If you are a guy searching the internet for the best Iceland packing list, we got you covered! There isn’t much information out there when it comes to what men should wear in Iceland, so we created the ultimate guide below. After visiting Iceland twice in the span of eight months, we know the importance of being prepared for the crazy weather and epic adventures that are found in Iceland. Figuring out what to wear in Iceland doesn’t have to be confusing or difficult and you can pick up everything you need online if you live in a warm place like we do.
The Ultimate Iceland Packing List For Men
Top Clothing To Pack For Iceland
The most important part of your packing list for Iceland is clothing that will keep you warm and dry. No matter what time of year you travel to Iceland, the weather is unpredictable. One second could be bright and sunny and then you drive five miles down the road and it is a hail and wind storm. Preparedness is key!
Waterproof and Windproof Coat
No matter what time of year you travel to Iceland, a good jacket such as this Columbia Men’s Action Jacket is an absolutely essential item to make your Iceland packing list. Make sure that the jacket you choose is both waterproof and windproof as Iceland has a ton of waterfalls you will want to check out. We love Columbia products for travel [and no they don’t sponsor us!] and think they make the best winter coats for Iceland. I have worn two different Columbia jackets to Iceland and can testify that they are a must-have. Choose a more plain color like Terrence or a jacket with a pop of color to stand out on the Icelandic landscape.
Light Thermal Jacket
Yes, Iceland is cold, but there may be some days when it is a bit warmer. Having a light thermal jacket with Omni-heat technology will allow you to ditch the heavy coat and still be warm. On the flip side, these jackets are made for layering under coats so if the weather turns cold, simply throw on your heavier coat over this lighter layer.
Long Sleeve Shirts
When considering what to wear in Iceland, do yourself a favor and leave all your short sleeve tops behind. Even if you are a guy who runs warm, remember that the Icelandic climate is unfamiliar and unpredictable. Pack at least 3-4 good long sleeve shirts, depending on your amount of space and the length of time you will be visiting in Iceland.
One or two thermal tops are an essential addition to your Iceland packing list. A successful trip to Iceland is all about dressing in layers and that is no different for guys. Wear a long sleeve thermal top as a base layer under your regular shirt and jacket. You won’t believe what a difference that thin layer of fabric can make.
Fleece Lined Thermal Leggings
If there is one piece of clothing that you should pack for Iceland, this is it! Fleece lined thermal leggings are the barrier between your legs and the freezing Icelandic wind. Whether you are wearing ski pants, hiking pants, or just normal jeans, you are going to want thermal leggings underneath. One pair and you will be set for a few years worth of cold-weather trips.
A good pair of hiking pants won’t break the bank and are something you will wear in Iceland and beyond. Don’t make the mistake that we did and spend all of your time in jeans because it is a surefire way to ruin all of your favorite pairs. Quality hiking pants don’t cost that much and are stain proof so you can go muck around in all the mud you want and your pants won’t be ruined.
Yes, Iceland is in the Arctic and it does get chilly. Snow pants should make your Iceland packing list if you plan to visit in the fall, winter, or early spring. If you are planning a trip to Iceland during the summer, you should be okay to leave these at home and just layer under hiking pants or jeans. Just make sure that whatever pants you bring are waterproof! We were hesitant to wear snow pants in Iceland but after giving them a try, we can attest that it is 100% a good idea.
Although you will be outdoors for the majority of your time in Iceland, throwing one or two pairs of jeans into your suitcase won’t hurt. We love jeans because they are made out of a thick material and do well when paired with thermal leggings underneath.
Shoes To Pack For Iceland
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Save yourself a lot of trouble and leave the converse/vans/Nikes at home. They should not make your packing list for Iceland because they aren’t waterproof and don’t have enough support. You are going to want to get yourself some sturdy waterproof hiking boots. You will be hiking on lava rocks, walking on black sand beaches, and hanging out near glaciers, so waterproof hiking boots are the number one type of shoe that should top your Iceland packing list.
Cold Weather/Snow Boots
If you are visiting Iceland in the off-season, consider investing in some cold-proof snow boots. If you plan to walk on glaciers or it will be snowing in Iceland during your trip, these are a lifesaver. Regular hiking boots or tennis shoes will NOT suffice against the ground that never thaws or Icelandic wind. If you are looking for what to wear in Iceland during the winter, a solid pair of snow boots is it!
Essential Extras To Pack For Iceland
Extremities such as hands, feet, and your head are the first things to lose heat. As a result, a solid pair of gloves that can stand up to the chilly Icelandic weather is a “must-bring” no matter what time of year you plan to travel. Make sure the gloves you choose are thermal and not made out of cheap material like the kind you find at the dollar store.
