Figuring out your packing list for Iceland in winter may seem a bit daunting, but we've listed everything you will need to ensure you are comfortable and prepared for the Icelandic elements.

Packing List For Iceland In Winter

Figuring out your packing list for Iceland in winter may seem a bit daunting, but we’ve listed everything you will need to ensure you are comfortable and prepared for the Icelandic elements.

Packing List For Iceland In Winter

We were so excited when we were finally able to visit Iceland! The landscapes that you find there are just incredible and can leave you breathless – literally!

In Iceland, it’s all about being outdoors and if you are traveling to Iceland in winter, you especially want to be prepared for any and everything. The weather can be quite unpredictable: one second it’s sunny, the next it’s sleeting sideways!

Since we’re from Florida, when it came time to figure out what to wear in Iceland, we were a bit nervous.

Umm…fleece leggings? What are those??

But we did some research, packed our bags, traveled to Iceland, and survived the cold! And now, we’ve put together this packing list in the hopes that it helps you during your trip to Iceland in winter.

Vicky and Buddy in Iceland
We’re ready to explore Iceland!

Iceland Packing List – Outerwear

Jacket/Coat – Invest in a good jacket! Trust me, this is not something you want to skimp on. Make sure it’s waterproof and has a hood. If you can get one that’s a bit longer, even better, because you’ll want to cover up as much as possible.

Pants – Some people say not to wear jeans, but we did ok with them. It depends what you’re doing that day. We also recommend taking a pair of snow pants.

Hat – Keeping your head warm is so important! We recommend a couple of fleece-lined beanies. Not only to change up your outfits, but in case one gets lost. You don’t want to be caught outside without a hat!

Gloves/Mittens – We actually had both; we used wool mittens over our gloves. Whenever we were taking pictures with our camera, we’d take off the mittens and still have our gloves on to keep warm. If you know you are going to be using your phone a lot, we recommend getting gloves with touch screen fingers.

Scarf – Keeping your neck warm is also important! We had a regular loose knit scarf that didn’t block the wind very well, so we recommend getting a wool scarf. We also saw a lot of people wearing fleece-lined gaiters, so that’s an option as well.

Kerið crater
Kerið crater

Iceland Packing List – Layers

Thermals – In Iceland, it’s all about layers! Wear thermal underwear tops and bottoms underneath your shirts and pants for extra warmth.

Sweaters – Pack sweaters that fit comfortably under your jacket and that look nice when you go into town for dinner. You can also buy a wool sweater once you get to Iceland; they are super warm!

Long Sleeve Shirts – Again, it’s all about layers. Depending on what activities you are doing, you may want to take off your sweater and only have a long sleeve shirt.

Wool Socks – Having cold feet is the worst! Invest in moisture-wicking wool socks. You’ll thank us later.

Skógafoss, Iceland
Skógafoss, Iceland

Iceland Packing List – Boots

We recommend taking at least two pairs of boots; one pair for every day wear and a tall pair for walking and/or hiking in snow. Both should be waterproof! We think Sorel makes incredible winter boots and we loved the pair that we bought. We know it might be hard to pack multiple pairs of boots, so if you can only take one pair, make it the pair of tall boots.

Exploring lava caves in my Sorel winter boots
Exploring lava caves in my Sorel winter boots

Iceland Packing List – Swimwear

You might question this for a second, but remember that Iceland has the Blue Lagoon and many other hot springs throughout the country. If you’re lucky, you may even get invited by a local to a lesser known and less crowded hot spring, so have your swimsuit ready!

Iceland Packing List – Electronics

Camera – Seriously, you’re going to want to take a million pictures! We took some with our phone, but most of the photos we took were with our Sony camera.

Portable Chargers – Because of the cold, the battery life of your electronics won’t last as long. We recommend packing a portable charger, maybe even two if you are doing all-day tours.

Adapters – Iceland’s outlets are like most other European countries. If you are traveling from the US you will need an adapter. Fyi, we’ve always found this website useful, as it lists the outlets and voltage used by each country in the world.

Converters – Odds are, you won’t need a converter since most phones and computers are dual voltage, but check your electronics just to be sure.

Waterproof Phone Case – Not an electronic, but we definitely recommend having a waterproof phone case with you to protect your phone when you are taking pictures close to waterfalls or when you are swimming in the Blue Lagoon.

Behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall
Behind Seljalandsfoss Waterfall

Iceland Packing List – Misc

Hand Warmers – One of the best things we bought for our trip! We used hand warmers every day and tucked them between our mittens and gloves, and sometimes in our boots.

