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What to wear in Canada: Ultimate Packing List for Canada

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Planning a trip and wondering what to wear in Canada? Whether you’re visiting in the summer or winter, we’ve got you covered with this comprehensive packing list for Canada. From clothes and accessories to technology and toiletries, we’ve got everything you need to know about what to pack for Canada.

Moving from India, and now extensively traveling through Canada, you can use our experience and travel confidently knowing that you have everything you need. No more last-minute packing scramble – just save our list and check off each item prior to your trip!

What to wear in Canada: Packing List for Canada

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We know how hard it is to keep track of all the things on your mind while traveling, so we made a quick list of items that will help make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Whether you are going in the summer or winter, spring or fall – our Canada packing list has got you covered!

  • Tops (shirts, blouses, etc)
  • Dresses and skirts
  • Bottoms (pants, shorts, etc)
  • Loungewear
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Light cardigan
  • Walking and/or hiking shoes
  • Moisture-wicking socks
  • Thermal wear or Long johns (winter)
  • Waterproof warm parka (winter)
  • Scarves (winter)
  • Gloves 
  • Warm toque (winter)
  • Warm socks (winter)
  • Winter boots
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, cold cream or moisturizer, etc.) 
  • Electronic essentials
  • Travel documents (visa, tour and hotel bookings, insurance, etc.)

All of the items are available on Amazon Prime so they can be at your door in two days or less!

Canada is very welcoming, and there are no specific dress codes for any place. The dressing is very casual, and you will find people wearing athleisure clothing when they are out and about. If you know me in person, you will see me wearing Lululemon leggings and my denim jacket (sometimes with a scarf!). 

Hoodies and jeans are very common, so are shorts and comfy hiking sandals in the summer months. 

Smokey Lake
Vancouver

At a workplace, or formal event you can opt for semi-casual, or business casuals to fit the mood and location. This can be a nice black dress with heels, minimal makeup, and jewelry. 

When our parents visit from India, they are equally comfortable wearing traditional Indian Wear without raising any eyebrows. So the main thing to keep in mind when packing for Canada is to be mindful of the weather and temperatures and dress appropriately. 

Certain places in Canada are super cold with dry winds and some are rainy/gloomy – your outfits will be different for each destination. In the same way, if you are heading for a hike, or planning to snowshoe your packing list will vary. 

In this Canada packing list, we will cover all the seasons and also include important tips!

Seasons in Canada: 

  • Spring: March 1 to May 31
  • Summer: June 1 to August 31
  • Fall or Autumn: September 1 to November 30
  • Winter: December 1 to February 28 

Packing list for Canada in the summer

Summer months are from June to August in Canada. During this time, the temperatures are warm, days are longer and you will find plenty of picnic spots and festivals to enjoy the lovely weather and the outdoors. 

Here is what you need to pack for Canada in summers,

Tops (blouses, shirts)

You will need to pack a couple of light tops or flowy blouses for summer in Canadian cities. They are perfect for sightseeing, tours and they also help you look great in Instagrammable shots!

Girl in Edmonton
In Edmonton: What to wear in Canada

If you are planning to hit the trails opt for moisture-wicking tops – we recommend bringing in one half and one long sleeve t-shirt. In certain parks, mosquitoes are common (like Saskatchewan) and long sleeves will protect you from bites and UV rays! 

Bottoms (trousers, pants, shorts, leggings)

Pair your pretty blouses with fitted jeans, and a nice belt! Jeans, cotton pants or trousers are great for summer sightseeing. 

You will also find locals wearing capris, and cotton shorts, enjoying the warm summer days. 

For hikes and outdoor activities, you can wear shorts and leggings. I LOVE my Lululemon leggings!

Dresses, skirts, jumpsuits 

I am not a ‘shorts’ person, so when I am out and about dresses and skirts are my go-to. You can bring your prettiest lightweight dresses, and pair them with comfortable sandals to enjoy walking around in downtown areas, go museum hopping or explore outdoor museums! 

Short dresses made of moisture-wicking material are great for short hikes and strolls in cities, parks, and road trips!

