What to Wear in Seattle: Packing List for All Seasons

Planning a trip to Seattle? Better add a raincoat, umbrella, and some waterproof shoes to your Seattle packing list!

We know that the weather in Seattle is often a point of confusion for visitors, and so we’ve created a packing list for Seattle with specific clothing recommendations for each time of year, as well as general Seattle must-haves for all times of the year.

In each season’s section, we’ll overview what the weather is so you can make your decision based on that, as whether you consider 50° F cold will differ whether you’re coming from California or Calgary!

So while we suggest a list of what to wear in Seattle for each season, of course, you’ll want to tailor that to your own comfort levels.

A snow covered Seattle cityscape on a lightly cloudy day with a bit of pale blue sky showing on a winter day.

What to Pack for Seattle No Matter What

While much of your Seattle packing list will vary season-to-season, we also think there are some things that you should pack for Seattle at absolutely any time of year. Here they are below:

A guidebook: While we’d like to think our Washington travel blog is a fantastic resource for all things Washington State, we know that there’s a time and a place for a guidebook!

Guidebook writers work extremely hard to cover lesser-known aspects of the city, especially if you pick the right kind of guidebook. I’m particularly a fan of Moon Guidebooks which focus on off-the-beaten-path spots and local gems, and have far more insider information than your typical Lonely Planet type of book.

An umbrella: Yes, it rains in Seattle throughout the year, even in summer, typically about 3-6 days during your trip. I recommend packing a small folding travel umbrella if you are traveling in the summer, and feel free to upgrade to a larger or cuter umbrella if visiting in fall, winter, or spring, when the rain is more inevitable.

Make it fun and make it part of your pictures by buying a clear umbrella or a colorful one — then it’s not just an umbrella but also a lovely photo prop.

A woman carrying a clear umbrella on a rainy, overcast day in Seattle while the sun sets in the distance: an umbrella is a must-have Seattle packing list item!

A raincoat: You’ll absolutely want a thin raincoat shell when you’re traveling in Seattle. I personally use and love the Marmot PreCip, but North Face is another popular brand beloved by West Coasters. I like the PreCip because it has underarm vents which you can unzip so that you get less steamy-hot in your raincoat.

If it’s winter, you’ll want a more full-on raincoat that also incorporates underlayers to keep you toasty warm in the cold as well. I like this 3-in-1 North Face jacket for just that.

Waterproof shoes: Nothing is worse than soggy shoes, so when you’re packing your umbrella and your rain jacket, don’t ignore your feet as well! Luckily, all sorts of waterproof shoes are coming into focus now and they are not all as hideous as they used to be (we see you, Crocs).

Loom is a brand selling trendy, totally waterproof sneakers — I love mine, and I wear them even on days when no rain is in the forecast. I also love a traditional pair of wellys, like these Hunter rain boots which have served me well through many a cold, rainy, slushy winter (just be sure to bring warm socks as they’re not the warmest of boots).

And I’m also obsessed with these sleek waterproof Blondo boots, which I’ve owned for 10 years and will never, ever get rid of it. Despite a decade of abuse, they’re going strong — I’ve resoled them once in a decade and know I’ll use them for many years more.

Camera: I use a Sony A6000 with a few different lenses (a wide angle, a fixed prime, and a standard zoom lens) in order to photograph the places I love. It’s perfect if you want a step up from your phone camera, but you don’t have the funds or need to invest in a full-on professional camera.

Day Bag: When you’re traveling around Seattle, I recommend a backpack as it’s far more comfortable and good for your body than wearing a shoulder bag. But backpacks are also more of a target for theft, in theory, and while Seattle is dangerous, any big U.S. city has some issues with pickpocketing and theft.

Enter the incredible CitySafe backpack, which has all sorts of incredible security features while looking downright demure and cute. With its gold clasp that fixes in place its interlocking zippers (two levels of security right there), slash-proof wire mesh construction, RFID blockers, and a water-resistant design, the CitySafe fits everything you need (and then some) while still looking cute and warding off would-be thieves.

Two backpacks, one smaller and one larger, with zipper details with a view of the harbor behind them. Don't forget a secure daybag when packing for Seattle!
My trusty CitySafe bag is on the right, here with me on a trip to Crete!

What to Pack for Seattle If You’re Also Hiking

Note: Planning to visit Seattle during winter, and you’re not interested in any snowy hikes? Click here to skip ahead right to our winter section to make it easy!

