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Whistler Packing List for Winter and Summer | What to Wear in Whistler

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Are you wondering what to wear in Whistler? If so, you are in the right place! Whatever month you plan to visit, whether spring, fall, summer or winter, this Whistler packing list and guide to what to wear has women, men and children taken into account!

Whistler is one of the best resorts in North America and the number one resort in Canada. It definitely earns that title and offers so many things to do any time of year. Its pedestrian-only village vibe, its epic snowflakes, its laid back attitude, and its wealth of seasonal activities all contribute to making it one of the best mountain vacations you can take in the summer and in the winter!

However, your Whistler packing list for winter and summer is going to be very different (except for maybe sunscreen, you need that any time of year). Thankfully, with this guide to what to wear in Whistler, you will not have to worry about packing the wrong types of clothes and you will make sure all of the little things to make your vacation the best trip it can be!

All season packing list for whistler british columbia

Essential Whistler Travel Tips

Here are a few things you might or might not need for your trip. If any of these apply to you, check them out!

How to get here: Start with how to get from Vancouver to Whistler.

Rental Cars: Click Here to compare suppliers that offer Vancouver Airport pickup (or other locations as well).

Travel Insurance: If you are coming to Whistler from abroad, you are going to what to make sure you have travel Insurance. While unlikely, just to see a doctor in the ER costs $850 and that does not involve ordering any tests. Canada is a very expensive country for medical care. You can check policy prices from World Nomads Insurance. 

Want to Take a Tour or Book an Activity: Check out Get Your Guide to book activities. They are well known for their excellent customer service if you ever need it! That goes a long way these days!

Where To Stay in Whistler

If you are packing your bags for Whistler, then you are likely spending the night! Whistler has plenty of hotels, AirBNB’s, cabins and hostel style accommodations. Whether you are looking for luxury, family friendly or budget accommodation in Whistler, there are options for your stay!

Below I have listed some popular properties in Whistler to stay.

LUXURY: Four Seasons Whistler – The Four Seasons is one of Whistler’s luxury 5 star properties. The Four Seasons Whistler has a swimming pool and hot tub. They offer a bike valet that is convenient and safe. In the winter, I love the ski valet option where you can leave your skis at the ski hill instead of having to bring them back to the hotel. Four Seasons is located in the Upper Village near the Blackcomb Gondola.

MIDRANGE: Delta Hotel Whistler – The Delta offers rooms with full kitchens. This is ideal for those who like condo style accommodation but want the convenience of a hotel. There is coin laundry on site which may be needed to dry out wet ski gear or bathing suits. The Delta is in Whistler Village close to everything.

MIDRANGE: Aava Hotel Whistler – Aava hotel is a midrange hotel in a great location. It is a short walk to the Gondola and just 2 minutes walk from Whistler Village.

BUDGET: Pangea Pod Hotel – Pangea Pod Hotel is conveniently located in the middle of Whistler, and is within 200 m of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. It is ideal for modern hostel-style accommodation right in the village

AirBNB‘s are another great option as they offer more space. Most are designed for 4 or more people making them perfect for families or trips with friends. You can read more about Whistler AirBNB’s or check out my go-to favorite here. One downside to AirBNB’s is that they are not all in the village.

Whistler - River of Golden Dreams at Alta Lake

Whistler Packing List

Whistler is a year-round destination and your packing list is obviously going to be much different if you plan to ski or visit in the winter. Below you will find things you need at any time of year, as well as things just for winter, things you will want if you are traveling to whistler with kids, and things you might want to pack if you are going for a special occasion like a bachelor party or fun weekend trip with friends!

Packing your Bags for Whistler

I personally do not like backpacks, and use rolling suitcases almost whereever I go. I also do not pack light and do not like to stuff everything into a small bag. If you are like me, you are going to want a full size suitcase when you are packing for whistler. If it is just a local weekend getaway for you, a smaller rolling suitcase or weekend bag will also work. It is going to depend on the season. Winter packing takes up a lot more space than summer packing!

If you hate having to deal with wheels and prefer to have your hands free, then traveling with a travel backpack might be better for you.

Keeping it all Organized

While ziplock bags have been my go-to in the past, once I discovered packing cubes I have not traveled without them. I can get an entire kid’s wardrobe into one packing cube and it makes organizing my suitcase a breeze! I have different colored cubes for each person and then another cube for accessories. I do not do much with the small ones, and stick to the larger sized ones.