Lightweight waterproof jacket

Whether you are enjoying a hike in Banff National Park or wandering Gastown in Vancouver, a lightweight waterproof jacket is handy all year round. I like this Marmot minimalist jacket in black for travel and everyday use!

You can also bring in a windbreaker (that is made of waterproof material) and use it to layer on over your tops/shirts when needed. 

Light cardigan or hoodie 

Unless your jacket has light insulation, we recommend bringing in a cardigan, just in case.

Girl in Whistler
In Whistler in the summer: What to wear in Canada (wearing a fleece lined sweatshirt)

When our friends and family visit us from Asia and Europe, they are usually cold in the evening (in Canadian summers). This might be due to winds, a drop in temperature at night, or in destinations up north and high altitudes! 

So, do carry a light cardigan, or a hoodie. A hoodie is a sweatshirt with a hood. They are warm with a thin fleece lining (just like a sweatshirt and most hoodies will also have deep pockets). 

When we are heading to national parks or road tripping in Canada, we always pack a hoodie with us! Here is my favorite scuba hoodie from Lululemon

Walking and/or hiking shoes

For all practical purposes, a pair of comfortable hiking shoes is all you need to enjoy Canadian cities and parks alike. 

Forget me not Pond Bragg Creek
Forget me not Pond Bragg Creek: What to wear in Canada (shoes)

If wearing a dress, white shoes look the best. And they also go well with hiking clothes. Brands like Nike, KEEN, Merell and Reebok are our favorites for casual and hiking shoes.

When at the beach, flip-flops are great. If you wish to add a second pair of shoes to your Canada packing list, you can opt for a hiking sandal or flats (like these ones from TEVA) for summers – they are great for city-hopping, road trips, etc. 

Moisture-wicking socks

Pack a few moisture-wicking socks for your hiking shoes. These socks will help prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi when you are out and about touring a city, or on day-long hikes. 

You can buy socks like this one, and they also reduce the risk of blisters and sores. 
These are a must-have for those planning to hit the trails in Canada on a regular basis.

Loungewear

Whether you are chilling at a resort or an Airbnb, pack a couple of loungewear for the duration of your trip!

Additional items: Pack a cute swimsuit if you are booking a hotel with a swimming pool or planning to relax in a hot spring or thermal spa!

What to wear in Canada in winter: Canada winter packing list

Winters in Canada are anything, but boring. And we love everything about it – the snow, warm cocoa, bright scarves, and festive decor! 

Just imagine – the view of snowy landscapes from hotel (or apartment) windows, or on road trips awaiting you!  

Alpine Resorts Jasper
Alpine Resorts in Jasper

Canada is home to world-class skiing resorts, with miles of snowshoeing trails and frozen landscapes for you to marvel and enjoy! 

Watch out for destinations like Whistler, Banff, Lake Louise Ski Resort, or Revelstoke on the west coast to Mont Tremblant Ski Resort in the east. 

Not into winter sports? You can still have a great time checking out Christmas festivities in places like Quebec City, Vancouver, Toronto and Charlottetown! 

Winter Sunwapta Falls
Winter Sunwapta Falls

Canada in winter is BLISS! And you can enjoy Canadian winters too, just ensure you pack the right clothes. 

Thermal wear or long johns – Baselayer

I often get asked how I am posing for Instagram photos in the winter, smiling without a care in the world. Well, I am wearing SUPER warm thermal wear underneath!

Layering is important for winters, and your long johns/thermal wear is your base layer. So I wear a thermal top, and a thermal bottom underneath my jeans, or double up with leggings. 

When participating in outdoorsy activities like skiing, you do need to layer on with ski pants.

Hoodie, sweater or a fleece jacket – Midlayer 

After your base layer, you must wear a mid-layer, like a hoodie, sweater, or fleece jacket.

Waterproof warm parka or winter coat – Outer layer

Wear outerwear like a warm parka or a wool coat with waterproof coating. Ensure it is waterproof, this is 100% important! 

Banff downtown in winters: What to wear in Canada

Wool coats are a good option for indoor sightseeing, or on early winter days, but in the thick of the cold-weather season, you do need a power parka. 

