My Updated Summer Packing List (Video)

You can read through my more detailed, original packing list here.

Also, a disclaimer: please be careful when packing glass jars. My jar has actually spent more time outside my bag than in it so far. I’m thinking I should get some kind of protection for it before I bounce it around in there.

My current packing list is a little more fluid than this format implies, but I felt it was the best way to share how my gear has changed in the last year or so. I add and subtract things based on the weather at my destination and what I’ll be doing there. Ideally, all the clothing I’d need for anywhere would be baselayer shirts and tights, and a pair of outer-shell pants plus jacket. But nothing I’ve seen or bought so far has made it that easy. Still, I’m sticking to essentials as much as I can, especially by buying less and reusing more. When I do buy my goal is to obtain durable pieces that look good and travel light (easier said than done).

Here’s what I pack for colder weather:

  • Soft Star Ramblers: Still the best shoes I’ve ever worn.
  • REI Revelcloud jacket: Still a terrific, warm, and packable synthetic down layer.
  • Icebreaker Villa Pants: Super comfortable, great pockets, no fly, merino wool. What’s not to like? I wouldn’t, however, recommend taking a walk in a soaking rain with these. It’s like trying to walk with two wet Pekingese dogs tied to your legs. Incidentally, they pick up dog hair like nobody’s business.
  • Paradox shirt and pants/tights: Costco is now selling 11% merino baselayers for $25 a pop. They’re comfortable, come in nice colors, and dry fast. The only con so far: they need to be washed separately and the dye always bleeds. Costco also has merino trail socks that are great.
  • Outdoor Research Gloves: These are technically glove liners and really require a shell for temperatures colder than the high thirties Fahrenheit. I like that they pack up small and have fingertip grips.
  • Patagonia Capilene 3 layer: Warm and comfortable, but doesn’t breathe much.

I’m hoping that, going forward, there will be more natural fibers and durable nylons to choose from. New companies like Outlier (tip from Caroline Hardy) and creative Kickstarter campaigns are changing the travel clothing landscape. Maybe one day soon we’ll be able to slip on our temperature-regulating one-piece and head out the door.

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  • Stephanie Tsao

    Love the video. How did you fit all that?

  • Guest

    Thanks for sharing! About how much weight was that, total? I’ve had better luck with Ibex vs Icebreaker clothing, but both are great brands. My IB shirts tend to get little holes in them fairly quickly, even when just handwashing/air drying.

    • allilevine

      Sorry for the delayed response, I was hoping I’d get a chance to weigh my bag, but it hasn’t happened. I’m packing for another trip now so hopefully I’ll get my hands on a luggage scale soon.

      Ibex looks awesome but for some reason I have yet to find something there I’m willing to shell out the cash for. I’ve heard of the Icebreaker tiny hole curse, but so far my only problem with IB has been that I’ve gradually started smelling like a sweaty sheep. I guess the holes are something to look forward to…

  • CaroHardy

    Thanks for the link Alison.

    I remember we were wondering how skinny the Ladies Dungarees by Outlier was. Well, I bought it and it is perfect. While it is a slim cut, it isn’t that tight and the Gusseted crotch and a little higher waist than usual makes it really confortable. A fantastic 4 seasons pants, which is what ultra-minimalist traveller are looking for.

    I also discovered Finisterre this year, a UK brand making good merino wool clothing (80% – 20 % polyamide)

    • allilevine

      Thanks so much for sharing. It’s interesting that you say the Dungarees are a 4-season pant, and not the Daily Riding Pants, which Outlier says are made of a “4Season fabric.” Did they fit true to your usual pants size? I still haven’t been able to get over the price. Maybe someday.

      Finisterre looks cool, thanks. I’ll add them to my brands to watch.

      • CaroHardy

        I actually went to Outlier’s studio and tried both pants on. Their Daily Riding Pants are thicker, so they’re a bit too warm for summer. And while those are more stretchy than the Ladies Dungarees, they are a very slim fit.
        The Ladies Dungarees fit true to size. But you should take your measurement to be sure.
        My Boyfriend has the Keirin Cut for 9 months now and wore them absolutely everyday. They are still like new. They are worth the price!

        • allilevine

          Okay, you convinced me — I put in an order. I’ll let you know how it goes!

          I was also looking at the Anatomie Skyler Skinny pants that Travel Fashion Girl recommends, which are about the same price. Have you tried them?

          • CaroHardy

            I haven’t try them. However, they seem to have a shiny finish like most synthetic pants, whereas the Outlier pants really look like a normal pair of jeans which I prefer. Otherwise, the Anatomie Skyler Skinny pants are probably a good pair as well.