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Four seasons and four layers: How to be prepared for the weather in Vancouver.

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

You can’t experience Vancouver without all its seasons and weather. The average temperature goes as low as 1°C in the winter and as high as 23°C in the summer, but wait! It’s not that simple. In fact, summer 2021 was scorching for Metro Vancouver with a heatwave that broke an all-time record of 37°C. With climate change, scientists are saying that it is more likely to start seeing extreme fluctuations in temperature. That got serious there…what we are trying to say is that it’s not all rainy days during the winter and not all sunny days during the summer. You never know what to really expect every year.

Are you now worried about what to pack? Don’t worry, we got you 😎


Vancouver has all seasons, beautiful springs, warm summers, colourful falls, a.k.a. autumn and hot chocolate winters. There are activities for every season. They are mostly outdoors, so you will need to be prepared for all temperatures. At Thrivve we live by the concept of layers. Yes, the solution almost always is to wear layers.

Tip: make sure you brush up on your photography skills. There will be a photo opportunity at every corner.

Let’s look at the 4 layers rule that we use at Thrivve. Layer one is the base layer. This could be a t-shirt, thermal top, tank top, blouse or shirt. Layer two is the complementary layer. Think of a cardigan, sweatshirt, sweater or a light hoodie; Layer three is the lightweight jacket. This can be a variety of choices, sporty, casual, formal and more. We recommend one that is rain and wind-resistant. The fourth and final layer is the winter jacket or coat. Invest in a good quality one, but hey, if you like to constantly switch up colours and styles, there are many affordable choices out there that will do the job. We always recommend cruelty-free products, and thankfully they are cheaper. You would be saving money and the animals. Some coats already include a detachable lightweight jacket.

Now that you are familiar with the layers concept, this is how to apply it 😏

Spring, you would probably need Layer 1, 2, maybe also 3. Summer, layer 1 and 2, trust us, layer 2 can come in handy for sure as temperatures can drop, and since we are near the ocean, it can get windy too. For fall, layers 1, 2 and 3. That’s when the rainy days kick in. And last but not least, winter, which is a definite for layers 1, 2, 3 and unless you are a walking furnace, layer 4.

For the winter, along with our layers, you might want to add a scarf, a toque (beanie), gloves or waterproof boots, preferably that has a good grip in case of snow. Let’s not forget an umbrella; many of us have a love-hate relationship with umbrellas.

Tip: Check the weather app before you leave for the day; they are usually accurate.

So remember layers, layers, layers. You won’t get it right at first, but this concept will help you avoid surprises. A lot of activities are outdoors and since it is a walkable city you just can’t hide from the elements, so layering will give you some control on how to fight back.

Naaah, seriously don’t worry, just stay on the lookout for our tips as we will always think about ways to help you tackle obstacles and enjoy this gorgeous city.

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