While you could come to Seattle and not see the hiking the city has to offer, I believe you’d be missing out!

Here’s what you should throw in your bag if you’re also planning on doing some hikes in one of the three national parks within a two-hour drive of Seattle.

Hiking boots: I used to think I could just get away with doing hikes in sneakers, but a rolled ankle has since taught me well, and I haven’t looked back since. I love using my Ahnu boots (made by Teva!) as they’re incredibly comfortable and they come in some nice colors.

I like having the ankle support of a mid-ankle boot, but some people may be more comfortable in trail shoes, not to mention they pack a little easier. If you have weak ankles like I do, definitely grab a mid-ankle boot, but if not, you have a little more leeway with your hiking shoes.

For men, I suggest Keen hiking boots. It’s what my other half uses and loves. No matter which shoe you choose, though, make sure it’s waterproof!

A close up view of brown hiking boots with jeans tucked into them as a woman stands on a rock. Hiking boots are key for what to pack for Seattle if you hike.

Comfortable socks: You’ll absolutely need some comfortable socks for your hiking boots, and in fact, you’ll probably want to bring a couple extra pairs in case one starts to rub you the wrong way or one gets a little too damp from sweat or rain.

Trekking poles: If you’re tackling any hikes that involve a little bit more altitude gain or some tough patches, you’ll probably be super grateful for having a pair of these little collapsible trekking poles which are really useful for keeping your balance and momentum on uneven or uphill stretches.

Second skin patches: Blisters are the bane of any hiker’s existence, so you’ll absolutely want to throw some second skin patches inside your hiking day bag. These help stop blisters before they form, but they’re also great for using after-the-fact.

Bug spray: There generally aren’t a ton of mosquitos in Seattle because of the combination of cooler temperatures and a lack of stagnant water. However, once you get into the more rural areas and national parks, you’ll definitely encounter plenty of would-be bloodsuckers. You’ll definitely want some bug spray to counteract this, and bring some after-bite care too, in case they get you!

A first aid kit: If you’re hiking, you’ll absolutely need a first-aid kit. While you could assemble your own that has an Ace bandage, bandaids, antibiotic, alcohol wipes, etc., I think it’s a lot easier to just buy a pre-made kit that has all that you know you need and several things you’ve likely forgotten about.

A pair of hiking boots with no one wearing them and a medium-size red zippable cloth bag which reads "first aid", shown with a forest background. Don't forget safety when packing for Seattle hikes!


Seattle Packing List: Summer

Note: All of these packing lists assume you are visiting Seattle for about 3 days. If you are planning to visit Seattle for 5-7 days, you’ll likely want to double the quantities of all tops, bottoms, and underwear, but you can leave the quantities of all accessories and footwear.

Weather

Summer is our favorite time of year in Seattle! While most of the U.S. gets scorchingly hot temperatures, in the PNW, summer is mild in all the best of ways.

It might be a fair amount cooler than you expect if you’re coming from a place that has scorchingly hot summers — think more along the lines of San Francisco than New York, and you’ll know how to dress for a Seattle summer.

June: Daytime highs of 66° F and nighttime lows of 54° F. About 6 days of rain.

July: Daytime highs of 72° F and nighttime lows of 57° F. About 3 days of rain.

August: Daytime highs of 72° F and nighttime lows of 57° F. About 4 days of rain.

A view of the Seattle skyline, including the Space Needle, as seen from a boat out on the Puget Sound, on a cloudless blue sky summer day.

What to Wear in Seattle in Summer: Women

  • 1 pair jeans
  • 1 pair shorts
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 dress
  • leggings
  • 3 tops, a mix of short and long sleeves
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 bras
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • sandals
  • waterproof sneakers
  • flats
  • warm cardigan
  • light rain shell
  • scarf

What to Wear in Seattle in Summer: Men

  • 2 pairs jeans
  • 1 pair shorts
  • 3 tops, a mix of short and long sleeves
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • sandals
  • waterproof sneakers
  • ankle-height boots
  • sweater or cardigan
  • light rain shell

Seattle Packing List: Fall

Weather

Seattle in fall is one of the best times of the year, especially if you’re a hiker! You can see all sorts of beautiful fall foliage on these fall hikes in Washington State (all of them are near Seattle!), and even in the city center.

Of course, fall also brings quickly falling temperatures and lots of rain. While September still feels summery, November is basically already winter. You’ll want to bring cozy, snuggly clothes and lots of rainproof gear if visiting Seattle in fall.

