Outdoor Store Recommendations: Share Them Here

5:29 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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Have a favorite local outdoor store, boot or pack fitter?

Share your recommendations in a post below. Be sure to state the name and location of the store, its expertise, and any relevant information.

HINT: CLICK ON REPLY (not Quick Reply) BELOW AND PUT THE NAME AND LOCATION OF THE STORE IN YOUR POST'S NEW HEADER.

No advertising or promotions, please. This thread is strictly for customers to recommend local stores and services to fellow outdoorspeople. If you have a professional affiliation with the store please refrain from posting.

5:37 p.m. on January 7, 2009 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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Aardvark Outfitters: Farmington, Maine

I've already detailed this in two blog entries, but if you're looking for AT or tele ski gear, you should definitely visit:

Aardvark Outfitters
108 Fairbanks Road (Route 27)
Farmington, Maine
207-778-3330
www.aardvarkoutfitters.com

They are very thorough, offer exceptional customer service, and are very nice. I've dealt with the owner, Bob, and also Bob and Mike, who work there. Everyone was very courteous and helpful. My husband also has had positive experiences with them.

They're located on Route 27 in Farmington, Maine, on the way to Saddleback or Sugarloaf.

They also offer fly fishing gear and services.

You can also read my blog entries on this subject:

http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2008/12/15/in-praise-of-specialty-outdoor-stores.html

http://www.trailspace.com/blog/2009/01/07/recommend-your-favorite-outdoor-store-to-others.html


(p.s. I guess it's appropriate that Aardvark comes first.)

12:29 a.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
19 reviewer rep
160 forum posts
Wild River Outfitters, Virginia Beach, VA

If you're in Virginia Beach, try

Wild River Outfitters
They have a great and knowledgeable staff and superb customer service. And fairly decent prices and a huge huge selection of gear.

They also do kayak tours here locally.

http://www.wildriveroutfitters.com/
3636 Virginia Beach Blvd. #108
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
757-431-8566

10:35 a.m. on January 8, 2009 (EST)
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1,083 forum posts
Midwest Mountaineering: Minneapolis, MN

In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, head to Midwest Mountaineering. The store is located near the west bank of the University of Minnesota. The store will validate your parking ticket with a purchase. Midwest has been around since the 1960's and has been a real asset to the surrounding area.

http://www.midwestmtn.com/
309 Cedar Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55454
612–339–3433

Midwest sells excellent gear, has great staff and service, and does an excellent job of promoting many outdoor pursuits. The spring and fall expos are outstanding.

The second level of the store is Thrifty Outfitters where many bargains can be had and they do excellent, cost effective repairs.

5:59 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
210 reviewer rep
4,244 forum posts
Teton Mountaineering: Jackson, WY

I live in Jackson Wyoming and the best local store I like is Teton Mountaineering at http://www.tetonmtn.com/
Some other outdoor stores in town have a great selection of gear but Teton Mountaineering has the best customer service team I know of.

8:50 a.m. on January 11, 2009 (EST)
12 reviewer rep
12 forum posts
BentGate in Golden, Colorado

BentGate Mountaineering
1313 Washington Ave
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 271-9382

These guys rock. I'm currently living down in Colorado Springs, and I head up there (hour or so drive) rather than walking down the street for anything more than knicknacks. Every month they have a community night which will often be a ski movie, or a climber coming in. The shop collects donations for local groups like Friends of Berthoud Pass or COlorado Mountain Bike Association and pays outright for the person to come in. And the owner keeps trying to hire me, but that's another story all together.

10:47 a.m. on January 15, 2009 (EST)
32 reviewer rep
119 forum posts
The Outdoor Source in Columbus, Ohio

The Outdoor Source
www.theoutdoorsource.com/

Two Locations:
3121 Kingsdale Center
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
614-457-3620

and

5969 Sunbury Plaza
Westerville OH 43081
614-818-3620

The staff at The Outdoor Source are friendly and knowledgeable, with years of backpacking, climbing, and kayaking experience. They usually hold clinics every month on various aspects of backcountry travel or climbing, and in the summer months they put on kayaking demonstrations at local reservoirs.

Several of their staff have thru-hiked the AT, so in Jan/Feb each year they put on a "Preparing for the AT" clinic.

8:07 a.m. on January 21, 2009 (EST)
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105 forum posts
Pine Mountain Sports, Bend, Oregon

When in Bend, check with Pine Mountain Sports, 255 SW Century Drive, Bend, Oregon, 541-385-8080, www.pinemountainsports.com--store covers all your backpacking, xc/backcountry skiing, snowshoe & mountain biking needs. If new to the area, owner Dan McGarigle is THE resource for anything you need to know in regards to outdoor sports in Central Oregon. Great store, great responsive staff!

