How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

Iceland, winter.

At the very thought of it, a shiver runs down your spine. The first things to think about are the cold, the ice, the snow, the ice and the cold again!

But how exciting and thrilling a can be travel to Iceland in winter? Unique and breathtaking landscapes, splendid unforgettable views and ready to be enclosed both in your photos and in your memories.

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

Actually the temperatures in Iceland during the winter season they may be less prohibitive than you think: just think that a Reykjavik, the capital, the average minimum temperature from December to March is around -2 degrees Celsius, not bad, right?

You probably would have thought much worse!

Sure it is that it is necessary to leave equipped and with the right clothing, especially if you are planning to go hiking in nature: you could find yourself facing ice, snow, rain and above all an almost infernal wind, so you can't be caught unprepared!

Also, with Icelandic prices, it is better not to be in the need of buying something. Your wallet will thank you.

So why not create a packing list dedicated to women on that what to pack for a winter trip to Iceland? So you can leave prepared and with everything you need.

If you leave well equipped and organized, surely:

  1. you will not beat your teeth;
  2. you will be ready to take off your rain cape or snow gloves in alternating phases;
  3. you will be equipped to jump on the ice sheets freely and safely;
  4. you will be impeccably glamorous, as only travelers can be, even if they look more practical!

Are you ready to face the Great North and have a suitcase worthy of the Night's Watch to protect the barrier?

For convenience, we can divide our packing list between things to put in your hand luggage, those to put in your suitcase, some accessories not to forget and personal care products to take with you.

Pen and paper in hand, take notes!

Practical advice

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

Iceland is a fantastic destination all year round, but in winter it is truly magical. In addition to the evocative snow-covered landscapes, you will have the opportunity to see thenorthern Lights!

So when you prepare your suitcase, keep in mind one thing: in Iceland you will walk a lot and the streets will be wet and frozen. Plus, if you want to make the most of the season, you will probably take part in some wonderful excursion: whale watching, ice caving, snowmobiling.

So leave high-heeled shoes and dizzying miniskirts at home and opt for absolutely technical equipment!

It will probably rain or snow: in your choice, therefore, give priority to waterproof clothing.

There will be no need for you to wash your things: you don't sweat a lot given the temperatures and you can easily wear your things even for 2 days in a row.

For underwear choose things in seamless cotton or microfiber, they are much more comfortable to wear under the (countless) layers of clothing you will have on.

So opt for comfortable and warm clothing rather than for a fashion one: this does not mean that you will necessarily look like Santa Claus (like me), you can be pretty all the same with the right accessories.

Pay particular attention to the ends: hands and feet. Don't underestimate this aspect: spend a little more but protect your body. If shoes are essential, socks and gloves are just as important.

In hand luggage

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

A hand luggage to be used also during your vacation, not just by plane.

Precisely for this reason, I advise you to choose a small but bulky backpack with the characteristics of the trekking backpack: this will allow you to take advantage of some really clever and useful features, such as pockets designed ad hoc to hold everything you will need, divided compartments and storage nets.

In addition to all the technological accessories you will need (pc, camera, smartphone with battery charger, e-book reader, etc.) and that you usually carry with you during a trip, there are some things that, having them within reach hand, they will facilitate your arrival in Iceland.

A pair of gloves and a cap

They take up very little space, gloves and cap wool could be useful when getting off the plane if the weather was particularly harsh. If you have to wait outside the airport for a shuttle or a taxi, you may need it and you won't shiver from cold!

Cocoa butter and hand cream

Two other very small, clever and really space-saving objects, cocoa butter and hand cream could help you both during the flight and once you land in Iceland.

Cold climates are particularly harmful to the skin, do not get caught unprepared!

Scarf or scarf

Scarves and foulards are very useful on the plane, especially to protect yourself from the air conditioning that inevitably blows into the cabin!

But not only that: in winter I always use a silk scarf around my neck and under the scarf: it helps me to keep myself much warmer. I advise you to try.

It will not be difficult for you to put a nice scarf in your hand luggage and it will be useful both during the flight and when traveling and when you touch the ground.

