What to pack for Iceland – Extreme light Packing for Reykjavik

No matter what time of year you go to Iceland, it’s gonna be pretty cold! Iceland has temperatures around 0 degrees celsius in the winter (as low as -19 in some areas) and even in the summer months in the warmest areas, the average temperature will be around 10 degrees. Read on to find out what to pack for Iceland.

This morning, I arrived in Reykjavik and managed to pack everything that I need in one 30 litre backpack for a hand luggage only Easyjet flight from Manchester to Keflavik. Apart from glacier trekking supplies and crampons, of course (which you can often hire should you wish to take part in these activities) all I needed fitted in one small backpack! Advantages of extreme light packing and hand luggage only include…

  1. Lighter to carry.
  2. Quicker through airports – no check-in or baggage collection.
  3. Cheaper – most low cost airlines charge for checking in a hold bag.

I would definitely recommend that you buy thermal base layers and a good pair of waterproof walking boots for your trip to Iceland. You also need to remember your hat, scarf and gloves.

Here’s how I managed to pack light for Iceland…

What to Wear on the Plane to Iceland to Save room in your Luggage!

What to Pack for Iceland Thermal Base Layer
Mountain Warehouse Endurance Womens Breathable Base Layer.

Here’s what I wore on the flight…

  • Base leggings (thermal).
  • Base layer top (thermal – heathen).
  • Jeans.
  • Trespass Fleece (borrowed from my gorgeous finance Simon!)
  • Hoody (Buzz Lightyear from Disneyland California – which attracted a lot of attention at security!)
  • Two pairs of socks, one thin pair and one pair of thick loophole socks.
  • Karrimor waterproof walking boots.
Ladies Walking Boots
Karrimor Bodmin IV Weathertite, Women’s Trekking and Hiking Shoes
What to Pack to Iceland Volcanic Heat Gloves
Volcanic Heat Thermal Heated Gloves

Stuffed in my jacket pockets…

  • Coin purse (with £’s €’s and Krona)
  • Small packet of tissues.
  • Asthma inhaler (remember to take out of your pocket when going through security if you need one of these – also bring your prescription or wear your medic alert bracelet).
  • Phone number of host in Iceland (Oddsson Ho(s)tel).

So, that’s half your packing, without any even being in a suitcase! 😉

Hand Luggage Only – What to Pack for Iceland

Here’s what I packed in my hand luggage for my trip to Reykjavik, Iceland…

What to Pack for Iceland – Clothing, Toiletries and Medical Kit

  • Small bag of toiletries in a clear plastic zip lock bag 20cm x 20cm to pass through customs hand luggage restrictions UK airports (containing mini shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, make up primer, CC Cream, lip salve, mascara and toothpaste all below 100ml).
  • Separate bag of non-liquid toiletries (cotton wool, sanitary towels, ear buds, toothbrush).
  • 7 pairs of pants and 7 socks.
  • 1 spare bra (one to wash and one to wear!)
  • 3 pairs of thermal tights.
  • One extra heatgen thermal base layer top.
  • Jogging bottoms.
  • 2 T-Shirts/tops.
  • Regatta Waterproof trousers (also borrowed from my fiancé Simon!)
  • Small medical kit (containing paracetamol, cold remedy drinks, rennie, ibuprofen, soluble Solpadine, fibre drinks, headex).
  • Thermal hat.

What to Pack for Reykjavik, Iceland – Tech and Personal Belongings

All this managed to fit in my 30 litre Evolve Backpack which also converts to a suitcase. With dimensions of 55 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm it is cabin approved.

What to Pack for Iceland - Backpack
E-volve Cabin-approved 2in1 Laptop – Travel Trolley Backpack

If you have extra room, you may want to consider adding a balaclava to your packing, and a few extra changes of clothes.What do you pack for Iceland? Or are you heading to Reykjavik soon and looking for advice on what to pack for Iceland?


Amy Trumpeter

Hi, I'm Amy and I love solo backpacking. I've been travelling on and off for over 20 years and spent time as a digital nomad. My writing focuses on Asia, Europe and North Africa. I travel with chronic illness and don't let it hold me back! I'm here to help you to earn money online and travel the world!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. This is so helpful as I’m going to Iceland in a couple of weeks – I’ve printed this off to help me pack!

    1. Oh great – I’m so glad it was helpful for you! If you have any questions – just ask. What date do you arrive? I might still be here!

  2. Very impressed with your capsule packing!!

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