I pack my Toiletries are in a handy toiletries bag and then the shoes/sandals and other miscellaneous items are packed around the cubes.

Daypacks for Summer or Winter in Whistler

If you are the kind of person that wants to ski with a backpack, then you are going to want a good daypack. And it likely needs to be a backpack. In order to not be too bulky, you are going to want one that is not bulky. You will want it to fit snug so it does not put you off balance while you are skiing or boarding down the hill. I would suggest something like this that is 16 to 24 litres.

Electronics to Pack

You can go overboard here, so pack what suits your needs and depending how much space you have. Bring your phone and camera for some stunning photo ops! If you are an avid skier or planning on ziplining through the trees, a go-pro on a selfie stick is super popular to capture your day and share it online with friends and family!

Visiting from Abroad – Pack your Passport

If you are arriving from outside of Canada, you will need to have your passport with you. But you do not need to carry it on you at all times in Canada. Leave it in your hotel room (unless you need it to pick up your lift tickets). But I would not suggest taking it on the ski hill. Getting your passport wet could invalidate it.

Toiletries Packing List for Whistler

While you can get pretty much what you might have forgotten, if you are on a quick trip, the last thing you want to do is find toothpaste on your vacation. This list of toiletries to pack for Whistler will make sure you do not forget the essentials or the comforts!

Toiletries Bag – Whether you prefer one toiletry bag or a few small ones the choice is up to you. Try and stay away from bulky ones and get one like this that is only a few inches tall. This is the one that I use and it holds just about everything I need! Since toiletry bags usually go in last, if you have a bulky one, you are going to have a hard time fitting it into your suitcase. If you like the one I linked above, you can also find it on amazon here.

Toiletries

Chap Stick  – Let me tell you, winter chapped lips are for real! Whether it is the cold air or the wind, you will want chap stick. It is also going to protect you from the winter sun reflecting on the snow. Coming to Whistler in the summer. Its a no brainer that you want to protect your lips from the sun! Bring a good lip balm (I always travel with this one and you can get it on amazon here too) and your lips will thank you!

Shampoo and Conditioner – If you are not picky, feel free to stick with the hotel options, but I have stayed in too many hotels that offer those lovely “conditioning shampoos.” If you are picky on your products, best to bring them along. Also if you want to contribute to using less plastic on vacation, avoid those toiletries in the hotel altogether. I have recently bought a shampoo bar (but still stick with my regular conditioner.) If you want to reduce your plastic consumption, you can check out a cute trial size here.

If you need small containers for your shampoo and conditioner, try these ones. They also work for sunscreen and hand sanitizer! If you are flying into Canada on your trip to Whistler, you are going to need travel sizes for your carry on! If you are a local who is driving up for a holiday, if you have the space, just bring the whole bottle from home!

Dry Shampoo – I do not go anywhere without dry shampoo as I have oily hair. If you are spending some time hiking in whistler or plan to spend the day on the slopes with your hair in a helmet, you might want to add dry shampoo to your packing list

Toothbrush and Toothpaste – don’t forget the simple things.

Hairbrush / Comb and Hair Elastics – Make sure your toiletries bag has everything you need for your hair. If you like to use heat protectants or other products at home, make sure you pack those too (ideally in a travel size).

Hair Straightener / Curling Wand / Hair Dryer – While I rarely pack a hairdryer, if you are picky about it, you might want to bring your own as you may run into a situation where you do not have one (think about who you are traveling with. If its a girls trip, you might want your own products so you are not fighting over the hotel hair dryer). You can even get travel-sized hairdryers and straighteners. Double-check that you get one for North America if you are coming from overseas!

Menstrual Cup / Tampons / Pads – Whatever your preference (I use this one and seriously love it). This is definitely something you can get in Whistler, hell you can get anything in whistler (except kids scooters I found out on my last visit … but that’s a bit off topic). It is a city and people live there. But sometimes on vacation, you do not want to waste time looking for the drug store, so that is why I am giving you everything you need and you get to decide what you bring and what you buy when you get there!

Razors – because it is always pool season in Whistler!

Makeup – Pack your favorites, ensure you have a foundation with sunscreen even in the winter. The snow reflection can cause horrible sunburns!

