Iceland Packing List

What to Pack for Iceland

Embarking on a new adventure can be stressful. Especially when you’re setting off to a country you’ve never been to before. Wondering what clothes and items to bring to Iceland? What weather to expect? To answer all your questions and help you make your adventure stress-free, we’ve prepared this handy Iceland packing list!  

Here we’ll tell you what to pack for Iceland, whether it’s winter or summer, and any tour specific items you might need to bring on your trip.

Essential Items to Pack for Iceland

Your passport travel documents should be at the top of any packing list, since without them you won’t be able to get in the country. Also, don’t forget to buy travel insurance or check if you’re covered by your credit card company. Don’t forget to bring any medication you might need while you’re away.

A quick but essential packing for Iceland checklist before you step out the door:

  • Tickets
  • Passport
  • Prescription medication (if necessary)
  • Phone and charger
  • Insurance
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Money
  • Hygiene kit
Group Of People Getting Ready For Hike

Iceland Packing List for Summer

The average temperature in Reykjavik during the summer is 54°F (12°C), though it can drop as low as 44°F (7°C) or rise as high as 77°F (25°C).

With so much temperature fluctuation, it’s difficult to decide what to pack and what to leave at home. Here are some essential items that should be in your bag:

  • Underwear
  • Synthetic or woolen thermals
  • Long-sleeved synthetic or wool shirt
  • Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic t-shirts
  • Towel, bathing suit, and sunglasses
  • Synthetic or woolen fleece
  • Quick-drying, synthetic full-length pants
  • Quick-drying, synthetic hiking shorts
  • Sweatpants
  • Sun & rain hat
  • Woolen hat
  • Gloves (wool or pile)
  • Waterproof membrane gloves
  • Synthetic socks
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind jacket
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
  • Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle and good arch support. Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain and possibly snow.
Woman Hiker in Iceland

What to Pack for Iceland in Winter

Winter, as expected, can get pretty cold! The average temperature in Reykjavik during the winter is around 33-35°F (1-2°C)

Thanks to mild ocean breezes, it never gets too much to handle. It can fluctuate between 14°F ( -10°C) and 50°F (+10°C). If you decide to travel to Iceland during the winter, be prepared for snowstorms, hail, and strong winds. 

Here’s a list of a few necessary items for the winter in Iceland:

  • Down jacket
  • Winter pants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic or woolen thermals
  • Long-sleeved synthetic or wool shirt
  • Towel, bathing suit, and sunglasses
  • Synthetic or woolen fleece
  • Quick-drying, synthetic full-length pants
  • Sun & rain hat
  • Woolen hat
  • Gloves (wool or pile)
  • Waterproof membrane gloves
  • Woolen socks
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind jacket
  • Gore-Tex rain/wind pants
  • Hiking boots, medium-weight, all leather, with padded ankle and good arch support. Your hiking boots should be waterproof, well broken in, and suitable for rocky terrain and possibly snow. 
  • Gaiters
Man Hiking in Winter

What to Pack for Tours in Iceland

Regardless of the season, there are a few items that will come in handy.

Multi-day hiking tours in Iceland travel essentials:

  • Large, water-resistant duffel bag (60/80 liters). This will be transported between huts and campsites.
  • Daypack (30 to 50 liters). Useful for carrying your lunch, water, and a change of socks. 
  • Headlamp or small flashlight with spare batteries (from August only). 
  • Sunscreen and lip protection. The sun in Iceland is much more intense than you might imagine.
  • Personal first aid kit.
  • 1 set eating utensils with a bowl (hiking tours)
  • Pocketknife
  • Thermo bottle 0.75L – 1L for tea and coffee. 
  • Sleeping bag (comfort at +10°C to –10°C) (hiking tours).

 

Tour Specific Items

For diving at Silfra Fissure: 

  • An Open Water and Dry Suit certification, or Open Water Certification and a logbook and 10 logged drysuit dives in the last two years.

For snowmobiling:

  • Valid driver’s license.
Getting Reafy For A Trip in Iceland

Rental Gear

For some of the tour-specific items above, you can rent them when you book your tour. Check the tour page for details. 

Here’s a list of items available for rent:

  • waterproof pants
  • waterproof jacket
  • hiking poles
  • hiking shoes
  • Luggage Storage in Reykjavik
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Special supplement for vegetarians
Climbing Gear

FAQ - Insider Tips

How should I layer for tours?

We recommend to use a three-layer structure when you dress up:

  1. Your base layer should be the first layer and will have direct contact with your skin. We recommend long woolen or synthetic underpants, a long-sleeved shirt, and woolen or synthetic socks.
  2. The second layer provides insulation from cold. This includes warm winter pants and a woolen or fleece jacket if you’re traveling in winter and synthetic, quick-drying pants and a fleece if you’re traveling in summer. Regardless of the season, we always recommend having shell gloves and a hat. 
  3. To protect you from wind and rain, wear a third layer. This should consist of a Gore-tex jacket and pants, and sturdy and waterproof hiking shoes.

Where should I pack all my belongings?

Avoid hard-shelled luggage as it is easier to load and transport soft-sided luggage like backpacks and duffel bags. If you’re on a tour that will transport your luggage for you, then the overall weight should not exceed 15 kg.

We advise taking a smaller day pack (15-30L) for items you might need to access quickly, like a water bottle, wallet, lunch, etc.