What to take with you to Iceland (equipment and clothes)

A list of equipment for a trip to Iceland. What to take with you in summer or winter.

For those who are traveling to Iceland for the first time - read to know what is useful and what is not. After all, the weather in Iceland is very unstable even in summer. In order not to get wet in the cold rain and wind, read what clothes are best to take with you to Iceland. 

For those who have already been to Iceland - a reminder not to forget anything.


Which shoes should Iceland take

Waterproof sneakers or trekking boots are the most important shoes for a trip to Iceland. Even if you are not going to hike in Iceland, you still need waterproof shoes. After all, the weather in Iceland is very unstable and it can rain at any moment.

In the case of a car trip, you also need to take into account that some attractions will need to walk some distance from the parking lot, and in campsites you will have to walk on wet grass, so we advise to take a pair of good shoes. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that you will often need to walk on stones, and the sole of your shoes should be thick and durable enough.

An example of suitable shoes for a trip to Iceland in the summer is Salomon xa pro 3d sneakers.

In addition to waterproof shoes, it is worth having a spare pair of lightweight sneakers or sandals to change your shoes in the evening or walk in them in good weather. 

If you plan to visit the hot springs, then flip-flops or sandals will also be very useful.

Of course, if you want something unusual like a walk on the glacier, then you will need specific shoes, or rather crampons, but such things you can rent or get when book a tour. 

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Clothes for a trip to Iceland

All clothes can be divided into three layers:

  • the upper one is waterproof
  • medium - warm
  • underwear

The first and most important thing is the upper waterproof layer. It is necessary that your jacket and pants withstand the Icelandic cold rains and wind. Because it will be very uncomfortable in wet clothes. It is best if the clothes are made of membrane fabrics (Gore-Tex), with a water resistance of 10,000 or more.

It is better not to use a warm jacket for the trip - if it gets wet, then you will not be able to dry it. So, it is better to wear a warm sweatshirt or fleece, and on top of it a thin waterproof jacket or raincoat.

It is better to use a synthetic fleece jacket than woolen sweaters - they are lighter and dry faster if they get wet. It is even better to have several fleeces of different thicknesses and the ability to put them one on top of the other. In sunny, windless weather, you can sometimes walk in a T-shirt - but this is very rare for Iceland. More often there is a temperature of +10, wind and drizzling rain.

It is very comfortable to wear thermal underwear under the fleece.

On your feet, in addition to waterproof pants, you need to take light trekking pants that dry quickly. It is better not to take jeans at all, since they are heavy and take a long time to dry. Thermal underwear pants will not be superfluous either.

In addition, do not forget about all sorts of little things - a hat, gloves and so on. For sleeping, especially if you plan to stay at campsites, it is better to take a second set of thermal underwear.

Of course, it is worth checking the forecast and it is quite possible that you will be lucky and it is worth bringing shorts and more T-shirts with you. By the way, if you get on the list of lucky ones, then in Iceland it really does not hurt to have a sunscreen, since in good weather you can burn out in just a few hours.

List of clothes and shoes for Iceland

The complete list of clothes for a trip to Iceland in summer looks something like this:

  • waterproof jacket
  • waterproof pants
  • the fleece thick
  • the fleece thin
  • lightweight trekking pants
  • thick thermal underwear - pants and jacket
  • thin thermal underwear - trousers and jacket
  • t-shirts
  • hat or buff
  • panama
  • gloves
  • socks
  • waterproof sneakers or boots
  • light sneakers or sandals
  • flip flops
  • swimsuit
  • towel

clothes to take to Iceland in summer

Clothes for a trip to Iceland in winter

Winter in Iceland is not very frosty, but it is wet and windy, so warm clothes must be in your luggage.

It is worth counting on the temperature range from -5 to +5C.

In order not to freeze, we recommend taking a down jacket. A ski jacket and pants will do too.

High and warm boots should be used as the main footwear. They should be waterproof enough to withstand wet snow. In addition, it is worth remembering that it can be very slippery near attractions, especially near waterfalls, so it is advisable to have anti-ice pads on shoes.

Don't forget a warm hat and gloves.

A good thermos will also be useful. Especially when you are waiting for the aurora borealis... And if you don't know where and when to see the aurora borealis, then you should trust the local guides who know exactly where you can see the aurora borealis!

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So, in addition to the "summer" set of warm clothes, you need to take:

  • a warm down jacket or ski jacket
  • warm pants
  • high boots
  • a warm hat
  • warm gloves
  • thermos

If you plan to watch or photograph the northern Lights, the warmer your clothes are, the better. After all, you will need to stay outside for a long time.clothes to take to Iceland in winter

Camping equipment

If you are going to spend the night camping in a tent, then you will also need all the appropriate equipment.

The tent must be of sufficient quality to withstand strong wind and rain. A two-layer tent with metal arches and additional rope extensions on all sides is best suited.

Sleeping bag - it is better to take a synthetic sleeping bag to Iceland, not a down one. It is less afraid of moisture. You need to count on night temperatures up to +5 degrees, and if you plan to stay in the Highlands, then up to 0. The mat can be ordinary or inflatable, the main thing is that it is thick enough, since the ground in Iceland is very cold (unless of course you sleep on a volcano).

Burner - Not all campsites have an equipped kitchen, so you need to get your own cooking burner. You can use a gas or gasoline burner. Gas cylinders can be bought in large supermarkets in Reykjavik.

You don't need to take a flashlight when traveling in the summer - it will be light enough so that there is no need for a flashlight. The only reason why a flashlight can be useful is if you plan to visit lava caves.

Camping in Iceland

Camping in Iceland

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List of camping equipment in Iceland:

  • tent
  • sleeping bag
  • mat
  • the burner
  • pot/pot
  • cup
  • thermos
  • knife
  • fork and spoon
  • water tank

camping gear to take to Iceland

Equipment for hiking in Iceland

If you are hiking in Iceland for a few days, the first thing you need to take care of is how to keep your things dry. Therefore, you need a good hiking backpack and a rain cover for it. Make sure that it covers the entire backpack, and holds it tightly enough so that it is not blown away by the wind.

  • a large backpack for 50-75 liters
  • raincover
  • a raincoat for yourself (or a very good membrane jacket)
  • trekking poles
  • an additional supply of dry socks

Other equipment

Regardless of what format you are traveling in, these things may be useful to you:

  • a small backpack for sightseeing
  • sunglasses
  • charging for phones and cameras
  • powerbank
  • adapter from cigarette lighter to USB
  • first aid kit


  • soap, shampoo
  • toothpaste and brush
  • napkins
  • hand cream
  • hygienic lipstick
  • sun cream
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equipment for Iceland trip