Heading to Iceland in the fall or winter? I’m excited for you! Curious about what to pack? You’re in the right place. This list of what to pack for Iceland in fall and winter will hopefully help you get your life in order.
Iceland is one of the most amazing countries and I have no doubt you’ll have a great time.
Iceland’s climate is constantly changing and the temperatures can fluctuate drastically every day. It can be sunny at one moment, hailing and snowing the next, and windy and raining a few minutes later. I definitely experienced weather changes while I was there in late September into October.
My main recommendation for packing for Iceland in fall & winter is to LAYER and bring your warmest clothes. Try and bring warmer clothes than you may think you need especially if you’ve traveled to Iceland from a mild climate like I did, (San Francisco)!
And always remember:
“There’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.” – My Mom
Keep this quote in mind when you’re packing. Having warm clothes will definitely make your trip a lot more enjoyable!
When I was in Iceland I took a camper van around Iceland’s Ring Road and slept in that. It gets VERY cold at night in a camper van so if you are camping be sure to pack extra warm clothes for sleeping.
I recommend listing out the different activities and day trips you’ll be doing in Iceland before you start your packing list. This will help you determine what exactly you need to wear in Iceland based on the activities you’ll be partaking in.
What to Pack for Iceland in Fall & Winter
Here you’ll find my packing list followed by examples of my outfits. I pretty much wore the same thing every day…fun I know!
The Osprey Sojourn Wheeled Luggage is my favorite. I took the 60L version of this bag, which is apparently not available anymore (sad), but something similar to this would be perfect. This went with me on my year of travel and it was great because it can be wheeled in most places, but also has the option to become a backpack.
This bag is perfect if you’re like me and want to be stylish, but also carry around a camera. It fits a mirrorless camera with two lenses!
I take this bag everywhere with me when traveling. It’s got compartments for everything and room for my camera gear, laptop, or other electronics.
A camelback backpack or something similar
If you’re planning on hiking or going to hot springs while you’re in Iceland something similar to this will be great for storing layers of clothes and necessities while you’re out and about. I’d recommend something like this or this. If you’d rather bring this in place of the backpack I suggested above that works too. Or you can get a packable day pack like this that packs flat in your luggage and you can take it out when you need it.
I can’t speak highly enough about packing cubes. They keep your bag completely organized and have helped me so much when traveling. It doesn’t really matter the brand, but I like Eagle Creek because of their flexibility and you can really fit a lot into each pack.
Iceland Packing List: Clothing and Shoes
Puffer jacket or a parka
Bring your warmest coat. It will be even better if it fits under your raincoat. I wore my Patagonia puffer the majority of the time and that was great for fall. However, if you are there in more wintery months, it will be a good idea to bring a long-length jacket like this or a more heavy-duty parka similar to this.
A sturdy raincoat
This will preferably be one that you know works, is water-resistant and will help you stay dry. If you can fit this raincoat over a smaller puffy jacket or parka, that would be ideal. It is also a smart idea in winter months to bring a Gortex jacket or long length jacket. My rain jacket recs here, here, and here (this one is Gortex).
A wool sweater or sweatshirt
A sweater or sweatshirt will be key if traveling during Iceland in winter. You can also purchase an Icelandic sweater upon arrival which is a fun memento to bring home! If you’d rather pack it, I recommend something like this or this. My recs here and here.
I brought a few of these and they were key as base layers. They were great to sleep in at night too.
These were key for me. Bring a few pairs! Or you can bring fleece-lined leggings that you can layer. Here’s a thermal set that would be great as well. My rec for fleece leggings is here.
Jeans or Jeggings
These are definitely optional. You may end up mostly wearing leggings, but if you want to bring jeans for going out in the city, please do bring your favorite pair! I was living in a pair of black Uniqlo jeggings because they were comfortable, but still looked good for going out to dinners in Reykjavik!
I would only bring these if you have room and if you are going out to nicer dinners in Reykjavik or are wandering the city and care to look a bit nicer. I had them because I was traveling around the world for a year, but these are definitely not necessary. Here’s what I mean when I say nicer knee-high boots if you do decide to bring them.
You don’t necessarily need all of these, but having one that’s really warm will be great! Preferably they will be made of wool or will be fleece-lined so they are super warm. My recommendations for a headband is here, and here and hat is here.
I used this a lot in the fall due to the heavy rain, however, you most likely won’t need it in the winter.
Iceland Packing List: Electronics and Gadgets
I use the Sony Alpha 6000. This camera is seriously the best thing to happen to me! I’ve used it for over a year and it’s the perfect size for traveling. Plus the photos come out clear and crisp without much fidgeting with the camera. You don’t need to know a thing about photography to get great photos with this thing. You honestly won’t want to miss the incredible photo opportunities in Iceland so I think it’s a good idea to bring your best quality option.
A power bank is a must if you’re using your phone for a lot of reasons, like taking photos, using maps, etc. I recommend this one!
A must for travel, I love these because they are noise canceling and great for the plane!
Camera strap – I get lots of compliments on this so thought I’d share since it’s so cute.
Travel Insurance – My favorite travel insurance is hands-down World Nomads and is great for adventurous trips.
Passport + Visa – Don’t forget your passport! Also, as a US Citizen, you don’t need a visa to get into Iceland, but if you’re not a US citizen you might want to look up if one is needed or not to enter.
Credit card and debit without international transaction fee – Everyone in Iceland uses a card. No one really ever handles cash from what I found. I recommend bringing cards without international transaction fees. I love the Chase Sapphire Reserve because of all of the perks and points you get on travel. My favorite debit card is through Charles Schwab because they don’t have ATM fees. I use this anytime I travel internationally. You can sign up for it here!
I hope you have a great trip to Iceland in the fall or winter! Check out my other Iceland blogs if you need more tips on what to do there!
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.