What To Wear For Iceland In August: Tips From An Icelander (2024)

Coming to Iceland in the summer? Wondering what to wear for Iceland in August?

That’s understandable, the weather can change extremely fast and you want to be prepared! 

And I get it! 

I’m from Iceland and even I don’t know what’s going on half of the time! 

This is why I’ll quickly go over what you should wear in August and what NOT to bring!

We also made a no-nonsense video on how to dress for the weather!

So let’s jump into it!

What to wear for Iceland in August

First things first, let’s talk about the weather. August in Iceland is considered one of the warmer months, with temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) to 14°C (57°F) on average. 

But don’t let that fool you, since we Icelanders in all our wisdom don’t take the wind into consideration! 

Even if it says 14°C (57°F) if that’s followed by 8 meters per second well dear reader…it’s not 14°C (57°F) anymore

With that being said!

Here is the most important item of clothing you’ll need in Iceland: 

A good jacket. 

Make sure it’s windproof and waterproof! 

That’s the name of the game here in Iceland, so if you take anything from this post it’s to bring waterproof clothing to Iceland!

Oh, and make sure it has a hood too!

You don’t want to be wet and freezing on the south coast cause you went behind a waterfall and the wind is now picking up!

For the next layer, opt for a fleece or a sweater made of wool or synthetic materials. Icelandic wool, also known as ‘lopi’, is warm, lightweight, and breathable. 

It’s also water-resistant, which is perfect for Iceland’s unpredictable weather. 

But be warned, Icelandic wool can be itchy, so make sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt underneath (trust me)

The key is to layer but not too much. 

I would not recommend wearing more than a thick sweater underneath your outer layer.

Of course, you have to listen to your own body and it depends on what you’re doing but in general, thermals, a hoodie and an outer layer (as long as it’s water and windproof) will do just fine! 

Pants

Now, let’s talk about pants. 

Jeans are not recommended for hiking or any outdoor activity, as they take forever to dry and are not very warm. 

Instead, go for outdoor pants that are water-resistant and windproof

I recommend thermal underwear! It’s incredibly handy to have!

Then make sure that your outdoor pants are wind and waterproof. 

They don’t have to be lined on the inside, just as long as they protect you from the elements!

Shoes

When it comes to shoes, waterproof hiking boots are a must. 

Iceland is a country of natural wonders, and you’ll want to explore as much as possible.

But with all the rain and mud, your sneakers won’t cut it, well they might, but you’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t have good hiking boots. 

Make sure your boots have good traction, as some of the terrains can be slippery, especially around waterfalls and glaciers.

Thermals

Thermals are the name of the game all year round in Iceland.

Of course, there are days when they aren’t necessary but you’ll want to have them just in case.

The good thing about thermals is that if you pair them with a good, warm jacket and waterproof outdoor pants, you won’t need any other layers!

The thermals will keep you warm most days and if it’s a super bad day, then just throw on a sweater!

You don’t need 5 layers if you do it correctly and thermal underwear will help you with that.

Accessories

Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s move on to accessories. 

A hat and gloves are a must, as they will keep you warm and protect you from the wind. 

And don’t forget sunglasses, as the sun can be quite strong, even in August.

A flynet is incredibly handy and can be bought all over the country. You might not have to worry about it in August, but if you have one at home, then bring it!

And that’s it! That’s the basic!

So as long as you layer up, have waterproof pants, and waterproof, windproof, and warm jacket, and good hiking boots you’ll be wearing the clothes you need for Iceland in August! 

Now let’s move on to what NOT to bring with you!

What NOT to bring to Iceland in August

First of all, you can of course bring whatever you want.

These are simply the items I suggest you leave at home or not rely too much on.

Cotton

Cotton is a big no-no! (well, kind of)

Not only does it absorb moisture and take a long time to dry, but it can also lead to hypothermia (very extreme to be fair). That won’t happen to you but it highlights just how useless it can be (as a way to keep yourself warm).

But if you want to bring it to look good, go ahead! 

This is because cotton loses its insulating properties when wet, which means it won’t keep you warm if you’re caught in a rain shower or standing next to a waterfall.

Denim

Now of course I’m not saying that you shouldn’t bring your jeans or a denim jacket.

Just don’t think of them as outer layers or something that will protect you from the elements.

Denim takes a long time to dry, and if you get wet, it can be uncomfortable and restrict your movement. Plus, denim doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation, so you’ll be cold if the temperature drops.

Sandals and flip-flops

Sure, there are about 2-3 days where you feel like you can be wearing sandals and flip-flops. 

But in all honesty, you should just leave them at home.

Iceland’s terrain is rugged, and you’ll need sturdy footwear to navigate the country’s natural wonders.

Plus, sandals or flip-flops don’t offer much in the way of protection from the elements, and your feet will be cold and wet if it rains.

It’s also a good idea to avoid wearing anything too tight or restrictive. I’m guessing that you’re planning on doing a lot of walking and exploring and you’ll want to be able to move freely and comfortably as you do that! 

Wearing tight clothing can restrict your movement and make it difficult to climb stairs or hike up a mountain.

And finally,

Fancy clothes

Leave your fancy clothes at home (maybe not all of them!). 

But if you’re planning on exploring and enjoying nature, you might want to leave most of the fancy clothes at home. 

I’d rather recommend cozy sweaters and comfortable hiking pants so you can make the most of your adventure in Iceland! 

End

That’s it! 

Follow my advice you’ll know exactly what to wear for Iceland in august and be well-equipped to enjoy your time on our little island to the fullest.

Make sure to check out our selection to save money and space in the bag!

And if you’re going to the Golden Circle, check out this travel hack!

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