In the suitcase

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

Here our packing list becomes more interesting and articulated: so as not to fill your suitcase for Iceland at random, follow these tips and you will see that preparing your luggage will be very simple!

To tackle your winter journey, first of all I advise you to dress in layers: the weather in Iceland changes very suddenly, alternating between rays of sun and rain, snow and wind.

If you can dress multi-layered, you will have the ability to adapt to any climate change.

Don't forget to take a look to thermal underwear in the Decathlon store: you can really find everything you need at an affordable price.

Snow boots

La choice of shoes it is probably (together with that of the jacket) the most difficult and the most fundamental of all.

To walk comfortably and tackle the wonderful hikes that await you in Iceland, I recommend that you get a good pair of shoes that are warm and waterproof, that allow you to have a good grip on the ground to avoid bad slips on the frozen ground, that are reliable in conclusion!

There are some types that are perfect for walking on snow and ice, which will allow you to have no problems whatsoever crossing the territory of winter Iceland.

Look for it a pair of very good quality, they will be durable and the performance of use will be really satisfactory.

I advise you not to spend too much or too little: there are excellent brands on the market with high performance without spending a fortune!

Since I love Columbia, in my opinion these are the best snow boots that you can find on the market. If you want them low instead, check out these: both models are waterproof, very warm, soft and with the grip to avoid slipping:

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

PRO tip: Since it is essential to let the blood circulate, consider taking a larger number of shoes than you usually wear: in fact, you will have to wear (one or two) pairs of heavy socks.

Didn't find the boots you were looking for? Check out all Columbia winter boots here


I thermal leggings they will be very useful for fighting the coldest days. Thin and comfortable, they are easily worn under pants like a pair of tights and are ideal for keeping you warm.

They are very comfortable. Silk ones are a valid alternative to wool and fleece, materials that you can still take into account according to your preferences. However, silk is undoubtedly the most delicate fabric.

Of thermal underwear you will find a wide choice from Decathlon: the materials are very good and the prices are the lowest. In short, the quality / price ratio is to be taken into consideration.

The classic tights for harsh climates is now outdated, there are really much more comfortable and practical fabrics. Look for example these thermal tights.

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?


Put on a pair of socks and over a pair of heavy socks.

Conceptually similar to leggings, i silk socks they can be very useful if you need to wear more than one pair of socks.

If you wear them in contact with the skin, they will constitute an excellent anti-cold barrier to which you can add another pair of socks, perhaps made of wool or in any case thermal.

But try to remember not to wear socks that are too tight as this would compromise natural blood circulation: you would get the opposite effect!

Unfortunately now silk, although for me it is still one of the best fabrics, seems a little out of date. Difficult to find them especially online.

Then remember to bring 3 or 4 pairs of heavy thermal or ski socks. I love wool socks: there are an almost infinite quantity of them on the market. I had bought 3 pairs of these thermal ski socks.

Online, however, you are spoiled for choice, Decathlon for example has a good catalog where you will surely find what you need.

An advice: on socks do not go to the savings. Protecting the extremities, therefore hands and feet, is very important because they are the first to freeze.

In addition, when it comes to polar temperatures (or almost) you shouldn't joke. Better to have with you fewer things but of high quality rather than a suitcase full of stuff that won't protect you enough in the end.

Thermal shirts

Generally the thermal shirts they should be worn directly in contact with the skin, only in this way do they fulfill their function.

It is necessary that are of a breathable fabric, which thus allows the moisture produced by the skin to escape, preventing as much as possible the cooling caused by it.

Thermal sweaters are always a good solution, if you like this type of fabric you can also opt for thermal pants, created with the same breathable technology and suitable for wearing under trekking pants.


How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

Prefer pure wool sweaters, or soft fleece to wear over your thermal shirts.

Merino wool, for example, is ideal for Iceland's harsh climate, as is undoubtedly a nice warm fleece.

Da Decathlon find many fleece at all prices. I don't know the quality, but surely if you don't want to spend a lot they are a great choice.

In the fleece category, there are the famous "bears", a real marvel when it comes to staying warm!

