If you are traveling to and wondering what to wear in Iceland in February you have come to the right place. Although there is no bad time to visit Iceland, we love visiting Iceland in Winter because there is fewer crowds and amazing seasonal attractions such as the Northern Lights. However the extreme cold weather can be a challenge to pack for. In this guide we will tell you everything you need to pack for Iceland in February to stay warm and practical.
Iceland Weather in February
February is definitely still in the grips of Winter in Iceland, and you can expect to experience all four seasons and all weather conditions at this time of year. But from my own experience of visiting Iceland in Winter I can tell you the overriding condition we felt was cold! But how cold is the weather in February?
Note: It is worth noting that the weather in Iceland changes dramatically between months especially at this time of year. If your visit spans two months be sure to check out our other seasonal guides:
- What to pack for Iceland in December
- What to wear in Iceland in March.
How cold is Iceland in February?
The average temperatures in Iceland in February tend to hover between average highs and average lows of 3C / 37.4 F and -2C /28.4 F. And generally speaking you can expect the higher ground and North of the country to be cooler than Reykjavik which tends to have the warmest temperatures.
When I was in Iceland however I found that the temperatures did feel cooler than this largely because of the wind chill. Iceland gets very windy especially in February and it does make a difference to how cold it feels.
How rainy is Iceland in February?
Iceland can be rainy whatever time of year you visit but February is historically the rainiest month across the country. Typically speaking your chances of seeing rain on any given day in February is around 75% so waterproof wear is key to a successful packing list for this time of year.
And remember you also always have a chance of sleet and snow in Iceland too at this time of year.
Is it snowy in Iceland in February?
YEs Iceland is very snowy in February. But to me that is part of the appeal of traveling at this time of year.
On the higher ground and the North the snow can be very deep but you are likely to get snow even in Reykjavik in February. Therefore some good snow boots are also a good idea.
What to wear in Iceland in February
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When looking at packing lists, I would usually separate things out into a male, female and childrens list. But the truth is that Iceland is a place where practical dressing is key in Winter. For this reason the below items can be considered universal for whoever is visiting.
The items that we recommend packing for Iceland is:
Waterproof and Wind Resistant Coat
A waterproof and wind resistance coat is absolutely essential in February. February is a cold month to visit Iceland, and can feel colder in the rain, snow and wind. Therefore a good quality coat is an essential.
Some of our favorite brands of coats for Iceland include:
Thermal Base Layers
As the temperatures can dip below freezing and you will be spending lots of time outside a thermal base layer comprising of leggings and a long sleeve top is a must. We recommend packing merino wool thermals are these are think but warm and don’t tend to hold bad smells, which means you can wear them on a couple of occassions.
If you are spending 5 days to a week in Iceland we recommend having at least two sets of thermal underwear with you but for a weekend in Iceland you may be able to get away with packing just one set.
Waterproof trousers are a must even when it isn’t rainy. Some of the best hikes in Iceland, such as the waterfall walks, can get you wet even on a dry day. Therefore we recommend always keep a pair of waterproof trousers in your day pack.
Again the snow, ice and wind will make the temperatures feel cooler than they are. It is well know extremities such as ears get cold quickly and that people lose heat from their heads, therefore a good quality beanie is a must.
As I mentioned above, it is important to protect your extremities when traveling to Iceland in Winter. Therefore gloves are an absolute essential. I recommend packing gloves that are electronics compatible so you don’t have to remove them to take photos or use your phone.
Also what we found when we visited Iceland in Winter was that when we went out at night to see the aurora we actually used two pairs of gloves. The touch screen pair was our base layer, but we also put some thick ski gloves over the top too while we waited for the lights to appear.
I didn’t use my scarf everyday in Iceland but found it useful when it got very cold.
Ear Muffs or a head band
Again, I didn’t use these everyday but I found them very useful for nights in Iceland and for when I was near glaciers or in very windy places such as on the beach.
Jumpers, Hoodies, and Sweaters
You can’t visit Iceland in February without having plenty of layers with you. As most of the time you will be outdoors we recommend taking mostly quick dry fleeces and hoodies. However for evenings merino wool sweaters can be useful.
Personally I would never wear jeans for hiking in Iceland as they are not comfy when wet. However I did take a pair with me to chance into in the evenings for dinner.
Thick Thermal Socks
There is nothing worse than getting cold feet when hiking so you will definitely want thick thermal socks in Iceland in February. I normally pack of thicker hiking style socks for the daytime and thinner merino wool ones for night.
T shirts are a staple on any packing list. These won’t replace your thermal base layer but they are a good addition to go on top before your sweater, fleece or other layers.
Although not beach weather in Iceland in February you will still want swimwear for the geothermal pools such as the Blue Lagoon and the Secret Lagoon.
Depending on where you go and the package you select will depend on what you will need to take with you however this guide on blue lagoon dress codes covers most eventualities.
Goes without saying.
The weather is so cold in Iceland that you will want to make sure the pyjamas you have are warm. I usually opt for a fleece or flannel pair.
Best Shoes for Iceland in February
Normally I hedge my bet when answering the question what is the best shoe for a destination. However there is no need for Iceland as there is a clear winner.
My number shoe for Iceland has to be:
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Iceland is a country where the outdoor activities are unrivalled. When we visited we did everything from hiking, glacier walks, horse riding to searching for the Northern Lights. And for these occassions I found my waterproof hiking boots to be the most appropriate shoe.
