What to Wear in Iceland in November: Tips From An Icelander(2024)

Are you wondering what to wear in Iceland in November? 

Well, that’s understandable! 

Iceland is a country of extreme weather conditions, and November is no exception. 

The weather can change quickly from mild to harsh, so it’s crucial to be prepared with the right clothing.

In this blog post, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to dress for the weather in Iceland in November, if you can see the northern lights, and what you can do in Iceland in November!

So let’s get into it!

Layer Up

Layering is the key to dressing for Iceland’s November weather. 

The weather can change dramatically from one hour to the next, so it’s essential to be able to adapt quickly. 

Start with a moisture-wicking base layer that will keep you dry and prevent you from feeling cold. 

Example:

Merino wool or synthetic materials

The next layer should provide insulation to keep you warm. 

Fleece jackets or wool sweaters are ideal for this layer. You can also wear a down jacket for extra warmth, though that will depend on the outer layer you’re wearing. 

If you’re wearing a good outer layer (like our parka, wink, wink) then you just want to put on a thick sweater or hoodie. You won’t need as many layers as you would otherwise.  

The outer layer should be waterproof and windproof to protect you from the harsh Icelandic winds and rain Even in November you’ll most likely experience more rain than snow (though you never know!)

A good quality parka is the way to go. It needs to be able to withstand the wind and rain. So Gore-tex material or similar is a must. 

You’ll also want windproof and water-resistant outdoor pants. The wind will steal away all warmth if you’re not protecting your feet! 

Footwear

Your footwear is critical when visiting Iceland in November. 

You’ll need to have breathable and water-resistant shoes to handle various terrains such as snow, ice, mud, and rocks. 

Hiking boots with good ankle support and waterproofing are a great option. You can also use crampons or slip-on cleats to improve your grip on icy surfaces.

Here’s an example of the kind of footwear you should use:

Hiking boots with good ankle support and waterproofing are a great option for most outdoor activities in Iceland in November. 

Look for boots made of Gore-Tex or other waterproof and breathable materials to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

If you’re planning on hiking on visiting waterfalls, you may also want to consider using crampons or slip-on cleats to improve your grip and reduce the risk of slipping or falling. 

You can either rent these items or purchase them from outdoor gear stores in Iceland.

Remember, having the right footwear is crucial when exploring Iceland’s rugged and unpredictable terrain, especially in November when the weather can be harsh. 

Accessories

Accessories such as gloves and hats are also important to keep you warm and comfortable while exploring Iceland in November. 

Choose items made of wool or synthetic materials that retain heat and keep you dry. 

You can also invest in a thermal balaclava or face mask to protect your face from the cold and wind.

Here are some suggestions for specific activities

If you’re going sightseeing;

Wear good shoes and start with the base layers. 

On top of that, wear a parka, gloves, beanies, and crampons. Outdoor pants are necessary as well. 

Have a thick sweater/hoodie/wool sweater ready to go in your bag if it’s too cold. You most likely won’t need it since you’ll be on the move and not standing still for long. 

For outdoor adventures such as snowmobiling or glacier hiking; 

You’ll want to be wearing all your layers and outdoor gear. 

Most tour operators will provide you with overalls but they are not enough on their own. A good pair of gloves and a beanie are. A.Must!

For northern lights tours;

You’ll be standing still for a long time. 

So this is when you want to be wearing all of your gear. We’re talking all your layers, parka, outdoor pants, thick socks, good boots, everything! 

Northern Lights In November

You can absolutely see the northern lights in November! The days are getting shorter and shorter and you don’t need to stay up super late!

It’s a great month to see the northern lights! 

Daily Activities 

Glacier hike

A glacier hike is an incredible experience and when you’re wearing good gear to protect you from the cold, nothing can stop you!

Northern lights tour

Since you’ll be well covered you can enjoy the northern lights without worrying about the weather! 

Food walk

Do a food walk with Reykjavík food walk! Taste some great food with amazing company! 

Explore the Southern Peninsula 

The southern peninsula has a lot to offer! Find out more here

Final words

That’s it!

If you follow my advice, then you’ll know exactly what to wear in Iceland in November and you can get the most out of your time in Iceland! 

Dress in layers, wear waterproof and windproof clothing, sturdy and waterproof footwear, and woolen or synthetic accessories. 

Remember to pack according to your planned activities, and always be prepared for changing weather conditions. 

If you want to save some space in the bag then we’ve got everything you need to stay warm and dry in Iceland! 
Check out our selection right here!

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