12:19 p.m. on January 21, 2009 (EST)
5 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
Travel Country, Orlando

Travel Country in Orlando rocks. Helpful staff, good selection, great prices.
Check it out when you're in Florida.

7:25 a.m. on January 22, 2009 (EST)
110 reviewer rep
762 forum posts
Blue Mountain Sports and Wear - Jim Thorpe, PA

Blue Mountain Sports and Wear - Jim Thorpe, PA, is a great little shop to find all the necessities for a weekend in the Poconos. They offer full service bike repair and bike, sit-on-top, ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals.

At Mauch Chunk Lake, the BMS "Camp Store" offers canoe, sit-on-top, kayak, and row boat, and fishing gear rentals. Add to all his, their bike shuttle and you've got one of the most visitor friendly little shops in this historic coal region town. Nice folks!

If you're in the Jim Thorpe area, tell Tom, "Franklin sent ya!"

http://www.bikejimthorpe.com/

10:24 a.m. on January 24, 2009 (EST)
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16 forum posts
Neptune Mountaineering, Boulder CO

Not withstanding the amazing collection of vintage and historical mountaineering gear festooned on the walls of the store, Neptune carries merchandise from the more innovative manufacturers of apparel and gear. While most stores have one or two people who really know what they are talking about, Neptune staff have " been there and done that"

For backpackers, climbers and mountaineers .. this is the place to shop.

Plus, one of the best micro-brewers in town has a pub next door :)

5:15 p.m. on January 29, 2009 (EST)
85 reviewer rep
28 forum posts
Nashville?

I'm jealous of you all. I live 100 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee in Alabama and usually go to the REI in Franklin. Otherwise, I do my shoping on line.

Does anyone know a better store in Nashville?

2:08 p.m. on February 7, 2009 (EST)
5 reviewer rep
10 forum posts
Re: Campmor.com

It's not a store but here in Cleveland options are few. Campmor.com regularly stocks some of the best gear and clothing and at good prices. Of course you cant handle the product or ask questions but you might find what you want for a decent price.

6:15 p.m. on February 7, 2009 (EST)
71 reviewer rep
440 forum posts
Kansas stores

Local stores include:

Backwoods 4/5

6825 W. 135th Street
Overland Park, KS 66223
913.451.8881
fax 913.451.8861

 

Cabela's 4/5

10300 Cabela Drive
Kansas City, KS 66111
(913) 328-0322

 

Bass Pro Shop 3/5

12051 Bass Pro Dr.
Olathe, KS 66061
Phone: (913) 254-5200

 

Dick's Sporting Goods 2/5

11801 Nall Ave

Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 661-0200

 

My ratings (1-5, 5 best) follow the name. Backwoods has good gear, with somewhat precious prices. Pleasant and (generally) knowledgeable staff, though I've encountered one saleswoman who seemed nearly clueless. Willing to order what you want. Big knock: footwear. Very minimal selection, and skewed toward those who drive their Hummers to the car wash every Saturday. Big plus--my dog was welcome. Another plus--not much gear of the cheaply made, you'll-wish-you'd-never-bought-it variety.

 

Cabela's

Though focused more on the hunting/fishing crowd than the backpacker, and stocked to the gills/antlers with any number of things I'd never buy, Cabela's does have good gear at good prices, though one has to know how to sort wheat from chaff. Salespeople generally knowledgeable and friendly, especially in specialty areas, such as hunting, fishing, archery, etc. Generally not so knowledgeable about backpacking items, etc. Poor selection of packs. Fair selection of tents. Good selection of footwear. Clothing selection spotty at times. Not always well-stocked with smaller sizes.

Bass Pro Shop

Big, like Cabela's, and somewhat more fishing-oriented, but on the whole similar in general appearance, layout, etc. Store brands not as good of quality as Cabela's, IMO. Pack selection poor. Cookware selection not at all backpacking-oriented. Sales staff generally not as knowledgeable as at Cabela's or Backwoods. Fair to good footwear selection. Outerwear/clothing very spotty. Tent selection very modest. Very poor at keeping smaller sizes in stock. Waist size 30 almost non-existent it seems.

Dick's Sporting Goods

General sporting goods store, with fair camping/outdoor section. Better pack selection than Bass Pro, about same as Cabela's, not nearly so good as Backwoods. Cookware selection fair at best. Tents mediocre to good, but modest selection. Footwear selection fair. Sizes in stock variable. Sales staff almost always not worth consulting except on floor location of items. Outerwear/clothing selection not as deep as Cabela's/Bass Pro, but quality as good or better than Bass Pro, about same as Cabela's, with notable exception for specialty wear like waders, fishing gear, cold-weather hunting apparel, etc.

