A Complete Guide to Packing for Banff in September!
Packing for Banff in September! Canada is pretty well-known for its quick-changing and unpredictable weather; this even more true during September and shoulder season! Therefore, your packing needs to include a wide variety of items and layersss. Canada has beautiful weather in the summer. However, even at night in the summer, temps drop to the 40’s F regularly.
We visited Banff National Park (as well as Vancouver) in late September. This packing guide is for travelers visiting during shoulder season, and especially those planning to do some hiking!
Essential Items: Don't leave without them
Layers are key and rain/snow is common! Therefore, be sure to have some kind of waterproof outer layer with warm layers inside. The weather can warm up quickly with the sun, so be prepared for any type of weather!
- In the summer you can likely get by with a lightweight rain jacket with layers underneath. This is what I actually brought during shoulder season. I had to SQUEEZE it over my down jacket (notice photo #2 below)
- As soon as I got free time at the airport I ordered a 3-in-1 rain jacket! I found a Marmott 3-in-1 jacket on sale which I have proceeded to take to Iceland and Ireland and it worked MUCH better. So, if you are visiting during shoulder season, I highly recommend investing in a warmer weatherproof jacket!
- Lightweight, waterproof hiking boots are a must if you plan to do any hiking. On our hike it was sunny with no snow on the ground at the trailhead. However, at the top, the trail was covered in snow and slush! Keep your feet warm and dry!
- We experienced the first snow of the season, and I wore my fleece-lined leggings ALL DAY. They are a life-saver when trying to see and do things in the outdoors when the temperatures are plummeting. There are several affordable options on Amazon!
- To note, the day I worse these all day we did NOT hike. We drove around and did shorter walks to sight-see
- As awesome and warm as fleece-lined leggings are, make sure you have something a little more breathable and moisture-wicking if you plan to hike up in the mountains!
- You can pay a pretty penny on base layer clothing, though. If you hike a lot, it will be worth it! If not, just go to Amazon and look up base-layers for a more affordable price.
- Moisture-wicking socks are always a good idea if you plan to hike, especially when the temps go from freezing to 60 F in a few hours. Sweaty feet to freezing feet are a no-go 🙅🏼♀️
- Staying warm and comfortable is a must. Whatever your choice of brand, a down jacket really does wonders in keeping the warmth. My go-to is a North Face down jacket that I have now had for about 7 years.
Pullover Fleece or Sweatshirt
- Bring a pullover or other second layer to wear between a base-layer and a super warm jacket
- My Patagonia pullover worked like a charm, but any fleece-lined or mid-thickness pullover will work.
Beanie, scarf, gloves
- Last, but not least, bring things to keep your digits and your head warm! As I mentioned, even in the summer the lows can drop into the 40’sF, and if you plan to do any morning activities the temps will still be frigid. Add any wind to this and its CHILLY. I always recommend touchscreen gloves for taking pictures without frozen fingers 🙌🏼
Canada weather is not for the faint of heart. Pack accordingly.
Packing for Banff in a Nutshell
Layers. Below I have linked several items I recommend and use myself. As I mentioned, I ordered the 3-in-1 Marmot jacket I took to Ireland and Iceland in the airport after this trip. I found mine on sale on Backcountry.com. The exact one isn’t on the site right now. However, keep an eye out because I’ve seen them on sale several times (especially toward the end of the season)!