No matter what time of year you are searching for what to wear in Iceland, we have got you covered! Our Iceland packing list will feature what to wear in Iceland for both women and men and will be broken down by seasons so you know what to bring any time of year.
This isn’t just another post where someone tells you what to wear in Iceland just to make money. These are our real tried and true suggestions that we actually own and have worn to Iceland and arctic destinations around the world. We have driven around Iceland’s Ring Road many times and these are our tried and true suggestions!
Since we have traveled to Iceland multiple times in many different seasons, we are here to give you the details on what to wear in Iceland and what you should leave behind. When figuring out what to wear for Iceland, we recommend investing money in good clothing, especially if you are from a warmer climate like we are [Florida]. If you live somewhere cold and already have all of the gear, then you are set and just need to gather it up. Otherwise, we recommend investing some money on what to wear in Iceland so you won’t be cold, wet, and sad.
This packing list will be broken down into winter and summer. When traveling to Iceland in winter, pack everything you would for summer, and add all of the things we recommend for winter. Don’t get us wrong, summer in Iceland can still be quite cold, so all of the base layers you pack for Iceland in summer should also be included for Iceland in winter, and the Iceland winter packing list items added onto that.
When packing for Iceland, we recommend waterproof, windproof, and warm. Keep these “three” WWW’s in mind, no matter what time of year you are packing for Iceland. Whether you visit Iceland in winter or summer or anywhere in-between, the weather in Iceland will be unpredictable, windy, and rainy. If you visit Iceland in winter, it will be snowy as well. The Icelandic wind shows no mercy, so we will show you what to wear in Iceland so you can have a productive trip and a great time!
What To Wear In Iceland For All Seasons
Table of Contents
What To Wear In Iceland In Summer For Women
Women, Iceland isn’t the time for looking cute and fashionable [in our opinion but you do you!] We are more concerned about you staying warm and dry and our recommendations below reflect that goal! When packing for Iceland in summer or during the warmer months, women should understand that it is never really “warm” in Iceland so clothing should be picked carefully. When packing for Iceland in winter, make sure to bring all of the things listed below in addition to what is listed below for winter. Don’t be afraid to invest if you don’t have a piece and are looking for what to wear in Iceland.
These Columbia Women’s Saturday Trail Straight Leg Pant are Victoria’s favorite for wearing in Iceland and when hiking in various arctic environments. These hiking pants are affordable and come in multiple colors so you really can’t go wrong. When figuring out what to wear in Iceland, a quality pair of hiking pants is a must! We went to Iceland in jeans one time and it blows and jeans don’t dry fast or keep you as warm as good quality hiking gear!
Fleece Lined Leggings
Ladies, these Premium Women’s Fleece Lined Leggings are a godsend and exactly what you should wear in Iceland. They make the perfect base layer under your hiking pants or jeans if you so choose to wear them, and can even double as pants themselves if you put two layers of leggings together. These leggings are affordable and can be ordered on Amazon and come in 20+ colors. Victoria has these leggings in black, brown, white, and beige.
Waterproof Rain Pants
If there is one piece of advice we have for you when packing for Iceland in both winter and summer, it would be these Columbia Storm Surge Pant. These pants are completely waterproof and essentially like ski or snow pants without all the bulk. They are what you keep in your bag to whip out if you want to walk underneath or behind a waterfall without getting soaked and staying cold all day, or what you break out if the wind gets particularly bad [Iceland is known for wind storms!] When figuring out what to wear in Iceland, these waterproof pants are a hit any time of the year!
Thermal Long Sleeve Tops
Thermal long sleeve tops make a great base layer when visiting Iceland during the winter and are great to pack for Iceland during the summer as a layer all their own! These 32 Degrees Women’s Heat Scoop Neck Thermal Tops are what we wear and we highly recommend them. They fold up teeny tiny so if you are looking for what to wear in Iceland that doesn’t take up a lot of space, this will be your answer!
