Welcome to Part 2 of our Iceland Packing List. In this post, we’ll be covering the best types of luggage to get you through your flight to Iceland and out into the country’s dramatic landscape in a campervan. There’s not too much to go over, so we’ll keep this post nice and short!

If you haven’t already, we highly suggest you read Part 1 of our Iceland Packing List where we discuss Iceland’s weather and seasons as well as the types of clothing which will work best for keeping you warm and comfortable during your visit. You can click on the image below to view that article now or continue scrolling to finish reading.

Iceland Packing List for All Seasons in a Campervan - Part 1 Clothing - Facebook

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Less is More

If there’s one thing you need to understand about campervanning around Iceland, it’s this: You cannot pack a lot of stuff – the van is too small for conventional luggage.

This means you’ll need to fit everything you bring into two carryon-size bags because the campervan won’t fit your checked bag, carryon bags, and leave you room to move around comfortably.

This is the reason we suggest above to invest in high-quality clothing – not only for Iceland but travel in general if you’re passionate about it like we are! Good quality clothing takes up minimal space, looks great in a variety of situations, and usually pulls double duty.

You should have no problem fitting everything into carryon luggage if you learn that you do not need as many clothes as the typical tourist tends to travel with!


READ MORE: Weighing Your Options – Carry-On vs. Checked Luggage

Weighing Your Options: Carry-on Vs. Checked Luggage - Facebook Feature Image


What Type of Luggage

Good carryon luggage should be soft-sided to better fit into the overhead bin of the aircraft or under the seat in front of you. Hard-sided luggage won’t compress to fit into crowded bins should the flight attendants need to move bags around.

Quality luggage also means it’s probably going to cost more, and therefore, must be durable enough to last you for years of travel without breaking down on you.

Standard dimensions for carryon luggage are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches = 45 total linear inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm = 113 linear total centimeters). Make sure you comply with these dimensions if you don’t want your luggage to be checked on full flights. All the bags listed below comply with these dimensions.


Our Luggage Recommendations 

The Best Roller

Osprey Meridian Roller

GO Score - Love!

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Osprey Meridian Wheeled Backpack

The Good:

The Osprey Meridian Roller is two bags in one – a roller suitcase and a detachable daypack – that when separated, comply with standard carryon dimensions for luggage.

Build quality is exceptional, with high-quality materials used throughout both bags and a couple different color options available! All pull-straps and handles are reliably strong so you won’t have to worry about them ripping off when you lift a particularly heavy bag.

Both bags come with fully adjustable shoulder straps that are noticeably durable with quality stitching and amply padded. Zippers are wonderfully large and robust for easy pulling that won’t snag on the bag’s material while zipping and unzipping.

The Roller Bag

The main roller bag comes with two large durable wheels that work well on gravel roads, cobblestone streets, stairs, or any other bumpy or uneven surfaces, as well as an extendable handle that retracts smoothly into the top of the main bag for a streamlined look.

It has a square base which it allows the bag to stand up on its own without tipping over, and is soft-sided for better fitting into the airplane’s overhead bin.

In addition to being rolling luggage, the Main Bag has a hidden compartment in the back panel that hold straps which allow you to wear the bag as a backpack as well as top and a side handle for multiple different carrying options. The back panel has a wonderful ergonomic curve which fits perfectly against your back when used as a backpack.

It has a small, quick-access pocket right on top near the handle for items you may need in a hurry – such as your toiletries, ditty bag, passport, etc. during security checkpoints.

The Main Compartment is very deep, and unzips completely, like a binder, for easy packing and unpacking. There are two internal side pockets that are great for things like socks and underwear or dirty laundry, as well as additional mesh pockets located on the inside of the main flap.

We’ve covered the daypack for this bag below under the DAYPACKS section.

CLICK HERE TO READ


The Bad:

No waist strap on either backpack which would add stability to the bag if you had to run through an airport to catch your connecting flight, or are using the daypack on a strenuous hike.

Some of the internal pockets take away the space inside the main compartment once you start filling them up.

When the daypack is clipped onto the main bag, it makes it frustratingly difficult to access any of the main pockets on either bag.

If you don’t ever intend on using the main bag as a backpack, only a roller, then the additional compartment and straps take up valuable space that could be used for other items.

The dirty wheels sit against your back when in backpack mode.

The bag is bulky and the built-in roller and handle make the bag rather heavy.

It’s very pricey!!!

The laptop sleeve is mesh which doesn’t provide the most protection from other items jostling around in your bag.

Some budget airlines have tighter restrictions for their overhead bins so you may have to check this bag if it’s too large.

You’ll need to buy a rain cover for it if you’ll encounter wet weather.

There may not be enough pockets for people who really like to keep their stuff organized, and too many pockets for people who want a truly minimalistic bag.


The Bottom Line:

The Osprey Meridian Roller is the perfect luggage for travelers who want to pack everything into their carryon, or for anyone who may be unwilling or incapable of wearing a backpack – It’s our top recommendation to anyone looking for new luggage. (We prefer the teal-green color for easily recognizing it if we ever have to check it with an airline.)

This has become Megan’s go-to luggage now everywhere we travel – replacing her Osprey Backpack. It’s more comfortable because it can be used as rolling luggage instead of a backpack, and its high-quality build and materials mean it will last you a very long time.

The roller, backpack, and daypack functions make it the best bag for adapting to any travel situation – especially for campervanning around Iceland, where you’ll need to go from the pedestrian-friendly airport to the rugged landscape.

It’s definitely better as rolling luggage rather than a backpack – The backpack option on the main bag is really only for situations where using the bag as a roller isn’t possible, but you still need your hands free.


The Best Backpack

Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

GO Score - Happy

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack

The Good:

Exceptional build quality and materials!

Bag size complies with standard carryon dimensions required for most airlines and is soft-sided for easily fitting into overhead compartments.

It comes with a wide nylon strap with clips for turning the bag into a duffle, as well as handles on the top and side with incredible durability for easy carrying.

Zippers have large durable pulls and don’t snag on the material when zipping and unzipping, and two compartments have interlocking zippers that are designed to be locked with TSA approved locks.

 

The Backpack

Quality shoulder straps with comfortable padding and a comfortable semi-rigid waist strap for increased support.

All backpack straps are fully adjustable with wide nylon straps and durable buckles.

Backpack straps and hipbelt can be zipped into their own pocket in the back panel for easier transporting or for going through security checkpoints.

Has a rigid back panel for lying flat and keeping your stuff better protected

The back panel is meshed for increased breathability and has a wonderful ergonomic curve which fits perfectly against your back.

 

The Main Compartment

The main compartment opens completely allowing total access and easy packing.

There’s a zippered mesh garment pocket on one side of the main compartment. The other side is very deep, and comes with two compressions straps on the back panel for holding items in place

 

The Secondary Compartment

Secondary compartment is smaller than the main compartment, but is still quite large and will hold a lot of additional gear.

Secondary compartment comes with a large mesh sleeve for laptops and/or tablets with a Velcro closure to prevent them from sliding out.

Laptop sleeve comes with an additional large zippered pocket for miscellaneous small or flat items

 

Additional External Features

The front of the bag has two mesh exterior stretchy stuff pockets for water bottles, small shoes like flip flops or flats, or other outdoor gear you want to keep out of the main pocket.

There are two compression straps across the front for reducing the bulk of the bag once it’s been loaded.

A small, quick-access pocket is conveniently located right on top, near the handle, for items you may need in a hurry – such as your toiletries, ditty bag, passport, etc. during security checkpoints

The front of the bag has sewn-on nylon attachment loops for clipping on extra gear.

A built-in rainfly is stored in a Velcro pocket at the bottom of the bag’s exterior for quick deployment in wet weather.


The Bad:

The bottom of the bag is not flat, so the bag won’t stand up on its own.

The laptop sleeve is mesh which doesn’t provide the most protection from other items jostling around in your bag.

The internal garment pocket in the main compartment takes away a lot of space inside the bag once it’s loaded with stuff.

Over-packing the secondary compartment makes it difficult to pack the main compartment.

Heavy loads can cause back pain for some people when worn as a backpack for a long period of time.

Some budget airlines have tighter restrictions for their overhead bins so you’ll have to check this bag if it’s too large.

There may not be enough pockets for people who really like to keep their stuff organized, and too many pockets for people who want a truly minimalistic bag.


The Bottom Line:

We believe The Osprey Farpoint 40 Backpack is the best backpack for carryon travelers. We would recommend it to travelers constantly on the go who don’t need or want a roller and is the perfect luggage for transitioning between airports and hotels or touring cities via train or bus

Some may find the price rather steep for a backpack, but we believe the build quality and functionality of the bag absolutely make it worth the cost.

The high-quality build and materials guarantee a long life. Megan has used this bag for a couple years with no signs of wear to any part of the bag!

We really wish Osprey made the bag without the secondary compartment – only one main compartment that opened completely flat. We feel like the secondary compartment is rather useless because you cannot over-stuff it, and it takes up valuable space that could be better used in one, main pocket.

We wouldn’t recommend this backpack for people prone to back problems as it can be very heavy once it’s fully loaded or if you’re wearing it for a long period of time. This is the reason we gave it a slightly lower Go Score than the Osprey Meridian Roller above.


The Best Duffle

RJ’s preferred Patagonia Black Hole Duffle

GO Score - Love!

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 45L

The Good:

Exceptional build quality and materials used throughout. The bag is incredibly durable and waterproof which means you don’t need to purchase a rain cover for it!

Bag size complies with standard carryon dimensions required for most airlines and is soft-sided for easily fitting into overhead compartments and even under airplane seats in a pinch!

There’s a single main compartment – ideal for truly minimalist travelers who don’t want or need multiple organizational pockets. Comes with two small mesh pockets on the interior of the main compartment which are great for small, loose items that would get lost or ruined in the bottom of the bag. The opening of the main compartment overlaps the zipper which protects it from wet weather, and is very large for easy packing while also helping to prevent items in the bag from easily falling out.

It comes with multiple handles for easy carrying and a duffle strap that’s padded for comfort, as well as additional straps that can attach to the bag and turn it into a backpack.

The Duffle Bag rolls up into a small zippered pocket on the exterior which doubles as a quick-grab pocket on the exterior. It comes with an extra-durable padded bottom and semi-rigid sides help the bag “stand-up” for easier packing and unpacking. It comes with very large, durable zippers that don’t snag on the bag’s material when zipping and unzipping. The exterior has multiple nylon attachment loops sewn onto both sides of the bag for attaching additional gear to the exterior.

The Black Hole Duffle in a large variety of different colors for easy identification should it get lost, or if you need to check it with an airline.

Above all: It’s lightweight and very affordable!


The Bad:

The backpack straps come with little padding which means they’re not ideal for extended wearing. The design of the backpack functionality on the top of the bag is less than ideal – they get in the way of the main compartment and would be much better if they were attached to the bottom of the bag.

The pocket that the bag stuffs into is very small making it very difficult or impossible to get it into and is quite useless once the main compartment is packed because the two share the same space..

There’s an enormousPatagonia logo on either side of the bag for some seriously shameless advertising and the color options might be too obnoxious for some people.

Some budget airlines have tighter restrictions for their overhead bins, so you’ll have to check this bag if it’s too large.

The material used on the bag is not breathable at all which means it’ll get really sweaty when you wear it as a backpack.


The Bottom Line: 

The Patagonia Black Hole is the absolute best bag for minimalist travelers who don’t want or need all the bells and whistles in other carryon bags. It’s the perfect luggage for travelers on the go who need a quality bag that can transition between airport and hotel easily, and can adapt well to train or bus travel as well.

We would absolutely recommend this bag to any traveler – especially those who need a quality no-frills bag at an affordable price! It is the BEST all-around bag for carryon luggage! This is the perfect bag for carryon travelers who already have a backpack since this bag is best carried as a duffle – it makes great second luggage.

RJ has used this bag for a couple years with no signs of wear to any part of the bag and his favorite piece of luggage he uses everywhere we travel.


The Best way to Pack your Luggage

In order to get everything you’ll need into a carryon bag, you’ll need to compress it down to its smallest possible size.

Compression Packing Cubes are going to be your best friend. Roll your clothes to increase the amount you can get into each cube and compress them down into neat little squares. Packing Cubes also make it really easy to pack complete outfits together for efficient organization. Keep an eye out for an upcoming post where we review the best and worst Packing Cubes for Minimalist Travel!

Save space in your luggage by wearing your heavy boots on the plane (you can always kick them off during the flight.)


Daypacks

A proper daypack doubles as one of your carryon items and therefore needs to be durable and highly functional. It needs to be adaptable to carrying everything you need while you’re out exploring – whether that’s just your rain jacket or a bag load of camera gear.

Search for Daypacks on Amazon’s Best Sellers List


Our Daypack Recommendations

Best of the Best

Osprey Meridian Daypack

GO Score - Love!

 

Osprey Meridian DaypackThe Good:

The Osprey Meridian Daypack is specifically designed to clip onto the roller bag for easy transportation and stores easily under an airplane seat when detached.

It’s soft sided for better fitting into airplane’s overhead bin and complies with standard carryon dimensions. It’s small enough for carrying onto budget airlines which usually have much tighter restrictions on carryon dimensions.

Build quality is exceptional with high-quality materials used throughout.

Pull straps and handles are reliably strong and won’t rip off when you lift a heavy bag.

The fully-adjustable shoulder straps are very durable with quality stitching and are very nicely padded.

The Main Compartment is very deep, with large, durable zippers for easy pulling that won’t snag of the bag’s material when zipping or unzipping. There’s a very large mesh pocket for laptops and/or tablets with a small clip to hold them in place, as well as a medium sized zippered mesh pocket ideal for small or flat items.

The Daypack has a mesh back panel that “floats” away from the backpack, allowing maximum airflow and breathability that’s also very rigid for keeping the bag flat and protects electronics inside.

The top of the bag has an additional quick access pocket which is perfect for items like smartphone, wallet, keys, passport, etc. There are also two exterior stretchy stuff pockets for water bottles, small shoes like flip flops or flats, or other outdoor gear you want to keep out of the main pocket.


The Bad:

There’s no waist strap which would add stability to the bag if you are using the daypack on a strenuous hike.

Some of the internal pockets can take away much of the space inside the main compartment once you start filling them up.

The laptop sleeve is mesh which doesn’t provide the most protection from other items jostling around in your bag.

You need to buy a rain cover for this bag if you’ll encounter wet weather.

This bag isn’t sold separately from the roller bag – which means it’s expensive!!!


The Bottom Line:

The Osprey Meridian Daypack is the perfect daypack for Iceland because it’s specifically designed and sold with the Osprey Meridian Roller for wonderfully simple transportation. This daypack is not sold by itself, unfortunately, but the combination of the two bags is ideal anyways.

The roller, backpack, and daypack functions make it the best bag for adapting to any travel situation – especially for campervanning around Iceland, where you’ll need to go from the pedestrian-friendly airport to the rugged landscape.

We would recommend the Meridian Daypack to travelers looking for a daypack that pulls double-duty and works wonderfully with their other luggage in a variety of different travel senarios.


Best “Kitchen Sink” Camera Bag

Lowepro Flipside 500 AW II Camera Bag

GO Score - Love!

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Lowepro Flipside 500 AW II Camera Bag

The Good:

The Lowepro Flipside 500 can comfortably support a huge payload – upwards of 30lbs of gear, but is surprisingly lightweight when empty despite its large size and excellent build quality.

It complies with standard carryon dimensions and the innocuous styling doesn’t draw too much attention to itself. All camera and organization pockets come with a lot of padding and soft, scratch-resistant fabrics to protect your expensive gear. The sides of the backpack are rigid to prevent the bag from collapsing on itself when you’re trying to rummage through it.

All fabrics and materials are extremely durable and abrasion resistant with very high-quality stitching throughout and thick, durable carrying handles, and large zippers with dependable stitching that doesn’t get snagged on fabric when zipping.

There are various built-in organization pockets for SD cards, backup batteries, filters, accessories, and chargers for easy accessibility.

The large main compartment is only accessible from the back, so thieves can’t access it while you’re wearing the backpack. It’s very deep for the largest DSLRs and professional video equipment on the market, and has Velcro dividers which make the interior space fully customizable to your gear. The zippered door opens all the way, allowing full visibility and very quick and easy access to your equipment.

There’s a large zippered secondary compartment with some built-in organization pockets, a sleeve for tablets or slim laptops, and a clip for important items like car keys.

Additional Exterior Features include:

  • Built-in rainfly located in a concealed pocket at the base of the back panel.
  • Two large elastic stuff pockets located on the sides.
  • Built-in tripod holder that packs away when not using.
  • Large, fully-adjustable, padded hip and shoulder straps for all-day comfort.
  • Flat bottom so the bag can stand on its own.
  • Two adjustable compression straps with quick release clips on both sides for easily attaching additional gear.
  • The back panel, straps, and hip belt have mesh for increased breathability while wearing.

The Bad:

This bag is HUGE, so it’s very easy to overpack it with equipment you’ll never need for most trips.

The tripod attachment works well but could be designed better so that large tripods don’t flop around or hang so far away from the bag.

You have to take the backpack completely off and set it on the ground in order to access the main compartment.

The large size of the bag makes it difficult and even impossible to fit under most airplane seats.

It’s expensive.

The bag isn’t waterproof without the rainfly.


The Bottom Line: 

The Lowepro Flipside 500 AW II camera bag is the perfect camera bag for securely holding all the equipment you’ll need to photograph Iceland. This bag swallows gear easily.

RJ has had this backpack and used it extensively for at least 4 years (we’ve lost track) with absolutely zero signs of wear! He’s used it everywhere from jungle hiking in Oahu and Costa Rica, to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Europe, and so much more. He beats the hell out of this bag!