If you are planning to visit Iceland in the winter or off-season, consider bringing a pair of snow gloves. Snow gloves aren’t that expensive and will make a world of a difference when your hands are warm and dry. Guys….being warm and dry IS something you will want to be in Iceland so take this to heart!
A thermal hat or beanie is the perfect hat to add to your Iceland packing list as it something you are probably familiar with wearing already and it does the job of keeping you warm. If you have a hood on your coat, it easily fits under there as well. You can pick up a cheap one from Amazon or dig one out from the back of your closet.
Since Iceland is so windy, skip packing a scarf that will blow off and choose a balaclava instead. They protect your face and neck from arctic winds for less that $10 and they won’t blow off like a scarf. Balaclavas tuck into your shirt and can be worn underneath a hat so you can enjoy all the protection they have to offer without all the bulk.
There isn’t too much to say on why you should pack wool socks other than wool is the single best fabric for keeping you warm and has been for centuries. I tried to do a winter trip without wool socks and it was a huge mistake.
When figuring out what to bring to Iceland, consider tossing in a pair of sunglasses. If you plan to visit Iceland in the summer, the sun never sets and you will need to protect your eyes. If you visit in winter, sunglasses are essential as the Arctic sun reflects off of the never-ending fields of snow.
Since going out to eat in Iceland is super expensive, bringing extra food is a great way to save some money. Even though grocery stores in Iceland are reasonably priced, it doesn’t hurt to pack some freeze dried meals. Buying them online or at your local grocery store will be a fraction of the cost of buying food in Iceland.
Luggage And Bags
If you plan to take advantage of cheap flights to Iceland on WOW air or a similar budget airline, packing everything in a carry-on suitcase will save you a lot of money. We travel with rolling carry-on luggage with spinner wheels.
Waterproof Camera Bag
Iceland is a photographer’s dream, so if you are bringing expensive camera gear, make sure you are carrying a waterproof camera backpack. We use a Tenba Shootout 24L and it is the perfect size for all of our gear, sturdy for lots of hiking, and waterproof when we set it down on snow or wet ground. The Tenba Shootout is also “personal item” compatible so you won’t have to pay extra for it when flying!
Since you won’t be trekking your suitcase around, a daypack is the perfect travel item to carry your essentials for the day including a snack, extra clothing, water bottle, etc. If you want to add a daypack to your Iceland packing list, Look for one that folds up so you can pack it in your luggage and take it out upon your arrival.
Electronics and Camera Gear
If you already own a camera and/or are a photographer, packing a camera is a no-brainer. If you are looking to upgrade to something light and affordable, I suggest the Sony a6000. That being said, I travel with the Sony A99 and it has been my trustworthy companion for a few years now.
If we had to suggest two lenses to pack for Iceland, we would suggest the Tamron 15-30mm for landscape and wide angle shots and the Tamron 70-200 for capturing detail that is a bit further away. If you aren’t looking to invest in new gear, whatever you have on hand will most likely be able to work just fine!
If you are looking for an easy way to capture great photos and videos during your trip to Iceland, a GoPro should top your Iceland packing list. You can invest in a GoPro that is top of the line or stick with an older model like the GoPro Hero 3 which is what we travel with. GoPros are durable and waterproof and perfect to pack for a trip to Iceland.
Mobile Wifi Hotspot
After traveling for years without a Global Wifi Hotspot, it is something we will never leave home without. If you want to visit Iceland and stay connected so you can keep up with work or share photos with friends and family on Instagram, seriously consider getting one! We use Telecom Square and you can get 10% off services with the code Victoria10.
If you are looking for a fun new tech toy to bring to Iceland, consider a compact drone! They are affordable and the quality is fantastic. You can even pilot them from apps on your smartphone. We have a Yuneec Breeze which takes fantastic photo and video and is very responsive and affordable at only $399. We also travel with a tiny foldable Dobby Pocket Drone which can literally fit in your pocket. Dobby Pocket Drone rings in at $275 but the quality isn’t quite as fantastic as the Breeze. Both drones are a great option for first timers and Iceland is the perfect place to get your wings!
Feel free to choose the amount of things to pack for Iceland based on the time of year you are traveling and the type of traveler you are. If you are hoping to bacpack, you may want to bring only one shirt and one pair of shoes. If you are traveling with more luggage, you may want to have options! Keep this Iceland packing list handy and feel free to comment below with anything we left out!
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