So, you’re planning a trip to Alaska and want to know what to add to your Alaska summer packing list? Well, if you want to stay happy during the warmest months in Alaska then you have to bring the appropriate summer clothing.
In this post, I’ve compiled 30 items to pack for your trip to Alaska, including summer clothing and other summer gear.
I’ve also included a free printable Alaska summer packing checklist in this post so that you don’t forget anything while you’re packing for your Alaska vacation this summer.
- 5 Tips For Alaska Summer Packing
- Alaska Summer Packing List: Summer Clothing
- 1. Waterproof Hiking Boots
- 2. Sandals
- 3. Rain Boots
- 4. Wool Socks
- 5. Rain Jacket
- 6. Rain Pants
- 7. Fleece Jacket
- 8. Cozy Sweater or Flannel
- 9. Down Vest
- 10. Pants and Tights
- 11. Shorts
- 12. Short-Sleeve Tops
- 13. Long-Sleeve Tops
- 14. Tank Tops and Bra Tops
- 15. Underwear
- 16. Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
- 17. Warm Hat
- 18. Light Gloves
- 19. Buff
- 20. Swimsuit
- Alaska Summer Packing List: Other Items
- Where to Buy or Rent Summer Clothes in Alaska
- Answering Your Alaska Summer Questions
- Download Your FREE Alaska Summer Packing Checklist
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5 Tips For Alaska Summer Packing
- Pack rain gear. The weather in Alaska is unpredictable and you never know if a bluebird day will turn into downpour rain. Rain gear is also useful in windy conditions.
- Think in layers. The best way to be comfortable is to pack and wear layers. If you get too hot, you can take a layer off, but if you get too cold, you’ll be very glad to have another layer to throw on.
- Protect your skin. During the summer, many areas in Alaska reach nearly 24 hours of daylight, meaning you have longer exposure to the sun and more chances of getting sunburned. So, don’t forget a sun hat and long-sleeve tops.
- Check the weather. The seasons in Alaska are always changing so don’t forget to check the local weather to get an idea of what you can expect when you arrive.
- Don’t overpack. There are plenty of Alaska clothing outfitters to rent or buy any summer gear that you need, like insect repellant, bear spray, and more. I’ve listed some places in this post.
Planning a trip to Alaska? Get started with my Alaska Travel Guide
Alaska Summer Packing List: Summer Clothing
1. Waterproof Hiking Boots
The first thing you’ll want to pack for a summer trip to Alaska is a pair of waterproof hiking boots. A lot of trails in Alaska can easily become wet and muddy, so you want to avoid any mesh hiking boots. I switched to the Oboz Sapphire Mid BDry Hiking Boots last summer and I have to say that they’re amazing.
These boots are waterproof, breathable, and super comfortable. I’ve already put a lot of miles on them and they seem like they will last me a long time.
Oboz is great for their women’s shoes and I really like these because they come in wide sizes, which is what I need. I also had the Oboz Bridger Mid Boots for a long time and really loved those as well.
Summer in Alaska can get HOT! Sometimes we see temperatures in the 90s F. Sandals are a great way to air your feet and wear around camp.
The Chaco Z/Cloud Sandals are the most supportive and comfortable sandals ever, and you can also wear them with socks!
3. Rain Boots
The XTRATUF Salmon Sisters 15″ Legacy Boots are a classic Alaska rain boot. They’re comfortable, versatile, and slip-resistant. They’re great at keeping your feet warm and dry when you’re fishing, kayaking, exploring the beach, or walking around town.
4. Wool Socks
Wool socks wick away moisture and odor and will keep your feet dry all day long! This means you can pack fewer pairs of socks without having to worry about smelly feet.
One of my favorite sock brands is Darn Tough because their socks are guaranteed for life and made in the USA. Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Socks are super comfortable, come in fun colors, and have medium cushioning.
If you want a sock that’s a little less cushiony then Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Socks are perfect for you.
5. Rain Jacket
In Alaska, you need a rain jacket that is waterproof and not just water resistant. You don’t want to get drenched while you’re enjoying the outdoors.
The REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket has a lightweight, breathable, durable GORE-TEX® shell. It’s waterproof and easy to pack when you don’t need it anymore. It’s also more affordable than other big name brands.
The Arc’teryx Beta LT Jacket is a great women’s summer rain jacket. It also has a GORE-TEX fabric that makes it completely waterproof, windproof and breathable, and its underarm zipper vents are perfect for hiking.
6. Rain Pants
When you’re looking for rain pants, you want to look for lower leg zippers so you can easily remove them without taking off your boots. The REI Co-op Essential Rain Pants are waterproof, breathable, and pack down into their own pocket.
Check Price: REI
7. Fleece Jacket
If you’re looking for a layering piece to add to you Alaska summer packing list, a fleece jacket is a great option. The best thing about fleece is that it doesn’t absorb water, which makes it perfect for Alaska weather.
The Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Jacket is a great option for a simple, soft, and good-looking fleece. It also fits well under a rain coat.