Sunscreen – As important in the summer as in the winter (whose burns from the reflection on the snow are no joke). Makre sure you pack sunscreen.

Bug Spray – the mosquitos can be bad, especially in the alpine by the water, or at places like the bike park at dusk! Ensure you have good bug spray (not the crappy kids kind.) Get yourself some with deet.

Contact Lens Solution and Case – If you can swing it, bring extra contacts just in case!

Glasses and Case – pack as needed.

Laundry Bag – These are super handy, especially if you do not have in-room laundry. They take up almost no space in your luggage and are waterproof, which is good if you have to bring a wet bathing suit home after your vacation. The one I use is a lot like this. I have actually had it for 10 years and used it when I used to cloth diaper my boys! Now it is the perfect laundry bag for our travels!

Whistler - Whistler Village Blackcomb Base

Women’s Clothing List for What to Wear in Whistler

Base Layers (winter, spring and fall) – If you are planning on skiing, get yourself some base layers. It can be VERY cold in the winter. I like Smartwool merino base layers. The merino wool means they do not smell. Their winter warmth is great for whatever Whistler weather can throw at you (the 250 weight is their winter weight). Their everyday weight clothing is perfect for hiking and everyday wear!

Ski Jacket and Pants (ski season only) – If you plan on skiing, boarding or even tubing at Whistler, you are going to want ski gear! Even popular activities like zipling and vallea lumina recommend snow pants for walking around in the fresh powder conditions! While temperatures are usually sub-zero, we did get a bit wet at the bottom of the hill, so make sure your gear is waterproof (I replaced mine this year after finding out that it was no longer doing the job). If you are buying something JUST for Whistler, do not break the bank, get something online like this

Rainjacket (spring, summer and fall) – Even in the summer months, it can be rainy in Whistler. It is on Canada’s West Coast. A rain jacket takes up very little room and can come in handy. Gortex is the best when it comes to rain gear but anything made of Gortex is more expensive (but worth it!)

Down Vest – If you are investing in gear, get decent stuff. Down vests are going to be a lot better and warmer and make a great mid layer or top layer depending on the weather. They are great with a merino base layer for hiking or ice skating!

Winter Socks (ski season only) – get yourself a good pair of merino wool socks. I wear Smartwool ones. These will keep you warm and you only really need one pair for the trip, they wont stink because they are wool! I use smartwool all year round, when I am not skiing, I wear their wool hiking or running socks! Its the only thing I own now!

Bras and Underwear – I pack for 2-3 days and do laundry as needed. But you do you and pack what you are comfortable with! Plan your outfits and bring the right bras, that’s my best advice.

Hiking socks (summer) – if you have the hiking boots packed, make sure you wear some merino socks (as mentioned above, I wear Smartwool!). I wear the same socks all year round, so don’t forget them in your winter bag too!

Button up Shirt – no, not the dressy kind, but the shacket kind. Whether typical Canadian plad or the more recent shacket trending styles, there are plenty of styles to choose from. These are great for layering all year round!

T shirts / Tanks – While I mentioned base layers above, you are going to need something else to wear. I only pack for a 2 day trip regardless of how long I am going since laundry is really easy to come by. So pack your favorites and you will be good

Shorts (summer only) – July and August boast beautiful weather in whistler. Whether in the village, hiking or at the lake, bring a couple pairs of shorts.

Leggings / Hiking Tights – Leggings are very popular in Canada. you can even shop at Lululemon while you are in Whistler Village. There is a TNA (Aritzia) as well. Whether hiking, as a base layer or for cooler summer evenings, I suggest at least one pair for your trip.

Summer dress (summer only) – It could be for by the pool, it could be a bathing suit cover up, it could be for a dinner out or even for the beach, you will want a summer dress in your suitcase in July and August. The shaket I mentioned above is going to be perfect to wear over for after dinner when it cools down!

Jeans – I wear jeans all year round. In the winter, dinners are more casual because of the cold weather, and snow gear is always in style on the patios. But if you are inside, jeans are fine. In the summer, dress them up with a tank or crop top and you are good to go out!

Bathing Suit – It is always pool season in Whistler. The outdoor pools are heated and open all year round. Most hotels will have pools and hot tubs. Make sure the bathing suit is in your luggage! If you are going in the summer, you might want options for the lake and for the pool! No one likes putting on a wet bathing suit.

