A Packing List for Iceland in Summer

This weeks post was written by Ashley Tippins, who recently launched the blog Standby Sojourners, which details her adventures around the world via non-revenue pass travel. Ashley has traveled to 27 countries, and loves to share practical tips and reviews interspersed with long-form travelogues. Ashley balances traveling with a full-time career, and her goal is to show readers that they can have enriching travel experiences even with limited vacation time. You can also find Ashley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland (Source: Flickr CCL)

Iceland is home both to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and some of the most beautiful, stylish people in the world. A trip to Iceland necessitates plenty of time spentoutdoors, punctuated by nights revelling in the midnight sun in the capital city of Reykjavik.

As if those extremes in style planning weren’t hard enough to navigate, the weather is unpredictable and temperatures can fluctuate drastically, even in the summer. Packing practically and stylishly can be something of a challenge, especially if you are limited on space, but it can be done.

Here is my guide for everything you need to survive a long weekend in Iceland, all packed into a carry-on!

Outerwear and Base Layers

By far the most important articles you will need are a Thermal Base Layer
and waterproof outer-layer. If you’re hiking, select base layers in materials that wick away moisture. In addition to a lined jacket, you should also have a rain shell with a hood. Between your base thermals and jacket, layer on a tank and long sleeve shirt or sweater, depending on the temperature. A vest with a hood is also a good option, paired with jeans or athletic pants.

Though counter-intuitive, you will definitely need a swimsuit for a dip in some of the iconic hot springs dotting the verdant hillsides. For your night out in Reykjavik, be sure to dress to the nines in a dress with leggings or jeans and a trendy top, but be sure to bring your jacket along with you.


For your bottom half, layer on leggings and wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Waterproof, low profile boots with good tread are a must for any hiking activities, but soft fur-lined boots are an option for non-hiking activities. Bring a pair of flip-flops for the pools, and a cute pair of boots or booties for dressing up in Reykjavik.


A wool scarf is not only practical, but can add a cute pop of colour to your otherwise outdoorsy look. A wool hat is also advisable, along with sunglasses when the sky is clear. For your dressy evening out, bring statement jewellery, a scarf, gloves and a cross-body purse or clutch.


A DSLR is recommended to capture the raw beauty of Iceland’s landscapes, but if you don’t have one a good point-and-shoot or smartphone will do the job. You’ll be on the road for long periods of time with little more than small farming villages dotting the roadside, so be sure to pack anexternal battery pack to keep all your devices charged. Iceland uses the Europlug, so an adapter is necessary for U.S. devices.

Hair dryers, straighteners and curling irons may need an electrical converter as well. Even phones with international data plans may not work well in Iceland, so add on a GPS with your car rental. For hiking, pack your daypack with a dry bag, quick-dry towels,sunscreen and a water bottle.

Plane Outfit, Travel, Airplane



As you may have imagined, the weather can wreak havoc on your skin and hair, so be sure to bring a heavy-duty moisturiser, hair conditioner and lip-balm. Don’t forget you’ll be in the sunlight for close to 22 hours a day, so bring facial products containing SPF.

Though you’ll be doing outdoorsy activities that may not warrant make-up (editors note: I’m a big fan of lipsticked hiking), you’ll want to look your best when partying with the beautiful people in Reykjavik, so bring a small kit including a smoky eye palette, eyeliner, mascara, concealer, blush, foundation, powder and a bright lipstick/gloss.

Packing Checklist

  • Thermal underwear/base layers
  • Tanks x 2
  • Leggings x 2
  • Jeans or athletic pants for hiking x 1
  • Vest with hoodie x 1
  • Rain shell x 1
  • Scarves x 2
  • Water-impermeable gloves x 1
  • Fashion gloves x 1
  • Wool beanie x 1
  • Lined jacket x 1
  • Dress x 1
  • Underwear (include a sports bra!)
  • Long sleeve shirts x 2
  • Swimsuit x 1
  • Waterproof hiking boots x 1
  • Flip-flops x 1
  • Flat leather boots or heeled booties x 1
  • Wool hiking socks x 2
  • Adapter
  • DSLR or other camera
  • GPS
  • External battery pack
  • Smartphone
  • Batteries and chargers
  • Water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Sleep mask
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Dry bag
  • Moisturiser
  • Hair Conditioner
  • Shampoo/Dry Shampoo
  • Makeup
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF

Thanks to this weeks guest poster Ashley, for contributing. If you are interested in guest posting for Wanderluce please contact me at lucy at wanderluce dot com or via the form below.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and earn me a small commission in the form of a gift card if you choose to purchase through them. Regardless, all views are my own! 

Lucy Lucraft
Lucy Lucraft

Lucy is a freelance journalist, blogger and podcaster based in Brighton, UK.

She started this blog in 2013 and is the host of blogging podcast What She Said.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram

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