What to Wear in Iceland (Every Season): Tips from an Icelander  

If you’re coming to our little island and you’re wondering what to wear in Iceland, then this blog is for you! 

Planning your wardrobe for a place with such capricious weather gods can be daunting, but fear not!  

We’ll go over what you need to know so you can enjoy your time in Iceland! 

General tips

Here are some general tips for how to dress for Iceland. 

When it comes to dressing for Iceland, the golden rule is layering.  

Think of your outfit as a lasagna—each layer plays a crucial role in keeping you warm, dry, and comfortable. 

Base Layers

The base layer is like the foundation of a good lasagna—it might not be glamorous, but it’s essential.  

This layer touches your skin, so choose materials that manage moisture and wick sweat away. Opt for synthetic fabrics or wool. Merino wool is a good choice here.  

Ideal base layer items include: 

– Moisture-wicking underwear 

– Long-sleeved tops or T-shirts 

– Socks (preferably wool) 

Mid-layers

The mid layer is your insulation, trapping warm air close to your body.  

Think wool sweaters, sweaters in general, and hoodies. Try your best to stay away from polyester since it doesn’t breathe well. 

Wool sweater

In the colder months, consider heavier socks over your base layer socks to keep your toes toasty. 

Perfect mid-layer choices: 

– Wool sweater 

– Hiking sweater 

– Sweater/hoodie from a sports brand since they tend to breathe a bit better. 

Outer Layers 

winter parka

 The outer layer will depend on the month and season. 

But mainly it should be highly water-resistant and insulated to keep you warm. 

We offer outdoor gear that will allow you to wear fewer layers underneath. 

Cause as they say in Scandinavia, there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes! 

Great outer layers: 

– Winter parka 

– Insulated raincoat 

– Water-resistant boots 

– Shell 

– Outdoor pants 

What to wear in Iceland in Spring (April-May)

Spring in Iceland is a bit like a Viking thawing out after a long winter—still brisk, but slowly warming up.  

Average temperatures range from 32°F to 50°F (0°C to 10°C).  

Expect wind, rain, and even the occasional snow. 

Insulated raincoat

You can rent all the outdoor items you need from us!  Check out our selection right here! 

So here’s what you’ll want to wear   

Thermal base layer 

They keep you warm and dry fast!  

Fleece sweater 

This is a good mid-layer for breathability. However, if you’re wearing a parka it might be a bit of an overkill 

Parka or insulated raincoat 

The parka is a heavy hitter, extremely warm, and mainly for the winter months. So a good choice for those that are always cold or if you’re coming early in Apil. 

The insulated raincoat is warm and waterproof. It’s not as warm as the parka but you won’t have to worry about the rain. A great choice for the end of April and rest of spring and summer.  

Hiking boots 

hiking boots

Water-resistant hiking boots are a must during all months! 

Warm hat, gloves 

What to wear in Iceland in summer (June-August)

Summer is the busiest season for tourists, with temperatures ranging from 48°F to 59°F (9°C to 15°C), occasionally hitting a balmy 68°F (20°C).  

Icelandic horses

While it’s the warmest season, Icelandic summer is still cooler than most summer destinations. 

So here’s what you should wear! 

You can save money and space in the bag by renting the outdoor clothing you need! 

Check out our selection right here! 

Mix of short and long-sleeved shirts 

The shorts for the good days (hopefully) and the long-sleeved shirts as a mid-layer or base layer. 

Tank tops for the daring 

If you truly have no fear, than you can wear a tank top on some days! 

Fleece or wool sweater 

Great mid-layer, might not be necessary all the time but a must-have just in case. 

An insulated raincoat or a shell 

Insulated raincoat

The insulated raincoat will protect you from the wind, rain, and cold. It doesn’t breathe well so start off with fewer layers. 

The shell is water-resistant and windproof. It breathes better than the insulated raincoat but it isn’t as warm. So you’ll need more layers underneath. 

