For an update of how my packing list fared, check out this post from after my trip.
I sort of like researching things. Now that I am no longer in grad school, that particular penchant often gets redirected toward researching trips and what to take with me when I go. With an upcoming trip to Iceland on the books, I had the perfect excuse to exhaustively Google search “packing for winter in Iceland” and then subsequently determine which products to pack and purchase for my trip. In case you are in need of this particular piece of information (or have another cold weather European trip planned), I wanted to share the results of my labor.
My goal is to be warm and yet be able to fit it all in a carry-on. Because I am going to Iceland, in winter no less, one of my first purchases was a new coat. I wanted to find something that would both keep me warm, but also be reasonably stylish for the fashion conscious (if uniquely so) city of Reykjavik.
Enter the Columbia Carson Pass II Jacket. Nice and warm with Columbia’s Omni-Shield technology? Check! Stylish enough with a removable faux-fur hood and perfectly placed belt? Check! I even had the opportunity to take the coat for a couple of test runs during my recent trip to South Korea and an especially cold weekend in Bend.
I’m happy to say the coat has been exactly what I was looking for at a reasonable (all things considered) price.
A couple of other items on my “must have for Iceland” list were a set of thermals and a reasonably good-looking pair of warm and waterproof pants. I eventually settled upon Smartwool merino wool thermals (both a top and bottom) and a pair of Columbia Fierce Force pants.
I also want to minimize the number of shoes that I pack. Things I need include something warm, waterproof, appropriate to wear in the city and while hiking, and that will look good with various types of pants (I’ve got priorities, after all). I eventually settled upon a pair of Sorel Caribou boots.
So far, I am in love. They are comfortable, waterproof, and look great with jeans. Thanks to a removable lining, the warmth of the shoes can be adjusted. With the liner, the shoes are rated down to -40 degrees. Cozy! These will also come in handy as I work on my Oregon Bucket List.
I also just ordered a pair of new Crocs that were well reviewed and most certainly do not look like Crocs. Although at the moment I am slightly horrified that I just typed the preceding sentence, these seem perfect for the plane and for a day spent walking around Reykjavik. According to everything I have read, they are surprisingly warm due to a fuzzy lining and hold up great to a day of walking. Plus, these seem a little easier to slip on and off at the airport and the geothermal springs I will be visiting than do the Sorel boots. Taken together, I will be able to wear one pair and pack one pair, which goes a long way toward fitting everything in a carry-on.
My final purchase, which I was also able to test drive in South Korea, was a new Kavu rope bag. A fortuitous compromise between by desire for fashion and my boyfriend’s commitment to function, this bag is everything. I would not necessarily take it somewhere I was concerned about pickpockets, although it could certainly be turned around if needed, but otherwise, this bag is amazing. It can be worn all day without causing my shoulder to hurt. The weight of the bag, even when fully packed, is so well-distributed that it does not feel heavy at all. I had such a great experience with this bag that I recommended it to a friend who recently had shoulder surgery. It was the first bag she found that did not hurt her shoulder. Plus, the multiple zippers help to conveniently and efficiently keep everything organized and easy to find.
And finally, this is what I will wear on the plane.
So that’s it folks, all the things, both old and new that I intend to take with me to Iceland. Once I get back, I will update this post with how my choices hold up to the cold, wet, and often windy Iceland winter!