Packing for an Icelandic Winter

Packing for a winter trip to Iceland

Seeing as I just booked another five-day trip to Iceland, I thought it might be appropriate to write up a winter essentials list for visiting Iceland. To be quite honest, I was able to fit everything I needed, plus camera equipment, in the Lo & Sons Catalina bag, which was the perfect way to road trip from guest house to guest house along Iceland’s southern coast.

I’m heading back in March, and my packing list will be relatively the same, but I’ll probably bring a little bit less of everything. I’ve found that I generally wear the same outfits over and over again anyway!

Warm leggings — on most days, one pair of UnderArmour Cold Gear tights got me through the day. But when I spent more than 20 minutes in the snow photographing the auroras, I layered 2 pairs of leggings with some opaque every day tights. But, I will say, this pair of leggings is by far my favorite workout and everyday tight.

Layers, all of the layers — Lululemon’s long sleeve tech shirts and form fitted zip-up were a perfect uniform for comfort both outside and within the toasty restaurants and coffee shops. This Land’s End version looks perfect *and* affordable.

A hat that covers your earsthis is what kept my ears nice and toasty.

Legit boots — probably a good investment if you’re the kind of person who wants to go to Iceland in winter. Just sayin’, you’re adventurous, and you’ll probably want to go backpacking or exploring some other rugged terrain… and these boots gave me the warmth, protection, and traction I needed to frolic on some snow covered mountains. These Columbia ones did the trick. Grab a few pairs of these smart wool socks, too — pull em up high over your leggings, it’s super sporty and will keep your tootsies pretty warm.

Gloves — As a photographer, I prefer mittens that convert to fingerless gloves, so naturally, those fair isle knit Gap mittens called out my name. These mint tech gloves from Target, though… super cute!

Snow jacket — I ordered the North Face’s Snow Thermoball Triclimate as my attempt to prioritize warmth over fashion this year. It’s three jackets in one, and pretty damn lightweight. The inner layer is my go-to jacket in DC, and put together, the shell + insulated layer kept the snow, wind, and rain away from my layers in Iceland. If you’re looking for a comparable option without the typical North Face price, another version is half off here. The Columbia Bugaboo does essentially the same thing for $175, and the Marmot Alpine Component comes in some great colors.

Bikini — Iceland is covered in hot springs, and while we only made it to the Blue Lagoon, you better bet I’m stopping at every “laug” along the road when I go back in March. For traveling abroad, I swear by the super cheeky Stone Fox Swim Tucker bottom, and the surprisingly supportive triangle tops from Victoria’s Secret. Pick a couple of bright colors, or go with the icy blue lagoon blue to blend right in, like I did 🙂

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