What to Pack for Visiting Banff in the Winter

What to Pack for Visiting Banff in the Winter

If there’s one thing Lloyd Christmas got right, it’s that you need to double up on clothing when you visit the Rocky Mountains in the winter—especially the Canadian Rockies.

Up in these cold, windy mountains lies Banff, one of the most remarkable and magical places you can visit in the western hemisphere. It’s filled with endless trails to hike and water so blue, you’d think you were inside a fantasy story. But what about the winter?

Banff is just as great a place to visit in the winter! You can ski the Big 3, ice skate on the blue waters, and even go tubing. Plus with all the shops and restaurants, you won’t be bored for a second.

Your packing list for Banff in the winter will be much different than other seasons. You need to prepare and do your research, figuring out what you will be doing and then pack accordingly. Items like a Nomatic Bag can fit everything you will need for a week in the Rockies.

As you get ready for your trip to Banff, check out some of the top items we recommend you take with you on your vacation.

Warm and Waterproof

Where is Banff? It’s north. Waaay north. This means temperatures can range from 30 degrees F to -40 degrees F in the winter. Dressing for the winter season isn’t always about dressing warm, it’s also about staying dry. If you plan on spending a good amount of time outside in the snow, you need items that are going to repel the moisture.

  • A thermal waterproof jacket is going to keep you warm and dry through your adventures across the frozen landscape.
  • Waterproof snow pants are a must, as well. You’re going to be trudging through snow, most likely. Or, maybe you biff it a lot on the slopes. Either way, keep your legs protected against the snow.
  • Double up on these layers. Having a good pair of thermal leggings or a long-sleeve shirt under your coat gives you an extra layer of defense. Canada winters are no joke, so take all precautions when outdoors.


Layering might present a problem with sweating. Sweating in the winter is not ideal, as it can make you cold! So when picking out undergarments, shirts, or thermals, find some that have moisture-wicking technology to keep your skin dry.

This goes the same for socks. People often forget their feet sweat, even in the winter. Tucked inside a boot that’s tied tight with a thick sock inside is a recipe for cold toes. Don’t tighten your boots up all the way—you want air to get into your shoe—and get a good sock that’s not going to make you sweat.

Hands and Feet

Do you remember growing up and your parents would buy you boots that were two sizes too big for your feet? It seems like that’s still the trend when people get older. It shouldn’t need saying, but here it is—-invest in good boots! These will be one of the most expensive purchases for your winter attire, but a good quality boot can make all the difference.

Just because a boot is bigger doesn’t mean it’s more efficient for the snow and cold weather. Plus, if a boot is too big, it’s going to be uncomfortable on long hikes in deep snow. Make sure you get a boot that’s going to give you the freedom to move but keep your feet warm and dry.

Next on the list are a good set of gloves. Are you somebody who struggles with cold fingers in the winter? Mittens are a better choice as they keep the fingers close together and warm. Oh, and did we mention that you should make sure they are waterproof?

Other Items

Here are other pieces you should take with you on your trip:

  • Warm hat
  • Scart
  • Swimwear (there are some good hot tubs up in Banff)
  • Sunglasses, because the snow is bright and you need to take care of your eyes
  • Lip balm
  • Hand warmers
  • Various clothes to help you enjoy a night on the town or next to the fire.

What are you going to pack all this stuff in? Luckily, Nomatic makes the perfect bag for just this kind of occasion. Their travel bags make it easy to fit everything inside and take it on the plane without any problems. With innovative strap systems, a built-in laundry bag, and compartments for all your specific items, you’ll be glad you didn’t leave home without one.

Order yours today and start your journey into the Great White North!