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Written by Savi, 57 Comments

Part 3 of our 4 part series on planning the ultimate road trip in Iceland. We will cover every aspect – accommodation, packing, driving, shopping – of planning an unforgettable Icelandic road trip

Read Part 1 – The Ultimate Road Trip in Iceland : An Itinerary (opens in a new tab)

Read Part 2 – Accommodation : Where To Stay on your Icelandic Road Trip (opens in new tab)

Read Part 4- How much will that Road Trip in Iceland cost (opens in new tab)

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“What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland” or “What to wear in Iceland” seems like a trick question. Iceland has notoriously unpredictable weather – it’s sunny one minute and raining the next. If you plan on driving around the island like we did, you will probably fight a snow storm, get drenched in the rain, acquire a tan, and witness a sandstorm within a space of two weeks 🙂 So where does one begin packing for a road trip to Iceland?

 

what to pack for Iceland
Packing for a road trip in Iceland is quite the conundrum

 

The answer is simple – Good Outerwear. You NEED to invest in a quality jacket which is waterproof, snow proof, wind proof (err EVERYTHING proof) before you let yourselves loose in the Icelandic countryside 😉 Once that is in order, you can pack clothes – jeans, jumpsuits, knitwear – to layer under your hero product, the jacket.

 

Of course, no one knows how to counter Icelandic weather better than Icelandic people themselves. So the two of us chose outwer wear from Iceland’s premium brand, Icewear, to fight our battles for us. Vid chose a bright orange parka and I went for a snug black down jacket. Over the next two weeks, we came to think of these jackets as our safety blankets. They have taped seams to keep wet weather at bay, huge waterproof pockets for mobile phones and cameras, and tight cuffs to block out the wind.  We went for Glacier treks, braved a hail storm and several windstorms, even went caving inside a volcano and emerged unscathed. Score 🙂

 

Packing for Iceland Road trip
I chose a cosy black down jacket 🙂

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
I layered the black jacket with sensible shoes and a travel-themed clutch bag

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
Vid chose a bright orange Parka. Unfortunately for him I fell in love with his parka 😉

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
You need good-quality outerwear to brave glacier hikes 🙂

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
We wore our jackets almost every day for 2 weeks

 

On one of the warmest days of our trip around Iceland, I had the bright idea of wearing just a playsuit. Of course, I regretted that decision exactly an hour into the day 😉 So I stole Vid’s parka off him and wore it with my playsuit – that thing might be the warmest thing I’ve ever worn in my life – so lush!

 

what to pack for Iceland
Just a jumpsuit? Never a good idea in Iceland 🙂

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
Icewear’s orange parka is SO warm – highly recommended

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
We trekked through snow that day 🙂

 

What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland
Good outerwear = happy bunnies 🙂

 

Outfit Details

 

Vid wears :-

Camo shirt – H&M

Orange Parka – c/o Icewear

Jeans – Topshop

Boots – c/o Zalando

 

 

Savi wears :-

Playsuit and woollen scarf – River Island

Black down jacket – c/o Icewear

‘Take The Scenic Route’ clutch bag – c/o Alphabet Bags (Love it 🙂 )

Nike sneakers – c/o Zalando

Beanie – H&M

 

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PACKING CHECKLIST FOR A ROAD TRIP TO ICELAND

  1. 1 pair of sturdy, good quality hiking boots
  2. 1 pair of Sneakers (the more colourful, the better 🙂 )
  3. Torchlight – you never know when you might need it
  4. Swimwear – make sure you pack your bikinis and swim shorts because there are natural hot springs everywhere in Iceland. Additionally, a number of B&Bs have hot tubs. It’s a national obsession
  5. Thermal t-shirts and long johns for glacier hikes, caving etc
  6. Good-quality outerwear that is weather-proof. Icelandic weather is VERY unpredictable, so you need to be prepared for hail storms, rain, snow, and sunshine at all times
  7. Chunky knits and jumpers for layering
  8. Scarves, waterproof gloves, and a couple of warm hats
  9. Waterproof pants for glacier hikes, caving, and other adventure sports
  10. 1-2 smart outfits for your days in Reykjavik. Country bumpkin clothes won’t do in the capital city. Here people take pains to dress well. Take a look at our section on City Fashion for inspiration on packing for Reykjavik

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And if you need more convincing to finally pack your bags and head to Iceland, then this video diary of our trip should help 😉

 

 

You, yes you 🙂 Don’t leave just yet. Make sure you read our post on Packing for Winter Holidays before leaving for your Road Trip to Iceland.