September: Daytime highs of 67° F and nighttime lows of 55° F. About 6 days of rain.

October: Daytime highs of 59° F and nighttime lows of 50° F. About 9 days of rain.

November: Daytime highs of 51° F and nighttime lows of 43 °F. About 15 days of rain.

A view of Seattle's downtown, including the Space Needle and Mount Rainier, on a cloudy fall day at sunset with trees showing their fall colorsor red and orange.

What to Wear in Seattle in Fall: Women

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 dress (long sleeves better)
  • 2 pairs leggings
  • 3 tops (a mix of short and long sleeves, including some flannel)
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 bras
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • waterproof sneakers
  • waterproof leather boots
  • warm cardigan
  • rain shell
  • scarf
  • beanie
  • gloves

What to Wear in Seattle in Fall: Men

  • 2 pairs jeans
  • 3 tops, a mix of short and long sleeves, including a flannel
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • waterproof sneakers
  • ankle-height boots
  • sweater
  • rain jacket
  • beanie
  • scarf
  • gloves

Seattle Packing List: Winter

Weather

Seattle weather in winter is not as bad as you probably think it is, so you can put away the snow boots (unless you’re also planning a trip to Leavenworth in winter, which we think you should… in that case, pack away!).

In reality, Seattle in winter enjoys a relatively mild climate due to the moderating effect of the Pacific breezes. However, it does rain in Seattle in winter, a lot! So when packing for Seattle in winter, be doubly sure to have lots of waterproof gear.

It does snow occasionally (3-4 days a year on average), but be prepared for rain. Here’s a quick rundown on expected temperatures each winter month.

December: Daytime highs of 46° F and nighttime lows of 39° F. About 14 days of rain.

January: Daytime highs of 47° F and nighttime lows of 39° F. About 14 days of rain.

February: Daytime highs of 49° F and nighttime lows of 40 °F. About 12 days of rain.

A view of a bench overlooking the Seattle skyline, including the Space Needle, while there is a small layer of snow on the ground next to the bench on a Seattle winter day.

What to Wear in Seattle in Winter: Women

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 dress
  • 2-3 pairs of leggings (fleece-lined recommended)
  • 3 long sleeve tops or sweaters
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 bras
  • 2-3 pairs of warm wool socks
  • waterproof leather boots
  • warm cardigan or fleece layer
  • heavier rain jacket
  • scarf
  • beanie
  • gloves

What to Wear in Seattle in Winter: Men

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 long sleeves tops or sweaters, including a flannel
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • ankle-height boots
  • fleece layer
  • rain jacket
  • beanie
  • scarf
  • gloves

Seattle Packing List: Spring

Weather

Seattle in spring is just gorgeous! The famous cherry blossoms, a gift from Japan, burst into bloom all around the city for beautifully brief moment, and the oppressively gray skies tend to clear more often, with rainy days dwindling around May.

It still rains quite a bit, so you’ll want to be prepared for that, but here’s a quick rundown on expected temperatures in Seattle in spring so you know what to pack for a springtime visit to Seattle.

March: Daytime highs of 52° F and nighttime lows of 42° F. About 13 days of rain.

April: Daytime highs of 57° F and nighttime lows of 45° F. About 10 days of rain.

May: Daytime highs of 63° F and nighttime lows of 50° F. About 17 days of rain.

An ornate styled brick building belonging to the University of Washington with some cherry blossoms in full bloom in spring and a green lawn.

What to Wear in Seattle in Spring: Women

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 dress
  • 2 pairs of leggings (1 pair fleece-lined)
  • 3 tops, a mix of short and long sleeves
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 bras
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • waterproof sneakers
  • flats
  • warm cardigan
  • light rain shell
  • scarf
  • beanie
  • gloves

What to Wear in Seattle in Spring: Men

  • 2 pairs of jeans
  • 3 tops, a mix of short and long sleeves, including a flannel
  • underwear for every day
  • 2-3 pairs of socks
  • waterproof sneakers
  • ankle-height boots
  • sweater
  • rain jacket
  • beanie
  • scarf
  • gloves

Other Key Things to Pack for Seattle

  • Toiletries (Shampoo, body wash, deodorant, etc.)
  • Wallet, ID, & credit cards
  • Travel insurance & a printed copy of your policy information in case of emergency
  • Reusable tote bags for shopping
  • Phone/other electronics & all necessary charging cables and devices
  • A portable battery pack to charge on the go.

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