I am not going to lie, I love MEC with a passion. Whenever I’m in the area I drop in to take a look and usually end up purchasing something. MEC stocks everything you need to take part in the ultimate Canadian adventure: exploring the outdoors.
MEC is a fantastic equipment and clothing store, and it’s also one of the best places to rent outdoor gear. MEC offers equipment rentals for snow sports, camping, rock climbing, water sports and more, for an affordable price. They also have a very knowledgeable staff that you can ask about fittings and where you should go for your next adventure.
MEC is as Vancouver as it gets. In the 1970s a group of mountaineers were fed up that they had to go to the US to get good gear, so they formed their own store that re-sold US gear (like what Pirate Joe’s does now). Now, MEC has stores across Canada, its own brand of good quality gear, and an amazing return policy.
The link below goes directly to the Vancouver equipment rental page, but you should really explore the entire website; there’s an online gear swap, listings for MEC events and courses, gear inventory and pricing. This spring MEC has events and courses on back-country hiking, as well as running, backpacking and snowshoeing clinics!
Local tip: Call beforehand to reserve skis or snowshoes for long weekends or holidays (or if you’re attending a music festival), because they can get booked up quickly.