Table of Contents

23 Top Denver Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

Updated on

A trip to Colorado is incomplete if you don’t make it to the “Mile High City” of Denver. With colorful, vibrant neighborhoods – this city hosts outdoor activities and has a bustling art scene that can attract any visitor. Whether you’re visiting renowned breweries, enjoying the incredible music scene, or roaming art festivals – Denver will not disappoint you.

Take a short drive out of the city to be enthralled by the scenic views and unbelievable outdoor activities. Being here is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream – with hiking, biking, and camping at the forefront of Denver living. To help you prepare, we have created a Denver packing list that includes the essential items. You will find sections on what to wear in Denver, what NOT to bring, and answers to FAQs.

Walking dog in Denver woods
See our product selection criteria and guidelines here.

What to Pack for Denver – 23 Essentials

  • 1. Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    With Denver boasting world-class hiking, a travel towel is an excellent addition to any day trip. This quick-drying, absorbent and lightweight towel is perfect for the occasional swim, sweaty hike or relaxing swim day. Use it during any season for fast-acting results and soft texture.

    Quick-Dry Travel Towel

    View on ➜

  • 2. Filtered Water Bottle

    Having a reliable and clean source of drinking water is a must when planning a vacation. While the tap water in Denver is perfectly safe to drink, this water bottle provides advanced filtration to improve taste and is BPA-free. Use this while walking around the city, during a hike, or for everyday use.

    Filtered Water Bottle

    View on ➜

  • 3. Virtual Private Network (VPN)

    A VPN is wise to have even if you aren’t traveling very far or staying in your own country. A VPN’s specialty is keeping your private information secure while using public wifi networks. So if you plan on using wifi at your accommodation, restaurants, or cafes, a VPN, like NordVPN, will protect your digital information like passwords or credit card numbers from getting stolen by hackers.


    View Options ➜

  • 4. Packing Cubes

    This set of packing cubes comes with two large, two medium, and one small cube for easy storing and organization while traveling. Quickly find toiletries, outfits, or electronics with these highly durable and strong cubes, making packing stress-free while on holiday. Find items quickly and hassle-free during your Denver getaway.

    Packing Cubes

    View on ➜

  • 5. Altitude Sickness Relief

    With an altitude of 5280 feet, the “Mile High City” can sometimes pose a problem with altitude sickness. This natural herbal medicine allows you to acclimate quicker and reduces the likeliness of headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Get to Denver and begin exploring and enjoying the city immediately without the threat of altitude sickness.

    Altitude Sickness Relief

    View on ➜

  • 6. Travel Insurance for Denver

    When planning to go to Denver, I would definitely look at travel insurance. If you are more than 100 miles away from home, travel insurance can be a valuable investment in protecting against emergencies. Travel insurance can help in case of medical emergencies, theft, or delays. With hiking and camping being the main attractions in Denver, it’s always best to look into options to be worry-free.

    We use Faye since they provide coverage for unique things like adventure & extreme sports and entire trip cancelation. They make the reimbursement process a piece of cake through their mobile app, and we tell all our friends about Faye!

    Travel Insurance for Denver

    Get a quote in less than 60 seconds with Faye ➜

  • 7. Cooling Towel

    Thanks to its high elevation, the sun is strong in the mile-high city, and it’s easy to work up a sweat. Whether you’re hiking, biking, or taking a yoga or spin class, be sure to bring along a cooling towel. They’re small and lightweight, making them super easy to carry. Whenever you feel like you want to cool off, simply wet the towel, wring it out, and it becomes 20-30 degrees colder than the outside temperature.

    Cooling Towel

    View on ➜

  • 8. Convertible Hiking Pants

    This cross-functional hiking pant-to-short combo is great for any hiking condition you may come across in Denver. They have a casual, flattering style and fit, are water resistant, and are made with durable fabric. Easily change these pants to shorts for any incoming weather conditions and enjoy a day full of outdoor activities.

    Convertible Hiking Pants

    View on ➜

  • 9. Paracord Bracelet

    This wonderful little bracelet is a great idea to bring if you decide to go hiking while in Denver. It is compact and fitted with a fire starter, 12-foot paracord, compass, whistle and knife, ensuring safety and reliability while camping or hiking. Its straps are adjustable and is very inexpensive, making it the perfect add-on to any wilderness activity.

    Paracord Bracelet

    View on ➜

  • 10. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    No matter the season in Denver, packing an umbrella is always an excellent idea. No one wants their day ruined because of the rain, so remember to pack it in the unfortunate event that this occurs. This compact and portable umbrella comfortably fits two people underneath and has advanced windproof protection for those windy days. Feel secure, dry, and comfortable while using this umbrella.

