Closing and Luggage
Whatever the season is from early spring till fall we advise you to bring your umbrella and a windproof raincoat or jacket when you travel to Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. Rain is always possible here. Depending on the time of the year you may need warm boots with non-slippery sole, waterproof boots or shoes for wet and messy summer days and comfortable sandals in case it is hot.
You can wear shorts in summer, though, it might prevent you from entering Russian churches. Even in the mid-summer it would be still a good idea to have a warm sweatshirt or a light jacket to wear on chilly mornings. The hot summer season is a little shorter than you might expect and by mid-August it already begins to cool down at nights. In September, you are most likely to use your umbrella and waterproof boots more often. Though, a Russian version of the Indian summer which is around mid-September can also be fairly warm and dry. Read more about weather conditions here.
Even for excursion tours (not to say about active adventures) we suggest having at least two sets of outerwear closing including an extra pair of shoes. This is in case you get wet during a day and have something to change after arriving back to the hotel. Well-worn and comfortable walking shoes will help you feel less tired after busy excursion day. Please, note that at all active Russian Orthodox churches it is required for women to wear long skirt to cover knees, sweater/coat/shirt to cover shoulders, and headscarf to cover head.
If taking Trans-Siberian train ride you may also want to bring some sweatshirts and sweatpants to be comfortable staying in a limited space compartment for a long period of time.
If it is possible, have enough closing for the entire visit to Russia, so that you do not have to worry about your laundry. If your trip lasts longer you can find laundry service in most of the hotels. However, these services are often way too overpriced. It may be cheaper to buy an extra set of clothing in your home country than to wash laundry in Russian hotels. Unlike most western countries there are no laundromats here either.
On the other hand, since airlines baggage restrictions are getting tighter we always suggest having only one piece of luggage (up to 20 kg or 45 lbs) and a smaller carry-on bag (up to 8 kg or 17.5 lbs) per traveler for Russian domestic flights. Trans-Siberian trains allow bringing up to 35 kg (77 lbs) per person into the train compartment. If you take more you might be asked to check your bag into a baggage car (not accessible to passengers during the trip) and pay extra luggage fees.