One of the most frequent questions when making a trip to this place: What to wear in Iceland? When it comes to packing for Iceland, the key is to be prepared for changing weather conditions. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable and change quickly, even within a single day. It’s important to pack clothes that can be layered, so you can adjust your outfit as needed.
Everything will depend on the time of year in which you travel, but in general, the basics will always be the same. Iceland is a country with a very changeable climate, so our first rule is: do not underestimate the weather. The day can dawn sunny, which in 5 minutes can become cloudy and a downpour falls during the rest of the day and close the afternoon with an unforgettable sunset.
And the most important of all. Take all clothing as waterproof as possible. Iceland will put all your clothes to the test when you are in front of a waterfall or when it rains non-stop. No matter the time of year, it is something that will make you enjoy your trip or not. Keep that in mind.
What clothes to take to Iceland
In short, in Iceland you will not find spring or autumn, here you will find practically two seasons: a summer in which the weather is cold and a winter where it is even much colder.
The determining factor that determines the weather in Iceland is the wind. A biting wind, sometimes very intense that can lower the thermal sensation by several degrees, so do not trust the thermometers too much and wrap up very well.
Layers: As mentioned, layering is key in Iceland. Start with a base layer of thermal underwear made from materials like merino wool or synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture. Add a mid-layer of fleece or down insulation for warmth, and top it off with a waterproof and windproof outer layer, such as a Gore-Tex jacket and pants. It’s also a good idea to bring a hat and gloves for extra warmth.
Hiking boots: Iceland is a country of natural wonders, and hiking is a popular activity. Be sure to pack a sturdy pair of hiking boots that are comfortable and provide good support. You’ll want boots that are waterproof and have a good grip for navigating Iceland’s rocky and uneven terrain. A must have thing to think about What to Wear in Iceland.
Waterproof jacket / anorak: This must be your first layer against the cold. Iceland is a rainy country, so it must be waterproof. Try to make it as warm as possible. If you visit waterfalls, you will get dripping, keep that in mind.
Fleece / jersey: Your second layer we recommend that it be some type of sweatshirt, jersey or fleece. We use the liner because it takes up less space and weight in the suitcase, and you can wear it while driving or indoors.
Thermal shirts: Our first layer of protection has been thermal shirts, in stores like Decathlon you can find them.
Waterproof pants: Another basic requirement is to wear waterproof pants. There are also over-trousers that you can put on over your usual trekking pants. We wore tights and waterproof pants on top.
Wool hats, scarves and gloves (better waterproof): In Iceland, these garments are not mere accessories. You will really need them here, especially in situations where you find yourself face to face with a glacier or on a cliff. You will appreciate it!
Wool socks: There is nothing more uncomfortable than wearing cold feet. Wrap up with some good socks and you will be able to enjoy 100% of your trip to Iceland without discomfort.
Waterproof Shoes / Boots: Another of the non-negotiable garments. Your shoes must be gore-tex, capable of isolating the cold, humidity and rain. Something essential to have warm and dry feet. If you plan to go trekking through glaciers, wear boots, because of the support of the carpons, sports shoes are useless. Take another pair of sneakers/boots/sneakers to visit cities or drive.
Other utensils or clothes to take to Iceland
Swimwear (swimsuit, towel and flip-flops): If you are going to visit one of the thermal lagoons such as the Blue Lagoon or the Mýtvan thermal baths, you will need swimsuits. The towel, we recommend that it be microfiber.
Backpack rain cover: If the rain intensifies and catches you in the middle of a trekking, it is ideal so that your food or electronic devices do not get wet.
Sleeping bags: This will depend on the format in which you travel. We were in a camper van and they included us. Some hostels or guesthouses do not include them, so you should find out beforehand. We know that in some places they can be rented as bedding.
Sun cream (optional): If you have very sensitive skin, you may need it for trekking you do in summer or next to glaciers where sunlight reflects much more. The truth is that we do not use it.
A mini first-aid kit: You are going to climb mountains, waterfalls, craters, volcanoes, rivers… all that lava land and not always firm soils can play a trick on you, so it is worth taking a first aid kit with what you need. basic: plasters, bandages, betadine…
A flashlight or headlamp: If you stay in campsites, it will be very useful when night falls and you want to go to the toilet or if you have to look for something in the car while you are looking for the northern lights at dawn.
A tripod: Surely in Iceland you will get fed up with taking pictures, but if what you are looking for are the northern lights, these can only be seen on closed nights with little light, so if you want your photographs not to come out blurry, a tripod is ESSENTIAL .
What to wear in Iceland
Overall, when packing for Iceland, it’s important to prioritize function over fashion. Choose clothes that are comfortable, practical, and appropriate for the weather conditions. With the right gear, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Iceland has to offer, no matter what the weather brings.