Parkas are equipped with a waterproof material, have deep pockets (interiors and outside), and a hood. 

Hoods also come with fur trim, and this saves your pretty face from snowy elements. Cuffs also keep you warm, by not letting the cold air sweep in. 

Here are my favorite outerwear winter clothes from The North Face and Lululemon

Snow pants 

For the most part in cities, you can get by with a pair of jeans and fleece lined leggings, but to enjoy winters outdoors, you may want to add a snow pant to your Canada winter packing list. 

Snow pants provide you with the most warmth, and they are more durable, and breathable when you are active. You can layer snow pants with leggings underneath them. Get this snow pant from The North Face here

Scarves 

A nice warm scarf can instantly brighten your outfits, and also keep you nice and toasty.

Choose infinity scarves that are super warm covering your ears and neck. 
Rectangle scarves are also great to pull an outfit together, especially if you are wearing an all-black parka with boots. 

Gloves 

You do need a pair of warm gloves to protect your fingers against the harsh winter elements. It might be an easy Canada packing list item, but it is often missed (and many times lost), especially if you are not used to the cold weather. 

So yeah, you need warm gloves, preferably something with tech fingers so that you can use your smartphone or tablet with ease!

We recommend packing 2 pairs, and when you are out and about ensure you keep them inside your jacket pocket or purse so that you won’t lose them 🙂

Check out this pair from UGG here

Warm toque

A toque, a beanie, a warm cap/hat, are all the same item, eh! I LOVE  a nice warm beanie – just like a scarf, they can instantly make your outfit all adorable and snow-worthy! 

Sunwapta Falls viewing area
Red toque in Sunwapta Falls
Maligne Lake Road in winter
Multicolor toque in Jasper


Pack 3-4 beanies in different colors, with and without pom-pom, and wear them to spice up your winter clothing. 

I own a few toques from Amazon, and so LOVE them! Check them out here

Warm socks 

In the winters, pack a mix of moisture-wicking and merino wool-based socks. You do need thick socks to wear underneath your winter boots to keep you warm especially when you are outdoors for prolonged hours!

Winter or snow boots

Over the years, we have tried a lot of winter boot brands, from one available in Walmart to SportCheck (similar to REI in the USA) and reputable brands, and let me tell you get what you pay for. 

Do invest in a good pair of sturdy winter boots. Here is what you need to look for 

  • ankle-length is better to layer on
  • choose a pair with insulation like fleece (look for signs that say “up to -30 degrees”, etc. citing the cold threshold)
  • pay attention to the outsole, ensure it gives you a good grip to walk on icy surfaces (parking lots, sidewalks, pedestrian crossings, etc.)
  • carry your warmest socks to the store when you are trying out boots!
  • Our favorite picks: The North Face, Sorel, UGG, Timbaland (my new favorite)

Canada Packing list for spring and fall

Spring months in Canada are from March through May. In March, we do spring forward (we lose an hour due to daylight savings) and days are slowly warmer, and everywhere there is slush – with the snow melting! 

Canmore in March: What to wear Canada packing list

For most places, March is still fairly cold, and if you are new to the country you might feel the need to layer on, and that’s okay. So bring your winter goodies like a warm sweater, socks, beanie/toque, scarf, and of course a jacket. 

April and May are warmer, and now you can surely leave your winter parka, gloves, and beanies at home. Packing a sweater and a scarf is still a good idea!

September to November are the fall or autumn months in Canada, oh and it’s our absolute favorite! From the smell of apple cinnamon to pumpkin spice lattes – fall in Canada is delightful! 

Girl in Banff in the fall
Banff in September: What to wear in Canada

September for the most part remains warm, with temperature drops in the evenings and early mornings. A waterproof jacket or a cardigan is handy during this time. Throw in a scarf too!

October and November weather is pretty crisp and chilly. Prepare for shorter days, and cooler temperatures – and do bring in your winter wear (jacket, thermals, scarves, beanie, sweater, socks, and boots).

