Perfect Packing List For Iceland

While we may not have had enough time to check out our cheap flights with WIZZ air to Iceland, we did manage to sort out a new wardrobe. Neither myself or Cora were really prepared for the sporadic weather conditions in Iceland. Neither of us even had waterproof shoes, the best we had was a wind and waterproof jacket. Luckily after some scrambling around and a helping hand from Craghoppers, we managed to get together the essentials. Here is our perfect packing list for Iceland…

I will mention that this can essentially be used for both men and women just change up what you want to be your layers. We also visited at the beginning of May which is by no means warmer but not as harsh as the conditions would be in winter.

Water And Windproof Coat

Since we had just come back from 2 weeks in Florida where the temperate was ranging from 80 to 90 degrees we feel that we were going to feel the cold more. Even if I had been acclimatised to colder weather I wouldn’t have taken my chances without my waterproof coat.

We were met with a range of different weather conditions from cold winds, to snow and hail. Also  we went out on 2 tours which took us to the top of a waterfall and to the bottom. The idea of the trip was to do everything we wanted we could including getting as close to a waterfall as possible. We wouldn’t have done that if we hadn’t had our waterproof coats.

Standing at a waterfall - packing list for Iceland

Thermal Layer

Before getting new coats we had a lovely jacket that we used for travelling around Europe. It wasn’t meant to be a waterproof jacket but it did what we needed it to. It was meant to be used as a thermal layer. While we weren’t going in the middle of the winter we still needed to wear a thermal layer to keep the cold at bay. If I was heading into the winter season of Iceland I would opt for a thicker thermal layer, such as the puffy jackets.

While we didn’t need as much of a insulation we opted for a lighter fleece style jacket. I wore my lightweight Vector fleece as my insulating layer. Depending on the time you visit you can pack both a puffy jacket for the harsher weather or a lightweight insulator.

Shirts And Long Sleeve T-shirts

Though neither of us really wear shirts for everyday use, cotton can be a great fabric to create breathable yet insulating layers. This may be a perfect fit for men looking to add layers and also look nice while doing it. Both I and Cora chose to pack long sleeve t-shirts to create the layers. I had just a couple from over the years and Cora took her Appleton long sleeve t-shirt.

If you are heading to Iceland in the winter months I would advise packing some long sleeve thermal layers. You can pick these up anywhere camping shops, Amazon or online. I would definitely advise packing thermal layers no matter what time of year you are visiting. If you have space in your case then pack them as you won’t be sorry for doing so.

Thermal Leggings / Trousers

By far the best thing I packed for our trip and wore pretty much the whole time I was in Iceland was my leggings. Though they weren’t advertised as a thermal layer they were amazing and need another pair. I had used these leggings prior to my trip to Iceland for travelling from the UK to Orlando and back again. They were amazingly comfortable and perfect for layering up with a pair of waterproof trousers.

I would completely recommend finding a pair of thermal trousers, fleece lined leggings or thermal trousers to use as a base layer. The best thing about layering up is that you can take any layer off if needed and add more if needed. I would have said easily that having that base layer made all the difference when it began snowing.

Waterproof Trousers

If you are planning on doing any touring around, hiking or just gentle adventuring you need waterproof trousers. Even within the Spring/Summer months, the weather can turn from being just okay to freezing cold. The wind can be the biggest factor and so having a pair of wind/waterproof trousers really made the difference.

Packing list for Iceland standing in front of a rainbow

I would also suggest if investing in some snow/ski trousers. These are thicker and much warmer especially useful for the colder months in Iceland. You can wear them as they are or layer up underneath for extra insulation. You can find ski pants or snow trousers in many different camping shops or online.

Alternative Trousers

Our alternative trousers were a pair of jeans and joggers for Cora. We both packed a pair of jeans because though they aren’t great if they get wet they are thick. Jeans can be a great layer to take with you for added insulation. I mostly brought mine so I had something nice to wear if we went out to a restaurant too. Cora decided to pack joggers as that’s her most comfortable clothing.

Best Walking Boots For Iceland

We did a lot of research to find the best walking boots for Iceland, prior to this trip we didn’t own any walking boots. Although we didn’t plan on going on any hikes in Iceland we knew having a good pair of walking boots for our trip would increase our warmth and our comfort.

