Buying outdoor gear in Vancouver

Old May 22nd, 2005, 08:41 PM
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Buying outdoor gear in Vancouver


We are travelling from Perth Australia and will be holidaying around the end of September and October through both the west coast Tofino/Banff/Jasper and over in Algonquin, with plenty of hiking, canoeing along the way.

We are predicting we are going to get rained on and wondered if it would be better buying gear in Vancouver as Perth is a fairly warm climate.

Just confirming that we should wait till we arrive to buy gear, and after recommendations for good outdoor gear shops in Vancouver.


Lesa is offline  
Old May 22nd, 2005, 09:43 PM
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Check out Mountain Equipment Co-op at 130 West Broadway. You can surf their web site at

A purchase of a $5 lifetime membership is required.

MEC gear is well made.

There are other brands such as North Face and Sierra Designs.

A good umbrella which collapses into a back pack is indispensable.
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Old May 22nd, 2005, 11:58 PM
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I had not only rain, but very often snow on the mountains during September & October in Banff & Jasper & Whistler.

Therefore it seem to be a good idea to buy outdooor equipement in Canada, althought the main season is over and the shops will prepare for skiing season (more winter equipment and no hiking/summer equipment).

I would not recommend to buy your hiking shoes in Canada. It is better to train the walking with your shoes and most people feel more comfortable than walking with a new shoe.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 01:45 AM
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MEC is a good recommendation. You will also find a number of other shops within a two-block radius.

I agree about the hiking shoes. Best to have something you're sure of before you leave.
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 02:57 AM
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Found a list of dealers (BC & Alberta) for you:

Mountain Magic Equipment P.O. Box 1901 Banff AB
Camper's Village 7208 Maclead Tr S W Calgary AB
Mountain Equipment Co-op 830 - 10th Avenue S. W. Calgary AB
Norseman Ski Shop Ltd 4655-37 St SW Calgary AB
Ribtor Sales 318-11 Ave SE Calgary AB
The Hostel Shop 1414 Kensington Rd NW Calgary AB
Camper's Village 10951-170 Street Edmonton AB
Mountain Equipment Co-op 12328 - 102nd Avenue NW Edmonton AB
Totem Outdoor Outfitters 7430-99th Street Edmonton AB
Track 'N' Trail 10148-82 Ave Edmonton AB
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Edmonton) 7920-103 St. Edmonton AB
Awesome Adventures 314-11 St South Lethbridge AB
Hoyt's Camp 'N' Trail 410-6th St S., P.O. Box 98 Lethbridge AB
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Red Deer) A5-2319 Taylor Dr Red Deer AB

Little Mountain Outdoor Store 33721 Essendene Ave Abbotsford BC
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Kamloops) 261 6 Ave. Kamloops BC
Outdoor Store 20305 Fraser Highway Langley BC
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Nelson) 626 Baker St Nelson BC
Eco Outdoor Sports 2212-6060 Minoru Blvd Richmond BC
Mountain Equipment Co-op Bay #3, 13333 Vulcan Way Richmond BC
Backroads Canadian Outfitters Ltd. 19373-56 Ave Surrey BC
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Terrace) 4746 Lakelse Ave Terrace BC
A.J. Brooks Inc 147 West Broadway Vancouver BC
Great Outdoors Equipment Ltd 222 West Broadway Vancouver BC
Sigge's Sports Villa 2077 West 4th Ave Vancouver BC
The Taiga Works 390 West 8th Avenue Vancouver BC
Westside Sport & Ski 232 W. Broadway Vancouver BC
Far West 1701 Kosmino Road Vernon BC
Valhalla Pure Outfitters (Vernon) 3101-31st Ave Vernon BC
Ocean River Sports 1437 Store Street Victoria BC
Coast Mountain Sports 664 Park Royal North West Vancouver BC
Coast Mountain Sports (Calgary) 664 Park Royal North West Vancouver BC
Coast Mountain Sports (Prince George) 664 Park Royal North West Vancouver BC
Coast Mountain Sports (Vancouver) 664 Park Royal North West Vancouver BC
Coast Mountain Sports (Whitehorse) 664 Park Royal North West Vancouver BC


Greater Vancouver Outdoor Equipment Stores
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
MECs core purpose is to support people in achieving the benefits of self-propelled wilderness-oriented recreation.
Region: Greater Vancouver (Downtown)
130 West Broadway, Vancouver ~ Telephone: 604-872-7858
Sports Junkies
Sports Junkies offers customers a great place to sell or shop for quality used and clearout sporting goods/clothing, footwear and outdoor equipment.
Region: Greater Vancouver (Westside / Port Moody)
600 W. 6th (@ Ash), Vancouver ~ Telephone: 604-879-0666
Altus Mountain Gear (Central Vancouver)
137 West Broadway, vancouver
Phone: (604)876-5255
[email protected]

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Old May 23rd, 2005, 05:37 AM
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MEC is the big store and sells everything you could want/need. Since it moved to Broadway, many similar stores moved to that area as well (like WillTravel points out). I particularly like Taiga Works goods...and have been using their gortex shells for years.

(The last one I had for literally 10 years went to Europe with it twice, camped and hiked all over the place with it in BC, and then the weatherproofing on it seemed to not be working anymore. (The weatherproofing is made by a special fabric that allows sweat to evaporate but doesn't allow allow in water droplets.) I was in the store looking for a fleece and mentioned it to the sales clerk to see if I could fix it somehow...short story...they ended up giving me a brand new one! Apart from this, I prefer the Taiga shells but buy a lot of other things at MEC.)

Undoubtedly, you will need to by a "shell" if you don't already have one. You will seem many Vancouverites walking around town with them on! It's great for layering and keeping off wind and rain. I find it an indispensible piece of travel clothing that allows for hands-free travel (i.e., I don't have to carry an umbrella) when browsing, shopping, etc.

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Old May 23rd, 2005, 07:33 AM
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MEC will meet all your needs. If you can't find it at MEC, it's not worth looking for!
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 05:13 PM
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Excellent, thanks everyone. FYI, already have my hiking shoes, from a trip to Europe, will heed your advice and wait to get shell wear in Vancouver.
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Old Jun 19th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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There is another great store in Vancouver called ECO Outdoor Spots. They have a couple of big stores in Downtown Vancouver and Kitsilano as well as a smaller store beside MEC. Their Kitsilano store has a second floor that has Vancouver's biggest tent display centre with about 30 tents set up. You can check out their website at
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