We just got back from Iceland not that long ago and absolutely loved it! With Iceland being a hot destination right now we wanted to share with you a summertime packing list, along with some tips. In this post we broke down the packing list into four categories: clothing, outwear, footwear, and other gear to make things easier. The items we mention are things you’ll specifically want to bring to Iceland. We’re not touching on the basics that you pack for every trip, so make sure to remember those as well!
Hiking/Workout Leggings: Leggings are really comfortable and breathable for days on the go. When looking at leggings to get, make sure you look for ones that are quick drying since they’ll most likely get wet at some point. We really like these Athleta ones. They’re super comfortable, fast drying, and even have pockets.
Sweaters: Sweaters can be great for both day and night. Whether you’re going whale watching or out on the town you’ll want to have a couple sweaters packed.
Thermal shirts and/or flannels: Thermal and flannel shirts are great for hiking. Plus they’re easy to layer and take on or off depending on the weather.
Camping Socks: Packing socks that go higher up are helpful in preventing water from seeping into your shoes. We also suggest packing an extra pair of socks to have on you, especially if you don’t have waterproof shoes.
Patagonia Zip-up/Quarter-zip: We both packed these and are so happy we did. These were one of our favorite go-to items. They were easy to throw on or keep in in our day pack for an extra layer.
Jeggings: We ended up wearing jeggings in the evening or walking around town. These are something you don’t want to wear hiking because they are not fast drying or the most comfortable for that type of activity.
Swimsuit: If you plan on going to any of the lagoons make sure to have a swimsuit packed. You’ll definitely regret it if you don’t!
Rain Jacket: This is a given in Iceland since the weather is always changing. It can be sunny one minute, and raining the next. Plus, it’s good to have a rain jacket around all of the waterfalls. The North Face, Columbia, and Patagonia all have good options.
Heavy fall coat or lightweight winter coat: Even though it’s summer in Iceland, it can still get cold and windy. We broke out our heavier jacket at night, as well as when we were whale watching.
Down or fleece vest: While out and about during the day we were happy to have this layering piece along. With having this packed we didn’t have to worry about always wearing a coat.
Waterproof hiking shoes: Most sites and attractions in Iceland are outdoors- waterfalls, whale watching, geysirs, etc. Due to this and Iceland’s weather, waterproof shoes are a must. While we were in Iceland it rained most days. Plus, we visited a lot of waterfalls. When getting close to these waterfalls, they do give off spray. We both had waterproof hiking shoes and were glad that we did because our feet never got wet.
Flip flops: Flip flops might seem like a weird choice of footwear for Iceland. However, if you’re going to the Blue Lagoon or any of the other lagoons, you’ll want them for walking around in the locker rooms and outside.
Boots or Booties: For evenings and nights out, a nice pair of boots or booties are perfect for keeping you warm and dressing up your looks. Rachel and I brought these ones with. They were comfortable and as an added bonus, they’re waterproof too.
Backpack: If you’re doing day trips while in Iceland, a backpack is definitely a must to carry all your essentials. Some of the things we carried in our backpacks, were options for layers, water bottle, snacks, portable charger, gloves, and a hat. Here is the backpack Michelle took to Iceland.
Rain Cover for your backpack: If your backpack isn’t waterproof, a rain cover is good to have. They don’t take up much room in your backpack and they are easy to put on your backpack when it starts raining or you’re going to be by waterfalls. Here is one from Amazon.
Waterproof pouch for cellphone: This is something you wouldn’t normally think of packing but it’s a lifesaver! If you plan on using your phone to take pictures it’s great for the Blue Lagoon, by waterfalls, and when it’s raining. You can find one on Amazon.
Some type of camera: We suggest packing a nice digital camera or GoPro. Iceland is a gorgeous country that you will want to photograph throughout your trip. The nice thing about bringing a GoPro Hero 5 is that they are waterproof so you don’t have to be afraid of taking pictures and video if it’s wet.
Hat: With it being chilly and windy, having a hat is another must to keep your ears warm and your hair in place.
Lightweight gloves: We didn’t use these as much as we thought we might but they still came in handy on those chillier days.
Water bottle: One big perk of Iceland is the AMAZING tap water! Don’t waste your money on buying water. Use the tap water because it is completely safe to drink. It is the best tasting tap water we have ever had.
Sleep mask: During the months of June & July it’s light pretty much all day. In August it doesn’t get dark until later at night. You don’t want to have to worry about not being able to fall asleep because it’s too bright outside.
Portable charger: If you’re doing long day trips and not going to be around an outlet it’s a good idea to have a portable charger. Taking a lot of pictures and video on your phone can drain the battery quickly.
*Besides these items, bring your usual toiletries, medicines, electronics, etc. that you normally would.
We have some other tips for packing that we have found work really well for us:
- Use packing cubes. They help organize your clothes and allow you to fit more in your suitcase. We love these Eagle Creek compression ones. We have a ton of different sized packing cubes and use them every time we pack our suitcases.
- Pack a garbage bag for your dirty clothes. This is something that is easy yet important to pack and can definitely be overlooked.
- Don’t over pack. Try to pack clothes that you can wear again and that you style different ways. For example, you don’t need a pair of jeggings for every day that you’re gone. We were in Iceland for four days and we packed two pairs. We probably could have gotten away with packing one. No one is going to notice if you wear something again.
- Bring extra Ziploc bags. You never know when you’re going to need them and they have plenty of uses.. You can use the gallon sized ones to put your shoes in if they get dirty. The quart sized ones are great for organizing your stuff too.
- We highly recommend taking advantage of Amazon when preparing for a trip. Amazon Prime is super convenient when you think of last minute items you need for your trip. Plus there’s a lot of stuff you can find on Amazon for your trip that you wouldn’t necessarily find in stores.
We hope you have found this post to be helpful! If you have any questions at all about packing for Iceland or Iceland in general, please let us know in the comments below. Stay tuned for our Iceland Travel Guide post coming soon!
-Michelle & Rachel