Iceland Winter Packing List: 40+ Must-Have Items

So you’re heading to Iceland in winter? What to pack for a winter trip in Iceland? You may ask.

Packing for an Iceland winter trip can be a bit like preparing for a polar expedition. But don’t sweat it, or rather, don’t freeze it. I’ve got you sorted with a super comprehensive Iceland winter packing list.

Skogafoss waterfall in Iceland winter packing list.

Tips: The best way to get around Iceland is by renting a car. You can check car options here.

Winter Clothing Essentials for Iceland

When packing your luggage for Iceland’s winter, remember, layering is your best buddy.

Go for cozy materials like wool and down. These will keep you snug, and when it comes to tackling the frosty weather, having windproof and waterproof items is a no-brainer.

  1. Windproof/Waterproof Jacket: Consider something insulated that can withstand the icy winds and the sudden snow showers.
  2. Insulated Pants: Normal jeans won’t cut it in Iceland’s cold. Go for something waterproof and wind-resistant.
  3. Long Sleeve Tops: Opt for thermal or wool tops. These will be your base layers, trapping in the warmth.
  4. Thermal Underwear: You’ll be thankful for these when the temperatures drop. Go for a wool blend if you can, it’s warm and wicks away moisture.
  5. Down Jacket: A good down jacket can feel like you’ve brought a duvet with you.
  6. Wool Sweaters: Wool sweaters are incredibly warm, windproof, and can even keep you warm when wet.
  7. Windproof Gloves: Look for insulated gloves that will keep your fingers from freezing while you’re snapping pictures.
  8. Warm Scarves: A must-have for that extra layer of protection against the chill.
  9. Wool Socks: Few things are worse than cold feet, so pack multiple pairs of thermal socks.
  10. Warm Hat: A good beanie or other type of insulated winter hat is essential to keep your head and ears warm.
  11. Thermal Layers: Consider packing thermal leggings and shirts. They take up little room but provide a great deal of warmth.
Iceland winter packing list tips.

What Footwear to Pack for Iceland in Winter

Footwear in Iceland needs to be warm, waterproof, and sturdy enough to handle the elements.

And here’s a tip – look for boots with solid traction to prevent slipping on icy terrains.

  1. Waterproof Insulated Boots: Crucial for keeping your feet dry and warm. They should also have a good grip on those slippery ice patches.
  2. Crampons: These will give your boots extra grip when you’re exploring glaciers or icy trails.
  3. Slippers or Indoor Shoes: These are great for lounging around your accommodation after a long day of exploring.

List of Necessary Accessories for Iceland in Winter

Accessories aren’t just about style; they add that extra layer of comfort and functionality to your trip.

Things like hand warmers and a swimsuit for the geothermal pools are total game-changers!

  1. Ear Warmers: To protect your ears from the chilly winds.
  2. Hand and Foot Warmers: These can be lifesavers during particularly cold days or long photo shoots outside.
  3. Balaclava: For those super windy and cold days when you’re exploring outdoors.
  4. Swimsuit: You’ll want this for the geothermal pools or hot springs that Iceland is famous for.
  5. Quick-dry Towel: Handy for the pools, hot springs, or even if you get caught in the rain.
  6. Sunglasses: To protect your eyes from the glaring winter sun reflecting off the snow.

Tech Gear for Iceland Winter Travel

In the era of digital nomads and on-the-go entertainment, don’t forget these tech essentials.

They can make your trip smoother, more enjoyable, and, of course, more Instagrammable.

  1. Portable Charger: You wouldn’t want your phone to die in the middle of capturing a beautiful Icelandic landscape. A power bank, like the Anker Portable Charger, is the perfect solution.
  2. Waterproof Phone Case: Protect your phone from the elements with a good quality waterproof case.
  3. Headphones: To keep you entertained during those long road trips across the country. My top picks? The Sony WH-1000XM4Soundcore Anker Life, and Bose Headphones 700. Consider getting Apple AirPods or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II if you want something smaller.
  4. Speaker: Some music for the road.
  5. E-reader: Ideal if you plan to read during downtime without lugging around physical books. My favorite is Kindle Paperwhite.
Apple AirPods are good gifts for friends going abroad.