Light Waterproof Jacket
Visiting Iceland in the summer is all about layering! You won’t need a particularly heavy jacket, but you will need a waterproof and windproof one like this Columbia Women’s Arcadia Ii Jacket. We recommend choosing a jacket for Iceland in a bright and fun color such as red, orange, or yellow so you stand out against the Icelandic countryside when taking photos! These jackets are perfect when figuring out what to wear in Iceland in summer.
When figuring out what to wear in Iceland, you can’t forget a vibrantly colored swimsuit! We highly recommend visiting one of the many hot springs in Iceland and you are going to want to stand out among the Icelandic landscape which is why you shouldn’t shy away from packing a colorful swimsuit such as this Women’s Vintage Lace One Piece Swimsuit in yellow or maroon!
Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Shoes are not an area you can skimp on when figuring out what to wear in Iceland! You need to invest in a good quality pair of waterproof hiking shoes no matter what time of year you visit Iceland! Victoria loves her Columbia’s Dakota Drifter Waterproof Trail Shoe. It is ultra comfortable and fully waterproof and she has it in grey. If you are looking for a higher cut shoe, we also like Columbia Redmond Mid Waterproof Trail Shoe. It is often hard to find waterproof shoes but when looking for what to wear in Iceland, this needs to be your first priority! We can vouch that these shoes are fantastically waterproof and are a solid buy for your trip to Iceland!
Since Iceland is so windy, skip the scarf and pack a balaclava! We have worn scarves to Iceland and the wind has ripped them right off! A balaclava like this one is perfect to combat the windy summer days in Iceland because it keeps your neck warm without you having to deal with scarves flying away! A balaclava is perfect for what to wear in Iceland during all seasons and we highly recommend packing it!
Once again, when looking for what to wear in Iceland, make sure everything you bring is waterproof! Waterproof gloves like these Touch Screen Waterproof Warm Gloves are perfect when packing for Iceland in winter because they are lightweight and waterproof and will keep your hands warm and dry without all the bulk! Even if you don’t think you will need them, throw them in your suitcase when considering what to wear in Iceland!
Headband Ear Warmer
If you are looking for what to wear in Iceland in summer, skip the hat and go for a versatile headband ear warmer such as this Women’s Versatile Wool Knit Crochet Twist Hair Band Headband Ear Warmer. Ear warmers allow your ears to stay warm and protect your head from the Icelandic wind, without making you overheat. If you run cold, we recommend packing a hat for Iceland in summer as well but otherwise, you can get away with these ear warmers and a hood!
What To Wear In Iceland In Summer For Men
Men, when searching for what to wear in Iceland, make sure you go with waterproof and windproof. Even if you are the type of guy who typically “runs hot” you aren’t used to the cold Icelandic weather. It can be chilly even during the summer, especially if it rains! Make sure to pack appropriately and choose what to wear in Iceland carefully!
As with the women’s suggestion above, the first recommendation we have for what to wear in Iceland in summer is a good quality pair of hiking pants! We like this pair of Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant because they 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.
Fleece Lined Thermal Leggings
If there is one piece of clothing that you should consider when choosing what to wear in 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. Guys, you are going to want to add this to your Iceland packing list for both summer or winter and thank us later! Terrence initially didn’t want to wear any thermals but was converted quickly on his first trip to Iceland!
A thermal top such as this CYZ Men’s Mid Weight Waffle Thermal Long Sleeve Crew Top is an essential addition to remember when choosing what to wear in Iceland. A successful trip to Iceland is all about dressing in layers and that is no different for guys or when visiting during the summer! Summer in Iceland can be quite chilly! Wear a long sleeve thermal top as a base layer under your regular shirt and jacket or just on its own if it is warm during your trip to Iceland.
Waterproof Rain Pants
These Columbia Men’s Storm Surge Pant are completely waterproof and windproof and 100% worth it to bring to Iceland! If you are sitting, walking behind waterfalls, kneeling or more, you are going to want to add these pants to your list of what to wear in Iceland. They are particularly great for photographers or dads who will be chasing their kids around black sand beaches and want to stay dry all day!