    Hero Umbrella

    View on ➜

  • 11. Lightweight Waterproof Daypack

    Discover the city or go for a high-intensity hike with this ultra-lightweight daypack. Easily store away belongings for the day and embrace the wild with this waterproof design. It’s designed for travelers so it’s lightweight and easily adjustable straps for all-day comfort. Rest assured, you will use this day pack not only in Denver but in daily life too.

    Lightweight Waterproof Daypack

    View on ➜

  • 12. TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    Luggage locks are a quintessential packing list item. They are multi-faceted but will always give you peace of mind that your belongings are safe. We use them to secure our checked luggage so it’s not vulnerable to sticky fingers when out of sight for long durations. We also use them for lockers and on our backpacks in crowded places. If camping, you should also lock the inside of your tent at night while sleeping and your bags anytime you leave the campsite unattended.

    TSA-Approved Luggage Locks

    View on ➜

  • 13. Discounted Tickets on Denver Tours

    Colorado is a place for breathtaking landscapes, a slower pace of life, and nature healing. Get Your Guide is our favorite way to book local tours at affordable prices. Soak in a Colorado hot spring, explore Red Rock Park, and end the day at a sunset over Lookout Mountain.

    We love the Denver Botanical Garden and if you want to hit some city attractions, it’s better to bundle them at a discount through the Denver City Pass.

    Discounted Tickets on Denver Tours

    See all Denver attractions at ➜

  • 14. Electrolytes

    While in a high-altitude city, it is best to always monitor electrolytes and maintain hydration to avoid sickness and fatigue. These easy-to-use tablets are flavorful and replenish your energy after a high-impact day while in Denver. Electrolytes help to maintain balance, hydrate, and improve overall health while adventuring.


    View on ➜

  • 15. Neck Wallet

    Bring this neck wallet with you on hikes, music festivals or days of browsing downtown while feeling safe and organized with your most valuable belongings in tow. Easily wear above or underneath clothing, ensuring your credit cards, cash, and phone are secure while having a day of high-intensity activities or in unfamiliar areas.

    Available on with an exclusive 15% discount using the coupon code “HERO”.

    neck wallet

    Or view on ➜

  • 16. Sanitizer Wipes

    These sanitizing wipes are an excellent item to bring with you on your trip to Denver. Use them while camping, hiking, or for everyday use to stay clean and germ-free. They’re individually packed and pocket-sized, making them great for long journeys.

    Sanitizer Wipes

    View on ➜

  • 17. Waterproof Phone Pouch

    If you plan to spend any time on the water, don’t neglect to bring a waterproof phone case. This pouch protects your phone from the elements (moisture, sand, dirt, lens scratches, etc.) and allows you to film underwater videos.

    Waterproof Phone Pouch

    View on ➜

  • 18. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Especially if you’re camping or staying in a boutique hotel or hostel with limited countertop space – this hanging toiletry bag is a game-changer! We use this to hold the family’s toiletries since it has four giant pockets that organize personal hygiene, makeup, haircare, skincare, and washcloths. It will create a built-in shelving system whether you hang it on a door, pole, or tree branch! It’s one of my favorite discoveries to date.

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

    View on ➜

  • 19. Mosquito-Repellent Wristbands

    The mountains have bugs! Surprise! You’ll absolutely need mosquito repellent, and these wristbands are a great option since they’re wearable. Even if you opt for a spray, ensure it’s deet-free and non-toxic. It will work wonders when repelling ticks, mosquitoes and other disease-ridden insects while out at night, hiking, or camping.

    mosquito repellent wristbands

    View on ➜

  • 20. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    If you plan on using your phone or other gadgets while away, I would highly suggest a portable charger. Easily listen to music, navigate, or take pictures without the worry of losing battery life throughout the day with this small charger. It is compact and easily fits into any bag, making it super-efficient for day trips where power sockets are not readily available.

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    View on ➜

  • 21. Affordable Waterproof Camera

    I truly believe a waterproof camera is great for any destination you plan on going to. Take incredible quality pictures and videos with ease without worrying about water damage. This camera has excellent quality, is affordable, and is a fun addition to your trip to Denver. Use the multifunctional accessories to take incredible photos and remember all the memories.