Lotion and Lip Balm – Because of the cold, your face and skin will dry up. Since we’re used to Florida humidity, any time we leave the state we dry up like prunes so we always have a small bottle of lotion and lip balm readily available.

Tissues – Are we the only ones that get drippy noses when we’re out in the cold? If it happens to you too, take a few travel sized packs of Kleenex.

Water Bottle – You can drink water straight from the tap in Iceland, so bring a reusable water bottle. The cold water comes straight from the glaciers, so its clean and safe to drink. The hot water comes from the ground and smells like rotten eggs due to the sulfur, so we don’t recommend drinking it.

Umbrella – Like we mentioned earlier, the weather in Iceland can change quickly. It’s a good idea to have a small umbrella, just in case it unexpectedly starts raining.

Towel – It’s a good idea to have a thin, easy to pack, quick-dry towel. It’s perfect for after your dip in the hot springs and it’s stylish enough that it can also double up as a pashmina if you’re cold.

Sunglasses – When the sun does come out, it’s gorgeous! Make sure you have a good pair of polarized sunglasses.

Medicines/Prescriptions – In Iceland, it’s not as easy to get medicine; you can’t even get ibuprofen over the counter. So take any medicines you think you might need. We always travel with Aleve, Tums, and a few band-aids (life savers if you get a blister).

Day Bag – And of course, you’ll want a day bag to roam around with. We personally love Osprey backpacks and think they are really comfortable and great quality.

Final Thoughts On Packing List For Iceland In Winter

Usually we are advocates of traveling light, but when it comes to packing for Iceland, we think more is better. We don’t want for you to be so miserably cold that you’re not enjoying the magic that is Iceland.

We want you to enjoy every second of your trip! So hopefully this packing list for Iceland in winter will ensure you have a wonderful time and a great adventure.

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Figuring out your packing list for Iceland in winter may seem a bit daunting, but we've listed everything you will need to ensure you are comfortable and prepared for the Icelandic elements.

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  1. Brianne Miers says:

    This is INCREDIBLY helpful, since I’m planning my February trip now. I didn’t think of some of these things, like the phone case and hand warmers. Thanks!

    1. Hey Brianne! I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful! And feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all about Iceland. 🙂

  2. Great tips. I loved wandering Switzerland in late winter and have stocked up on many of the things you suggest. My greatest piece was a microfiber thermal top. That, a light shirt and my sherpa-type coat kept me more than warm. Also the boots I finally got were similar to Sorels and kept me walking anyplace in comfort. Now, I just need to get to Iceland!

  3. Sounds like everything I am wearing now in New York minus the snow pants. Especially since it is colder here than it is in Iceland. Great list! I always make them when I pack anywhere I go.

  4. I just can’t imagine how cold it gets there! Gloves with the touch screen pads are a great idea! I also didn’t realise how difficult it is to get over the counter medications, that is very useful to know. I always take lip balm everywhere, it’s a life saver in the heat and cold 😀

  5. One of the things I fear the most about going to Iceland in the winter is how cold it’ll be. I really dislike the cold, but this looks like a great and comprehensive packing list to follow to hopefully reduce the cold. Brrr

  6. Iceland in the winter? You are brave. I needed this packing list for my trip to Iceland in the summer! One of these days I’m going to brave the winter, I need to see the northern lights!

  7. We have basically the exact same packing list for this! I went to Iceland just about a year ago and was so overwhelmed with what to pack. Those fleece-lined leggings are pretty amazing, aren’t they!? I hope you enjoyed your trip to Iceland!

  8. Bookmarked! This is a great list. Never been to Iceland, so this is a great resource when I decide to go.

  9. I’m from California so I’d have trouble figuring out what to pack as well. Good advice on having gloves on under the mittens, I would not have thought of that and my hands would get cold from using my phone! I’d probably forget my swimsuit so good point about the hot springs there! Wool socks would definitely go into my suitcase, nothing worse than cold toes! Great list to help people visiting such a cold place!

  10. Bookmarking your post because I am planning a trip to Iceland in 2018 and it is always handy to have a list of things to pack, especially to colder places because I am not used to travelling to or being in chilly weather. I love all your pictures!

  11. This is a very good list. I swear by hand warmers, tucked into gloves, boots and bras!!! I am glad you included swimwear, this is the thing I take on every single trip. You never know when you’ll bump into an amazing spa or geothermal pool! I stupidly didn’t invest in good enough boots when I went and that is definitely something that I will be taking away from this list.

  12. Honestly, I didn’t consider heading to Iceland in the winter, but if a Floridian can do it! The gauntlet has been thrown! 😉

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