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clothing for summer

We're going to Iceland in two weeks on a 2 night stopover. Because it's a short trip and we only take carry-on, I'm trying to figure out what to pack for outdoors. We will be seeing the south coast one day and the Golden Circle the next - no hardcore hiking or adventurous sports, just travelling by car to get a taste of Iceland. How cold is the wind really? Is it usually a factor in July? I have a packable Eddie Bauer windbreaker but it's not that compact. I will be taking waterproof runners (Vessis.) I see the temperature there this week is up to 15 degrees. I'm used to Pacific Northwest temperatures. It's 19 degrees here today and it's very pleasant - T-shirt weather. Would 3 or 4 layers without a windbreaker be enough, or do I just accept that I will have to carry around the windbreaker for the rest of my trip?

Posted by
2498 posts

Do you have a lightweight waterproof or at least water resistant windbreaker? If it is windy and rainy, you are going to wish you had one. We went in late June. We had a lot of sunny days where we had the ac on in the car but also a day that was windy with blowing rain when we were at Jokulsarlon. We were glad we had waterproof pants and jackets. It wasn’t cold per se but in that type of weather a sweater layer would be good as well. The weather is fickle there. We were in 70 mph winds at one location near a glacier and I could barely stand up. Glaciers create their own weather. If you are renting a car, get the full insurance that goes with it. Iceland can have sandstorms that will strip the paint off the car and you will be responsible. And driving there is a bit different than driving in the states. I am wishing you fair weather but be prepared.

Posted by
273 posts

I have to agree with the other poster. You'll be much happier with a water/wind resistant layer. Given where you're from, you're more likely to need the water resistance than a third layer for warmth.
Agree on the auto insurance as well. If you're driving, it's a worthwhile expense.

Posted by
2242 posts

I too agree with the first poster on both clothing and auto insurance. If you don't have a jacket that will work, look at the REI outlet online or something similar. You can usually get those for pretty inexpensive.

Posted by
2483 posts

I’ve been there in Oct. and June and except for the wind, it wasn’t cold. Just wrar a good windbreaker and if your head gets cold, a stocking cap ( other hats will be blown away ! )

Posted by
1 posts

I am at the end of my trip in Iceland as I type this response…Layers are ideal, but you will still want a rain jacket/windbreaker and rain pants. Even though the day may start out sunny and dry, you are likely to encounter rain at some point. It can also be quite windy— that combined with just a light rain can leave you soaked and chilly. You won’t regret packing a long poncho, at the very least, and some waterproof hiking boots or duck boots.

Posted by
11 posts

I am interested to hear your experience, from Seattle and heading there in Aug. How was the day trip to S Coast? was it too far for 1 day? we have 2 nights with just 1 full day and really want to head to Diamond beach, staying in Reykavik night 1 and Grindavik night 2 so i think 5 hour drive there and back.
In Aug is just a rain/wind resistant parka ok or do you need pants too? Heading to France after and don't want to bring too much cold weather gear. thanks.

Posted by
2242 posts

richardsonmary_j--We are also from Seattle, and on our arrival days in Iceland there is no way I would drive al the way to Diamond Beach. IMO it is too far after the flight. I am super cautious with this though as I had an aunt that fell asleep at the wheel and became a paraplegic from that accident. Anyway, we were there again last August and did need our rain pants on one day. The rest of the time we had good weather. That one day though they were absolutely needed.

Posted by
721 posts

richardsonmary, can you tell us your tentative itinerary? Would be easier for us to give you some valuable input.

Posted by
121 posts

100% you need a waterproof rain jacket, as others have said. Since you are from Canada and not Florida, you probably don't need too many warm layers, but pants and a long sleeved shirt should be enough, with the rain jacket if it is wet.

Posted by
11 posts

naalehuretiree- We land Monday 9:30am have Blue lagoon reservation for 12pm then hotel in Reykavik. Was thinking of checking out Reykavik and go to bed early. Realize we will be exhausted after travel. We are hoping to get up early next day and do the drive to diamond beach with stops along the way. Really want to see the salt columns also. That 2nd night we are staying in Grindavik then fly out Wednesday at 10:55am

Posted by
721 posts

richardsonmary, it's your trip, but personally I don't see driving ten hours in one day just to go to Diamond Beach. There are so many wonderful sights to see along the way, and you'll be blasting right by them all.

I hope that you are aware of the recent eruption. Keep an eye on the roads around Grindavik and make sure that there aren't any closures or traffic jams. Everyone is flocking there right now.