West Coast Trail
Gear Shopping List



This is the result of planning for a Sea to Sky WCT excursion in June 2011. It expands on a comment on the MEC Q&A site and borrows from Brett's Ultralight Backpacking site and his WCT experience. The stuff I bought is highlighted in orange and I added my comments.

See Photos from the trip.
Now (nov. 2012), many items have been replaced by newer models.


Fans of Ultra Lite backpacking, such as Brett, advocate the use of Trail Runners, light well-ventilated running shoes with an aggressive tread. The special nature of the West Coast Trail suggests a different approach. Long, wet and muddy sections as well as the possibility of heavy rain argue for Gore-tex (waterproof-breathable) boots. The pack weight and variety of footing suggest over-the-ankle boots.

Unfortunately, Gore-tex boots will most probably make your feet sweat. Thus an adequate supply of good socks is important and you should be prepared to take care of blisters (see here).

Here is a list of popular highly-rated Gore-tex boots that I've found on the Internet.

Item Description Source Cost Weight
Columbia Laman Peak Boots (Omni-Tech)
  • Anonymous suggestion on MEC site
  • MEC $129 1.32kg
    Vasque Wasatch GTX REI $175 1.53kg
    Vasque Breeze GORE-TEX XCR
  • Consumer Search Top Choice
  • MEC $179 1.16kg
    Vasque Switchback GTX
  • Liquidation Sale
    Worked out great: light, comfortable and waterproof
  • La Cordee ~ $100 1.3 kg
    Patagonia Nomad GTX BackCountry $185 1.16 kg
    Keen Oregon PCT
  • BackPacker Gear Test
  • MEC
    $190 1.36kg
    Asolo Fugitive Gore-Tex REI
    $215 1.42kg
    Salomon Quest 4D GTX Day Hiking Boot MEC $219 1.36kg
    Zamberlan 760 Steep GT
  • Consumer Search Top Choice
  • REI $270 1.53kg
    Asolo TPS 520 Boots
  • Consumer Search runner-up
  • REI $275 1.7kg
    Zamberlan Trek Lite 2 GORE-TEX MEC $275 1.55kg

    Waterproof Breathable Jacket

    Item Description Source Cost Weight
    Outdoor Research Revel (Pertex Shield)
  • Outdoor Research ($165 US)
  • BackCountry.com ($ 165 )
  •     - Compact, light and waterproof but I didn't like the hood.
        - Falls over the eyes in front
        - Rubs on the ears...so you need to wear a beanie
    SAIL (Laval,QC) $200 385g
    Marmot Minimalist (Goretex Paclite)
  • Marmot ($200 US)
  • Backcountry.com ($170 US)
  • SAIL (Montreal) $250 425g
    Mountain Hardware Typhoon (Goretex Paclite)
  • Mountain Hardwear ($200 US)
  • Trailspace Reviews
  • SAIL (Montreal) $220 425g
    MEC Monsoon (Gortex)
  • MEC
  • MEC $195 845g
    MEC Instigator 2 (Gore-tex Pro Shell)
  • MEC
  • MEC $325 412g

    Rain Pants

    Item Description Source Cost Weight
    Columbia Silver Ridge (Omni-Tech® waterproof-breathable )
  • Columbia ($50 US)
  • SAIL (Laval,QC) $60
    Marmot Precip
  • Marmot ($90 US)
  • BackCountry ($72)
  • Sierra Descent Review
  • SAIL (Montreal) $100
    MEC Hydrofoil (Entrant-DT™ microporous polyurethane)
  • MEC
  • MEC $80 300g
    MEC Typhoon 4 Pants (Gore-Tex)
  • MEC
  • MEC $125 573g

    Sleeping Bags

    Item Description Source Cost Weight
    Hotcore T-200 Ultralight Bag
    - Trueloft Microfibre, 10L
  • Hotcore (Canada)
  • Google search
       - Quite warm and very compact
       - The tapered version wasn't stocked in Quebec
  • Retailers $83 1.3kg
    MEC Cygnet Sleeping Bag -10C (Down)
  • MEC
  • Barrel shape, Duck Down
  • 9.6L
  • MEC $120 1.4kg
    MEC Hybrid Sleeping Bag -12C (Hyperloft & Duck Down)
  • MEC
  • 18L
  • MEC $140 1.6kg
    MEC Habanero Sleeping Bag -7C (Hyperloft)
  • MEC
  • 15L
  • MEC $110 2.1kg

    Hiking Poles

    Item Description Source Cost Weight
    Leki Trail Hiking Poles
  • Leki Poles
  • L.L. Bean ($80)
       - Super poles !!
  • Sail (Montreal) $77 490g
    Black Diamond Expedition Poles from MEC MEC $72 610g
  • MEC Catalogue
  • MEC

    Insulation Layer

    Item Description Source Cost Weight
    MEC Physique 2 Jacket
  • MEC
       - Incredibly warm and light, my favorite piece of gear.
  • MEC $95