Light Thermal Jacket
Yes, Iceland is cold, but when visiting in summer, you may have warmer days [meaning 50-55*F] so having a light thermal jacket with Omni-heat technology will allow you to ditch the heavy coat and still be warm. If you are visiting Iceland in the summer, this is the perfect jacket for you. Make sure to bring it in a contrasting color so you stand out from the Icelandic landscape! We love a vibrant blue, yellow, orange, or red for men!
You would probably never guess that swim trunks should make your Iceland packing list, Iceland is full of places to take a swim! Add an affordable pair of swim trunks like these Speedo Men’s Marina Core Basic Watershorts to your list of what to wear in Iceland and get ready to relax!
Quality Waterproof Hiking Boots
When packing for Iceland, you are going to want to bring a pair of quality waterproof hiking boots like these Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot. This is Terrence’s favorite pair of boots for Iceland and his current favorite pair of hiking shoes in general. These hiking shoes for men are very substantial so if you are a guy who likes a solid pair of shoes, these are for you!
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. For what to wear in Iceland in summer for men, we love these OZERO Touch Screen Gloves Men, Cold Weather Windproof Thermal Gloves.
Since the weather in 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 than $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.
What To Wear In Iceland In Winter For Women
Alright ladies, now it gets trickier! When figuring out what to pack for Iceland for winter, you are going to make sure to bring everything we suggested for summer above, and these additional items here! Iceland is already cold, so the suggestions on what to wear in Iceland above work as base layers for visiting Iceland in winter too! Don’t think this is all you need, you need this and you need what we recommended above!
Omni-Heat Winter Coat
We cannot recommend Columbia brand winter coats enough! The coats are interchangeable and offer Omni-heat technology. We like the Columbia Women’s Superpipe Slope 3 in 1 Interchange Winter Omni Heat 650 Down Ski Jacket for what to wear in Iceland in winter. Omni-heat technology is a specific design by Columbia to keep you warm without all the bulk! Yes, they are an investment, but we recommend a solid coat for visiting Iceland in winter!
Women, you are going to add snow pants to your list of what to pack for Iceland in winter because they are warm and waterproof. When we go during the winter, Victoria wears these Columbia Women’s Arctic Air Omni-Tech Ski Snowboard Pants over fleece-lined leggings and hiking pants. If you are packing for Iceland in winter and bring ski pants [HIGHLY RECOMMEND] feel free to leave the waterproof rain pants suggested above out of your packing list and include these instead!
Sweaters Or Pullovers
Depending on your style, sweater or pullovers should make your list of what to wear in Iceland. They make the perfect base layer under your winter coat and keep you warm indoors once the coat comes off. You can fit in with your environment by bringing this ICEWEAR Martha Women’s Nordic Wool-blend Sweater which zips up for easy removal or go the more comfy route with a pullover like this affordable Hanes Women’s V-Notch Pullover Fleece Sweatshirt. Either way, when figuring out what to wear in Iceland in winter, make sure to bring a few sweaters or pullovers to act as a base layer!
We really cannot recommend buying snow boots enough. Victoria wears Columbia Minx Mid II Omni-Heat Winter Boot. If it isn’t freezing cold your feet will sweat, that is how good these shoes are! If you are choosing a winter boot for what to wear in Iceland in winter [highly recommend] then feel free to leave hiking shoes at home, especially if it will be snowing! The Omni-Heat technology means that these boots are certified to keep your feet warm up to temperatures of -25F. Victoria has worn these boots in Iceland and has stood on actual chunks of ice or walked in freezing water and felt none of it!
Waterproof Snow Gloves
When we visited Iceland in winter, the entire country was covered in a lovely blanket of snow! Although winter in Iceland is relatively mild, it is still cold which is why we always recommend these Carhartt Women’s Quilts Insulated Breathable Glove with Waterproof Wicking Insert gloves. You want gloves specifically made for snow so that they stay waterproof and your hands aren’t soaking after the first waterfall!
Wool socks are the perfect way to keep your feet warm and cozy and should be added to your list of what to wear in Iceland. Regular socks just don’t cut it, and we like these MERIWOOL 3 Pairs Merino Wool Blend Socks for Iceland. They go great in snow boots and are comfy enough to wear around your hotel or Airbnb.
