A Smarter Iceland Packing Listing + What to Put on in Iceland

Adventurous Kate comprises affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you make a purchase order by way of these hyperlinks, I’ll earn a fee at no further value to you. Thanks!

Placing collectively the proper Iceland packing listing is among the most necessary issues you are able to do earlier than your journey! Iceland is a vacation spot identified for its chilly and windy climate.

Not solely that, Iceland is moist, moist, moist — and if you happen to’re not adequately coated in waterproof clothes on a wet day, you’ll be depressing.

Moreover, Iceland is a rural nation. More often than not, I like to recommend shopping for issues regionally if you could. That’s not as simple in Iceland. Except you’re in Reykjavík or Akureyri, you gained’t have the ability to simply discover respectable procuring.

I do know this sounds robust — however please, don’t fear! I’m right here to make your journey to Iceland simpler. I’ve been to Iceland a number of occasions, together with a two-week street journey across the Ring Highway, and I’ve found out what to pack for Iceland, what to put on in Iceland, the objects that you really want, and the objects you’ll be able to depart at residence.

This information has 4 sections: Climate in Iceland, The Most Vital Objects to PackWhat to Put on in Iceland, Winter in Iceland, the Iceland Packing Listing, and What To not Carry to Iceland.

And as you propose your journey, don’t overlook to take a look at my different Iceland posts: the most effective issues to do in Reykjavík, issues to know earlier than you go to the Blue Lagoon, and the small print on how a lot my Iceland street journey value.

A girl in a turquoise coat walking on a rocky path in a foggy, rainy landscape.
Amanda walks to Dettifoss waterfall on a wet, foggy day in Iceland.

Climate in Iceland: What to Count on

Iceland has chilly climate year-round and is regularly wet. The forecast adjustments typically and climate situations can flip harmful once you don’t anticipate it. Briefly, you could be prepared for something — however particularly precipitation!

You would possibly luck out and get a string of sunny days (I definitely have on all 4 of my journeys). Chances are you’ll be right here two weeks and never see the solar as soon as. You might need dreadfully foggy or wet days once you least need them. Briefly, be prepared for something.

In the event you’re visiting throughout the summer time (Might-September), the most effective time to go to for good climate, you ought to be prepared for common temperatures round 40-60 F (7-15 C).

In the event you’re visiting throughout the colder months, you ought to be ready for common temperatures to fall beneath freezing (typically 15-32 F, or -9-0 C). The wind chill can convey that a lot decrease.

This Iceland packing listing is primarily focused towards summer time vacationers, who comprise the overwhelming majority of Iceland guests, however I’ve added a supplemental part for winter Iceland vacationers as nicely.

Kate in a bright yellow raincoat over a bright pink coat, standing in front of a canyon of tall thin rock columns.
Soaked by way of at Studlagil Canyon, East Iceland!

Most Vital Objects on Your Iceland Packing Listing

Some objects in your Iceland packing listing are essential. Right here is the listing of things that I believe needs to be on each Iceland traveler’s listing, it doesn’t matter what the time of yr is.

Don’t skip any of those — besides presumably the tripod and lightweight make-up.

Kate standing in a cave with a waterfall falling through it, wearing a yellow raincoat and holding her arms up in joy.
Having fun with getting soaked at Gljúfrabúi waterfall!

Head-to-Toe Waterproof Gear

Waterproof gear is the only most necessary factor you could convey to Iceland. And never only a waterproof jacket — you want rain pants, waterproof hiking boots, and a waterproof backpack cover.

It WILL rain in some unspecified time in the future in your journey to Iceland. It’d rain daily, and closely. I do know individuals who have been rained out daily of their Iceland journey.

There are additionally some waterfalls that you may stroll behind or get near, like Gljúfrabúi and Seljalandsfoss, and also you’ll be drenched afterward. Going behind them is tremendous cool — so that you want outer layers that may maintain you dry.

However the quickest strategy to being depressing in Iceland is being soaked to the bone in a sweatshirt, like that one household I noticed at Kvernufoss waterfall.

An in-car selfie of Kate and Amanda in the front seats, and a girl in the backseat. All three are wearing brightly colored raincoats and grinning.
Three ladies, three colourful raincoats!

Waterproof Jacket

You might have two choices for a water-proof jacket to put on in Iceland: an all-in-one insulated raincoat, or a rain jacket shell worn over an insulated jacket.

There are arguments for each. I wore a fundamental raincoat shell (I wore an area Czech model however this Columbia one is excellent) and a Uniqlo extremely gentle down jacket. We had numerous sunny days and it was good to solely put on my pink Uniqlo jacket.

Nevertheless it’s undoubtedly extra handy to have one jacket that you may put on in all climate, like this one.