Banff in November (is pretty cold): What to wear in Canada

In the early fall months, you can wear stylish ankle-length booties. Late October to November calls for warmer winter boots as many cities and parks will experience colder temperatures with snowfall. So prepare like you would for a winter trip!

Miscellaneous items to pack for Canada

Other than the clothing items, you will also need some additional things as you travel from the east coast to the west coast of Canada.

Hiking in Canada

For hiking and camping, 

  • Water bottle: Bring a water bottle for use on hikes, and day-long sightseeing excursions or road trips!
  • First aid: Another important travel essential when you go camping, hiking, fishing, or just out and about 
  • Also, add bug spray, bear spray, mosquito repellent 

For skiing, 

  • Ski socks: Pack smart wool based ski socks
  • Face mask, or balaclava, and goggles for protection

*We recommend that you rent ski gear when visiting in the winters. 

Packing cubes: We absolutely love using packing cubes to organize and store our clothes, cosmetics, and other travel essentials. Traveling light also allows you to start exploring as soon as you land in a new city/destination. Doesn’t matter if you use a suitcase or a backpack like us, packing cubes are a must!

Electronics to pack for Canada

We have compiled all the electronic items for your Canada packing list below,

  • Adapter: Canada uses two associated plug types – A and B. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins and B has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin. It also operates on a 120V supply voltage and 60Hz. So when traveling from the UK, EU or India, you will need to use a convertor and adapter duo to charge electronics in Canada. 
  • Cellphone
  • Multi-port charging cable: This is our favorite travel accessory – a multi port charging cable to charge our iphones, Kindle and camera! One cable is enough for all of our electronics, plus it isn’t expensive. Check out this cable here
  • Power bank: Get a solar powered bank to charge your phone and camera on the go (hikes, sightseeing tours, etc). Buy yours here
  • Noise cancelling headphones: Our favorite ones from Bose
  • Camera gear: We carry our Sony a6000 and Sony a7III on all of our trips! Don’t forget to pack yours!
  • Laptop
  • eReader

What to pack for Canada: Toiletries 

When it comes to toiletries, these are our absolute must-haves for travel

  • Sunscreen
  • Moisturiser
  • Shampoo
  • Body lotion
  • Deodorant and/or perfume
  • Facial wash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Make-up
  • Lady products
  • Medications with a first aid kit

What to pack for Canada: Travel Documents

We have compiled all the essential items for travel in this section below. If you are visiting Canada for the first time, you will find this information useful. 

Getting ready for Canada: Packing List

Tourist visa: Most countries like the USA, EU members, Australia and New Zealand do not require a tourist visa to enter Canada. You need to apply for an Electronic travel authorization (ETA) prior to arriving here. ETA is not a visa and takes less than a day to process online.

An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is an entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals traveling to Canada by air. – Canada.ca

For non-visa-exempt passport holders, a Canada Tourist Visa is required. You will have to apply for it prior to your trip and from your home country. 

Depending on your departure country, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a month and it requires you to submit your rough Canada itinerary, financials, your hotel/accommodation for the duration of your trip, and local contact information. 

What to wear in Canada: Banff in September

Typically visas are given for 10 years (or until your passport expires. Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months when you apply). You can stay in Canada for a maximum of 6 months at a stretch on a tourist visa unless there are any restrictions as outlined for your situation. 

Travel Insurance: For your visa approval, and otherwise, travel insurance is important. This document will protect against medical emergency-related expenses, or in the event of baggage loss or flight delays. 

Cash and credit card: Canada uses Canadian dollars. Cash and credit cards are widely accepted everywhere. Some restaurants and stores may accept USD in certain cities. 

Other documents: Do save a copy of all of your hotel bookings, tours, and other related activities. Don’t forget your driver’s license too!

Packing for a trip can be stressful, especially when you’re going somewhere new. You want to make sure that you have everything you need and don’t forget anything important. That’s why we created this packing list for Canada! 

Our goal is to help take some of the stress out of planning your next vacation by providing helpful tips on what clothes and accessories are best suited for each season in Canada. 

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out! 

Canada Travel Tips and Guides

Pin: What to pack for Canada: Packing Lists for all seasons

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