 

57 thoughts on “Travel Fashion – What to pack for a Road Trip in Iceland

  1. Hey guys.. Happy that you are posting this Iceland series without long break in between.And plz do upload some more pics. Gotta tell you, I first stumbled on this blog on 3rd Sep and read the post “The Great English Road Trip” (well, I do remember that day perfectly coz, it was my b’day), right from that day, my phone’s lock screen wallpaper does always had pics only from Bruised Passports.
    Seriously, I’m not exaggerating. Travel-Photography has always been my love. And from this blog, I’m getting both.
    🙂

  2. Amazing post. Love both the black and orange jacket. Love orange more though :P.

    Who click your pictures when you two are together .. Is it the self timer on tripod :). And i wanted to know which camera you guys have ?

  3. Wow, great post! 🙂 Loved both the jackets, and waterproof pockets for cameras are such a blessing. You guys look so great together, I especially loved the bunny jump pic, I have the question as Sonal – how did you click it?
    Savi, I love the way you dress for winters. You look so fashionable that I want to go on a winter holiday just to try to dress up like that 🙂

  4. Iceland sounds so amazing- almost like another planet! I like the jackets you two picked out! I’m notorious for not packing warm enough so I’ll definitely keep this brand in mind if/when I go to Iceland 🙂

    1. Karisa I’m exactly the same. I never pack enough woollens and I’m constantly ‘stealing’ clothes off Vid 😉

  5. Iceland seems to be overwhelming, and the Icewear jackets look warm yet stylish !! the photos are amazing as always !!!!! 😀 XD

  6. Thanks for providing the checklist for this trip as this needs a bit of planning.I also like the Orange Parka but would prefer black or white color instead of orange.

    1. Hey Arnold, glad you found it useful. You’re right, it’s best to plan in advance for a road trip in Iceland. It can be tough to procure things once one is deep in the countryside

  7. I’m visiting Iceland in a few months with my parents, so this post was really helpful 🙂 About the jacket, do you think it would be fine for me to just wear a water resistant jacket instead of a water proof jacket? Also, we’ll only be there for a few days, so are there any specific tours you would recommend? I’ve been looking at some ice climbing tours, but I’m not too sure if it’s worth it or if I should do another type of tour.

  8. I am reading through your Iceland blog and we are planning to go in July. I thought it would be warmer than how you were dressed. Was your trip in their summer?

    1. Hi Robin,

      We went in May end, so it was probably a bit colder than it would be in July. However, you’ll still need woollens when hiking on a glacier or even in a city – the weather in Iceland is very unpredictable so it’s always a good idea to be prepared 🙂

      1. Hi Savi ,

        First of all, thanks for such detailed blog posts. Love them to bits. A BIG THANK YOU for that. Now the questions part 😉
        1. If we get our VISA on time 🤞we will be there ( last week of August – 1st week of September ) and the weather during day is in mid 50’s and mid 40’s at night . Do you think i still need that heavy PARKA you wore ? And what exactly do you mean by Woollens ? Pardon my ignorance with jargon…i typically don’t like cold weather n don’t travel a lot to cold places😥

        1. Hi Savi ,

          First of all, thanks for such detailed blog posts. Love them to bits. A BIG THANK YOU for that. Now the questions part 😉
          1. If we get our VISA on time 🤞we will be there ( last week of August – 1st week of September ) and the weather during day is in mid 50’s and mid 40’s at night . Do you think i still need that heavy PARKA you wore ? And what exactly do you mean by Woollens ? Do u mean the hat , gloves etc ? Pardon my ignorance with jargon…i typically don’t like cold weather n don’t travel a lot to cold places😥

          1. Hey – The weather in Iceland is super unpredictable, so would definitely recommend carrying at least 1 super warm down jacket/park irrespective of when you’re visiting. You might not even need to use it but you never know when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Yes, I mean woollen accessories (hat,gloves etc) and jumpers

  9. Hi! First off, thank you for all of this information. Your itinerary has been endlessly helpful in planning our Iceland road trip coming up in late May. (We’re pretty much copying you

    1. Sorry not sure why only half my previous comment posted! As I was saying, what size parka did Vid purchase and how well did it fit you?
      My husband and I were looking at ordering the parkas online but were unsure if Unisex = Mens sizing. I’m usually a small to medium ladies sizing do you think a small Unisex parka would be similar or?