 

Disclaimer: I do not now, nor have I in the past worked for or been employed by any of the above, nor am I related to anyone who is/does/was/will be. Caveat emptor.

4:30 p.m. on March 3, 2009 (EST)
153 reviewer rep
460 forum posts
Sierra Trading Post

There are NO local outdoor retailers in my area save it be Cabela's near Wheeling West Virginia.

My favorite online retailer seems to be Sierra Trading Post. I've purchased alot of gear from them lately. They always seem to have good deals going and great selection.

8:41 p.m. on March 10, 2009 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
352 forum posts
Spirit West, AB, Canada

Great store with some crazy russian gear. if you're looking for inovative/hard to find specialised gear in Alberta it's the place to go. They even carry some silnylon..

-Franc

12:31 p.m. on March 13, 2009 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
119 forum posts
Mountain High Outfitters

Mountain High Outfitters. www.mountainhighoutfitters.com

Have two well stocked shops in Birmingham, Al.

7:10 p.m. on March 23, 2009 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
649 forum posts

Is this store for physical stores only of is this form for online stores as-well. If not is there a form like this one for online stores too?

11:23 a.m. on March 27, 2009 (EDT)
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1 forum posts
Re: Campmor

You can call the retail store and ask for the deparment you want. I am a former employee and we used to field calls from catalog shoppers all the time. You can call the toll-free cat # and ask to be transfered to the store.

10:17 p.m. on April 1, 2009 (EDT)
141 reviewer rep
218 forum posts
In Lafayette and Baton Rouge, LA

In Lafayette, LA is the Pack and Paddle, which is probably the best outfitter in the state. Great people, great service, and great gear (especially for going light).

http://www.packpaddle.com/

 

In Baton Rouge we have 2: The Backpacker

http://www.backpackerbr.com

and Massey's

http://www.masseysoutfitters.com/shop/

7:32 p.m. on April 3, 2009 (EDT)
52 reviewer rep
23 forum posts
Oregon Mountain Community, Portland OR

http://www.e-omc.com/

 

This place is right in the middle of town and, unlike most outdoor stores in the area, you don't have to stiff-arm through a flock of middle-management sheeple in North Face to get to the racks. The website has tons of pretty good deals on proper gear and clothing.

12:59 a.m. on April 18, 2009 (EDT)
71 reviewer rep
440 forum posts
The North Face, Kansas City

2/5 (One can look above to see how this compares to other local stores.)

The North Face has over the last several years seemingly moved toward servicing the chrome-wheels-on-the-Hummer crowd as much or more than people who might actually camp, hike and that sort of stuff. This store just reinforces that impression.

Granted, it's in Kansas City, not Bozeman. In the "Country Club Plaza" at that, said area being the hoity-toity shopping domain of the city. So I guess it's not exactly a shocker to find that their store focus seems squarely focused on looking like one spent a lot of money in order to look like one could climb Denali right now if one didn't have to finish a cappucino first. They most certainly do have some quallity gear, but it's given less space, at the back of the store, than the uber-fashionable stuff.

And the real gear selection is sketchy at best. The sleeping bag options present were atrocious, and there were all of about five different tents available. One way of evaluating an outdoor store might be on the basis of how well one can outfit oneself with the Ten Essentials. On this count, the TNF store in KC fails early and often.

Maps--essentially none.

Compasses--one, a quite serviceable Suunto MC-2, on the backside of a display in the very back of the store.

Fire--one very expensive Sogg lighter.

Knife--a couple of Sogg multi-tools and one other similar.

Shelter--few choices, only one set up.

Sleeping bags--low-end synthetics; no down bags.

Clothing--no decent technical shirts beyond the t-shirt level. Lots o' fleece, though, esp. the Denali jacket and variations thereon. (The Denali is a GREAT product, btw, making up for a large number of other sins.) The sizes of the backpacking/hiking friendly pants were all clustered in the gargantuan size ranges. Socks--fair selection of good product. Footwear was all TNF, of course, but not even all of their own choices. Good shells and pants available.

Lights--a few Petzl headlamps.

First aid. What's that?

Repair kit/supplies. Ummmmm......

Food--none.

Water bottles, etc. Some camelbak reservoirs and Sigg bottles.

Staff knowledge. Well, we're working on that.....

5:57 p.m. on May 30, 2009 (EDT)
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5 forum posts
Campsaver.com - Logan, UT

I am not going to lie, I currently work for www.Campsaver.com and to be honest I really like it here, bias included. Campsaver.com has a great return policy and usually does price matching. Campsaver.com is awesome.

