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What to pack for a trip to Vancouver in autumn

You know how I was almost boasting about the fact I’d had a pretty endless summer and couldn’t understand why people said it rained so much in Vancouver?

Well, I take it all back. ALL of it.

I have never experienced so much rain in a week as I did last week in Vancouver.

I guess autumn is well and truly here in Vancouver and whilst I’m missing walking dogs in shorts and a t-shirt, being outside in the rain is still better than being in a stuffy office in my view.

Since the temperatures in Vancouver are generally pretty mild (especially for Canada!), it’s not so much that you’ll get cold on a trip to Vancouver in autumn, it’s that you’ll get wet.

Let’s just put it this way; if you come to Vancouver and it doesn’t rain then you’re lucky.

If you come in autumn and it doesn’t rain then please never leave as you’ve obviously bought the sun with you from somewhere.

Vancouver isn’t a cultural city in the same sense as London.

If it’s raining there isn’t a huge amount to do like museums and galleries. But, there is still plenty to do when it rains in Vancouver!

The best things about this city are outdoors and so this means that you need to put some thought into what to pack for a trip to Vancouver in autumn to enjoy the city whatever the weather!

I’ve put some packing suggestions below bearing in mind the rain you will almost definitely experience.

You’ll notice Vancouver is a pretty casual city when it comes to dressing (something I love). Although if you do like dressing up you’ll find plenty of excuses to if you fancy grabbing dinner in Yaletown.

Looking for more things to do in Vancouver and nearby? Check out my Vancouver travel guides which are full of information on the best things to do in Vancouver, the best Vancouver restaurants, and detailed guides for each of the main neighborhoods.

What to pack for a weekend in Vancouver in autumn

Clothes

Since Vancouver is pretty casual you needn’t worry about packing the trendiest clothes in your wardrobe (unless of course, you want to).

For Vancouver in the autumn, I’d recommend sticking to jeans and trousers during the day and maybe a dress or jumpsuit for the evenings if you feel like being a bit smarter.

Vancouver is pretty much the home of athleisure and people really don’t dress up here. The only exception would be Yaletown bars on a Friday or Saturday night. But, even then, it’s not dressed up by European standards they might just have black jeans and a non-athleisure wear top.

Since Lululemon started in Vancouver you can expect to see plenty of people, men and women, sporting Lululemon leggings, tops, coats – everything! Unfortunately buying Lululemon over here really isn’t that much cheaper than back home once you’ve accounted for tax. But you will save a little bit if you’re looking to shop for it during your trip to Vancouver.

After 6 years in Vancouver, I practically lived in my Lululemon leggings.

lululemon align pants

The Align Pants are so soft and comfortable that you’ll basically never want to take them off.

But, if you’re hiking then the Align pants aren’t the best leggings for hiking since they’re not very moisture-wicking.

Instead, I recommend the Wunder Train leggings which also have thigh pockets for your phone or keys.

When it comes to packing for Vancouver I suggest bringing some leggings, a pair of jeans or any other trousers you may normally wear.

On top of this add a few t-shirts and tops you can wear for walking around the city, as well as some that are a bit smarter for dinners out.

I recommend a mix of long and short sleeve t-shirts on your what to pack for Vancouver list so you can adjust depending on the temperature. Sometimes we can get really nice weather in September and October!

Oh and don’t forget the essentials such as underwear, socks and pyjamas!

Shoes

It’ll be wet outside and you’ll probably be doing a lot of walking.

Vancouver is a great city for walking and cycling as it’s often quicker to do one of those than get the bus (especially downtown) and it’s the only way to explore Stanley Park (which you have to do).

That being said, make sure to include some good trainers when packing for a trip to Vancouver in autumn.

When it’s really raining and not just drizzling you’ll be grateful you remembered to pack some waterproof shoes.

Vessi is a great local brand that swears by its waterproof shoes. They get a tonne of good reviews though I don’t believe they stand up to hours and hours of rain, but they’ll be better than most.

They’re super comfortable too and can be dressed up or down.

blundstones

For the evenings I’d suggest a good pair of black boots. Vancouver has a love affair with Blundstone boots. I’ve had mine Blundstones for several years now and they’re pretty much all I wear come fall until it’s warm enough to switch into my Birkenstocks!

Another advantage of Blundstones is that they too can be dressed up or down and they’re fully waterproof. They last forever and are super comfortable once you’ve worn them a few times.

Rain jacket

If there’s one item of clothing Vancouverites splash out on its outerwear.

They’ll have multiple coats for all types of rain and activities.

arcteryx raincoat

You’ll definitely need at least one type of waterproof coat. Water resistance just won’t cut it out here when it starts raining I’m afraid! Your best bet would be to pack something with Goretex as this is breathable and the best waterproofing I’ve found.

I swear by my Arc’teryx coat which was super pricey but I’ve had it coming on 6 years now and it’s still great.

Alternatively, you can get a rain jacket from other outdoor stores. Just make sure it says it’s waterproof and not ‘resistant’!

This Patagonia yellow rain jacket looks great in pictures when you’re exploring the forests and Capilano Suspension Bridge!

patagonia raincoat
rei raincoat

Waterproof trousers

waterproof trousers

I’d reckon most of them own waterproof trousers too and I soon saw the advantage of this when I was cycling around the city every day as a dog walker or going on hikes even in the rain.

Although waterproof trousers are probably a bit much if you’re coming on holiday and aren’t planning any serious hikes. If you are planning some hikes then they’re definitely worthwhile packing!

Insulated mid-layer

patagonia down sweater jacket

Though Vancouver is nowhere near as cold as other parts of Canada get in the autumn (it’s really got a climate like the UK), you’ll still want an insulated jacket to keep you warm while you’re outside.

I love my Patagonia down sweater which is my go-to day jacket and what I bring when I’m packing for hiking or even skiing.

Other

  • Umbrella: I promise you won’t regret it!
  • Bobble hat: for when it’s not raining
  • Gloves: in case it gets a little chilly
  • A backpack for exploring during the day, and something smaller for the evenings

What’s the weather like in Vancouver in autumn?

The weather and temperature in Vancouver, BC in autumn can vary, but generally, it is a cool and rainy season.

September in Vancouver is typically the warmest month of the season, with average high temperatures around 18°C and lows around 10°C. By October, temperatures have dropped to around highs of 14°C and lows around 7°C, and in November, average highs are around 9°C with lows around 4°C.

Rainfall is also common during fall in Vancouver, with an average of 150-200mm of precipitation per month.

While autumn in Vancouver is generally cooler and wetter than the summer months, there can be variations from year to year, so it’s always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before planning any outdoor activities.

Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Hannah

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