If you don’t already own a pair of decent walking boots or hiking boots I would add this to your packing list for Iceland. If you’re looking for some great women’s boots for Iceland, check out this pair on Amazon.

Packing list for Iceland

Socks

Don’t underestimate what a good pair of socks can do. My main reason for getting the waterproof shoes was that I honestly can’t think of anything worse than walking around with wet feet. We visited Norway just a few months ago and we weren’t prepared and so we ended up with soggy feet. This time that was my main focus for our packing list for Iceland. While getting a good pair of boots, you also need the socks to keep your feet warm and support you.

I used to go walking a lot when I was younger and the one thing we always made sure was that we had thick socks on. Mostly to stop our shoes rubbing and to keep our feet warm and this time was no different. Make sure you don’t just have one pair of good socks but 3 or 4. A good tip is to wear a thinner pair of normal socks beneath your thicker socks for extra comfort. These are a must on my packing list for Iceland.

Swimwear

This is the strangest of all but it has to be on the packing list for Iceland. With the naturally heated pools in Iceland, you will want to pack your bikini. There are places to visit to bathe in the naturally heated water created underground. Iceland homes are heated with this water and so it is only right that you go try it out first hand.

Underwear

We spent 4 days in Iceland so only needed enough underwear to cover those days. If you are going for longer pack enough to last. If you are a light traveller like us pack a certain amount and wash them for the other days. Ladies, if you are going in the coldest months don’t be afraid to wear big comfortable pants, you will be thankful later on.

Hats And Gloves

This might be obvious to some people but still, like to make sure it is on my packing list for Iceland. I honestly love woolly hats so it was hard for me to just pack one. Make sure you pack at least one hat, even in May I needed it. Gloves are also a necessity, Cora’s are waterproof whereas mine are thick woolly ones. Either way, make sure you have a pair as your hands will freeze while taking a million photos.

Young woman stood by a glacier - Packing List For Iceland

Water Resistant/ Water Proof Backpack

As a lot of the time we were carrying around our lunch, water and other layers we wanted to keep a backpack on us. We decided a waterproof one would be better as it would keep everything dry if we happen to be near a waterfall or even in rain and snow. If you are looking for a new backpack check out our Craghoppers luggage review as they have got a great range of backpacks available.

Toiletries

While we pack light we do pack smart. One of the things we feel take up space is our toiletries but we still manage to take everything we need. As we only took hand luggage all of our toiletries were under 100ml. Here are the toiletries we packed:

  • Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Dr Bonner – we use this as we can use it for hair, body and washing clothes.
  • Deodorant – we used a usual one but recently upgraded to a crystallised deodorant from Salt of the Earth, as it was smaller and better.
  • Make Up – This includes mascara, concealer, foundation sponge and a small tube of foundation.
  • Toothpaste
  • Lip Balm
  • First Aid Kit – This just has simple things as wipes, plasters, tape, a sling and ointments for bites and cuts. We take this with us everywhere as we do find the need for a plaster or two.

Electronics

As we work for ourselves we take a lot of electronics to enable us to work where ever we go. There are some things we use that have enabled us to maximise our power outlet and some that have allowed us to save space. Here is what we took with us:

  • Power Bank – we use the EC technology power bank. This is particularly useful if you are using your phone to get around or take pictures.
  • Phone Power Cable – this will enable you to charge your phone by the power bank or even in some cafes.
  • Camera and Camera Charger – The sights in Iceland are beautiful and so I think it is worth taking a camera to capture the wonderful views. Don’t forget the camera charger or spare batteries either.
  • SD card – We usually have more than one as it is useful for our photos and YouTube videos but if you are wanting to make the most of the scenery, take an extra SD card.

Other Essentials

Though there are more than enough lovely places to eat in Iceland we found that when we were going out for the day and needing snacks. We had previously bought some compact foldable bowls and a compact knife, fork and spoon set. As we packed these to use them throughout the day on our tours, we had read that some of the food can be pricey. We decided to buy from the supermarket and make lunch to take with us, we found this extremely handy and meant we saved a little money.

I have created a perfect packing list for Iceland document for you to use. You can save this and print it out to keep you on track when packing.

You may also be looking for perfect clothing to wear in the warmer climates if so check out our Craghoppers Spring/Summer collection review.

If you have been to Iceland before and had your own ideal packing list for Iceland let us know in the comments below. If you can think of anything you think should be on our packing list let us know and we will add it in.

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