    Affordable Waterproof Camera

    View on ➜

  • 22. Waterproof Light Jacket

    Escape the rain and feel cool while wearing a waterproof light jacket. On the occasion of a rainy day, be prepared with this durable jacket, then easily store it in a bag while out and about. Wear this jacket for cooler days hiking or to enjoying this vibrant city that is comfortable, stylish, and dry quickly for optimal days of vacation fun.

    Waterproof Light Jacket

    View on ➜

  • 23. Hiking Poles

    From Rocky Mountain National Park to Mount Sanita Trails – Colorado has some of the best hiking in the country and should be enjoyed to the fullest! Use hiking poles to reduce the stress on your joints during long treks uphill and downhill. They will help stabilize your balance and stop any preventable falls.

    Hiking Poles

    View on ➜

What to Wear in Denver

What you wear in Denver really depends on what time of year you visit and your activities you plan on doing. Denver is a fun, loving casual city so anything that makes you feel comfortable and good is best.

Activewear and casual clothes that are lightweight and breathable are perfect for wandering the city or having a hiking day. I would always suggest bringing layers because they are perfect for winter but also nice for the windy, chilly days in the other seasons. Always bring comfy shoes to see the wonderful sights that Denver has to offer. Below is a more in-depth look as to what to pack.

what WOMEN should wear in Denver- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

Women normally dress casually but have fun with it. Depending on the time of year they can be seen wearing layers, hats, and fun booties. They also tend to wear activewear for the active lifestyle that they live, such as sneakers, breathable shirts, and leggings.

Girls tend to throw anything on, and it looks good; they definitely have fun with there style. In the warmer months, they can wear jean shorts and fun going out tops with their effortless fashion. No matter what you wear, as long as you feel good will have you feeling like a local Denver girl.

what MEN should wear in Denver - (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

Men in Denver can dress in the typical hippy and snowboarder fashion. This can include fitted jeans, vans, beanies, and casual t-shirts. In the winter and colder months, they will wear more layers to stay warm, think sweaters, and flannels but they still have that cool guy vibe.

They dress practical for the weather and always have comfort at the forefront of their style. Men will also wear sunglasses no matter the time of year, the sun will be bright in the winter and even brighter in the summer. They live an active, outdoor lifestyle so be prepared for anything at any time of the day.

Packing for the Seasons in Denver

SPRING – March, April, May

Once May arrives, days begin to get a little warmer and stay lighter much longer. Before then it is still quite chilly and has periodic showers with people wearing jackets, layers, and boots. These are the key months where layers are very important. Temperatures average between 28°F to 73°F (-2°C to 23°C)

SUMMER – June, July, August

The weather in the summer is absolutely beautiful. The summers will range from the ’70s to ’90s, so it’s best to wear breathable lightweight and casual clothing. Sandals, sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, and activewear is perfect for these warm days, but always bring a rain jacket just in case a quick shower may occur. Temperatures average between 55°F to 73°F (13°C to 23°C)

FALL – September, October, November

September still has warm and lovely days so you can still dress as if you are in the middle of summer. After that, it starts to drop in temperature so bring layers, sweaters, jeans, a jacket, and sneakers. This time of the year tends to be drier so you can get away with not having a raincoat.Temperatures average between 27°F to 82°F (-3°C to 28°C)

WINTER – December, January, February

Winter in Denver means extreme cold and snow, so pack up warm layers, long pants, and warm coats. This time of year can get into the negatives so you want to come prepared for the frigid temperatures and bring hats, boots, mittens, and anything that can keep you as toasty as possible.
Temperatures average between 21°F to 48°F (-6°C to 9°C)

Dressing Appropriately for the Activity - (Click to expand)
Downtown Denver: When wandering around downtown you always want to keep it casual and comfortable. Depending on the season t-shirts, jeans, shorts, and comfortable shoes work best. Then you can go to the arts district, museums, sights, and Larimer Square with style and ease.

Snow sports: If you drive about an hour you can make it to the mountains and enjoy snow sports. This is when I would wear warm layers, mittens, activewear tops, sports jackets, boots, and hats to stay warm in the cold temperatures.

Hiking: Denver has great hikes that are close to the city. This is when you would want to wear hiking pants, activewear tops, hiking shoes, or sneakers. You can also bring hiking accessories like a paracord bracelet, hats, Camelbaks, and LifeStraw water bottles to improve your hike.

Breweries: Going to any brewery means you want to relax and have a good time, so staying casual but fun is the vibe. Jeans, t-shirt, booties, flannels, hats and cute crossbody bags will have you fitting in and feeling like a local drinking a craft beer.

