What to wear in Chamonix in summer: A comprehensive guide for all activities

Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix, France, is a world-renowned destination for outdoor adventure, offering everything from hiking and climbing to mountain biking and whitewater rafting. Whether you’re planning a leisurely summer vacation or a challenging alpine expedition, it’s important to pack the right gear to stay comfortable and safe.

Layering is key

The weather in Chamonix can be unpredictable, even in the summer. It’s not uncommon to experience sunshine, rain, and snow all in the same day. To be prepared for anything, pack layers of clothing that you can easily add or remove as needed.

A good base layer is essential for wicking away moisture and keeping you warm when it’s cool. A synthetic material like polyester is a good option, as it’s lightweight and quick-drying.

For your mid-layer, choose a fleece or merino wool garment that will provide insulation without being too bulky. A waterproof jacket is essential for keeping the rain out, and a down jacket is a good option for extra warmth on cold days.

Don’t forget the accessories

In addition to clothing, there are a few other essential items to pack for your summer trip to Chamonix:

  • Hiking boots: Chamonix has a wide variety of hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. A good pair of hiking boots is essential for providing support and traction on uneven terrain.
  • Sunglasses: The sun can be very strong at high altitudes, so it’s important to protect your eyes. Pack a pair of polarized sunglasses to reduce glare and keep your eyes comfortable.
  • Hat: A hat is a great way to protect your head from the sun and rain. Choose a hat that fits well and won’t fall off easily.
  • Sunscreen: Sunscreen is essential for protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Apply sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, even on cloudy days.
  • Water bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when hiking or doing other outdoor activities. Bring a reusable water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.

What to wear for specific activities

Here are some specific recommendations for what to wear for popular summer activities in Chamonix:

  • Hiking: For hiking, you’ll want to wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in easily. Hiking boots or shoes with good traction are essential. You may also want to pack a rain jacket and backpack.
  • Climbing: For climbing, you’ll need specialized gear, including a helmet, harness, and climbing shoes. You can rent climbing gear from shops in Chamonix.
  • Mountain biking: For mountain biking, you’ll need a mountain bike and helmet. You may also want to wear protective clothing, such as knee pads and elbow pads.
  • Whitewater rafting: For whitewater rafting, you’ll be provided with all the necessary gear, including a life jacket, helmet, and paddle. You should wear a swimsuit and clothes that you don’t mind getting wet.


No matter what activities you’re planning on doing in Chamonix, it’s important to pack the right gear to stay comfortable and safe. By layering your clothing and packing the essential accessories, you’ll be prepared for anything the weather throws your way.

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