Iceland Packing List – What to Wear in Iceland

Heading to Iceland soon? Lucky you- it’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, complete with stunning nature, lots of waterfalls, and lovely people, too! Icelandic weather can be a bit tricky to pack for, so I’ve created this Iceland packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything you’ll need on your trip! I’ll also cover what to wear in Iceland, from shoes to hats, so you can make sure you’re properly dressed for the weather!

Iceland Packing List – The Must-Haves

As its name implies, Iceland is a fairly chilly country, with yearly temperatures ranging from lows in the 20s during the winter to highs in the 50s during the summer in the southern part of the country. No matter what time of year you visit Iceland, you’ll need to pack a coat, gloves, and lots of layers to adapt to the weather as you explore the country. This Iceland packing list includes those items that are especially helpful in Iceland’s cold climate. Of course, be sure to also bring things like your passport, underwear, and toiletries. Since I’m focusing on the items especially important for travel to Iceland, I won’t be including those basic necessities in this list (but you can find an exhaustive travel packing list here).

Water and Windproof Coat: Iceland is cold year-round, so you’ll want a good coat to keep out the wind and rain or snow while you’re wandering through Reykjavik or hiking through mountains. I recently bought a coat from Elvine, a Swedish clothing brand, and it kept me nice and warm throughout my trip! Even if it doesn’t seem that cold, you’ll be thankful to have a coat when you’re blasted with chilly winds around waterfalls and beachside cliffs. If you’re wondering what to wear in Iceland, know that a coat is 100% neccessary.

Base Layers: Again, no matter what time of year you’re visiting Iceland, base layers, like wool leggings and athletic turtlenecks, should be at the top of your Iceland packing list. During the summer, you’ll likely shed down to your base layer while hiking once you warm up, and during the winter, you’ll be thankful for an extra layer of clothing.

Sweaters: A few good, thick sweaters are necessary as a great mid-layer between your coat and your base layer.

Gloves, Scarves, and a Hat: You’ll want to bring your best cold weather accessories when you visit Iceland. Because many of the attractions in Iceland require a bit of walking or hiking outdoors, you’ll need a little extra protection from the wind and rain or snow.

Waterproof Hiking Boots: Hiking boots, or very study all-weather shoes, are absolutely necessary for trekking around the waterfalls, glaciers, and more. When I visited Iceland during the winter, I saw so many people slip and fall because they were wearing booties with a thin sole and no grip. I wore my Sperry Duck Boots, which were great because they have a rubber base. Remember to break in your boots ahead of time, and bring blister patches and band-aids if you have sensitive feet!

Wool Socks: To further insulate your feet from the cold, bring nice wool socks. I thought I could get by with standard athletic socks one day in February, and boy was I wrong. Your feet are one of the first parts of your body to get cold, especially when you’re walking through snow or ice in the winter, so be sure to add wool socks to your suitcase!

Bathing Suit: No Iceland packing list would be complete without mentioning swimsuits! Iceland is blessed with immense geothermal activity, which also means it has tons of hot springs! Have your swimsuit on hand at all times, because you can find public hot springs throughout the country! (FYI: Don’t go into unmarked hot springs- they can severely burn you.)

Towel: Even though most thermal baths will rent you a towel, it might be nice to have your own on hand to save a few bucks! The average towel rental I saw was around $5-6 USD.

Sunglasses: Make sure to pack sunglasses for your trip to Iceland, especially if you’re visiting during the winter when the sun relfects off of the snow-covered ground!

Outlet Converter: Iceland uses the EU electrical outlet that has two round prongs, so be sure to pack a converter if you’re not from Europe!

Battery Pack: Make sure to bring an extra battery pack or a car charger for your phone! If you’re taking a road trip through Iceland, your battery may die quickly while using GPS, so be sure to bring some extra power!

Camera + Extra Memory Cards, Lens Cloths, and Batteries: Because the country has such stunning landscapes, you’ll likely be taking photos constantly! Be sure to bring extra camera batteries and memory cards, and bring a lens cloth to clean off your camera in case snow or mist from a waterfall gets on the lens.

Snacks: If you’re taking a road trip through Iceland, you’ll definitely want to bring some snacks, like granola bars or trail mix, to munch on in the car. Bring them from home to save a little money (food prices in Iceland are notoriously high).

Sunscreen: Make sure you don’t forget sunscreen, especially if you’re visiting Iceland in the winter when the sun can reflect off the snow and give you a sunburn! Be sure to bring lip balm as well- the cold temperatures and sun exposure can easily chap your lips!

Reusable Water Bottle: I’m ending this Iceland packing list with one more necessity- a reusable water bottle! Iceland has great tap water, so bring a water bottle and fill it up whenever you can to stay hydrated while you hike!

What to Wear in Iceland

Now that you have an Iceland packing list, I want to give you a basic idea of what to wear in Iceland. If you’re visiting in the winter, you’ll want to wear warm base layers (like leggings and a form-fitting long sleeve shirt), topped with a sweater (or two) and heavy pants, like good jeans or wind-resistant hiking pants. Top it all off with your heavy coat and gloves, scarf, hat, ear warmers, and whatever else you have! Be sure to wear wool socks on your feet and weather resistant hiking boots! Wondering what to wear in Iceland during the summer? Depending on the weather, you may be able to do away with your base layer, but be sure to check the forecast ahead of time! Here are some images of what a wore when I visited Iceland in February- I was fairly comfortable for the most part, although my feet were a little cold.

Iceland Packing List- What to Wear in Iceland All Year

With these items packed, you can confidently explore Iceland knowing you have everything you need for a great trip! Iceland is a stunning country, and even though it’s a little cold, it’s well worth a visit!

Check out my vlog from the first few days of my trip for more Iceland travel inspiration!

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