Camera Gear for Winter Photography in Iceland

Iceland’s stunning landscapes are a photographer’s dream. If you’re planning to capture the magic, be sure to pack the necessary camera gear.

  1. Camera: Whether it’s a DSLR, a mirrorless, or even a good quality point-and-shoot, you’ll want to capture Iceland’s beauty.
  2. Tripod: Absolutely essential if you’re planning on taking photos of the Northern Lights or any long exposure shots.
  3. Extra Batteries: The cold can deplete your camera battery faster than usual, so having spares is a good idea.
  4. Memory Cards: You’ll be taking lots of photos, so make sure you have enough storage.
  5. Lens Filters: To help manage the light and potentially enhance the colors in your photos.
  6. Camera Bag: To keep your gear safe, dry, and easily accessible.
Camera bag.

Health and Safety Items for Iceland Winter Trip

You can never be too prepared when it comes to your health and safety. From vitamins to motion sickness pills, it’s always good to have a backup plan.

  1. First Aid Kit: For any minor injuries or mishaps.
  2. Personal Medication: Don’t forget any prescription meds, and it’s also worth packing some painkillers and cold and flu meds.
  3. Vitamins: To keep your immune system strong and keep any potential colds at bay.
  4. Motion Sickness Pills: These can be very helpful if you’re planning on taking boat tours.
  5. Lip Balm and Moisturizer: The cold wind can be harsh on your skin, so keep it hydrated and protected.
  6. Sunscreen: It might be winter, but the sun’s rays can still cause damage, especially when reflected off snow.

Packing Toiletries and Personal Items for Winter in Iceland

The finishing touch to any packing list, personal items, and toiletries are essential. They’ll help you feel fresh, organized, and ready for any adventure.

  1. Travel-size Toiletries: Including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and deodorant.
  2. Wet Wipes/Hand Sanitizer: Always handy to keep fresh on the go.
  3. Travel Documents: Including passport, driver’s license, and any insurance documents.
  4. Credit/Debit Cards: Most places in Iceland accept cards, but it’s always good to have some cash on hand too.
  5. Snacks: Energy bars, nuts, or dried fruit can be a lifesaver when you’re out exploring.
  6. Reusable Water Bottle: Tap water in Iceland is some of the purest you’ll find, so save on plastic and refill your bottle as you go.

Iceland Winter Packing Tip

When traveling to Iceland in winter, packing can be a bit tricky due to the bulky and heavy nature of winter clothing.

Here are a few tips to help you pack efficiently for your winter trip:

Layer Up

Stay cozy and stylish by packing versatile layers you can easily mix and match.

This saves space in your luggage and allows you to adjust your clothing as the temperature changes. 

Choose the Right Fabrics

Stay warm without adding bulk by choosing lightweight and moisture-wicking fabrics like wool or polyester.

These materials keep you warm and dry without weighing down your luggage. 

Pack Winter Accessories

Don’t forget to pack essential winter accessories like gloves, hats, and scarves.

These items take up minimal space but can make a huge difference in keeping you warm and stylish during your trip. Plus, they’re the perfect finishing touch to any winter outfit.

Wear Your Heaviest Items

Maximize your luggage space by wearing your heaviest items, such as coats and boots, on the plane or during your travel day.

This saves space in your luggage and keeps you warm during transit. 

Use Compression Bags

Save space in your luggage by using compression bags to pack bulky items like jackets or sweaters.

These bags allow you to pack more efficiently and keep your items organized, so you can enjoy your trip without worrying about overpacking.

Wrapping Up

With this Iceland winter packing list, you’ll be fully prepared for whatever adventures come your way.

Don’t let the cold weather or unpredictable conditions hold you back from experiencing all that Iceland has to offer.

From thermal layers to waterproof gear, we’ve covered everything you need to stay warm and comfortable while exploring this stunning destination.

So, pack your bags with confidence and get ready for an unforgettable winter trip to Iceland!

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