Warm Winter Hat
If you run cold, feel free to add a warm winter hat for your summer Iceland packing list as well as including it on your list of what to wear in Iceland during the winter. We love beanie style hats for Iceland as they hug the head like this Tough Headwear Cable Knit Beanie. We recommend packing at least two warm winter hats so you have options!
What To Wear In Iceland In Winter For Men
Men, Iceland in winter is no joke so when figuring out what to wear in Iceland, make sure to think warm, waterproof, and windproof. As with the ladies, your list of what to wear in Iceland in winter should be combined with our suggestions for what to wear in summer, unless otherwise notified by us. You will still want some of the articles recommended for summer, such as thermals and leggings, in the winter as well, in addition to our suggestions below!
Waterproof and Windproof Winter Coat
A good jacket such as this Columbia Men’s Action Jacket is an absolutely essential item to make your list of what to wear in Iceland during the winter. 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 and if you visit during the winter, there will be snow on the ground! This is the most important item on your Iceland packing list for winter so make sure to choose a good quality coat!
Choosing what to wear in Iceland is actually easier during the winter because you have fewer options and need to stay warm and dry! Ski pants like our recommended Columbia Men’s Snow Gun Pant should make your list of what to wear in Iceland because they don’t take up much space, are affordable, and will ensure you have a great visit. Feel free to leave out the waterproof rain pants suggested above if you choose to bring these snow pants when packing for Iceland in winter.
Fleece Hooded Sweatshirts
Hoodies or sweatshirts are perfect for what to wear in Iceland because they make great base layers under your jacket and also keep you warm around your hotel. We love this Gildan Men’s Heavy Blend Fleece Hooded Sweatshirt G18500 if you are looking for a great quality and affordable hoodie to bring to Iceland. If you prefer something that zips up or something a bit nicer than your average hoodie, we love this Yeokou Men’s Casual Slim Full-Zip Thick Knitted Cardigan Sweaters with Pockets and it is just as warm too!
Guys, don’t skimp on the snow boots when choosing what to wear in Iceland! They are an important addition to any Iceland winter packing list and you are going to want warm and dry feet. Terrence wears these Columbia Bugaboot Plus Omni-Heat Michelin Snow Boot. These winter boots for Iceland are sturdy and rugged and the Omni-Heat technology makes them warm up to -22F which is far colder than you will ever reach in Iceland! These boots make what to wear in Iceland during the winter a breeze since they are warm, waterproof, and stand up well to snow and ice.
Waterproof Snow Gloves
Snow gloves are an important addition to your list of what to wear in Iceland because they are specifically made to stand up to the elements. Snow gloves like these HighLoong Men Ski Snowboard Gloves Waterproof Thinsulate Cold Winter-Black are essential to pack for Iceland when visiting during the winter and will make a big difference when it begins to snow and the wind starts to howl!
Wool socks are created in such a way that they wick away water and keep your feet as warm and dry as possible. These MERIWOOL 3 Pairs Merino Wool Blend Socks are the perfect item to wear in Iceland and they are affordable and you get multiple pairs.
Fleece-Lined Winter Hat
A fleece lined winter hat is the perfect addition to your list of what to wear in Iceland because the fleece keeps your head and ears warm. We recommend this Lethmik Fleece Lined Beanie Hat and suggest that you bring at least two hats for Iceland in winter in case one gets wet or you want options during your trip to Iceland.
So now you have it! Our guide of what to wear in Iceland in winter or summer will help both women and men figure out what to pack for Iceland any time of the year! Our recommendations on what to wear in Iceland are tried or true and we have worn them ourselves to Iceland and other arctic destinations so you can trust that we have your back!
If you are planning your trip, we have a 5 Day Iceland Itinerary, 4 Day Iceland Itinerary, and 3 Day Iceland Itinerary, depending on your needs. We have carefully crafted these itineraries to include the best of the best stops and things to do in Iceland!
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