Packing for Iceland weather depends, of course, on the season. And even then, you’ll hear Icelanders joke that, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute,” since the conditions are notoriously fickle.

That said, there are certain things you would be remiss not to pack. You’ll notice a trend among these items, too—they come in layers. The term “layer” will, without a doubt, be your best friend during your visit to Iceland. Even for hiking in the countryside, weather can change on a dime, particularly if you’re touring a big area over the course of a single day.

Hiking in the Iceland countryside is a popular tourist attraction to the Nordic island. It might pay of to inform about the island´s current requirements of entering the country, keeping an eye on the latest Covid developments. The natural sites however you can visit throughout the country, have great fame for their beauty and awe-inspiring displays. Though these roads are visited by regular tourists, that does not mean you can visit without proper hiking gear. Something which is “good enough” for great selfies might not cut it much longer than that photo moment.

You can still look cute in the proper gear while also getting more out of your Iceland countryside hiking. Here’s how.

5 fundamental things to pack for hiking in Iceland

You’ve probably read already about the cold and the darkness in Iceland in winter. Iceland does have winters that are milder than many would think, but the elements will still get the better of you if you don’t prepare. Whether you’re hiking in Iceland in winter or summer, the terrain—in all its natural beauty—can be a challenge.

You don’t need a lot when you pack for hiking in Iceland, which is good news for anyone backpacking. But you do need the right things, specifically:

  1. Awesome boots

Your hiking boots should be comfortable. For long stretches of hiking in Iceland, comfortable means lightweight and water-resistant. Ankle support is always a good idea, too. This might be the one item that can make or break your vacation, so be sure to pack the boots you are certain will do the job.

  1. A high-quality jacket

Your ideal jacket for hiking will be warm with a windbreaker quality while also being rain-resistant. By getting that one jacket right, you can save yourself from packing several. Depending on how much you’re “roughing it,” a particularly puffy parka or jacket can double as a pillow, too, if you end up sleeping in the van one night.

  1. A great vest

A vest can provide you another outer layer to keep your core extra warm. Instead of adding more shirts or sweaters, a fleece-lined or down vest can add comfort with a touch of style.

  1. Moisture-wick inner layer

We’ve talked about layers. Getting the inner layer right is essential, or you’ll be trapping moisture against your skin for a whole day at a time. To stay warm and comfortable while hiking (and, doubtless, sweating), your inner layer should keep you as dry as it does warm. Bringing two of each article of inner-layer thermal gear is usually a good idea since this layer is so essential.

Do make sure this inner layer fits tightly, too, because tight keeps you warm. You’ll also be able to layer your jeans and sweaters over them more easily.

  1. Snow pants (or any moisture-resistant pant)

Depending on the season you hike in, snow pants are usually a good idea. Even if you aren’t anticipating much snow by traveling in the summer, moisture-resistant pants are a must. Trying to “get away with” regular leggings will leave you susceptible to cold and wet circumstances you would rather avoid.

For hiking long distances, regular hiking pants might be tempting with all their pockets, but many snow pants have this same feature, too.

To feel good and look good in those selfies, make sure you bring a variety of all the above so you can mix and match over the course of your trip. There’s no need to bring that one shirt you photograph best in if it won’t do its job of keeping you comfortable over your Iceland hiking adventure.

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An example of Icelandic hiking gear

Bringing all of it together, these tips and recommendations can be composed into darling outfits that are both on-style and practical for your Icelandic hiking adventures. Just start with the Mia Hardshell Layered Jacket. This super-light jacket has what we call an “active fit,” giving you full mobility and range of motion. It does not, however, sacrifice any of the outdoor elements you need; it’s waterproof and also coated on the inside with a high-tech film to keep you totally dry. If you're looking for a longer jacket, the Dogg Women's Classic Raincoat is particularly well-suited to keep you warm and dry, and also has ample room to layer underneath. Whether you're hiking or on an evening walk with the dog, this wind-and-waterproof jacket will fit the bill.

The Mia Layered Pants are another favorite for hiking excursions in Iceland. These pants are super light, though they're made from two layers of fabric to keep you dry and comfortable against the elements. The inside is also coated with high-tech film, and the bottom cuff and waistband are adjustable for the perfect fit. You can complement these active-fit pants with a Vik Hand-Knitted Woolen Hat, too. Whether or not you use the hood on your choice of jacket, this cap is extremely comfortable with a fleece inner lining, and you’ll be happy to include it in your outfit. It also uses a classic Nordic pattern to complete the look for your Icelandic hiking extravaganza.

Additional hiking equipment you’ll want to consider include the Basar Stretch Web Polyester Belt and the Hraun Backpack.