinki, things to do in helsinkiWhen travelling to Iceland, invest in a tough, sturdy pair of waterproof shoes or boots even if you’re not planning to go hiking.

Be it in summers or winters, you’ll often walk on snow or slushy ice and the worst thing during cold weather is experiencing wet feet and having that make you want to stay indoors all the time. So, save yourself the trauma and invest in a good pair of shoes. They will be your best companion during your entire trip!

Thermal base layers

As the name suggests, these are the clothes which are closest to your body. They will be your first layers of insulation against the harsh cold. So, you’ll want a thermal long sleeve top and a thermal bottom to keep you warm from the base itself.

Skipping them is not a good idea as they will not only help keep you warm, they also wick off moisture.

As I have warned in my hiking packing list, never ever use cotton material! Cotton not only absorbs a TON of moisture but also when it does, it loses almost all of its insulating properties; down to 10% in rough figures. If there is a cold wind, then wet cotton will actually start taking heat from you, rather than protecting you.

Scarves

Warm yet stylish scarves are something you would long for as they help keep your neck warm. I always love shopping for scarves as they are not only affordable, but they come in so many materials and designs. To top it off, I even shared about this really cool scarf with hidden pockets in my Winter Packing List post. It is a perfect travel scarf!

Pack wool cashmere scarves if possible as they guarantee warmth, and for once, enjoy the cold weather of Iceland!

Swimsuit

As ironic as it sounds, you’ll want to bring your swimming outfit to Iceland in the deadliest cold of the winter.

yoga girl allas sea pool helsinki, finlandThanks to the fascinating public swimming pools that are available and open throughout the year in every possible town in Iceland, these naturally-heated geothermal pools are your perfect escape. Whether it is after a long adventure or if you just want to unwind after a long day, soaking in heated pools in the cold weather will instantly relax and soothe you.

Your Iceland trip is incomplete without them so make sure to take time to have a dip in these pools. Heck, if you’re up to it, jump on snorkelling and diving opportunities if possible!


Now that you have a list of clothing essentials for your Iceland trip prepared, start packing already! If you don’t want the chilly Iceland winds to torment you, don’t miss out on any of the aforementioned items.

Not forgetting, any trip is incomplete without your cameras and other electronic gear as wonderful pictures. Here’s a list of photography tips to get you started.

Have a warm, happy, and safe trip and create lots of memories!

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Isabel Leong

Isabel Leong

An explorer at heart, the world is Isabel's playground. She enjoys seizing every moment exploring every hideout and doing the unimaginable, like bungee jumping in Phuket and couchsurfing in Europe. If she had wings, she’d definitely be soaring right now. Also a fitness trainer, if she’s not at the gym, you can find her doing yoga or rock climbing! Read more about her on belaroundtheworld.com/about.