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It is easy to see what made Iceland such a hotspot in the past few years. It may be one of the smallest countries in Europe but it offers its visitors plenty of cool experiences, such as glacier climbing, dog sledding, whale watching, and Aurora Borealis hunting. And it’s all set against one of the most gorgeous backdrops you’ll ever see––active volcanoes, moss-covered lava fields, black sand beaches, and boiling hot geysers. Iceland really has it all. Even those who favor urban landscapes will keep busy in Reykjavik, which has an exciting cultural and dining scene.
But for an enjoyable trip to the "Land of Fire and Ice," it’s essential to pack the right things. There is a saying in Iceland, which goes something like this: If you don’t like the weather now, just wait five minutes. The unpredictability of Icelandic weather is notorious, so dressing up in layers is the most practical way to prepare for it. Just assume you will have to endure rain, snow, and sun, sometimes all in the span of a few hours.
Whether you visit in the winter or summer, a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a water-and-wind-proof jacket are a must. Another essential? A bathing suit. It may be called Iceland but the water is boiling underneath the barren land, so there is no shortage of hot springs to take a dip in.
Now, check out the most essential items you need to pack for a trip to Iceland.
66 North Holar Unisex Trousers
The Icelandic brand 66 North has been making high-quality outerwear for almost one hundred years. These unisex lightweight pants are water repellent and have been insulated with a layer of soft microfiber.
To buy: $226, 66north.com
66 North Kaldbakur Multipurpose Jacket for Men
A water- and wind-resistant jacket is a must-have regardless of what time of the year you travel to Iceland. This lightweight one is perfect for travel because it is really compact when folded. It also has a hidden hood in the collar, longer sleeve cuffs for hand protection, and a reflective layer around the chest pocket which comes in handy at night.
To buy: $447, 66north.com
Moncler Inaya Scarpa Boot
Hit the many hiking trails of Iceland in Moncler’s Inaya hiking boots. They feature faux shearling on the inside, which will keep your feet warm all day long.
To buy: $535, nordstrom.com
Canada Goose Seaboard Jacket
Brave the elements in this bright red jacket by Canada Goose. It has been made to withstand even the heaviest of downpours and sports a knee-length silhouette. It features reflective details, zippered underarm vents for breathability, side zippers, and four exterior pockets plus an additional one on the inside.
To buy: $750, canadagoose.com
Icewear Skjöldur Icelandic Wool Sweater
Icelandic people actually do wear those beautiful sweaters you’ll see in every souvenir store in Reykjavik. The reason? They keep you warm like nothing else. This gorgeous one by Icewear features a classic pattern and is hand knit with Icelandic wool.
To buy: $191, icewear.com
Gucci Knitted Beanie
This bright beanie made from one hundred percent wool will add a pop of color to your outfit while keeping your head warm.
To buy: $550, farfetch.com
Alaïa Ribbed Wool Turtleneck Sweater
Opt for a boxy sweater like this one by Alaïa––it’s not just gorgeous but it also allows you to wear more layers underneath.
To buy: $2,040, net-a-porter.com
The Icelandic wind and cold can dry out your skin. Apply a few drops of this award-winning serum at night and it will give your skin a boost of radiance and hydration. You may also notice that, over time, fine lines and wrinkles begin to diminish. The serum is made in Iceland and contains only seven ingredients, among which is barley extract.
To buy: $160, neimanmarcus.com
Rag & Bone Brynn Rib Knit Dress
Explore Reykjavik’s evening scene in this rib-knit dress that sports two side slits. If the weather in the capital is on the chilly side, wear it as a skirt with a sweater and tights.
To buy: $450, nordstrom.com
Even if you’re in Iceland during the winter months, don’t forget to pack a swimsuit. With an abundance of natural swimming pools and geothermal springs, this is an experience you really shouldn’t miss while you’re in the country.
To buy: $340, net-a-porter.com