What to pack – Winter in Iceland
When it came to packing for my holiday in Iceland, I decided to break the ‘layering’ rule, and went for a more simple, cheaper option, and I am glad I did.
I couldn’t imagine wearing a singlet, 3 layers of thermals, a jumper, a fleece and a jacket! I was quite warm just in my one thermal top and my Fjallraven jacket.
This is what I packed:
- Sorel ‘Caribou’ Boots: I went down a full size when purchasing these and they fit perfect. My feet only got cold when standing still in the snow for ages taking photos.
- Kipwarm jodhpurs: I don’t horse ride but this was the best decision I made. They are cute, warm, stretchy, tight, waterproof and comfortable, and I lived in them. The rain and wind in Iceland comes from all directions and normal jeans just won’t cut it. I didn’t want to wear ugly baggy ski pants so I went with these. I bought a size EU38/US XS. The website says EU38 is a 10 so I originally bought the size smaller which was way too tight around the knees, and I have quite skinny legs. They didn’t ship to Australia so I went with a middle-man shipping company Borderlinx (cost around $44 to get them shipped to Australia).
- Mountain Designs Shred Insulated Pants: I only wore these once, ice caving. Very warm, windproof, waterproof. My size was AU 6.
- Socks: I purchased just normal thick socks but it was a bad decision, they kept falling down and I got a bad shin rash from my boots. Next time I will be buying knee high socks.
- Thermals (Kathmandu ThermaPLUS): This was my only layer. I regret buying thermal bottoms because the only time I wore them was whilst snorkelling.
- Fjällräven Polar Guide Parka: Best coat ever! It’s waterproof, windproof, and warm. The only negative is the large hood, it’s a bit annoying. I bought a size XS.
- Scarves: I packed a few, one from Zara, and one from Seed Heritage
- Beanies: I packed 3
- Swimwear: 3 pairs
- Toiletries: A good thick face moisturiser is important, the wind is harsh, I got a rashy face when my luggage hadn’t arrived and all I had for 2 days was cheap hotel moisturiser. Also not all hotel’s have shampoo and conditioner, some just have bottles of shampooing conditioner, or a body wash + hair all in one.
- Blow dryer & hair straightener: I think all of the hotel’s had blow dryers, but I didn’t want to risk it.
- Travel adaptor: plug type F (the one with just 2 thin cylindrical prongs)
- Camera and chargers: I brought my Nikon D7200, and GoPro (for geothermal pools)
- Air activated hand warmers: These were great! I regret not buying more, next time I will have them for every day. They last about 10 hours.
- Gloves: I just had my old winter motorbike gloves but my hands FROZE. I totally recommend getting some big waterproof mittens and just having the air activated hand warmers in there. It’s much better when your fingers can touch.
Just a few thoughts:
- I didn’t need sunglasses, they spent the whole time in my bag
- There are so many shops in Reykjavik selling coats, jackets, bright raincoats, warm things etc.. if you don’t end up buying a jacket before you go, there are so many options which are all around the same price as things you’d pay online back home.
- I didn’t bring a towel, you hire them at the geothermal pools.
I was quite happy with how well I packed. I usually go on holiday and only use about 20% of what’s in my bag, but this trip I used nearly everything.