High Tip: Get a brightly coloured coat; it seems wonderful in images towards the gray-green Icelandic panorama. Reds, oranges, yellows, and sizzling pinks particularly stand out.

Kate standing facing a waterfall in a yellow rain jacket, holding her hand up in a peace sign.
Try my rain pants, child!

Rain Pants

I by no means wore rain pants in my LIFE till my most up-to-date Iceland journey — they usually ended up being lifesavers. What are rain pants? They’re waterproof pants you put on on prime of your common pants. Such a good suggestion!

You don’t should put on your rain pants all day. Simply throw them in your backpack, and if it begins to rain, throw them on prime. You don’t even should take off your boots!

Since that journey, I’ve been extolling the advantages of rain pants to anybody who will pay attention, and considered one of my readers instructed me she purchased them for her Iceland journey with skepticism however couldn’t imagine how a lot she beloved them!

A person's feet in hiking boots walking through a wet path.
Put together to rock out in waterproof sneakers. Through Shutterstock.

Waterproof Mountain climbing Boots

You might be doubtless going to be mountain climbing by way of mud or rain in some unspecified time in the future. That’s simply an inevitability in Iceland. Common mountain climbing boots or path runners are usually not sufficient: you want good high quality waterproof hiking boots.

Moreover, there are some locations the place you is likely to be strolling by way of ankle-deep water, like Gljúfrabúi waterfall or Rauðfeldsgjá Gorge on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Some individuals convey one pair of waterproof mountain climbing boots to Iceland, and a few convey one pair of normal boots and one pair of waterproof boots. Take my recommendation: convey one pair of waterproof boots (ideally product of Gore-Tex).

You by no means know when a sunny Icelandic sky will all of a sudden cloud over and start raining.

A hiker looking over a canyon, wearing a big backpack with a bright yellow waterproof cover over it.
A rain cowl on your backpack makes life a lot simpler. Through Shutterstock.

Waterproof Backpack Cowl

Think about being half-hour right into a two-hour hike and it begins to rain. And also you’ve acquired an costly digicam simply sitting in your cloth backpack.

That was me at Studlagil Canyon this previous August. Whoops.

You completely want a waterproof backpack cover. It prices lower than $10 and retains all of your digicam gear dry, even if you happen to’re mountain climbing for hours!

I often suggest a dry bag for vacationers, particularly if you happen to’re taking rides on small boats, however most individuals don’t take small boats in Iceland, so I believe a water-proof backpack cowl will cowl you.

A woman sleeping with a face mask on.
Go to sleep simply with a sleep masks! Through Shutterstock.

Sleep Masks

Most individuals who journey to Iceland go throughout the summer time months, when you’ll be able to have just a little little bit of daylight as late as 2:00 AM. Ever slept by way of that? It’s not simple!

Absolutely, each Iceland guesthouse will need to have high-quality blackout curtains, you’d assume. You’d be flawed. (And don’t name me Shirley.) I used to be shocked how typically the midnight solar peeked in from Icelandic curtains.

You’ll need to convey a sleep mask if you wish to sleep peacefully. Ear plugs are additionally useful, particularly if you happen to’re staying in dorms or different shared room lodging.

I like my Trina Turk swimsuits!

A number of Swimsuits

One of the vital enjoyable issues about visiting Iceland is visiting all of the totally different sizzling springs! From the basic Blue Lagoon to the attractive Sky Lagoon in Reykjavík and my private favourite, the Vök Baths in Egilsstaðir, East Iceland, they’re in every single place!

Even if you happen to skip the dear thermal resorts, there are many sizzling tubs and pure sizzling springs all through Iceland. And almost each city in Iceland has its personal heated outside swimming pool. These swimming pools are an inexpensive, enjoyable, and really native exercise.

Translation? You’ll be in your bathing go well with a LOT.

One mistake I see individuals making regularly is barely bringing one swimsuit to Iceland. The explanation? A washing go well with takes a very long time to dry and also you is likely to be continuously placing on one which’s chilly and damp.

For that cause, it’s a good suggestion to convey a minimal of two bathing fits to put on in Iceland. I introduced three. We might cling our bathing fits within the automotive, on the again of the entrance seats, however typically 24 hours wasn’t sufficient to dry them.

All of my bathing fits are by Trina Turk — she’s all I purchase. They’re attractive, colourful, and final for years. Some are available in plus sizes.

Fast-Drying Journey Towel

Virtually each sizzling spring or swimming pool in Iceland costs you for a towel if you happen to don’t have already got one. And costs are sometimes round 900 ISK ($6 USD). These actually add up!

So what do you want? A travel towel! A fast-drying microfiber journey towel will prevent a number of cash.