But, let me tell you about the Patagonia Los Gatos Hooded Fleece Pullover. I added this hooded pullover to my closet last year and I haven’t taken it off. It’s so plush and cozy and truly just makes my life better.
8. Cozy Sweater or Flannel
Another great layering option for summer in Alaska is a cozy sweater or flannel. The REI Co-op Wallace Lake Sweater is a cozy option and the best part is that it’s not itchy. The Patagonia Fjord Flannel Shirt is lightweight and made from organically grown cotton. It’s a great layering piece being a button up shirt.
9. Down Vest
A down vest is one of the best summer layering pieces as it will keep your core warm, which is the secret to keeping the rest of your entire body warm. You’ll definitely want to add this to your Alaska summer packing list.
10. Pants and Tights
When it comes to choosing which pants to wear on the trail, I always make sure they pass the squat test first. I want to know that they’re comfortable to wear all day long and I can pull all kinds of cool maneuvers in them while I’m out on the trail.
I really love hiking in pants and the Patagonia Centered Tights are stretchy, durable, and dry quickly. They’re made from a stretchy polyester and spandex knit fabric that wicks moisture away. They also have a hidden key pocket!
If you plan on encountering a lot of bushes or stone, I would opt for buying hiking pants instead of tights. The Arc’teryx Sabria Pants have excellent stretch and durability, which will be perfect for your Alaska adventures.
As the weather warms up during the summer, you’ll find plenty of moments where shorts are essential. The REI Co-op Active Pursuits 4.5″ Shorts are great for hiking and lounging around. They’re made with a wicking, breathable, 4-way stretch polyester fabric and have a comfortable, wide waistband.
The Patagonia Baggies Shorts are made from recycled, abrasion-resistant nylon fabric and are perfect for when you’re out on the water. They also come in a bunch of fun colors and patterns.
12. Short-Sleeve Tops
For hiking and other outdoor adventures, I really love short-sleeve moisture-wicking t-shirts like the REI Co-op Sahara T-Shirt. These are so comfortable and really flattering. I also recommend bringing some comfy, oversized t-shirts for your Alaska vacation.
Check Price: REI
13. Long-Sleeve Tops
I like to wear a long-sleeve base layer top when the weather is colder or if I’m camping or backpacking overnight.
The tops I wear are always moisture-wicking and quick drying. I love this Under Armour Half-Zip Long-Sleeve Top because if it gets too warm, I can zip it down a bit and get some fresh air. It’s also great to zip it down when I wear a buff around my neck.
Check Price: Amazon
14. Tank Tops and Bra Tops
Again, for the hot days in Alaska, you’ll need some lighter layers. The prAna Momento Crop Top is made from a recycled polyester blend that wicks moisture and offers lightweight stretch. It has a reversible design and it’s super cute!
The REI Co-op Take Your Time Bra Top is made from a stretch nylon fabric that wicks sweat to keep you comfortable. It comes in some cute colors.
Moisture-wicking, quick-drying and antimicrobial, the women’s REI Co-op Active Bikini Underwear is made out of stretchy polyester mesh and is great for any Alaska adventure.
Check Price: REI
16. Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
The Conner Hats NorCal Open Road Outdoor Hat is waterproof and has a chin cord, which makes it a great hat to use on the water. This hat is made out of wool and it’s the perfect balance of stylish and functional. The UPF 50+ fabric shields against harmful UV rays.
17. Warm Hat
Even though the days are typically warm, nighttime in Alaska can be super chilly, especially if you are out tent camping. If you want to easily fit in with the locals then check out beanies from The 49th Supply Company, an Alaska apparel company inspired by the outdoors and streetwear culture and I am OBSESSED with their beanies.
18. Light Gloves
Made from a plush polyester and spandex fabric, the Outdoor Research Melody Sensor Gloves are touch-screen compatible and will keep your hands warm during cool evenings.
The lightweight Buff CoolNet UV+ Insect Shield Multifunctional Headwear lifts sweat away from your skin, offers UV protection, and keeps bugs away so you can stay outside longer. This is really useful when you’re in areas with a lot of mosquitoes.
Last on the list of clothing items to add to you Alaska summer packing list is a swimsuit. Whether you plan on soaking in a hot tub at the cabin, taking a dip in an alpine lake, or rejuvenating at a natural hot spring, you’ll definitely want to pack your swimsuit.
Alaska Summer Packing List: Other Items
21. Camera Gear
Alaska is an incredible place for landscape and wildlife photography. You won’t regret having a nice camera and the right lenses in your kit while you’re road tripping around The Last Frontier. I personally use a Sony a6000 mirrorless camera. It’s lighter to carry around and travel with while still producing quality photos.
If you want to photograph wildlife, I highly recommend a telephoto lens like the Sony FE 70-200mm F4 G OSS Lens. But if you want to capture the the mountainous landscapes in Alaska then you’ll want a wide-angle lens like the Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Lens.