Whichever pair you pick you need to make sure you have a thick sole with a good grip as well as a pair with good waterproofing. You may even require some crampons / ice spikes depending on what activities you plan to do.
Just be sure if you buy a pair for Iceland that you wear them in before travel and have thick hiking boots and blister plasters with you.
Pair of Shoes for evenings
If you plan on eating out at night and like to change of dinner you may want a change of shoes with you. At this time of year a pair of flat ankle boots would be perfect. However some places hiking boots will be appropriate too.
Slippers / Flip Flops
If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon or any hot springs flip flops or slippers are a good idea for moving around waterside.
What to pack for Iceland in February (Non Clothing)
So now you know what to wear in Iceland in February we will turn our attention to what to pack for Iceland in February other than clothes.
Essentials to pack in my opinion are:
Back Pack with Rain Cover / Waterproof Outer Shell
Although some backpacks are waterproof it is a good idea to have a waterproof shell with you just in case. The rain can get very heavy in Iceland in February and you don’t want to end up with a soaking backpack.
Waterproof phone case
This one is only really necessary if you plan to visit geothermal pools where you will be wanting to take photos in the water.
This is also useful if you plan on walking near some waterfalls such as Gullfoss waterfall or plan on going on a trip to see humpback whales it may come in handy then too!
Quick Dry Towel
This is another one for geothermal springs in Iceland. While you can rent towels at these locations and the Blue Lagoon provides towels in its ticket prices not all hot springs do. Therefore this can be a cost saver if you plan on visiting the smaller pools
If you have plenty of space you could add a dry robe to your Iceland packing list.
Food and drink in Iceland is expensive, a reusable water bottle is a great way to cut costs and is better for the environment. Shop travel water bottles here!
Iceland is an expensive country and one of the biggest lines on your Iceland budget will be food. Iceland allows you to bring certain foods into the country with you – no raw eggs, raw meat, or milk, up to 3kg in weight.
To save money, if you are bringing a checked luggage we recommend using your 3kg of food allowance to pack snacks and food to help reduce your costs.
I like to start my day with a hot cup of coffee. We started our days early in Iceland to beat the crowds and I definitely was glad to have my thermos with me. I used it in the car to start the day and also to warm up after long cold hikes. Click here to shop travel thermos.
Universal Travel adaptor
If you are traveling to Iceland you will need a electrical travel plug adaptor. Iceland uses European C and E sockets. Click here to shop travel adaptors.
You will be using your phone a lot in Iceland for sat navs, cameras and more and just me this drains your battery quick. Therefore if is worth having a battery pack charger with you as well as a USB cable for charging in your car. Click here to shop battery packs.
Iceland is a stunning place bring the best quality camera you have with you.
The sun in Iceland in Winter tends to sit low in the sky and when it hits the snow and Ice it can be pretty dazzling. For this reason we recommend packing sunglasses even in Winter.
Ice Scraper (optional depending on car hire)
If you decide on hiring a car in Iceland an ice scraper / deicer can be handy for clearing your windows off early in the morning.
Iceland has amazing wildlife from humpback whales to birds. If you plan on doing some nature excursions be sure to pack some binoculars with you.
While usually we advocate buying budget versions of things for vacation, binoculars are something I would buy the best version you can afford as you will notice a difference in quality. Click here to shop binoculars.
Normally I leave toiletries off my packing lists. That is because you either have to restrict volume for carry on or need to pack them carefully for hold bags.
Note: be sure to check liquid volume restrictions if you are traveling with carry on only. preferring to buy them on arrival. However Iceland is an expensive place for food and toiletries.
However I always bring toiletries to Iceland from home. Iceland is an expensive place for food as well as toiletries. Therefore you will save yourself both time and money by bringing them with you.
For me the essential toiletries for Iceland include:
- Moisturiser – the wind and rain in Iceland along with the salinity in the hot springs take the toll on your skin. A good moisturiser is therefore a must.
- Conditioner – again the salinity in the hot springs and blue lagoon can damage your hair therefore we recommend packing a good quality conditioner with you for visiting Iceland.
- Toothbrush and tooth paste
- Hairbrush and Hairbands – Iceland gets windy even in Summer so tying your hair up can be essential, especially for photographs.
- Make Up – I am normally quite minimalist with my makeup in Iceland due to the activities I will be doing. The key however for all makeup you bring to Iceland is that it is waterproof.
- Medicines – as required.
- Lip Balm – And as well as protecting your skin also protect your lips with a lip balm that has sun protection. Our favorite brand at the moment is Sun Bum.
- Blister Plasters – wearing new hiking boots or getting your feet wet can lead to blisters. This would certainly ruin your Iceland trip. Have a good supply with you just in case.
- Travel first aid kit – no one wants to get injured on vacation but it is worth having a small travel first aid kit with you just in case.
FAQS about What to wear in Iceland in February
Should I pack a dress for Iceland in February?
A dress really isn’t necessary for Iceland in Winter. However if you want a dress for a special night out I recommend looking at something like a sweater dress for warmth.
And don’t forget warm tights to wear with it.
Have you been to Iceland in February? What did you wear? Leave us a comment and tell us about your favorite Iceland in February outfit.