What To Wear In Iceland In October: Tips From An Icelander (2023)

If you’re wondering what to wear in Iceland in October you’re not the only one!

I’ve lived in Iceland almost my entire life and even I’m confused on some days.

You don’t want to spend all your time running from the hotel to the inside of the car.

Which is where we come in! 

In this post, I’ll go over the stuff you need to enjoy your adventure in Iceland.

I’ll go over;

  • What to wear in October
  • What the weather is like 
  • How good the chances are of northern lights! 

So let’s jump into it! 

Weather in October

The weather in Iceland in October can vary greatly. You shouldn’t expect very low temperatures, but it will be cold.

Here’s what you can generally expect in terms of weather in Iceland in October:

Temperature:

The average temperature in October ranges from around 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F), although it can fluctuate significantly. 

That doesn’t sound that bad!

But the weather can change rapidly, and temperature drops or rises can occur within a short period of time.

So you definitely want to prepare for the worst!

Also! We don’t account for the wind, so even if it says 8°C (46°F) you have to factor in the wind yourself! Hurray!

Daylight: 

In October, Iceland experiences decreasing daylight hours as the country moves closer to winter. 

At the beginning of October, there may be about 11-12 hours of daylight, with the days getting shorter as the month progresses. 

This means that you definitely want to start preparing your trip around the daylight. Make sure to not ‘waste’ daylight on the road.

We actually wrote a travel hack post about the golden circle, the south coast, and Snæfellsnes peninsula 

Precipitation: 

Iceland is known for its frequent rainfall, and October is no exception!

Rain is common in October, and there may also be occasional snowfall, especially in higher elevations. 

You’ll want to be prepared for wet weather and have appropriate waterproof clothing to stay dry and comfortable.

In fact, it’s the most important thing to be prepared for!

Wind: 

You should expect it to be windy, but that goes for all months in Iceland!

Windproof clothing and sturdy footwear are recommended.

October isn’t windier than other months, but that doesn’t mean much…it’s always windy here in Iceland!

Overall, the weather in Iceland in October can be variable and changeable, with a mix of cold temperatures, rain, occasional snow, and potentially windy conditions. 

This is a fancy way of saying, no one knows what it’s going to be like!

But it’s essential to be prepared for a wide range of weather conditions, dress in layers, and have appropriate waterproof and windproof clothing to stay warm, dry, and comfortable during your visit. 

So what should you pack for Iceland in October?

Packing list for Iceland in October

You want to dress for the wind, rain, and fairly low temperatures!

So let’s start with the inner layers. 

Inner Layers

Layering is key in Iceland as it allows you to adjust your clothing according to the changing weather conditions. 

These are my recommendations.

Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear is THE BEST base layer for any season in Iceland.

They are thin but warm and dry fast. 

On top of that should go a warm sweater or a hoodie.

Then, if you’re really prone to cold (or only have a windbreaker) you want an additional layer on top of that. 

I would recommend a wool sweater since it breathes well and keeps you warm.

You also want to be wearing good socks. Thick wool socks that dry quickly. 

You don’t want to have cold feet!

But what about the outer layers?

Outer Layer

The outer layer will dictate how many inner layers you’ll need.

We recommend the parka in October

The parka is the best piece of clothing you can have for Iceland in the winter.

Ours are waterproof, windproof, and made for extreme conditions. So they’ll handle anything Iceland throws your way!

And it also means that you won’t need as many layers!

Example;

If you’re wearing a parka, thermal underwear might be enough! And on bad days (super windy days), throw on a hoodie! 

But what about your feet and legs?!

Hiking boots and pants

A good pair of hiking boots are a must!

They need to be resistant to water, breathable and provide support.

If you’re planning on doing any type of glacier hiking, they should also have a high top.

You’ll also want a pair of pants that will protect you from the rain and wind.

It’s one of the things we see a lot of people neglect. They forget to bring their outdoor pants with them and then pay the price.

You’ll be exploring Iceland and I can promise you that it won’t be sunny and warm the entire time. 

Other important things!

Here are a few things you should bring as well (or rent, wink, wink!)

A beanie!

Won’t someone please think of their ears?!

Sunglasses!

The days might be getting shorter but it can still get pretty damn bright! Especially if you’re the one driving! 

Waterproof backpack!

Now this is a luxury item. But it can be pretty darn handy when you’re exploring waterfalls and the south coast! 

Swimsuit!

There are sooooo many lagoons in Iceland that you’ll go bankrupt if you’re planning on renting a pair of swim trunks at every place! 

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and be prepared to dress in layers to adapt to changing conditions. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to be prepared with appropriate clothing to stay warm, dry, and comfortable during your October visit.

Best tip:

Rent all the stuff you need! 

We’ve selected the best clothing you need to enjoy Iceland on your terms.

Save money and bring a carry-on to Iceland! 

We’ve got gore-tex boots, water and windproof pants, winter parka, gloves, hats, and hiking crampons.

Check out our selection and explore Iceland warm and without worrying about the weather!

Northern Lights in Iceland in October 

You can definitely see the northern lights in October! 

The days are getting shorter so you won’t have to stay up as long as you did in September.

There are plenty of tours going out that you can join or just drive off on your own!

We wrote a post about it if you plan on hunting the northern lights!

And since you’ll be well dressed, you can enjoy your time under the clear skies!

Final words

That’s it!

Thanks for reading! 

Now you know exactly what to wear in Iceland in October and you’ll be ready for whatever Iceland throws your way!

And if you want to save money and space in the bag, check out our selection right here! 

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