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Iceland Clothing for June

Another very specific question: Clothing for Iceland in June (5-12 if it matters).

I live in the PNW and our weather is often similar to what I am reading about in Iceland for June: H of 51 degrees F, L of 40, rain can be heavy or light, just depends.

In reading blogs about what to pack (yes, I am that travel nerd), loads of people talk about layers. Okay, I get that, dress that way all the time here. But, they are bringing LOADS of layers and I feel that it might well be overkill. My plan is to bring LS Tshirts (merino wool as well as Insectshield LS, because those are what I have). I am also bringing one 1/4 zip microfleece and one midweight Patagonia capilene 1/4 zip. Jacket is a 200 Polarfleece full zip (though I could switch for a pullover if needed) and then a full Goretex jacket with hood that covers the rump. I could bring my down puffy jacket or vest but not convinced that is necessary. Also have a beanie, magic gloves, and fleece neck gaiter for those biting windy times.

We are doing the Ring Road in this 8 day timeframe so LOTS of time in the car (not my trip, so please hold your judgement, this is my son's desire). Really don't want to lug unnecessary "stuff" if I don't have to!

I would love a reality check of what people who have been to Iceland in early summer/late spring think is necessary. TIA!

Posted by
6101 posts

I was in Iceland in September, so I should think similar weather? I had some days close to 60F, most more around 50. I've also been to the PNW, a number of times (I have PNW grandsons!) and IMO, the weather in September in Iceland was quite similar to what I had a couple weeks ago in Seattle. Yes, Layers and options, yes, a warm hat and a sun protection hat and light gloves and a rain coat. I always feel with a raincoat I can handle most any weather because it is such a good wind breaker. In Iceland, I never wore more than a long sleeve shirt and pants, a fleece pullover and a raincoat. I avoided jeans, because to me, jeans are always cold. I didn't have, but would suggest rainpants, both for rain and wind/warmth. I would also suggest hiking boats and warm socks.

I would err more on the side of underpacking, because I think you'll be fine and because, if necessary, they have stores. . .

Posted by
674 posts

Spent three weeks in Iceland in August 2022 traveling the entire perimeter of the country. I’m from New England which helps me with understanding type of clothing. Layers work well but are not as critical as having a jacket with vortex or other windproof material helps. The wind can be quite penetrating. A fleece liner paired with that jacket kept me quite warm. If preferred a pair of silk undergarments (which are incredibly light weight) would easily replace the bulk of layers. That may not be necessary with your use of long sleeve shirts. You do not need nor want a ton of layers. A wool hat to cover the ears (even if your jacket is hooded) and a pair of warm but not cumbersome gloves are essential. I wore the hat regularly but used the gloves infrequently. Quality rain gear is essential - for example rain pants and rain jacket with hood. The heavy rain (water) penetrates standard rain gear pretty quickly. Umbrellas are useless when it’s windy.

There a quite a few shops on the main streets of Reykjavik that sell essentials at a reasonable price.

Posted by
358 posts

We were in Iceland (mostly South Coast) in June 2023. We saw 60 degrees (briefly) but it never felt that warm, even in the sun.

A long sleeve base layer (maybe a tee shirt under that), with a heavier fleece type layer, followed by a good waterpoof jacket outer layer will cover you in most cases. That's what I used each day, and I think it was good. A warm winter hat and gloves are a must too, especially if you'll be along the coast. So you seem like you have the right idea.

I'd skip the big puffy jacket/vest honestly - your thinner and layered approach should be fine.

You will love the country and the people, even with the drive time. It was one of our favorite trips as a family!

Posted by
2249 posts

Also from the Seattle area, and our 7th trip to Iceland is coming up. Just wear what you would wear here to go hiking. Layers, whatever you use here will be just fine there. I have never brought my puffy on any trip to Iceland though. The wind cuts through those. The one thing I bring that I do not use here at home are rain pants. Those are great for the waterfalls as you do get soaked at some of them, and of course any rain you might get.

Posted by
77 posts

Thanks all. I will happily leave the puffy at home. One less thing to bring when each thing has to be squeezed into a small carryon. Wearing the fleece and rain jacket but trying to avoid Michelin man status.

Btw…was able to find fleece lined waterproof Eddie Bauer pants that would be my waterproof bottom layer. Might steal my husband’s rain pants though, because I’m worried the EB might be too warm. Ordered a different pair online but they haven’t arrived so we will see!

Thanks again!

Posted by
466 posts

I spent a week in Iceland in early June 2019. We had beautiful sunny weather the whole time except while on a glacier hike on the south coast. Layers are definitely your friend. I didn't need a puffy jacket. I wore a North Face hooded rain jacket over a long sleeve t-shirt over a t-shirt and added/removed a scarf as needed. Never needed gloves or a beanie. If we were somewhere out of the wind, we were plenty warm enough in short sleeves.
It's such a beautiful time to be in Iceland. It's my dream to go back again another June.

Posted by
356 posts

Thanks Laura for posting this!

I'm arriving in Iceland June 8th and am debating my packing list as well! I live in Colorado, so the much lower altitude, higher humidity and more wind of Iceland is not an apples to apples to a Colorado 50 degree day. I think I'll be much colder than I'll expect. But like the rest of these folks, I am used to layering, and I think the key is to keep your head and heart warm!

Thanks all for feedback!

Posted by
1534 posts

I suggest taking at least one short sleeved shirt. I was in Iceland the first week of July, 2021 and there was a heat wave. My long-sleeved Marino wool shirts were too warm. I ended up wearing my silk pajama top a time or two.

Posted by
24 posts

I was there last June 15-June 30. Did the entire ring road. I’m not a person that gets cold easily.

But I was very happy to have the following:

Rain jacket
Light puffer jacket
Stocking hat
Fleeced lined pants
Cuddle duds long underwear

It was cold! And rainy! For most of our trip. I think unusually so. The day of our whale watching trip the high was under 40.

Posted by
77 posts

Thanks for the advice. I will add one SS T-shirt and I will keep the fleece lined pants. Good thing about cooler weather is you can wear things a couple of times before they need laundering, which saves a bit on space!