The Complete Guide to Packing for Iceland in the Summer
June 23, 2023
The weather in Iceland varies by season, and it’s important to bring clothes suitable for the conditions. This includes light layers, rain gear, and a pair of casual shoes like water-resistant for summer. Because of the long days, a suitable sleeping bag or pillow is also a must-pack item.
When planning what to pack for Iceland in the summer, you’ll want to include comfortable clothing that you can wear for several hours at a time. Iceland is not a place for high heels or fancy dress, as it’s an outdoor adventurer’s paradise.
You’ll want to bring comfy pants or shorts, hiking shoes, and a waterproof jacket. A warm hat and gloves should also be on your top packing list for Iceland. Touchscreen-compatible gloves are essential since you’ll use your phone often for GPS navigation and taking photos.
Also, recommend packing a pair of insulated leggings. These are great because they’re warm enough for chilly Iceland temperatures but don’t make you feel hot when worn alone. Plus, they’re super comfy. A pair of insulated socks is also a good idea for Iceland. They’re not as essential for the warmer months but are still a good idea to have in your bag if it gets freezing and you need to add another layer of warmth. Lastly, you’ll want to include a travel towel for visiting the Blue Lagoon and other natural outdoor geothermal pools and hot springs. Many don’t provide towels, so you must bring your own.
In Iceland, layers are crucial to being prepared for all of the different conditions that can arise. Since the weather can change so quickly, it’s essential to be able to add or remove a layer depending on the temperature and activity. The best way to do this is by packing clothing that can be easily mixed and matched. This will prepare you for everything from cold and windy hikes to hot spring soaks.
A good base layer of a light hiking shirt or long-sleeved thermal will keep you warm in the more relaxed morning and evening temperatures. Then, add a hiking or fleece jacket to keep you warm as the day progresses. This will protect you against the wind and rain as well. Adding a pair of hiking pants is also a great idea, especially since the ground leading up to some of the most famous sites can get quite rocky. Finally, a pair of waterproof shoes or boots is also a must.
These can be either hiking boots or waterproof sneakers that are comfortable and water-resistant. You’ll also want to pack a small backpack for hiking trips and other activities around the country. In addition, a headlamp and an eye mask will help you sleep in the dark when it gets late after a full day of adventures.
Iceland is known for rain and wind, so your outer layer should be weatherproof. This is especially important in the summer, as the sun can get hot.
A good, hooded parka is a must. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, but make sure it is waterproof and windproof. It also helps if your jacket can be packed in a small pouch, so you can wear it on the plane and shove it in an overhead bin afterward.
The next item you should bring is a pair of quick-drying hiking pants. It prefers a pair of fleece-lined leggings, but you can also find great hiking pants. You’ll also want to pack a couple of pairs of quick-drying socks.
Another critical piece of gear is a waterproof and insulated backpack. This will be useful if you plan hiking, as your daypack will hold your essentials for the trek and protect your main bag from water and snow.
Finally, a waterproof and warm pair of boots is a must. The winter months (November to March) require a couple of snow boots, but a comfortable hiking shoe will be fine if you’re traveling in June, July, or August. A good pair of wool socks is also a must.
Iceland is a land of outdoor adventure above all else, so it’s not the kind of place you want to bring dresses or dangly jewelry. The best accessories to pack for Iceland include an excellent wool sweater, which can be worn over your base layer when it’s cold, and a good pair of waterproof shoes (these are the ones we recommend).
Another essential piece of gear is a rain jacket. You can find these in various sizes and colors to match your style. A good option is a rain shell, which packs into a lil’ pouch and provides ample insulation while being lightweight and durable.
Finally, it is highly recommended to pack a hat and gloves. Iceland’s temperatures can be chilly even in the summer, so a good pair of gloves will keep your hands warm and dry while you hike or drive around. These touch screen-compatible gloves are perfect for Iceland because you can use them to navigate your GPS and take photos without taking them off.
Of course, visiting Iceland without a swimsuit would be a tragedy, especially if you plan on visiting the Blue Lagoon, Myvatn Baths, or Hofsos Hot Pool. Pack a bathing suit, a towel, and a pair of flip-flops to wear when you’re lounging at the beach or pool.
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