Why the parka is the best garment for Icelandic winter (2024)

Icelandic winter is cold…and rainy…and windy. This is why you’ll need good clothes for Iceland

In spite of that, it’s well worth coming in the winter. 

  • Fewer crowds
  • Cheaper 
  • Some activities that open up just for winter
  • Northern lights
  • Snow

But if you plan on enjoying Iceland in the wintertime, you’ll want…

A parka!

In this post I’ll discuss;

  • Why a parka is good for Iceland
  • Why you should wear one
  • Go over why our parka is great for Iceland
  • Mention some activities where a parka is recommended

So make sure to read until the end so you can make an informed decision!

Let’s jump into it!

Clothes for Iceland: The parka

I’ve lived in Iceland my entire life and I can’t think of a better item of clothing to wear than a parka. 

I wear it every day during winter and it’s everything I need!

But, before we get into why a parka is a great garment for Iceland. Let me tell you quickly what I mean when I say parka.

A parka

When I say parka, this is what I mean.

When I say a parka, I mean a garment that can protect you in the most extreme conditions.

An item of clothing that can withstand the ever-changing weather in Iceland so you won’t have to bring your entire wardrobe to stay warm!


If you’re driving the South Coast and it’s sunny on the road, windy outside, raining in Vík, and of course, you want to get close to the waterfalls! A parka can handle all of those different scenarios. 

So in the rest of the post, when I say a parka, I’m talking about this.

But why do you need it?

Parka for Iceland

So why am I fawning over the parka?

Because of the many micro-climates in Iceland, you need to be prepared for a sunny day, a rainy day, a cloudy day, a windy day, and everything in between. 

And you can do that with;

  • Layers
  • More layers
  • A raincoat or a windbreaker
    • Or both

Or you could just wear a parka.

It’s very normal to experience all of the seasons in a single day in Iceland.

And the parka can handle it all!

So you can basically leave everything else at home and only bring the parka.

Rainy? The parka can handle it.

Windy? The parka will protect you.

Cold? You already know the answer.

Ragnarok has come? The parka will be nice to have.

All of the above? You won’t regret having a parka by your side. 

I personally like not wearing too many layers and you won’t have to…if you have a parka.

So I´ve established why I like the parka, but what exactly makes the parka good?

Well, let me tell ya!

clothes for Iceland? A parka!

The parka we rent out is from the Swedish brand Didrikson. They’ve been around for over a century and have mastered the art of waterproofing their clothes. 

As with most waterproof garments from Didrikson, our parka has the ´storm system’. 

What that means, is that the seams are either taped or welded to prevent rain from seeping through the seams. Which is a very common issue.

On top of that, the parka is made to withstand extreme cold.

The zipper is waterproof and protected by not one, but TWO flaps. This is to prevent water and wind from getting in there and making you feel cold.

 Our parka has not 3 pockets, not 4 but 7-9 pockets depending on the type!

So finding some space for your stuff is a thing of the past!

The parka is longer than most jackets.

Which means that it protects most of your body.

You could get away with wearing no protective pants, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

You’d be placing too much trust in Icelandic nature and that’s never a smart bet.

So now that you know a lot more about the parka and why it’s a great garment for Iceland.

What do you need it for?

Activities in Iceland in winter

Now that you’ve got your parka ready to go, here are some activities that you can do without worrying about the weather.

Ice caves

Ice caves are very cold…but you don’t have to worry about that!

Glacier hike

You’re well covered for a glacier hike! But you’ll definitely need a good pair of boots, pants, and gloves as well. 

But standing on top of a glacier is magnificent and if you have the time for it, you should do it!

Any daily tour!

You can do any day tour that you want! 

Golden circle? Easy!

South coast? No need to fear!

Snæfellsnes? Don’t sweat it!

City walk

If you want to walk around and explore Reykjavík then you can! The wind and rain can make it pretty uninviting but as I’ve mentioned quite a few times now…you’re covered!

Walk around, do a food tour, drink some beer and enjoy yourself!


Snowmobile rides are incredible in the winter. You’ll need good shoes, pants, gloves, and a beanie. But you’ll also get some of the main equipment from them, so you’ll be safe and warm.

Enjoying Icelandic nature

Or maybe, you just want to walk around our national parks and gardens. 

With a parka, you can do almost everything in Iceland!

Of course, I recommend that you wear other clothes for Iceland like good hiking boots, waterproof pants, a beanie, and gloves as well. But the main item is the parka and if you’ve got that, you’re covered.


So now you know what you need to tackle the crazy weather in Iceland.

So if you were looking for clothes for Iceland, look no further. The parka is the way to go and will enable you to do what ever you want.

Check out our parka right here!

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