Concerts: Denver’s music scene is wonderful, they have local shows in small venues, they have big festivals on surrounding grounds and have the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater. No matter the season its best to wear lightweight, breathable clothes, sneakers, and minimal accessories. Layers are great too because you always get hot and sweaty from dancing, then cool down between sets.

What NOT to Bring to Denver

  • 1.DON’T BRING Books

    You might want to relax and read a book while away, especially if you have to travel to get there. However, books will weigh your bag down and take up valuable space. Instead, think about getting a kindle, this allows you to read as much as possible and have a lighter bag.

  • 2.DON’T PACK Valuables

    You definitely want to dress up your outfits with accessories, but don’t bring your most precious pieces. Bringing valuables puts them at risk for being lost or stolen and while Denver doesn’t have a high crime rate, it’s better to be safe and leave them at home.

  • 3.DON’T TAKE Unnecessary Gear

    Unless you can drive your gear with you to Denver for a camping or hiking trip, don’t bring all you gear with you. If you are flying his can be very pricey and you at risk of damaging your gear or having it lost or stolen.

  • 4.DON’T BRING Cash

    It’s a good idea to have a small amount of cash with you in Denver for those places that are cash-only, but generally you don’t need it. Almost everywhere you go will accept all major credit cards. Having too much cash can make you a target for theft or at risk for misplacing it yourself.

  • 5.DON’T PACK High Heels

    You might want to bring high heels for a fancy night out, but I would suggest bringing booties with a thicker heel. Booties with a thicker heel are best in the cold months when the weather is not too favorable to strappy, thin heels.

  • 6.DON’T TAKE overly Dressy Clothes

    Apart from a going out outfit to wear on a nice evening out, there is no need to bring overly dress clothes. Denver has a laid-back vibe and people really just dress for fun, so while it’s important to look good in the evenings; there’s no need to be fancy.

What NOT to Wear in Denver – (Click to expand)
Honestly whatever clothes you have are perfect to wear in Denver, but I really wouldn’t bring formal attire with you. Denver’s cool, relaxing and fun sense of life doesn’t call for anything to fancy. I also wouldn’t wear any shoes that you haven’t broken in or are not super comfy. Hopefully, you will be doing lots of outdoor activities and be seeing lots of Denver’s funky spirit so bring shoes that offer tip-top relief is key.

FAQs About Denver Travel

  • 1. How can I get around Denver?

    Denver has really good public transport, with a train that takes you directly from the airport into the center of the city or to the various bus routes; there are many options. They also have Uber and Lyft which isn’t too expensive. If you want to get out of the city for hiking or snow sports renting a car might be the best option.

  • 2. Should I go to Red Rocks Amphitheater?

    Yes, Red Rocks Amphitheater is breathtaking. Whether you go to see a concert or just go to check it out, it’s quite outstanding. The rock formation is unbelievable, and the acoustics are too. Check out their website to see upcoming shows or outdoor activities like yoga.

  • 3. Is Denver Expensive?

    Like most cities, Denver can be a little pricey, but it all depends on what your plans are while visiting. They have free walking tours of the city and you can always go hiking and camping which can reduce the cost of your accommodations. Pick restaurants that are a little cheaper and give you a bit more bang for your buck, it’s not hard but can take time to research.

  • 4. When is the best time to go to Denver?

    If you like snow sports, then the best time to go is in the winter and spring months. If you want to go enjoy the city and see the food, arts, music and brewery scene then the summer and fall are the best times. If you want hiking and camping, the shoulder months of the summer are perfect, since they are not too hot and still offer so much beauty.

  • 5. What are the breweries like in Denver?

    The local brewery scene is huge, producing world-class beer and learning the history of Denver’s beer culture. It wouldn’t be a trip if you didn’t make it to one of the hundreds of breweries that you’ll come across as you walk down the street. This will come as no surprise that Denver locals love their beer.

  • 6. What are the top things to do In Denver?

    Hiking and camping may be the more obvious things to do in Denver, but there is so much more to see and do. Denver has two different arts districts, RiNo and Santa Fe. Both communities host art galleries, studios, theaters, and quirky businesses. Denver also has a great food and bar scene, with delicious markets, restaurants, breweries, and bars to choose from. If you get a chance stop off at some of the informative museums or go to a Baseball game.

  • 7. What are the best Hikes around Denver?

    If you drive a small way out of Denver you can reach Red Rocks Park, Deer Creek Canyon, or Hanging Lake. All three produce stunning scenic views and offer a great day trip activity while you are in Denver.