What to wear in Iceland in summer

by Sylvia

What to wear in Iceland in summer | 40plusstyle.com

If you have been following me on Instagram, you will know that I’ve recently been to Iceland. An incredibly beautiful country that I highly recommend you visit.

In today’s article I will whet your appetite about this beautiful country and show you what to wear to Iceland and what to pack.

What to wear in Iceland in summer

As the name Iceland suggests it does not really get very warm in summer. Although you may be lucky to see the sun regularly (I was) it’s still very cool most of the time so warm clothing is essential. However, the weather changes all the time so wearing layers is key to being comfortable.

Dream destination: Lavender field in Iceland | 40plusstyle

Since Island is very much about exploring its beautiful nature you will also want to pack mainly practical clothing that will help make exploring comfortable and pleasurable.

Beautiful waterfall landscapes in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

Here is what I wore most days


My  first layer was a regular singlet. I like wearing these as a first layer to streamline my clothes and get warm and comfortable. You can review our article on the best camisoles here.

Travel diary: Kerið, Iceland's volcanic crater lake| 40plusstyle.com

Uniqlo heat tech t-shirts with long sleeves

An ideal second layer is a form fitting stretchy t-shirt with either long or short sleeves. I love my heattech tops from Uniqlo.

A lovely lavender meadow in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

I have them in various thicknesses and brought them in black, white and burgundy. As I get cold easily I like my long sleeved versions but you could also suffice with short sleeves.

Breathtaking falls and scenery in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

A fleece jacket

I got a fancy fitted one in Lila and this is what kept me nice and warm. Since I wore thin layers underneath, even with this jacket on I still did not look bulky. It’s easy to put in my back pack when it got too hot, but I wore this most of the time.

Comfortable and stylish fleece jacket for travel | 40plusstyle.com

(Skinny) stretchable jeans

I took very stretchable skinnies in black (2 versions) and my blue jeans. All 3 were very comfortable to wear and I did not need any special pants. You can also consider water proof pants or special tracking pants.

Exploring the sites of Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

Geysirs in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

A good rain coat

Bringing a rain / wind jacket is absolutely essential in Iceland. Hardly a day goes by when it doesn’t rain (although we were very lucky to get very little of it) and you want to keep warm and dry.

Travel diary in Iceland Antartica | 40plusstyle.com

I invested in a really good rain jacket that looks good as well. Longer than a regular rain jacket and super light weight, it was easy to take it on an and off and store in my back pack when I didn’t need it.

Visual Travel Diary Of Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

Note that it even has a bit of a high low feature!!

Iceland by day | 40plusstyle.com

Useful tips when hiking in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

I also like the fact that it’s quite neutral. although  a lot of active wear is bright coloured I actually think that the pictures look nicer when you blend in a bit with the landscape rather that stand out too much.

Dream destination: Iceland and it's flower fields | 40plusstyle.com

Comfortable walking shoes

Due to a bad experience 20 years ago with tracking shoes I never purchased these anymore. This time my husband encouraged me to do so as he didn’t feel the soles of the booties I was planning to take were safe enough.

A guide to proper layering for Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

I invested in lightweight waterproof walking shoes and I’m so glad I did. I wore these all the time and they were so comfortable. Walking in the mountains will never be the same again!

I had lightweight ankle shoes that were water resistant. Forgot brand could be the North face.

The majestic waterfalls in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

Good socks for your shoes

On an iceberg in Iceland! | 40plusstyle.com

Majestic glaciers of Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

A scarf

My travel to Gullfoss, also known as Golden Falls near south Iceland Gullfoss

I would take 2. A light scarf for milder weather and a warmer one for colder weather.

Snow and mountain view | 40plusstyle.com

One or 2 fancy sweaters

If you go out in the evening or for your visit to Reykjavik, you may like to take 1 or 2 fancier items.

Street art and ideas on what to wear in Reykjavik Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

I brought my asymmetrical sweater (on sale) that I could layer over one of my long sleeved t-shirts.

On a galleon in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

Extra booties

Exploring Iceland: A pre-historic galleon | 40plusstyle.com

I wore my other comfortable booties for those days that I wasn’t trekking or exploring. Mainly for the airport and in Reykjavik.

A sleeping mask

Postcard like photos of quaint houses in Iceland | 40plusstyle.com

It’s light 24/7 in Iceland which can play havoc with your sleep. If you think that the country has prepared for this and has black out curtains think again! They do the exact opposite. We stayed in 7 different places and none of them blocked the lights. One of them even had see through curtains.

Optional light down jacket

I actually did not pack mine and did not miss it. If you have a good fleece jumper and combine that with your rain coat, that will be enough for summer.

I had an amazing trip and was happy with the things I packed. I hope this packing and inspiration guide will have gotten you clear on what to wear In Iceland in summer and perhaps even have inspired you to visit Iceland yourself.

Have you visited Iceland? What did you wear?


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Suzanne

My hair stylist goes to Iceland every year. We’ve been wanting to go for a while. It looks amazing!



2 Sylvia

It is Suzanne! I highly recommend it


3 Greetje

OK. I now I am odd in this, but Iceland and I are not going to get along. To cold, too bare for me. So sorry. I know it is lovely and nature and everything. But you know me.. citygirl, shops and clothes. Very one-dimensional person.


4 Sylvia

Definitely not for you Greetje. Lots of wind and no shopping!


5 Elle

We rented a camper van and traveled around Iceland for 2weeks. We consider it one of the best vacations we’ve had. I think of Iceland when I can’t sleep at night-I loved it.


6 Sylvia

Renting a camper van is a great option for Iceland. If we ever go back we would consider that as well…


7 Traveller

The most valuable purchase for my trip to Iceland in fall was Costco wool hiking socks, which contain Merino wool. They kept my feet nice and warm.

As for my boots, one pair got sliced on lava (in the city). Useless! The other pair weren’t supportive enough.

Whatever the season there, your outer layer should be waterproof. We had no idea that our greatest challenge would be walking out on the tarmac at Keflavik in hurricane Matthew to board our plane, with rain blasting us, dodging the debris flying around and then sitting in our wet clothes for seven hours. The flight had been delayed when the airport was shut down due to the weather. Liftoff was the scariest one of my life. My husband, a former recreational pilot, was of the opinion that it was not safe to fly in those conditions. It was worse than the time being stuck in a holding pattern over JFK when people were taken out on stretchers. Worse than a bush plane landing on a frozen lake in the north. Maybe comparable to being on a cruise ship in a hurricane once. None of the planes headed to the U.S. were leaving, just us.

We survived! Anything can happen in Iceland, and does. I think this is where “flying by the seat of your pants” was invented.


8 Sylvia

Great feedback. Thanks. My trip was certainly a lot less eventful.


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