Iceland continues to grow as one of Europe’s top travel destinations, especially as the prospect of a prolonged layover on this subarctic island nation gain popularity. Because of its unique climate with little weather variation between the seasons, Iceland is also very much a year-round destination. However, there is no denying that no matter the season, Iceland can be a cold, damp, and windy place.
While we have already written a general article about what to pack for an Iceland trip, we thought that we would go in-depth about one of the most important items you need to bring with you when you visit this gorgeous country: the best jacket or coat for Iceland.
Whether you’re looking for the best coat for Iceland in winter or summer, autumn or spring, there is no denying that getting the proper gear is paramount to enjoying the most of what this spectacular place has to offer.
Best Coat for Iceland: Winter
Though Iceland doesn’t see an extreme variation in the weather depending on the season, you can bank on it being pretty damn cold if you are visiting between the months of November and March. This is the coldest and darkest time of year, but many people continue to travel there in order to go ice climbing, enjoy a completely snow-covered landscape, or to catch a glimpse of the majestic northern lights.
Iceland is a primarily outdoor destination and the weather can change at the drop of the hat, so it is important when you are looking for the best coat for Iceland to find something that will not only keep you warm but also dry.
These are our top picks:
An insulated down jacket, the North Face Gotham is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for the best parka for Iceland. It is bulky enough so you can wear multiple layers underneath and the down filling will keep you warm and toasty in even the harshest of conditions.
The exterior is waterproof and windproof, which is perfect if you get stuck in a surprise rainstorm or blizzard (which is common!) and there are multiple pockets, both interior and exterior, so you can keep your things dry and secure.
Not only will it keep you incredibly warm, but the North Face Gotham is both lightweight and durable meaning that it will be easy to move around in and will last you for years to come. All in all, this could easily classify as the best winter jacket for Iceland.
If you are looking for a less expensive option for an Iceland winter jacket, then the Wantdo Mountain Jacket is a great choice for you! Designed for skiing, this jacket is made to withstand water and wind while still keeping you dry and warm — perfect for Iceland’s harsh environment!
The Wantdo Mountain Jacket is not as bulky as the North Face mentioned above, however, there is still room to wear multiple thinner layers underneath. It is also lined with fleece for extra insulation. There are multiple pockets to keep your belongings safe and, as it is designed for skiers, it is an ideal option if you are planning to be very active when visiting Iceland.
Similar to the Wantdo jacket above, the Columbia Arctic Trip II is designed with skiers in mind, making it one of the best winter jackets for Iceland. This jacket has multiple layers, an inner fleece layer and an outer wind and waterproof layer, which can be detached and worn separately.
There are also multiple pockets in order to store your items and is incredibly durable, so it will last you for many years. It is built to withstand sub-zero temperatures, so it is great for keeping you warm in Iceland — especially due to the high wind-chill factor in the country.
Because it is meant for outdoor activities, it doesn’t feel bulky to wear and you can easily move around in it. However, it is big enough that you can wear a few layers underneath to keep extra warm. All in all, the Columbia Arctic Trip II could easily qualify as the best coat for an Iceland winter.
Best Jackets For Iceland: Summer
If you’re travelling to Iceland in summer, you aren’t going to need a huge parka or fancy ski jacket like the options listed above. However, you will still need adequate outer layers and the weather can still be very chilly. The rain and wind in Iceland are still quite heavy in the summer months, so it is necessary to have clothing that will keep you dry and warm.
Ensuring that you have adequate layers that you can add and remove depending on the current conditions will help ensure that you enjoy your trip to Iceland as much as possible.
Here are our suggestions for the best jackets for Iceland in the summer:
Not only the perfect addition to any Iceland packing list but also a great item of clothing to bring with you on all of your travels, the Wantdo Ultra-Light Down is one of the best jackets on the market. Not only will this keep you very warm, but they are also incredibly light-weight and pack down to almost nothing (they come with their own compression sack), making this an easy contender for the best jacket for Iceland.
They have a waterproof quality, so you can keep dry when wearing this jacket. Because of their lightweight, it is also quite practical to use as a base layer if the day is more chilly. They are also very well-made and are useful whatever the season, which makes them one of our essential travel items in general, not just for Iceland trips.
Basically, you can go wrong with a purchase of Wantdo Ultra-Light Down jacket as you can use it for years to come.
Even though you aren’t going to need a heavy parka to withstand an Icelandic summer, you are going to need a solid waterproof and windproof layer to brave the disparate weather patterns of this Nordic nation. And easily the best rain jacket for Iceland is going to be the North Face Resolve.
This is the waterproof jacket that we personally for all of our travels and we couldn’t be more pleased with it. It is very lightweight, packs down small, and will resist rain and wind like nobody’s business.
Not only the North Face Resolve a great waterproof jacket for Iceland, but it is also another essential travel item for any trip and I bring mine with me wherever I go. Because it is light, it is just as perfect over a t-shirt during a summer rainstorm as it is over multiple warm layers in the winter.
While not exactly a jacket for Iceland, packing a fleece pullover such as the North Face Glacier is essential in Iceland no matter the season.
In the summer months, where the temperatures average about 13°C (55°F), sometimes all that is needed is one warm layer, and a fleece is a perfect addition! This pullover is lightweight, cosy, and packs down very small, which can save you a lot of valuable space in your backpack or suitcase!
The North Face Glacier is also one of the best things to wear under all of the jackets and coats for Iceland listed above and is an invaluable item to bring with you on your Icelandic adventure.
If you are travelling to Iceland outside of the summer or winter months, it is best to pack for all types of weather. If you are avoiding the colder months of late October/November and March/April, then you should be fine bringing the jackets listed under the summer section, but make sure to pack some additional warm layers.
While a proper coat or jacket for Iceland is one of the most essential items for yoou trip, you also need to make sure you pack other pertinent gear as well. For instance, making sure you have the proper footwear for Iceland is a must and also, especially if you’re travelling in winter, packing a good pair of gloves is essential as well. More information about everything you need to bring can be found in our essential Iceland packing list.
Make sure you check the weather forecast before you leave for your trip but do remember that the weather can change drastically and at the drop of a hat, so it is always good practice to come prepared.
Figuring out what the best jacket or coat for Iceland is can be a daunting task, with so many options on the market. The best thing to do is make sure it will keep you warm and dry enough to withstand even the most extreme of weather and you are sure to have a great trip to this amazing country!
Are you looking for the best coat for Iceland? Have any questions about buying Iceland jackets? Let us know in the comments below!