Packing…does anyone ever feel like doing it? We all love preparing for our trips, checking places, planning our itinerary and dreaming about how fantastic our trip will be but…. packing?  God I hate thinking about what to wear, what is essential and what is not, and above all, that terrible feeling that I am always missing something. If you are just like me, I do hope this what to wear in Iceland post help you with this semi-annoying task.

what to wear in Iceland

Clothes are pretty much necessary (much to my regret) taking up about 70% of your suitcase. That is why knowing exactly what to wear in Iceland and what you do not really need is a must. We normally tend to pack up in a hurry and without thinking, filling our bag with “just in case” stuff that most of the time, we never use. This turns into lack of space for your souvenirs and purchases.

As I do not want any of my readers to pay an additional fee for their overweight baggage, here you have some tips and recommendations on what to wear in Iceland, no more suitcases stuffing and zipper breaks!

All-Season Essentials

That the moon orbits our planet is a universal truth. The fact that Iceland is so windy all year long is another universal and absolute truth. Therefore, wearing wind and waterproof clothing is one of the best ideas anyone can have.

The northern wind blows constantly so the thermal sensation can sometimes be lower than the actual temperature.  Pay special attention to your face, many people forget to have something at hand to cover their faces and the eyes, nose and lips are the most delicate areas; A neck warmer is a great option as you can use it to cover your face.

what to wear in Iceland

Trekking shoes or boots are also great. When you are out and about in Iceland, you will for sure do a lot of walking. Comfortable and waterproof boots will be your lifesavers! Iceland is also a rainy place, staying warm and dry is important, isn`t it?

Swimming suite and towels are also a must. It does not matter if it is summer or winter, geothermal pool bathing is a tradition and you cannot miss your opportunity of getting a relaxing bath in a hotpot just because you forgot your swimming suite, can you?

And if you feel like partying out at night in Reykjavik, be sure to pack a fancy change of clothes to rock on!

Winter Essentials

Winter in Iceland is not as cold as it should be given its latitude but there are certain things you should always keep in mind when thinking what to wear in Iceland: wind and rain (or snow).

what to wear in Iceland

Average temperature in Reykjavik in January is -0.6 Celsius (30.9F) but the blowing wind will definitely lower your thermal sensation. It is important to pack:

  • Thermal underwear
  • Warm socks
  • Fleece jacket
  • Rain and windproof jacket
  • Waterproof pants
  • Sturdy, water proof, good-grip shoes
  • Gloves
  • Scarf
  • Beanie
  • Neck warmers
  • Polarized sunglasses

Any Icelander will tell you that layering is basically what you have to do. It is better to take off some pieces of clothing if you are feeling hot than to freeze to death. Ok…ok it is not as dramatic as that but being out in the cold weather, wind blowing and wet clothes is not exactly the most comfortable feeling…

If you are joining a climbing or sailing excursion where special attire is required, do not worry, most companies offer equipment rental services.

Summer Essentials

July is the warmest month in Iceland, average temperature in Reykjavik is 12.º Celsius (55F) so as you can see climate during the summer season is milder but not too warm at all so you really do not need thick clothing as you would during the winter but there is still important stuff to pack in your suitcase:

what to wear in Iceland

What to wear in Iceland

  • Light windbreaker waterproof jackets
  • Flip flops
  • Foulards or light scarfs
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping mask for the Midnight Sun

Knowing what to pack is never easy but we do hope that this what to wear in Iceland post helps you deciding the essentials to avoid a heavy luggage full of unnecessary stuff.

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