      1. Hey Pennie – sorry for not replying earlier. Vid ordered his parka in ‘Medium’. Icewear’s outerwear is true to size. The park fit me quite well over a couple of chunky knits. Unfortunately this particular Parka is no longer available on Icewear’s website 🙁

    1. Thanks a million Cathy. We were in Iceland during the last week of May and the first week of June, so our packing list for Iceland should have you covered 🙂

  10. This is great! We’re heading there ourselves & your packing list is fantastic. I’m not nearly as organized as you are, but I’m traveling with 2 little kids (plus all my inlaws!). Thanks for sharing & come over to Instagram – I’ll try to snap a few pictures & you can reminisce. 🙂 https://instagram.com/sairaperl

  11. Hey Guys,

    We leave for Iceland in 3 weeks. SO excited, shopping for gear now. Please help Savi: I need your Nike sneakers in my life, love the colour. I can’t find them anywhere though, including Zalando. Do you by chance, recall the name? Thanks for any tips!

    1. Monique you made me smile. The struggle is real eh 😉 The shoes are called Performance fs lite running shoes. Hope that helps! PS Have fun in Iceland

  12. Thanks very much Savi for the details, will start hunting now 🙂 PS: staying at same fantastic cottage as you did in Akureyeri, we fell in love with your pic and grabbed it. So excited!

  13. Hi, this is my first time on your blog, I was looking for some latest trends available in men’s wear, at that time I came across your post.

    I liked all the images that you have posted; especially the jackets and waterproof pocket options for keeping the camera.

    But I liked the clutch bag as well, it is different…

    Thank you for this nice share.

  14. Hi Guys!! I must say you guys are doing a fabulous job at sharing your experiences and research and the same has saved us a lot of man hours for our upcoming trip to Iceland!! ?
    In fact my husband and I are going to stay at one of the places you stayed at – Hotel Anna at Hvollsvur! ?
    So while we have excitedly planned almost everything we are going to do in our ring road drive (including snorkeling) in a very short trip of 6 days, we are confused about the kind of footwear to carry- contemplating investing in some good quality high ankle hiking boots as suggested by you guys.
    We aren’t really serious hikers, and do own non ankle support trail shoes – do you recommend hiking/walking boots will be needed while visiting all the standard places and terrains that you guys visited.
    We are visiting Iceland end of May!
    Thanks in advance!! ?

    1. Hey Tarang – hiking boots are godsent in Iceland but you can definitely get by with regular sneakers/running shoes if you’re visiting during summer months. Hope you have an absolutely amazing time in Iceland. Do send us photos from Hotel Anna – we’d love to share them with our readers and tag you 🙂

  15. Thank you for the detail information. My husband and I will be celebrating our 23 anniversary in Iceland doing the month of August 2016. Time to start shopping. We will be staying in Reykjavik but taking a lot of hiking trips outside of Reykjavik.

    1. Hey Tonya – Happy Anniversary in advance. We hope you have an amazing time in Iceland 🙂 Do send us photos, we’d love to share them with our readers

  16. You both looks soo good together..and I like your passion to explore new places…l recently checked ur posts..that all are amazing…You both are like true travellers..
    Can you tell me some places in India for summer holidays .

    1. Hey Pooja – thanks a ton for your note. So happy to hear you discovered Bruised Passports and enjoyed reading it. Yay. We’ll look forward to hearing from you on our future posts.

      You should try the little villages of Parvati Valley or Spiti for summer hols if you live in North India 🙂

  17. Hi, what month was this in? We are going early September a just wondering if we meet to pack a winter jacket or if a waterproof jacket with layers is enough. Thanks.

    1. Hey this was at the peak of summer in June. You will need lots of woollens and a down jacket in September 🙂

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