Evening Wear – Are you going out for dinner. Want to dress up? Whistler has casual dining, fine dining and even nightclubs. You can get away being as casual or as fancy as you like in Whistler. So pack what you are comfortable in and enjoy your night out! (Pro tip: Throw in some short shorts for under a skirt if you plan on biking. Biking around town is extremely popular, you will thank me later when you have something to wear under your dress!)

Sleepwear and Comfy Hotel Clothing – I never travel without a pair of comfy hotel sweatpants. They double as sleepwear with a t-shirt. Pack a pair of PJs and comfy clothes for your hotel.

Shoes and Footwear

Hiking Boots (spring, summer, fall) – If you are planning on a lot of alpine and nearby hiking, you will be thankful for your hiking boots. If you are just planning on wandering around the alpine areas and the trails in the village, runners are fine!

Comfortable Shoes – Whistler Village is a walking and biking kind of place in the summer. Make sure you have comfortable shoes.

Flip Flops / Sandals – something to slip on to go to the pool, and for the summer you will enjoy them while at the beach

Evening shoes / Sandals / Heels / Ankle Boots – again, your level of comfort and your outfit choice will determine what you pack here. We usually ride our bikes into the village so heel’s do not come in my bag. But I see plenty of women wearing them at night!

Winter Boots (ski season only) – you are going to want winter boots in Whistler. One day you can get a dump of fresh powder and the sidewalks are covered in snow, and other weeks if there is no fresh snow you can walk around in runners if you wanted to. But c’mon it is still freezing, keep your feet warm!

Accessories

Hat – you are going to want a hat in the summer months to keep the sun off your face

Toque (winter, spring and fall) – In the winter, you will want a toque! It covers the ski helmet hair too!

Scarf – Whether for winter warmth or a light scarf for a summer accessory, you cannot go wrong with putting one in your luggage.

Ski Gloves (winter) – If you are skiing you are going to want these! Even if you are playing in the snow with kids, or ice skating, warm gloves go a long way! Look for Gore-tex, it is going to keep you warm and dry. One of the best brands is Spyder.

Warm Gloves (winter, spring and fall) – For walking through the village or spending time outside, if you do not have ski gloves, at least make sure to have warm winter gloves. Something like this will do and it is easy to take photos with gloves like this!

Reusable Water Bottle – Canada has some of the cleanest water in the world. There are lots of places to refill bottles in Whistler

Trekking Poles – If you like to hike with trekking poles, by all means, make sure you pack them!

Whistler - Skating in Winter with Kids.

What to wear in Whistler for Men – Your Whistler Packing List

Base Layers (winter, spring and fall) – If you are planning on skiing, get yourself some base layers. It can be VERY cold in the winter. I like Smartwool merino base layers. The merino wool means they do not smell. Their winter warmth is great for whatever Whistler weather can throw at you (the 250 weight is their winter weight). Their everyday weight clothing is perfect for hiking and everyday wear!

Ski Jacket and Pants (ski season only) – If you plan on skiing, boarding, you are going to want ski gear! Even popular activities like zipling and vallea lumina recommend snow pants for walking around in the fresh powder conditions! While temperatures are usually sub-zero, we did get a bit wet at the bottom of the hill, so make sure your gear is waterproof (I replaced mine this year after finding out that it was no longer doing the job). If you are buying something JUST for Whistler, do not break the bank, get something online like this. If you ski often, invest in good waterproof gear.

Rainjacket (spring, summer and fall) – Even in the summer months, it can be rainy in Whistler. It is on Canada’s West Coast. A rain jacket takes up very little room and can come in handy. Gortex is the best when it comes to rain gear but anything made of Gortex is more expensive (but worth it!)

Winter Socks (ski season only) – get yourself a good pair of merino wool socks. I wear Smartwool ones. These will keep you warm and you only really need one pair for the trip, they wont stink because they are wool! I use smartwool all year round, when I am not skiing, I wear their wool hiking or running socks! Its the only thing I own now!

Hiking socks (summer) – if you have the hiking boots packed, make sure you wear some merino socks (as mentioned above, I wear Smartwool!). I wear the same socks all year round, so don’t forget them in your winter bag too!