High Tip: Bathe at night time in Iceland. Your towel will dry in a single day, you’ll have the ability to get a quick begin the following morning, and if you happen to’re staying in a spot with shared bogs, you gained’t have to attend for everybody else to complete.

A bright pink plastic water bottle

Reusable Water Bottle

The faucet water in Iceland is protected to drink. Don’t add to the plastic drawback by shopping for bottled water in Iceland. Simply convey your reusable water bottle and fill it up each time you have got a faucet.

I exploit a BPA-free Blender Bottle. It’s massive, it’s sturdy, and it is available in a number of colours (I’ve it in sizzling pink). Mine is sitting subsequent to me as I write this.

Eye drops, lip balm, and hand cream

Iceland can dry you out — particularly if you happen to’re visiting a number of sizzling springs throughout your go to. I ended up with brilliant pink eyes midway by way of my most up-to-date journey and wanted drops badly. It wasn’t enjoyable attempting to trace down an open pharmacy in the midst of nowhere!

You would possibly need to convey eye drops, lip balm, and hand cream.


Nevertheless it isn’t that sunny in Iceland, you say. Hey — if you happen to’re spending a number of time exterior, even when it’s a cloudy day, even if you happen to’re not fair-skinned, you want sunscreen. You’ll be able to simply burn once you’re not anticipating it.

I all the time put on moisturizer or BB cream that comprises sunscreen. If not, convey sunscreen with an SPF of not less than 45. I like Neutrogena SPF 55 sunscreen.

Additional SD Playing cards, Digicam Battery, and Exterior Onerous Drive

You’ll take far extra images than you often tackle journeys. Iceland is among the most visually spectacular locations I’ve ever visited.

It’s all the time smarter to have a number of SD playing cards somewhat than one massive card, simply in case it fails. A few SanDisk 64 GB cards ought to maintain you over.

It’s good to have some backup batteries, and if you happen to’re packing for Iceland within the winter, know that batteries drain faster when it’s beneath freezing.

Again up your images in a number of locations if you happen to can. A tiny thumb drive most likely gained’t be sufficient — as a substitute, convey an external hard drive.

A camera on a tripod in front of an Iceland waterfall with a rainbow.
Typically it looks as if everybody in Iceland has a tripod! Through Shutterstock.


A tripod is an non-obligatory merchandise, however one which extra severe photographers ought to pack. In the event you’re seeking to do long-exposure pictures on Iceland waterfalls, or make the most of low-light conditions, it would be best to have a tripod.

Nonetheless — if you happen to’re not a photographer, you don’t essentially want this. (Plus, lugging your tripod and setting it up in every single place could be a big ache if you happen to’re not keen about pictures.)

High Tip: If in case you have an iPhone, set your digicam as much as take Reside Images. Maintain your digicam as nonetheless as you’ll be able to when photographing a waterfall. In your photograph, contact the “LIVE” placing within the prime left nook and alter it to “Lengthy Publicity.” Hiya, easy waterfall!

It takes a little bit of apply, and I like to recommend capturing on a wide-angle as a result of this will chop off numerous the perimeters.

Kate in a pink jacket taking a selfie in front of a black beach studded with grass and jagged black mountains of Stokksnes.
Taking a selfie at Stokksnes in gentle make-up — and feeling good!

Sufficient Make-up to Look Additional Good in Images

Clearly that is non-obligatory as nicely, however if you happen to put on make-up in your day-to-day life, you’ll most likely recognize carrying a bit in Iceland. Not a full face — simply sufficient to look just a little bit nicer than you’d be bare-faced.

Every day in Iceland, I wore BB cream, mascara, forehead shadow, and lip balm. Not a lot, however sufficient to make a distinction.

For a similar cause, I wore earrings — little stud earrings that I stored in the entire journey. I like having a little bit of shimmer in my images.

Kate standing in front of a craggy green mountain in Iceland. She wears a pink jacket and has her hands in her pockets, grinning.

What to Put on in Iceland

My outfits in Iceland have been just about the identical factor, time and again. Choose a formulation and keep it up!

Within the photograph above, taken at Hvalnes Lighthouse in southeast Iceland, I wore a medium-weight sweater, Uniqlo Extremely Mild Down Jacket, leggings, merino wool socks, boots (these ones are a discontinued type of Hunter boots however I’d get waterproof hiking boots subsequent time), and sun shades.

That’s an excellent outfit for a sunny day in Iceland in the summertime.

For the day I hiked into Múlagljúfur Canyon, considered one of my absolute favourite locations in Iceland, I wore my typical mountain climbing outfit: an Icebreaker merino wool pullover, hiking pants, rain pants on prime simply in case, merino wool socks, and path runners (once more, ought to have worn waterproof hiking boots).