22. Day Pack
When you’re out on the trail, you’ll need something to carry all of your gear like your camera, extra layers, and snacks! The Patagonia Black Hole 32L Backpack is the perfect size for a day hike or a walk around town.
There’s so much wildlife to see in Alaska year-round. I finally bought my own binoculars last year so that I could scope out bears, moose, and other wildlife while on the trail. I don’t like to add too much weight to my gear so I purchased the Nikon Trailblazer ATB Waterproof 10 x 25 Binoculars. They are super compact and make a perfect binocular for the trails.
24. Satellite Phone
Okay, a satellite phone is quite the investment… but it’s a life-saver. There are many places in Alaska that lack cell service and having a satellite phone like the Garmin inReach Explorer+ will give you peace of mind when you’re in the middle of nowhere. Invest in your safety and get yourself a satellite phone.
Yes, some areas in Alaska see nearly 24 hours of daylight during the summer but there are days where you still might want to pack a headlamp. The Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp is 400 lumens bright, lightweight, and has 3 settings you can switch between.
26. Portable Charger
I can’t even tell you how often I run out of battery on my phone or camera. Having a portable battery charger is so useful when you’re constantly on the road or on an overnight trip to a cabin that lacks electricity. The Goal Zero Sherpa 100PD Power Bank is a good option if you need to charge multiple devices multiple times.
During the summer months in Alaska, you’ll want to protect your eyes from the sunlight. The goodr OG Sunglasses are a great, affordable option if you tend to lose or break sunglasses like me.
28. Reusable Water Bottle
I hope you already have a reusable water bottle in your kit. If not, I love this REI Co-op Nalgene Force of Nature Wide-Mouth Water Bottle design. Alaska has amazing water and you can get fill up your water bottle straight from the tap!
29. Dry Bag
Keep your essential gear safe from the elements whether on land or sea. This Sea to Summit Lightweight Dry Sack features durable, waterproof construction and a roll-top closure to keep its contents safe and dry.
30. Trekking Poles
If you have bad knees or need extra support while you are hiking then hiking poles are a good idea. Alaska has many steep hiking trails and hiking poles will help you from falling over when you’re carrying a heavy load. The Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles are a great option.
Where to Buy or Rent Summer Clothes in Alaska
I’ve compiled a list of Alaska clothing outfitters so you can pick up any summer outfits or gear you need or forgot to pack.
Anchorage Clothing Outfitters
6th Avenue Outfitters – 520 W 6th Ave, Anchorage, AK
Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking – 2633 Spenard Rd, Anchorage, AK
Alaska Outdoor Gear Rental – 540 W Potter Dr, Anchorage, AK
Duluth Trading Co – 8931 Old Seward Hwy Suite A, Anchorage, AK
Eddie Bauer – 320 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK (Inside 5th Avenue Mall)
Mountain View Sports – 11124 Old Seward Highway, Anchorage, AK
REI – 500 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK
The Hoarding Marmot – 231 W Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage, AK
The North Face – 305 W 5th Ave, Anchorage, AK
TRAX Outdoor Center – 6700 Jewel Lake Rd, Anchorage, AK
Fairbanks Clothing Outfitters
Beaver Sports – 3480 College Rd, Fairbanks, AK
Big Rays Store – 507 2nd Ave, Fairbanks, AK
Prospectors Outfitters – 1512 S Cushman St, Fairbanks, AK
REI – 19 College Rd Unit A, Fairbanks, AK
Woolly Rhino – 250 3rd St. Suite 6, Fairbanks, AK
Juneau Clothing Outfitters
Alaskan Outdoor Wearhouse – 9105 Mendenhall Mall Rd, Juneau, AK
Foggy Mountain Shop – 134 N Franklin St, Juneau, AK
Nugget Alaskan Outfitter – 9107 Mendenhall Mall Rd. Ste 301, Juneau, AK
Second Wind Sports – 8363 Old Dairy Road, Juneau, AK
Answering Your Alaska Summer Questions
How hot is it in Alaska during the summer?
Temperatures in Alaska vary in different regions. During the summer months, you can experience warm temperatures ranging from 40°F (4°C) to 90°F (32°C).
What is the hottest month in Alaska?
The hottest month in Alaska is July. The warmest average temperatures in Alaska in July are 67°F (19°C).
How long does it stay light in Alaska?
Alaska is dark for half of the year. During the longest day of the year, Juneau, Alaska sees 17 hours and 57 minutes of daylight while Utqiaġvik, the northernmost city in Alaska, gets 24 hours of daylight for two months during summer!
How do people dress for summer in Alaska?
During summer in Alaska, you’ll usually find people wearing anything from shorts, flip flops, and tank tops to layers of rain gear. Check out my Alaska summer packing list to see how people dress for summer in Alaska.
How many months out of the year does Alaska have rain?
Download Your FREE Alaska Summer Packing Checklist
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Is there anything you would add to my Alaska summer packing list? Share them in the comments.