Hoodies / Sweater – for cool summer evenings you are going to want layers. Pack a comfortable sweater for in the evening any time of the year. These can double as layers for hiking.

T shirts – While I mentioned base layers above, you are going to need something else to wear. I only pack for a 2 day trip regardless of how long I am going since laundry is really easy to come by. So pack your favorites and you will be good.

Shorts (summer only) – July and August boast beautiful weather in whistler. Whether in the village, hiking or at the lake, bring a couple pairs of shorts.

Jeans – I wear jeans all year round. In the winter, dinners are more casual because of the cold weather, and snow gear is always in style on the patios. But if you are inside, jeans are fine.

Bathing Suit – It is always pool season in Whistler. The outdoor pools are heated and open all year round. Most hotels will have pools and hot tubs. Make sure the bathing suit is in your luggage! If you are going in the summer, you might want options for the lake and for the pool! No one likes putting on a wet bathing suit.

Evening Wear – Are you going out for dinner. Want to dress up? Whistler has casual dining, fine dining and even nightclubs. You can get away being as casual or as fancy as you like in Whistler. So pack what you are comfortable in and enjoy your night out! Do not forget the shoes as well.

Sleepwear and Comfy Hotel Clothing – I never travel without a pair of comfy hotel sweatpants. They double as sleepwear with a t-shirt. Pack a pair of PJs and comfy clothes for your hotel.

Shoes and Footwear

Hiking Boots (spring, summer, fall) – If you are planning on a lot of alpine and nearby hiking, you will be thankful for your hiking boots. If you are just planning on wandering around the alpine areas and the trails in the village, runners are fine!

Comfortable Shoes – Whistler Village is a walking and biking kind of place in the summer. Make sure you have comfortable shoes.

Flip Flops / Sandals – something to slip on to go to the pool, and for the summer you will enjoy them while at the beach

Winter Boots (ski season only) – you are going to want winter boots in Whistler. One day you can get a dump of fresh powder and the sidewalks are covered in snow, and other weeks if there is no fresh snow you can walk around in runners if you wanted to. But c’mon it is still freezing, keep your feet warm!

Accessories

Hat – you are going to want a hat in the summer months to keep the sun off your face

Toque (winter, spring and fall) – In the winter, you will want a toque! It covers the ski helmet hair too!

Ski Gloves (winter) – If you are skiing you are going to want these! Even if you are playing in the snow with kids, or ice skating, warm gloves go a long way! Look for Gore-tex, it is going to keep you warm and dry. One of the best brands is Spyder.

Warm Gloves (winter, spring and fall) – For walking through the village or spending time outside, if you do not have ski gloves, at least make sure to have warm winter gloves.

Reusable Water Bottle – Canada has some of the cleanest water in the world. There are lots of places to refill bottles in Whistler

Trekking Poles – If you like to hike with trekking poles, by all means, make sure you pack them!

Whistler - Ski Hill Magic Chair

What to Pack for Whistler in Winter: Essential Skiing Gear / Snowboarding Gear

While I have mentioned all of the basic clothing, base layers, ski jacket and pants, gloves, toque, you may want to also look into these items.

Consider buying Skis or a snowboard if you are local. It is much less hassle than renting and being fit for gear, especially if you ski often. Hotels and Condo’s offer ski valet (we leave ours in the car often and drive to the Blackcomb Magic chair since my kids are still young)

Consider heated jackets. If you are always cold, these are a great investment. Or even a heated vest. There are so many kinds, it is impossible to even say where to start. But here is one to check out.

Ski Helmet – Those without a helmet are now an exception on the hills. A few days rental is almost the same as buying one. If you are going to be skiing again, consider buying one instead of renting.

Ski Goggles – Keep the wind and the snow out of your eyes are you are riding down the hill (or on the chairlift) with a pair of ski goggles. there are so many options out there. Start with this one.

Skates (winter) – If you already own skates, pack them for the outdoor skating rink. It is $3 if you have your own skates and $8 including skate rental. It’s one of the fun winter things to do in Whistler. It is actually my kid’s favorite thing to do in the village!

Sleds (winter) – If you have kids, pack the sleds too! You can sled in Olympic park (and a few other places too!)

Visiting at Christmas? Read this guide to Whistler at Christmas.

Canada Packing List for Whistler summer winter
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