Outdoor pants 

Outdoor pants are mandatory. They will protect you around waterfalls and if the wind picks up. They will also allow you to wear fewer layers which is always nice! 

Good socks 

Good socks all year round!  

What to wear in Iceland in Fall (September-October)

Fall brings cooler temperatures (36°F to 55°F or 2°C to 13°C), stronger winds, and frequent rain.  

hiker on a mountain

It’s the perfect time to don your rain gear and embrace the dramatic Icelandic landscapes. 

So what do you need to wear? 

Rent the winter clothes you need from us! Just bring a carry-on and travel light, check out our selection of winter clothes right here 

Thermal base layer 

Thermal underwear are great all year round but for the winter they are a must.! 

Breathable, warm and dry fast! They are the perfect base layer. 

Warm sweater or fleece 

You could go for a wool sweater, hoodie or a sweater.  

Just make sure it’s not made out of polyester. A little bit is fine, but polyester doesn’t breathe well. So make sure to choose a sweater or a hoodie from a sportsbrand. 

Insulated raincoat or Parka 

winter parka

The insulated raincoat is still a good choice from September, but after that, the winter parka is the way to go! 

The winter parka is made for extreme conditions. Highly water resistant, windproof and warm. There’s a reason almost every Icelander owns at least one! 

Outdoor pants 

Outdoor pants are mandatory during the winter. 

They will help protect you from the wind and cold. Don’t leave home without a pair! 

Good socks 

A thick pair of socks are a must. Make sure they breathe well and dry fast. Something like merino wool 

Hiking boots 

hiking boots

Hiking boots are great all year round but especially during winter. Make sure they are water resistant and provide ankle support.  

Hats and gloves 

What to wear in Iceland in winter (November-March)

Winter is the longest and coldest season, ideal for Northern Lights hunting and soaking in hot springs.  

horse in winter

Temperatures range from 14°F to 37°F (-10°C to 3°C). It can of course get lower and we also don’t factor in the wind.  

So the windchill will bring these numbers down further. 

You’ll want to be prepared if you’re doing a glacier hike, food walk or just exploring the country

Prepare for snow, ice, and fierce winds. 

 So what should you wear? 

Long johns 

Best base layer for Iceland! 

Thick socks 

Mandatory during winter 

Insulating mid layer (fleece or wool) 

Make sure the mid layers breathe well. So don’t wear something that’s mostly polyester. 

A parka 

winter parka

The winter parka is the way to go! It’ll keep you warm while you explore Iceland 

Water-resistant and windproof pants 

Outdoor pants will help keep you warm. If you neglect you legs, you’ll feel cold no matter what 

Insulated waterproof boots with good grip 

Essential for the winter. 

Crampons 

These are a good choice if you’re exploring Iceland and doing day trips. 

Warm hat, thick gloves or mittens 

Don’t ignore your fingers!

What NOT to wear

Icelandic nature

Some items are best left at home when heading to Iceland: 

Denim or Cotton Outerwear 

These absorb moisture and will leave you feeling cold and damp in wet weather. 

Slippery or Uncomfortable Shoes 

The terrain can be challenging, so wear sturdy shoes with good grip and ankle support. 

High Heels or Dress Shoes 

Impractical for Iceland’s rugged landscape. 

Umbrellas 

The wind will render them useless. Opt for waterproof jackets and hats instead. 

What to wear in Reykjavík

Reykjavík

While the weather still applies in the city, the rules are more relaxed.  

In Reykjavik, you can get away with more stylish options.  

Denim jeans, cotton sweaters, and sneakers are perfectly fine.  

When going out in the evenings, think “smart casual”—a pair of jeans and a nice top will do nicely. 

– Stylish jacket or coat 

– Jeans or casual trousers 

– Smart casual tops 

– Comfortable shoes for walking 

– A warm coat for evenings 

And that’s it! 

I hope you have a better understanding of what to wear in Iceland. If you follow our advice, you’ll be able to enjoy Iceland on your terms without worrying about the weather! 

You can check out our selection of outdoor clothing right here!  

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