Before thinking about what to pack in your suitcase, I highly recommend you to read this section about the weather in Iceland. Now you know that it can get a bit cold and rainy sometimes. On the other hand, you are going to be outside a lot since Iceland definitely is a destination you want to visit for its landscapes and natural spectacles. Before you could now think about buying expensive outdoor clothing that is rainproof, breathable and windproof, hold on for a minute and go on reading.
The most convenient thing about Iceland is that (without considering the highlands), you will never feel the need to leave the ring road. The ring road is the main road you will drive most of the time and that goes around the whole island once. Moreover, it goes along almost all of the great spots you want to visit in Iceland. Usually, there are parking lots directly beneath the ring road and you can walk towards the attractions within a few minutes.
With this said, you won’t need gear that is designed for hiking for several hours. In this blog, you will see some hikes as well and of course, it all depends on what you are going to do in Iceland. However, visiting the most important nature spots in Iceland is not physically demanding.
More important than breathable and windproof sports gear, which can be expensive sometimes, is to stay warm during long periods of time being outside.
The keyword is layers! You won’t need highly expensive outdoor gear. Just make sure that you can cover yourself in 3-4 layers, depending on the temperature.
Long underwear, a thin second layer (e.g. cheap fleece), a third and thicker layer and a fourth layer, a good jacket. The only clothing you might want to pay a bit more for are hiking boots and a rainproof jacket. Even if you would have the highly improbable luck of not experiencing rain, you would definitely be going to get wet while being next to one of the many waterfalls you want to visit. By the way, don’t even start to think about bringing an umbrella, it’s just too windy.
Here’s a short list of what I would definitely take with me: