Post Summary: The Complete Seattle Packing List w/ free download!
Ahh, the Emerald City! Seattle is where Berty and I both went to college, where we met, and where we lived for over a decade together in our early dating/married life.
If you are asking yourself “What should I pack on my trip to Seattle?” you’ve come to the right place. We’ve seen Seattle in all weather, situations, and conditions!
In Seattle, you’ll find a solid mix of quirky styles, fashionistas, and people who are dressed like they could be going for a hike at any moment.
Here, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to pack for Seattle. This guide will include outfits perfect for around town, fits for the trails, and lots of in-between moments too.
Let’s get started!
The Ultimate Seattle Packing List (+ Downloadable Checklist)
Looking for more Seattle guides? Here are some other articles you’ll need to read to prep for your trip to the PNW:
- The Ultimate Seattle Packing List (+ Downloadable Checklist)
- The Ultimate Seattle Packing List (+ Free Downloadable Checklist)
- What To Wear in Seattle
- Outdoor Gear To Pack For A Seattle Trip
- Tech For Your Seattle Packing List
- Accessories for Traveling to Seattle
- Do NOT Add These TO Your Seattle Packing List
- What To Pack For Seattle (Season By Season)
- FAQ’s about Packing In Seattle
- What To Wear In Seattle – Packing List PDF
The Ultimate Seattle Packing List (+ Free Downloadable Checklist)
First of all, what season are you visiting?
What you need to pack for Seattle is really determined on the weather you’ll be experiencing. Here’s a breakdown of the weather in Seattle and what to expect:
Seattle in winter averages temperatures between the high 30s and high 40s. It rains about half the days of the month, which means layering and rain protection are essential!
Spring and fall in Seattle are the most unpredictable. Packing for a Seattle trip during this time will require lots of smart layering, waterproofing, and being ready for any kind of weather (mostly rain).
Summer in Seattle is absolutely gorgeous. Sitting around the 70s and 80s, the weather is mostly warm, and sunny. Packing for Seattle in June through July is simple, but you want to make sure you still have a light raincoat!
If you’re nervous about packing for a Seattle trip because of the rain, don’t let that deter you! There are many chic ways to stay dry – we’ve rounded up our favorite raincoats to wear in the PNW in this blog post here.
What To Wear in Seattle
Similar to other west coast cities like San Diego or San Francisco, Seattle style is casual, with a lean towards outdoorsy. Here is a list of items to pack for making the ultimate Seattle outfits!
A Rain Jacket
If you forget everything about this post on what to pack for Seattle – DO NOT FORGET your rain jacket.
It doesn’t rain hard here, it just rains often, and the raindrops are light. You won’t ever really get soaked, but you’ll still want to stay comfortable and dry.
We have loved The North Face Alta Vista rain jacket (~$140) because it comes in TONS of colors. The REI Co-Op brand rain jackets also have great colors (~$70-$90), and are perfect for those on a budget.
Seattle usually has comfortable, temperate weather, but it can change frequently throughout the day. Because of this, you’ll want to bring layers!
A light jacket is a great way to accommodate the various Seattle weather. This could be a flannel, zip-up, rain shell, jean jacket, or any other light jacket. The REI Trailsmith Fleece is a really great, affordable option.
Because of their breathability and temperature regulation, wool socks are a great option for all activities–from going on hikes to walking around the city!
Yep, the ‘stocks and socks are a real thing! Birkenstocks are soooo comfortable and are perfect for a wide range of occasions, including light hiking and walking around Seattle.
For cooler evenings and nights, you’ll want to bring a down jacket. You can choose between a variety of weights for down, but for Seattle weather, we suggest a lighter puffer jacket.
Another great way to regulate your temperature in the changing Seattle weather is with a zip-up vest. It can be insulated or not–either works!
You can easily pick a neutral one to go with many outfits, or you can make it a fashion statement! (Like the colorful Cotopaxi vests!)
Comfortable Walking Shoes
If you plan to spend any time around downtown Seattle (you’ve got to check out Pike Place Market!) you’ll want comfortable walking shoes. Many streets downtown consist of hills and stairs!
Layers are so important while visiting Seattle! Some days are stunning and sunny, while others are chilly and rainy.
Packing lots of layers is how you can prepare best for visiting Seattle. We suggest bringing t-shirts, long sleeve t-shirts, and light jackets as your primary layers, and a coat over the top.
Seattle is a mostly casual place, so when deciding what clothes to wear in Seattle, jeans will work perfectly!
For ultimate organization, get yourself a set of packing cubes! They can make traveling for longer periods of time much simpler.
This set from Amazon is affordable ($24) and has 8 packing cubes.
When creating your packing list for Seattle, it’s important to know what you’re events and activities planning for! Prepare ahead with a Seattle guidebook and bring it with you on your trip.
Trying to save space? Check out our digital Seattle blog posts guides!
Outdoor Gear To Pack For A Seattle Trip
Or maybe you simply want to explore all the amazing hikes near Seattle! No matter your choice of adventure, here are some things to add to your Seattle packing list if you plan to spend time outdoors:
If you’re wondering how to pack for Seattle in the outdoors, hiking boots are essential. Whether you are hiking or just walking around the city, hiking boots are a dependable walking shoe that will keep your feet comfortable all day.
This can double as your hiking boots, if yours are waterproof, or you can bring another pair of waterproof shoes like rain boots! Sometimes when we’re running some quick errands or grabbing coffee, we slip on a pair of easy waterproof boots.
A day pack is a great way to bring your necessities without carrying too much stuff around with you all day.
For those traveling with a carry on but still want a day pack, the Osprey Farpoint/Fairview pack is a great option for you! It’s a carry-on sized backpack with a removable day pack that’s perfect for backpackers, regular travelers, and hikers.
First Aid Kit
It’s always important to be prepared for emergencies, whether it’s a small cut that needs a bandaid or a larger incident.
This small first aid kit is a great option to add to your Seattle packing list and keep in your backpack or car. It’s pretty tiny, and won’t take up much space.
Having a headlamp with you is a great way to prepare for emergencies, backpacking, or hiking in the early morning or evening. If you don’t want to carry it around, keep it in your car! It’ll be worth it if you get a flat tire in the dark or in case of an emergency.
Reusable Water Bottle
Hydrate! ALWAYS bring a water bottle with you wherever you go. And if you need a little boost of energy or are dehydrated, pack some electrolyte packets to add to your water!
If you’re planning on hiking while in Seattle, you must add trekking poles to your Seattle packing list. Hiking in the PNW can be steep or have difficult terrain, so you’ll want trekking poles for extra stability.
There’s nothing worse than getting a big blister at the beginning of a trip. Before you hike or walk all over the city, add blister patches to your Seattle packing list!
Another tip is making sure you have comfortable shoes on your trip or break them in before you go. Carry a few blister patches in your bag, so you’re always prepared.
For extra security while traveling–especially when flying–travel insurance may be a good idea for you, especially if you plan to do some riskier sports like backpacking, climbing, or hiking. Designed to protect against risks and financial losses, travel insurance can have your back when unexpected events occur!
Whether you are hiking in the North Cascades or closer to Seattle, hiking pants are a must. Sometimes, they can act as rain pants, too, if they’re waterproof!
We especially love the zip-off kind, which can be versatile when weather changes quickly, like in the spring and fall!
Tech For Your Seattle Packing List
Portable Battery Pack / Power Bank
Hiking all day or going from thing to thing all day can be draining on your phone, especially if you’re taking lots of pictures with your smartphone! Prepare for potential emergencies by packing a portable power bank.
Taking pictures is a great way to capture memories while in Seattle. You can bring an instant camera, film, or digital camera, though an iPhone or any other smartphone will do just fine. Just don’t forget your chargers!
Read More: Our Foolproof Travel Photography Gear List
Kindle / Book
If you love slow mornings in your Seattle hotel, want to have a solo picnic in the park, or will travel on a WSDOT ferry or monorail, bring your Kindle/book! It’s a great way to pass time, decompress, or relax and enjoy your surroundings.
A VPN is a “Virtual Private Network” and helps you establish a protected network connection when using public networks. Using a VPN while traveling is a good idea for those on work trips to Seattle or who may need to access private information while in public spaces.
Waterproof Phone Case
Are you planning to kayak, canoe or get out on a boat during your Seattle trip? Don’t forget to pack a waterproof phone case so you can snap pictures near the water! These bags act as a safe for your phone, with a touch-through screen for ease of use.
Note: Make sure to check the dimensions so that you know it fits your phone!
Accessories for Traveling to Seattle
Reusable Shopping Bags
Not only are they sustainable, but bringing your own reusable shopping bags saves you a couple cents, as you don’t have to purchase one from the store. If you’re planning on shopping or need to get groceries during your trip, plan ahead by bringing a few reusable bags.
Honestly we all have a million around our house, but here are some cute ones if you want to buy new!
Bringing a tote bag is especially useful if you are planning to go vintage shopping (Fremont Vintage Mall is a fave) or hitting up one of the many daily farmers markets around town. See the full list of Seattle summer Farmers Markets here!
If you want to carry your essentials and all your clothing layers, you’ll want a city backpack.
Need suggestions? We’ve got a list of our favorite weekender backpacks for short trips and day trips. Perfect for Seattle!
Crossbody Purse / Fanny Pack
A crossbody purse is another option, if you only need to carry smaller necessities with you. When deciding what to pack for a trip to Seattle, you could also swap a crossbody purse with a fanny pack–both work great!
This one might seem counter intuitive, with Seattle getting a bad reputation for being rainy! Still, while deciding what to pack for a trip to Seattle, don’t forget your sunglasses! Whether it’s cloudy and bright or just downright sunny, you’ll want something to protect your eyes.
The ocean can also reflect a lot of light, so sunglasses make ferry rides and visiting Seattle’s piers more enjoyable.
Do NOT Add These TO Your Seattle Packing List
An umbrella sends a CLEAR message that you are a tourist, or have recently moved here. If you want to blend in, ditch the umbrella and choose a jacket instead.
No hate on umbrellas, though. They work great for staying dry! Just maybe not while in Seattle…
What To Pack For Seattle (Season By Season)
What to pack for winter in Seattle (December, January, February)
Microspikes: If you’re hiking near Seattle in the winter, you’ll want microspikes! They’ll help you dig into icy terrain and keep you steady while hiking.
Sweaters: Sweaters are a great way to keep warm while also being stylish!
Wool Socks: For both temperature regulation and warmth, you’ll want to have a couple solid pairs of wool socks when visiting Seattle in the winter. They’re also trendy and cute–another plus!
Down Jacket: You’ll want this for Seattle’s cold days in the winter. If you need suggestions for what coat to get, we’ve got a guide to all the best winter jackets to wear in the Pacific Northwest!
Best shoes for Seattle Winter: Hands down, Blundstone boots! You’ll wear them for years and years!
What to pack for Seattle in spring (March, April, May June)
Picnic Blanket: Spring in Seattle is LOVELY. If you are there on a sunny day, you’ll never want to leave! One of the best ways to enjoy Seattle’s spring weather is with a picnic in any of Seattle’s beautiful parks.
Warm Cardigan: Spring may be coming, but the cardigan vibes continue! Cardigans are perfect for this time of year, as the temperatures get warmer and you want more removable layers.
Waterproof Sneakers: Spring can be pretty rainy, so you’ll want waterproof shoes. If you don’t have rain boots, we suggest something like Vessi–a waterproof sneaker!
What to pack for summer in Seattle (July, August, September)
Sunscreen: Protect your skin! It’s so important!
Bug spray: While downtown Seattle isn’t too buggy, if you’re planning on going on hikes near Seattle, you’ll want to bring bug spray–especially if you’re backpacking and staying overnight!
Baseball Cap: Not only are they cute, but they’re also very useful! Any hat will do if you don’t have a baseball cap.
Quick Dry Towel: This one is a must if you’re backpacking near Seattle and don’t have access to showers. It’s also a useful item to have around in the car or when camping! You never know when a spill might happen.
Sandals: Slip-ons or stylish sandals are great for the spring and summer. They’re stylish and functional! Birkenstocks are a PNW classic.
Sunglasses: Sunglasses make everything better. Don’t forget them!
Swimsuit: If you’re staying at a resort, visiting any of the beautiful San Juan Islands, or are hoping to catch some rays while in Seattle, you’ll want to bring a swimsuit!
What to pack for fall in Seattle (October, November)
A book to read: With the coming of fall in Seattle, so comes the rain and clouds. For ultimate fall vibes, bring a book or your Kindle to cozy up with a PSL in a local coffee shop (of which there are many).
Beanie: Whether you wear it for style or warmth, beanies are a go-to during Seattle’s fall seasons.
Scarf: This is another great way to stay cozy as the temperatures drop!
Sweaters: Cuddle up with a comfortable sweater or cardigan! They’re a classic in this area of the Pacific Northwest.
Flannel / plaid / corduroy: For ultimate PNW vibes, bring a light jacket or shacket to stay cozy during your fall trip to Seattle. It’s the perfect in between layer as this area transitions to cooler temperatures.
FAQ’s about Packing In Seattle
What is typical Seattle clothing style?
Seattle is a casual city, and most people dress for function over fashion. If you walk just one single block downtown, you’ll find brands like The North Face, REI, and Birkenstocks on every other person walking down the street! We’re all a bunch of outdoorsy loving folks out here.
Depending on what area of the city you visit, you’ll also find people expressing their unique and quirky style. Seattle is also known for its unique thrift stores and independent boutiques. Leave some space on your Seattle packing list for some treasures to bring home too!
What is the best time of year to visit Seattle?
One of the best things about Seattle is that you can visit year-round! Being on the coast, Seattle has lovely weather all year, making it one of the best places to live in the Pacific Northwest!
Really, the only limitation to visiting Seattle is getting there. If you’re planning on visiting Seattle during the late fall, winter, and early spring, and are driving, it’s good to check the local passes to see if you can get through. Many of the mountains (especially the Cascades) are hit with heavy snow in the winter months!
What should men wear in Seattle?
This blog post is a Seattle packing list for people of all genders! Everything on this Seattle packing list is great for everyone.
What shoes to wear in Seattle?
What shoes to pack for Seattle really depends on what kind of activities you’ll be doing!
Boots are most useful in the winter, Chacos or other sandals are great for the spring and summer, and rain boots /chelseas are perfect for the rainy fall weather. Sneakers can be worn year-round!
Is the weather in Seattle really gray and rainy everyday?
That answer depends on what season you’re visiting Seattle! The Pacific Northwest is known for its gray skies, so the majority of the year you can expect that type of weather. However, if you come in the summertime (June – August) there’s a high chance you’ll see the sun more often than the clouds!
What To Wear In Seattle – Packing List PDF
We made it easy to figure out what to wear in Seattle. Download our FREE Seattle packing list PDF and start checking things off the list!
What else to pack for Seattle? Do you have any tips for first-timers? Let us know in the comments below!