The Best Coats for Iceland in Winter & Jackets for Summer

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by Maggie Turansky


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While you may already have a general idea 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: choosing the best coat for Iceland.

Whether you’re looking for a coat for winter or a jacket for summer, there is no denying that getting the proper gear is paramount to enjoying the most of what this spectacular place has to offer.

Coats For Iceland Comparison

CoatDescriptionPrices
North Face Gotham Jacket
THE NORTH FACE Women's Gotham Insulated Jacket, Blackberry Wine, Medium
Best Coat For Winter
Type: Waterproof Down Coat
Sex : Male/Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)
Wantdo Mountain Waterproof Jacket
Wantdo Women's Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Outdoor Coat US M Red Medium
Best Budget Coat For Winter
Type: Waterproof Ski Jacket
Sex : Male/Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)
Columbia Alpine Action Jacket
Columbia Women's Ava Alpine Insulated Jacket, Beach/White, Medium
Best Coat For Active Travellers
Type: Waterproof Omni-Heat Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: Winter
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on Columbia (Women’s)

Check on Columbia (Men’s)
North Face Antora
THE NORTH FACE Women's Waterproof Antora Parka (Standard and Plus Size), Asphalt Grey, X-Small
Best Jacket For Summer
Type: Waterproof Rain Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: Summer
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)

Check on REI (Women’s)

Check on REI (Men’s)
Wantdo Ultra-light Down Jacket
Wantdo Women's Hooded Packable Ultra Light Weight Short Down Jacket Black 2XL
Best Budget Jacket For Summer
Type: Waterproof Down Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: Summer
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)
North Face Glacier
THE NORTH FACE Women's TKA Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Jacket, Gardenia White, Small
Best Fleece Jacket
Type: Fleece Pullover Jacket
Sex: Male/Female
Season: All
Check on Amazon (Women’s)

Check on Amazon (Men’s)


Best Winter Coats for Iceland

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, soak in hot springs or to catch a glimpse of the majestic northern lights.

Iceland is a primarily outdoor destination (unless you’re staying only in the city of Reykjavik) and the weather can change at the drop of the hat, so it is important when you are looking for a coat to find something that will not only keep you warm but also dry.

A proper waterproof coat is necessary for Iceland!
A proper waterproof coat is necessary for Iceland!

North Face Gotham – Best Overall Choice for Winter

An insulated down jacket, the North Face Gotham is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a winter coat. 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.

This coat comes in both men’s and women’s styles and in a number of different colours, so you’re sure to find something that suits your particular needs.

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.

A men’s version of this jacket is available on Amazon here.

THE NORTH FACE Women's Gotham Insulated Jacket, Blackberry Wine, Medium

Wantdo Mountain Waterproof Jacket – Best Budget Choice for Winter

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 windy conditions while still keeping you dry and warm — perfect for Iceland’s harsh, ever-changing environment!

This 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.

Available in both men’s and women’s styles and coming in a variety of colours, you would be making a great choice if you choose the Wantdo Mountain Jacket.

Men’s versions are available on Amazon here.

Wantdo Men's Waterproof Mountain Jacket Fleece Windproof Ski Jacket US 2XL Sky Blue 2XL

Columbia Alpine Action – Best for Active Travellers

Similar to the Wantdo jacket above, the Columbia Alpine Action (also available direct from Columbia here) is designed with skiers in mind, making it a great option for travelling in 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 sweater or two underneath to keep extra warm.

Men’s versions are available from Amazon here or direct from Columbia here.

Columbia Women's Ava Alpine Insulated Jacket, Beach/White, Medium

Best Summer Jackets For Iceland

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.

North Face Antora – Best Overall Choice for Summer

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. A great rain jacket for Iceland is the North Face Antora (also available from REI here).

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 is the North Face Antora a great waterproof jacket, 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 during the winter in Iceland.

The men’s version of this jacket is available from Amazon here or from REI here.

THE NORTH FACE Women's Waterproof Antora Parka (Standard and Plus Size), Asphalt Grey, X-Small

Wantdo Ultra-Light Down Jacket Best Budget Choice for Summer

Not only the perfect addition for when you pack for Iceland 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 lightweight and pack down to almost nothing (they come with their own compression sack).

They have a waterproof quality, so you can keep dry when wearing this jacket — though it probably isn’t going to protect you if you’re caught out in a torrential rainstorm. Because of their lightweight characteristics, it is also quite practical to use as a base layer if the day is more chilly.

This jacket is also very well-made and is useful whatever the season, which makes it one of our essential travel items in general, not just for Iceland trips.

Basically, you can’t go wrong with a purchase of Wantdo Ultra-Light Down jacket as you can use it for years to come and on numerous different trips. Men’s versions are available on Amazon here.

wantdo Men's Packable Down Jacket Spring Jacket Light Winter Coat (Black, Small)

North Face Glacier – Best Choice for Layers

While not exactly a jacket, 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 in Iceland under all of the jackets and winter coats listed above and is an invaluable item to bring with you on your Icelandic adventure.

Men’s versions of this jacket are available on Amazon here.

THE NORTH FACE Women's TKA Glacier ¼ Zip Fleece Jacket, Gardenia White, Small

Things to Consider When Packing for Iceland

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 and thermal wear.

While a proper coat or jacket is one of the most essential items for your trip to Iceland, you also need to make sure you pack other pertinent gear as well.

For instance, making sure you have the proper hiking boots (or hiking shoes) 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 conditions 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. However, it is essential you keep 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 a coat to take to Iceland? Have any questions about buying these products? Let us know in the comments below!

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Maggie is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Originally from the US, she has lived in five different countries and has travelled to dozens more, both solo and with her partner, Michael. She particularly loves exploring Spain and spending time in the Caucasus and the Baltics. Read more about Maggie

Comments

  1. How about mid September? More winter or more summer? I keep reading about bringing a merino wool base layer .. what’s your opinion?

    Reply
    • September can get pretty cold in Iceland – so ai think a merino wool base layer could be a good option!

      Reply

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