For the hike I wore my two jackets — the Uniqlo Extremely Mild Down jacket and my rain jacket shell — and tied them each round my waist after I acquired sizzling.

They’re out of the body on this photograph, together with my backpack.

A woman in a winter coat and hat stands on a snowy Icelandic road.
Bundle up for winter in Iceland! Through Shutterstock.

Packing Listing for Iceland in Winter

Touring to Iceland in winter requires further objects. It’s all about staying heat and dry in a chilly, moist atmosphere! Let’s check out an important objects on your winter Iceland packing listing:

Base layers (thermal underwear). Base layers are important — these are what maintain you really feeling heat when it’s chilly out! I’m an enormous fan of Uniqlo HeatTech Base Layers (prime and backside). They’re so comfy, so heat, and surprisingly inexpensive!

I like to recommend two pairs of every on your journey to Iceland. Good base layers could be worn a number of days in a row.

Mid-weight layers. This further layer is what you put on between your base layers and outerwear. I want a heat sweater on prime and heat leggings on the underside.

Heat parka. You’ll desire a heavyweight winter coat with a hood. I like to recommend one which goes to mid-thigh or decrease; coats that cease at your waist let in numerous chilly air. (Folks from Texas and Florida: discuss to your cold-weather-living mates. They know higher.)

Waterproof, windproof snow pants. Like rain pants, besides constructed for low temperatures.

Heat hat. I’m a fan of North Face beanies, however something cozy and wooly will do nicely.

Waterproof, windproof gloves or mittens. I really want mittens, like these ones from Outdoor Research. Chances are you’ll need to put on glove liners or running gloves as nicely.

Heat scarf. I’m an enormous fan of Speakeasy Journey Provide scarves that include a hidden pocket — they usually have a set of warm heavy weight scarves which can be good for Iceland within the winter!

Base layer socks and heat socks (I like to recommend merino wool socks if potential). Base layer socks, once more, maintain you hotter than simply common socks.

Hot Hands hand warmers. Crack these they usually’ll maintain you heat for hours. These saved my life in Antarctica! They promote particular toe heaters as nicely, however I don’t assume you want them — hand heaters work for each.

I like to recommend carrying the Scorching Palms between your base layer socks and heavier socks, or between your glove liners and mittens. You may as well maintain them in your pockets.

Northern lights pictures gear. The Northern Lights are considered one of Iceland’s greatest attracts throughout the winter months. In the event you’re hoping to see them, you’ll want a tripod, as you could take lengthy publicity photographs to make the colours actually pop.

(You would possibly need to see my Antarctica packing listing for examples of my winter outfits for being energetic in a chilly atmosphere.)

Kate making a goofy jump in the air on a rainbow striped street leading to a church.
You should definitely pack your adventurous spirit!

Iceland Packing Listing

Right here it’s: the total packing listing for Iceland.



Winter Vacationers



Objects to Pack

Digicam Gear and Tech Gear


Do you have to do laundry in Iceland?

In the event you’re staying in Iceland for lower than every week, you most likely don’t must do laundry. However if you happen to’re staying for longer than every week, you’ll most likely must.

High Tip: E-book lodging with laundry included midway by way of your journey. Amanda and I booked an condominium in Akureyri that had a washer and drying rack. This was good timing and we didn’t should go discover a laundromat!

You may as well do laundry within the sink if you happen to’d like. Carry travel laundry detergent if that’s the case.

Kate in a leather jacket standing in front of Gulfoss waterfall in Iceland.
Expensive 2015 Kate: WHY did you put on a leather-based jacket to the Golden Circle?!

What NOT to Carry to Iceland

Listed here are some issues that you just completely don’t must convey to Iceland:

Umbrella. In the event you packed correct rain gear — hooded raincoat, rain pants, waterproof boots, and backpack cowl — it fully negates the necessity for an umbrella. You gained’t use it!

Money. Iceland accepts bank cards for nearly every little thing (there are a number of exceptions, like metropolis buses in Reykjavík). On my most up-to-date two-week journey, neither Amanda nor I used money as soon as.

Dressy garments. You don’t want dressy garments — not even for that nice-looking restaurant in Reykjavík. Put on your nicest sweater and your black mountain climbing pants and also you’ll slot in simply nice.

Horseback driving gear. Icelanders don’t enable any driving gear from overseas nations to be worn in Iceland. That is to guard the horses from exterior pathogens. Please don’t assume they’ll make an exception for you. They gained’t.

A digicam you don’t know how one can use. Lots of people get fancy new cameras for his or her Iceland journey — however they don’t know how one can use them. Be sure you spend period of time attending to know your digicam’s settings and training earlier than you go to Iceland.

Extra on Iceland:

My Favourite Locations in Iceland:

Have you ever been to Iceland? What did you recognize bringing?