What to wear in Iceland in summer: Iceland packing list

people with colorful jacket in front of waterfall in Iceland in summer

Full, printable Iceland packing list for summer. Learn what to wear in Iceland in summer to be comfortable and ready for all your Iceland adventures, whatever the weather.

If you are scratching your head about what to pack for Iceland in summer, I hear you! 

Iceland has very changeable weather and it also has a large variety of activities that call for different clothing.

This means that deciding what to wear in Iceland in summer takes a bit of thinking or following a good Iceland summer packing list with tried and tested items – this is what this article is!

On this page, you will find my recommended packing list for Iceland in the summer season and some tips on what to wear in Iceland in summer. 

If you want to fully experience what Iceland in summer has to offer, you are likely to need clothes for hiking, swimming, city exploring, plus of course comfy clothing for the plane and even more stuff if you are traveling with small kids: we are going to cover all of this and more!

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What to wear in Iceland in summer

Iceland is a relaxed, outdoorsy place when it comes to fashion so you want to pack clothes that are good for the outdoors and versatile enough to bring you from day to night without the need to go back to your hotel and get changed.

In terms of temperature, it is good to have an idea of what to expect. Iceland is not very cold in summer however, it snot not hot either and you will want to have a jacket, layers and and some exrta essentials.

This is what the temperature in Iceland in summer looks like (Reykjavik):

MonthMaxMinRainy Day
June12C/54F7C/45F9
July14C/57F9C/489
August14C/57F8C/4711

Iceland summer travel essentials – things you need to pack for Iceland

You will find my full printable packing list for Iceland in the summer at the end of this post but first, let’s look at your basic must-have Iceland items. 

These are the things that, no matter what type of vacation you have in mind, I believe you need in your bag before departure to Iceland.

Hiking shoes

You will find yourself often enjoying the great outdoors in Iceland in summer and this can only be done with good hiking shoes.

Depending on the type of activity you want to tackle and the level of difficulty, nordic walking shoes can be ok but high ankle hiking boots will offer more versatility.

Broken in hiking boots will be best for walking up to Iceland waterfalls and they are also the only type of shoes you can hike glaciers in (see below).

Make sure you are used to your boots before your trip so you don’t get painful and potentially dangerous for injuries when using them all day.

Outdoor jacket (waterproof and windproof)

Don’t let the fact that you are visiting Iceland in summer make you leave your jacket at home!

To visit Iceland in the summer months you want an outer layer that can take rain and wind at bay at least and, ideally, add a layer of warmth. You can have all this with one layer only to you can mix an outer shell that is rainproof and windproof with a packable dawn jacket you can use as a lining.

Hat gloves and scarf

You won’t need a hat, gloves and scarf on all the time in Iceland but they are a must-have as the weather is so changeable and can get so chilly, you will want to have them with you!

waterfall in Iceland with rainbow

Hiking pants

I love hiking pants for travel as they are comfortable, suitable for outdoor pursuits and in a place like Iceland, which is very relaxed and outdoorsy, can also double up as your main items of clothing.

I personally prefer those that fit slim as I found them the most versatile. If you want, you can opt for convertible ones that turn into shorts however, you are unlikely to use shorts in Iceland in summer unless you are very lucky with the weather or very unfazed by cold (I am not, I am always super cold so in my view, shorts in Iceland in summer are unnecessary!)

Layers 

Your best friend in the Icelandic summer are layers: I recommend you pack long sleeve top and short sleeve tops you can mix and match and I also like to bring light thermals to use as outer layer.

Swimsuit

Iceland has lovely thermal springs both natural and man made. For all of them, you wan to have swimsuits so you can go in for a dip!

Flip flops or water shoes 

These go with the advice above to bring a swimsuit. I find them particularly useful for kids and if you plan on stopping to natural springs that will require walking on uneven terrain, rocks and grass.

You can find a list of our favorite waters hoes for kids here.

Travel adapter

Iceland uses two round pins plugs (type C and type F) and operates 230V supply voltage and 50Hz which basically means you may need a trave adaptor.

I love the universal ones as they take away the stress of wondering if they will work. I also usually pack extra USB cables and a portable power bank for peace of mind.

Phone/ camera

Probably an obvious one but you want to make sure you have your phone and camera, well charged, with you for all your electronic confirmations, e-travel docs and to take photos.

I also recommend you bring an action camera with you like a GoPro: I usually give ours to the kids so they can take cool action shots without worrying of it breaking.

Credit card and Cash 

Iceland is a largely cashless society however, you want to have some cash for tips. We went fully cash-free on our first trip and felt awful when we didn’t have anything for our wonderful guide – learn from us and avoid the mistake!

Travel towel

These are a travel must have for me on all trips and in Iceland you want them especially for the unexpected dip in thermal waters while on the go!

Sun cream / wind cream

You will be outside A LOT in Iceland in summer and the chilly air may be deceitful: you need good sun cream and wind barrier to protect your skin, especially if not used to being outdoors for long periods of time.

Day pack

I recommend you get a nice backpack for your daily needs. Even in Reykjavik, you won’t need fancy bags (unless you want to carry one!) and a day rucksack will be the handiest on outdoor pursuits.

