What to wear in Iceland in winter

 In Local Advises, Winter in Iceland

Going to Iceland over the winter might sound like the coldest thing to do for a winter holiday, I mean the name is Ice-land, therefore you are probably wondering what to wear in Iceland for your winter trip. Don’t worry too much the weather is not too cold, but the problem here in Iceland is the unpredictable weather, one moment you might have this still and beautiful winter weather and the other moment winter storm. The average temperature in Iceland over the winter -5°to +5°celsius, the windchill and the stormy weather often makes it feel a lot colder though. So it’s really important to prepare for the trip and decide what to wear in Iceland in winter, dress according to the weather. In Iceland, we say there is no bad weather only poorly dressed people. So keep on reading here are my local tips for you on what to wear in Iceland in winter.

Dress in layers, the most important thing I can tell you is to wear layers. So that’s why we are going to go through this blog about what to wear in Iceland in winter in layers too. The reason why we wear layers are to be able to take layers off or add layers on easily if needed which is important for Iceland’s ever-changing weather.

what to wear in Iceland in winter

First layer

Should be the layer closest to your body and I recommend having a good base layer, whether you choose synthetic or wool choose wisely. You want to feel comfortable in it. I do have many base layers and my favorite once are wool baselayer, why? because they don’t smell so easily allowing me to wear them for many days without worrying. When it comes to the fitting I choose high roll neck and long body, because I like having my neck warm and I don’t want a gap between my base layer bottom and top. Then you might also want to think about weight, base layers come in many thicknesses and styles.

Second layer

Regular pants and sweaters, good fabrics to wear would be fleece or wool. If you plan to be stopping in different places and going in and out of your car, it’s good to think about comfortable clothing. You might want to wear some hiking pants or more sport orientated pants rather than jeans because if jeans get wet they get super heavy and hard to move in. Fleece sweater or any warm sweater is good.


What to wear in Iceland in winter

Third layer

Would be the outside layer, wind- and waterproof clothing. Important to bring both rainjacket and rainpants in Iceland at least if you plan to spend some time outside. Not only for the rain also it can shelter you from the wind and keep you warm if it’s freezing outside. Make sure your outside layer fits over all the other layers, doesn’t work much if you have to skip your warm sweater to fit in it.

Fourth layer

Most of the time people only talk about three layers, but I want to talk about this layer as the fourth one it’s the warm layer, bring an extra warm jacket or a sweater. If your raincoat serves all the work, wind, waterproof, and warm then you might not need this extra layer if not, on the other hand, you don’t have a warm wind and waterproof jacket you might want to have a down jacket or something extra warm with you. This would be a down jacket or some sort of insulation jacket.

Extra Layers

I’m going to call these the extra layers, I would also say they are really important. They are warm socks, gloves, and hats. Don’t pack all your really nice and warm clothes and then forget to pack real socks, if your toes are cold you will be cold, so remember the toes need good socks, no fake materials, wool is the best for this purpose. Also, don’t forget to bring a warm hat or beanie and gloves. Make sure it covers your ears, it’s not for the look it’s for keeping you warm.

Solla Local Icelander


Important to have good shoes some kind of hiking shoes, preferably waterproof or at least water resistant. Good to make sure they fit you well, before your trip and if they have been in your closet for ages making sure they are not falling apart is important, they should also have a good grip so it’s easier talk walk in the snow or ice.

Extra gear

Some extra gear you might want to take with you. Microspikes to wear under your shoes, especially if you plan to check out many waterfalls, the surrounding can be quite wet and icy over the winter months. You are of course going to need a swimsuit because hot springs and swimming pools are as nice to visit in over the winter months as the summer months.

In my blog about what to pack for Iceland, you will find a general packing list which is appropriate for winter also. Check it out to help you with deciding what to wear in Iceland in winter, and what you have to pack.

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