Outdoor clothing for Iceland 2022 (South Coast trip)

What outdoor clothing do you need for the south coast of Iceland?

Well, you’ll definitely have to be prepared.

The South Coast of Iceland is full of amazing places. 

Which is why so many people decide to go there!

But there’s a catch.

The south coast can be ruthless to those that are unprepared. 

So let’s get you prepared! 

In this post, I’ll be talking about;

  • What weather to expect on the south coast
  • What outdoor equipment you’ll need in winter
  • What clothing you’ll need for the south coast in summer
  • Activities on the south coast that you’ll need good clothing for

So let’s get to it!

Outdoor clothing for the south coast of Iceland

Having traveled quite a few times to the south coast myself, I can tell you that not being prepared can lead to less time outside enjoying nature and more time inside the car.

Which is not what we want!

The first step is knowing what you’re up against.

What type of weather to expect on the south coast?

South coast of iceland

The south coast, just like Iceland, is rather tricksy when it comes to weather.

In the summertime, you can expect beautiful summer days with clear skies.

As well as extreme winds and rain. 

And very rarely, snow. 

That’s why your clothes need to be water and wind-resistant. This is very common in every post that talks about what to wear in Iceland.

That’s because it’s true! 

The aim is to be prepared for everything.

This leads me to…

Activities on the south coast

There is a lot to do on the south coast…A LOT.

And in order to enjoy it to the fullest, you have to be well equipped. 

Since a lot of the activities will leave you drenched! 

Here is a quick rundown of what you want to do that you’ll want to do and need good clothing for!

Seljalandsfoss

Seljalandsfoss in the evening

Skógarfoss

Skógafoss south coast of iceland

Reynisfjara

Black sand beach iceland

ATV aircraft wreck

The aircraft wreck in iceland

Glacier hike

Glacier in iceland

Golden Circle

Gullfoss in the winter

You can check out our blog about the Golden Circle right here!

Horseback riding near Vík

horses in iceland

Into the Volcano

into the volcano iceland

There’s tons of stuff to do on the south coast!

But let’s jump into the main reason for this post!

What outdoor clothing for the south coast do you need in the summer?

Let’s start with the summer!

Layers

A thick T-shirt will be enough on some days.

t-shirt

Or a thick sweater when it’s a bit windier.

sweater

These base layers will do just fine as long as you have a good outer layer.

However, if you’re prone to cold and want to add a layer, then add a merino wool base layer. 

baselayer

The most important thing about the base layer is that it can dry quickly. 

This is because you’ll most likely encounter wet days and the base layer must be able to dry quickly so that you can stay warm the day after!

Outer Layer

The outer layer should be wind and water-resistant. 

A simple raincoat, 

women's raincoat

Or a windbreaker will do just fine.

3 layered jacket

Shoes

Even in the summer, you need good shoes! 

hiking boots for iceland

Since you’ll be enjoying waterfalls, beaches, and glaciers you want to have boots with good grip and can withstand the elements, even if it’s only for a little while.

And don’t forget the rainpants! 

outdoor pants for iceland

You don’t realize how important it is to have dry legs until you’re in the middle of driving the south coast and your pants are drenched!

But what about the winter?

What outdoor clothing for the south coast do you need in the winter?

The winter in Iceland is similar to the summer, only colder and more intense. 

What do I mean by that?

It’s still going to be rainy and windy, only…more.

So what do you need in the winter then?

Socks

In the winter, socks become a bit more important than in the summer.

You’ll want thick socks that dry quickly.

I’ve found thick running socks to be quite good since they tend to keep me warm and they dry fast. 

sport socks

Layers

Layers become super important in the winter. 

You’ll want multiple layers ready to go, even if you won’t need them (I’ll talk about that later).

I would recommend a base layer made out of something soft that dries quickly. 

merino wool

Then on top of that, I’d add a thick sweater. 

A sweatshirt will do well.

sweatshirt

Now onto the outer layers.

Outer Layers

As I mentioned, in the summer, you can wear a windbreaker or a raincoat.

But in the wintertime, you’ll need a lot of layers underneath in order to stay warm.

A 3-layered jacket is a good choice for the wintertime since it provides both protection from the elements as well as warmth. 

3 layered jacket

If you wear a 3 layered jacket you can definitely lose some of the layers underneath. However, you should keep them in your backpack or car just in case.

This leads me to the most important item of outdoor equipment you can have for the south coast in the winter.

The parka

Parka for women

The parka is everything you need for your south coast trip! 

Water-resistant, windproof AND! It’ll keep you warm!

Remember!

I mentioned earlier how you might not need all the layers. 

When you wear a parka you definitely won’t need as many as you usually would.

I like to wear one thin layer or a T-shirt underneath my parka. 

Any more and it’s usually too much.

But if you’re not used to the cold, throw those layers on!

But there’s more!

Boots

hiking boots for Iceland hiking

A good pair of hiking boots are super important in the wintertime. 

It’s going to be a lot colder and if you’re feet get wet then it’ll have a very negative impact on the rest of your south coast trip!

You want hiking boots that can withstand some amount of water and keep you warm.

A good pair of boots + thick socks = a happy traveler. 

And another thing…

Crampons

crampons in Iceland

You’ll be visiting some waterfalls on your trip and the area around them is usually wet and therefore slippery.

Light crampons will make sure you don’t slip and fall while enjoying our nature.

You could get heavy-duty crampons, however, they are usually not needed for your average tours. 

And for activities where you need them, for example, glacier hikes, they’re included in the price.  

Final Words

That’s it!

To recap, if you’re traveling the south coast in the summer, hope for sunny weather but expect rain and wind. 

For the summer, 

  • You won’t need a lot of layers most of the time but keep them with you. 
  • A raincoat and a windbreaker will do just fine as well as a good pair of boots.

In the winter, 

  • Get a lot of layers and wear a 3-layered jacket or…
  • Get a parka and don’t worry about the cold! 
  • Wear good hiking boots

if you follow my advice on what outdoor clothing to wear for your south coast trip, you’ll be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest!

Check out our selection here!

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