I opted for this here and I am very happy with the choice made. I wore it under my jacket and sometimes under a large and very warm wool sweater.

Trekking pants

Get a pair of trekking pants to put in your suitcase: the important thing is that they are waterproof and that, possibly, have a padded layer inside to protect you from the winter cold.

You could also think about bringing a pair of ski pants with you, as long as they are comfortable and practical, not too bulky in short. The trousers, waterproof and warm, together with the boots are the must-have that you cannot give up for your trip to Iceland.


For this fundamental garment, you have various choices.

First of all, try to find a jacket / jacket that is waterproof and literally “slips on” any rain or snow. This feature will help keep you warm and make the garment manageable.

I tell you this because I had a fantastic duvet from Montura, which kept me very warm, until it started to rain and I became Spongebob: in fact he "soaked in water" and drying it was not exactly easy since I was in camper (in this case bring a hairdryer, it works wonders).

But you learn from mistakes.

My advice is therefore to have no doubts and opt for one ski jacket, specially created to withstand both low temperatures and wet conditions: the choice depends on your level of cold tolerance.

If you are afraid that it is not heavy enough, you can combine the jacket with a light down jacket or a nice fleece jacket (to put underneath).

If you can afford to spend a little more there The North Face Inlux Tri W double jacket it is certainly exceptional because it has a built-in down jacket and all the suitable features (waterproof, windproof and breathable as well as being really very beautiful):

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

However, I advise you to start the journey already with the jacket you will wear during your vacation: putting it in your suitcase could be very very complicated!

Didn't find what you were looking for? The North Face has a choice of really good jackets!

Caps, wool scarves and gloves

Always bring at least a pair of caps, a pair of scarves and gloves that are both warm and waterproof as much as possible.

Having a small supply of these garments will allow you to change them if they get wet and will allow you to always have them on hand.

Remember to choose gloves that are as warm on the inside and snow-proof on the outside as possible - if you can't find suitable ones, rather wear a pair of light woolen gloves underneath and another waterproof pair on top. The result and comfort will be guaranteed!

Gloves are even better if they are windproof. Actually I had 3 pairs of gloves: a pair of soft and warm under-gloves, a pair of windproof and waterproof technical ski gloves and a pair of very soft mittens.

Incredible, but still today I thank the heavens for having had the mittens. In fact, at night, waiting for the dawn, the mittens saved me at least a couple of little fingers from freezing.

Absolutely indispensable are the under gloves of wool!

As for the hat, however, even if it may not seem very glamorous myself i bought this and I had a great time: in Iceland there is a crazy wind and I have thanked a thousand times for having chosen something really warm.

But if you cared more than me to be pretty then maybe you might like it something like this. If you decide to buy a wool hat, try to get some one with the fleece inside.

Clever accessories

How to Dress in Iceland in Winter: What to Pack?

In addition to clothing, don't forget some accessories that may come in handy once you embark on your winter trip to Iceland!

Hand and foot warmers

When I was little and I used to go skiing (forced by mom and dad) these crafty things didn't exist: the hand and foot warmers.

they are small “cushions” that in contact with the air release heat even for hours. You can put them inside the gloves or I used them in the evening inside the socks to warm my feet.

There are an infinite number of them on the market. There are also gods electric hand warmers like this one that you can easily recharge. Honestly I've never tried them, I preferred classic ones like this one.

Sun glasses

If you come across beautiful sunny days, the glare on ice and snow could cause you a lot of boredom. Remember to pack your favorite sunglasses!


It might be useful to wear them over a nice wool cap, especially on windy days. Plus, they are a truly glamorous accessory!


In perfect green and eco-sustainable style, don't forget a reusable bottle so that you always have water with you for your wonderful trips!

Cold-proof beauty!

When embarking on a trip to the harsh northern climates, it is essential to better organize your own beauty case.

There are some things that it would be better not to forget such as, for example, the moisturizer, essential to moisturize the skin and avoid dryness and the lip balm, to avoid ugly chapping.

Don't forget the hand cream too!

Are you ready to go? The packing list is here to help, now all you have to do is get it all together and embark on a fantastic winter trip to Iceland!

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