Make sure you have space for a reusable water bottle: you will spend long stretched of time away from cafes and immersed in nature so you want to make sure you stay hydrated and do not leave trash behind

Travel docs

Make sure you have all you need including travel insurance, tickets, and healthcare docs. Find what is required to enter Iceland in 2021 here.

What to pack for Iceland: packing list

Let’s look at all the items yuo need to pack for Iceland in summer by type:

Docs and tech

  • Passport
  • Visa if needed
  • Travel insurance
  • Health documents as required by official regulations
  • All your booking confirmations for accommodation/tours
  • Prescriptions for medications you may be using while traveling
  • Travel Adaptor
  • USB cables
  • Portable power bank
  • Phone and camera
  • Go pro

Toiletries

  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Comb/brush/hair detangler
  • Hair ties/bandana
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving essentials
  • Moisturizers
  • Fragrance and makeup
  • Tweezers
  • Dental kit
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Shower cap for Blue Lagoon (see below)
  • All your first aid essentials and essential first aid with (check here what we have in ours)
  • Travel towel

Bags and luggage

  • Travel backpack
  • Packing cubes
  • Wet bags
  • Toiletry bag
  • Day pack

Clothing

  • Underwear and bras
  • Socks
  • Long sports trousers
  • Jeans for Reykjavik
  • Long sleeve tops / short sleeve tops
  • Sweater, fleece, outer thermal layer
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Packable down jacket
  • Gloves, hat and scarf
  • Swimsuit
  • Flip flops/water shoes
  • Nightwear
  • Runners/sneakers
  • Hiking shoes
  • Folding shoes for evenings in town

Iceland packing list for kids

If you are packing for a trip to Iceland with children, then I recommend you also add the following items:

Pro tip! Iceland in summer has very long hours of daylight that can be a problem if you are trying to settle small kids. I highly recommend you bring with you packable blinds so you can darken your room no matter where you are with our leaving a trace.

What to wear in Reykjavik in summer

Reykjavik is a fun city and you may wonder what type of clothing you should wear if you plan on enjoying its restaurants and bars.

In general, Reykjavik is a relaxed and outdoorsy city and we found jeans, runners or flat shoes and a nice top were more than ok to go out even at night. If you want to dress up, of course you can and but if you are short on space in tout luggage, you don’t have to have special fancy gear for nights in town.

What to wear at the Blue Lagoon

To visit the blue lagoon you will need a swimsuit and flip flops/water shoes (which you will remove to enter the water) and hair care products

The minerals in the blue lagoon make your har thick and cakey and it is very difficult to wash them away. The best way to deal with this is prevention: you can either wash your hair before entering the lagoon and cover it with thick layer of conditioner, of you can tie your hair up and cover it with a shower cap/hat to keep it protected. Bring your own.

Make sure you also bring comb and brush as the lagoon offers hairdryers but you need your own personal hugeness products (basic soap/shampoo is provided in the showers)

What to wear to go glacier hiking in Iceland

On top of norm outdoor gear, you will need hiking boots for the glacier crampons. They cannot be attached to sneakers – make sure you check the specs of what you need when booking your tour. Some operators offer rental boots should you not have your own, but check in advance.

Printable packing list for Iceland in summer

church on green slope in Iceland with text: Iceland packing list for summer

Super useful printable packing list for Iceland in summer so you can be prepared whatever the weather

Materials

  • Travel backpack
  • Packing cubes
  • Toiletry bag

Instructions

What to pack for Iceland: packing list



Docs and tech

  • Passport
  • Visa if needed
  • Travel insurance
  • Health documents as required by official regulations
  • All your booking confirmations for accommodation/tours
  • Prescriptions for medications you may be using while traveling
  • Travel Adaptor
  • USB cables
  • Portable power bank
  • Phone and camera
  • Go pro

Toiletries

  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Comb/brush/hair detangler
  • Hair ties/bandana
  • Deodorant
  • Shaving essentials
  • Moisturizers
  • Fragrance and makeup
  • Tweezers
  • Dental kit
  • Feminine Hygiene products
  • Shower cap for Blue Lagoon (see below)
  • All your first aid essentials and essential first aid with (check here what we have in ours)
  • Travel towel

Bags and luggage

  • Travel backpack
  • Packing cubes
  • Wet bags
  • Toiletry bag
  • Day pack

Clothing

  • Underwear and bras
  • Socks
  • Long sports trousers
  • Jeans for Reykjavik
  • Long sleeve tops / short sleeve tops
  • Sweater, fleece, outer thermal layer
  • Windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Packable down jacket
  • Gloves, hat and scarf
  • Swimsuit
  • Flip flops/water shoes
  • Nightwear
  • Runners/sneakers
  • Hiking shoes
  • Folding shoes for evenings in town

Iceland packing list for kids

I hope you fond this packing list useful and it helped make clarity about what to wear in Iceland in summer. Safe travel planning!

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Image of mountain and waterfalls in Iceland with overlay text: full. printable packing list for Iceland in summer

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