We would not recommend this backpack to minimalist or casual photographers, but rather professional or hobbyist photographers looking for a bag that can comfortably and securely carry a large and varied assortment of expensive camera equipment.


Best Minimalist Daypack

Sea to Summit Ultra SIL Daypack

GO Score - Love!

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Sea to Summit Ultra SIL Day Pack

The Good:

The Sea to Summit Ultra SIL Daypack is Water Resistant, ultralightweight, and packs down to fit in your pocket so you can take it with you wherever you go. The bag that it packs down into becomes a small pocket inside the daypack for items like keys.

It comes with Adjustable shoulder straps, durable zippers, and Ripstop Nylon fabric. The single, large compartment means there’s no wasted space, and holds a surprisingly huge volume of items for such a small bag.


The Bad:

It’s hard to get back in the stuff sack.

There’s zero padding on the shoulder straps so overloading becomes uncomfortable if you plan on using it for long periods.

The fabric is slightly opaque, so people might be able to see everything you have in it.

There’s only one compartment so if you crave more zippered pockets for organization, you probably won’t care for this bag.

It’s not fully waterproof.


The Bottom Line: 

The Sea to Summit Ultra SIL Daypack is a fantastic bag for taking on all our travels to have whenever we need a backpack. It’s perfect for minimalist travelers who don’t always need a bag to carry stuff, but require the versatility should they need one.

We love this bag for its compactness and ultralight weight – it’s perfect for road trips where you might need to throw a couple items in a backpack for short hikes or sightseeing.

We would highly recommend this daypack to any traveler for any destination!


Best Small Travel Purse

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag

GO Score - Love!

 

Iceland Packing List Luggage - Travelon Small Travel Purse

The Good:

The fully adjustable strap is long enough to be used as a cross-body purse. The strap has cables running through it to prevent theft from cutting the strap, and locking quick-release clasps that attach to the purse.

Two main zippered pockets come with zippers that clip to the purse when closed – preventing quick access to thieves looking for easy targets.

Purse fabric is designed to be “slash-proof” so thieves can’t easily cut into it.

RFID Blocking interior pockets for identity protection specifically designed for carrying your passport and credit cards.

It has a slim design with quality anti-friction material that makes it easy to slide the purse in and out of a backpack, and the appearance doesn’t draw attention to itself.

The internal compartments are large enough volume for carrying a passport, wallet, smartphone, sunglasses and case, and miscellaneous items like toiletries and external battery packs.

There’s an internal clip for your keys that also has a handy light attached for rummaging through the purse or finding a keyhole in the dark

The large durable zippers don’t snag on the purse material when zipping or unzipping.

The thick metal buckles and clasps won’t break after repeated use, and the stitching is quality with no exposed seams.

There are 34 different colors and pattern designs available at an uncommonly affordable price!


The Bad:

It’s not very fashionable.

The slim design means it’s easy to overfill.

It’s not waterproof or even water resistant.

The fabric is not easy to clean.


The Bottom Line:

The Travelon Shoulder Bag is the perfect purse for minimalist travelers who need to carry the essentials efficiently and still be able to adapt to a variety of travel conditions. It’s the ideal size – not too big or small. It’ll carry all your essentials without leaving room for the stuff you don’t need.

Great minimalist design and internal organization with easy visibility so you don’t lose items in the bottom of the purse as you would with other bags. The added security features bring some peace-of-mind when traveling in areas known for scams and pickpockets.

Megan has used this purse for the last two years with little signs of wear and would recommend it other travel savvy women as she would definitely purchase again once it wears out.


Download the Complete Iceland Packing List

Click Here or on the Image below to get your FREE Iceland Packing List in a Printable PDF!

Iceland Packing List Image Link


Further Reading For Iceland

Iceland Packing List for All Seasons in a Campervan – Part 1 Clothing

CLICK HERE OR THE IMAGE BELOW

Iceland Packing List for All Seasons in a Campervan - Part 1 Clothing - Facebook

Iceland Packing List For All Seasons in a Campervan – Part 3 Extras

CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOW

Iceland Packing List Part 3 Extras - Facebook

ULTIMATE FREEDOM: YOUR GUIDE FOR EXPLORING ICELAND BY CAMPERVAN

CLICK HERE OR ON THE IMAGE BELOWUltimate Freedom: Your Guide for Exploring Iceland by Campervan - Facebook Image

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We are RJ and Megan Barrett- A husband and wife team who are passionate for all things travel!

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