If you are ever in Logan, UT Stop by "The Trailhead". This is Campsaver's retail location: 31 N Main, Logan, UT, 84321

4:30 p.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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33 forum posts
Alabama Outdoors

Try Alabama Outdoors. I do not know how close they are to you, but I've got few good deals from them when I lived in knoxville. I hope this helps.

4:33 p.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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33 forum posts
Alabama Outdoors and Rock Creek Outfitters

I'm jealous of you all. I live 100 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee in Alabama and usually go to the REI in Franklin. Otherwise, I do my shoping on line.

Does anyone know a better store in Nashville?

Opps! Sorry for the double reply, but try Alabama Outdoors. I think they have a place in Huntsville, Ala. Also there is Rock Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga, TN if you are not too far west and south of Chattaooga.

http://www.alabamaoutdoors.com/

10:11 p.m. on June 6, 2009 (EDT)
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63 forum posts
Eastern Mountain Sports (ems)

Eastern Mountain Sports (ems)

It is mostly centered around.....eastern mountain sports. haha

If you live anywhere in the northeast, you should look up a location. They have a generally wide variety of activities- kayaking, climbing, hiking, camping, running, cycling, etc. as well as climbing classes. be warned this is not the cheapest place in the world but they got quality stuff.

Ps- I applied at 2 different locations and they don't like to call you back!

5:46 p.m. on June 9, 2009 (EDT)
30 reviewer rep
10 forum posts
Online - Steep and Cheap

I almost don't want to share this, but I'm sure many of you know about it already: http://www.steepandcheap.com. Deals on one product at a time until it's gone. First come, first serve. Check it out!

1:51 p.m. on July 3, 2009 (EDT)
7 reviewer rep
134 forum posts
Arizona Hiking Shack, Summit Hut

Arizona Hiking Shack
www.hikingshack.com
11649 N Cave Creek Rd # 8
Phoenix, AZ 85020-1330
(602) 944-7723

and

Summit Hut
www.summithut.com
5045 E. Speedway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 325-1554

Arizona Hiking Shack is a small store that caters to backpackers and miners. Somewhat limited selection, but always top quality gear.

Summit Hut is big; an REI size selection without the "high fashion" feel.

7:22 a.m. on July 16, 2009 (EDT)
85 reviewer rep
28 forum posts
Laacke and Joys in Milwaukee

Laacke and Joys in Milwaukee Wisconsin on Water street downtown.

http://www.laackeandjoys.com/index.htm

I spent last week camping in the Raddison Hotel with my family near Milwaukee. One day while exploring the downtown area, we went into Laacke and Joys. Wow! This is a great gear store.

The main floor displays patio furniture and a good selection of clothing. The second floor has tents, camping gear and kyacks. In the tent area, there were about twenty tents set up and available for inspection. Sales personnel were knowledgeable and happy to provide information and advice.

The store is located on the Milwaukee River and offers kyacks for rent for a reasonable rate by the day.

10:49 a.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
4 forum posts
REI - many locations

REI has a satisfaction-guaranteed policy that is hard to beat. If you're unhappy with your gear purchase, or if it fails you, just bring it back and you get a new one. No questions asked. (They sell the returned gear periodically at "Scratch and Dent Sales."

If the item is several years old and no longer available, they look up your info in the computer and find out what you paid for it and either give you the money back or credit that much toward a new purchase.

It's hard to justify buying anywhere else with this kind of return policy. My 2-season-old Merrill boots ripped open and I'm getting new ones, even though Merrill's warranty was only for 1 year. We just replaced an REI tent that we ripped on our last camping trip. A friend got new XC boots after the 3-pin fitting ripped out, and they were 10 years old! I asked for seam sealer for a 12 year old rainsuit and instead they gave me full price toward a new one! Even though the last price listed in their computer was a much lower closeout price and it was a gift and I didn't have a receipt, or the date of purchase (though I knew what year because my sister was pregnant that Christmas!).

This policy holds whether it is an REI brand item, or another manufacturer's item sold at REI. They also have online sales.

12:06 p.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
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19 forum posts
Snow + Rock, London

Snow + Rock
4 Mercer Street
London WC2H 9QA
http://www.snowandrock.com

At Snow + Rock, the prices are not higher than in rival stores. Furthermore, the range of goods is excellent and the layout is not uncomfortably cramped.

As far as I know, Snow + Rock is the only stockist for Arc'teryx gear in central London.

3:16 p.m. on August 22, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
Cotswald Outdoor, England

Cotswald Outdoor. A UK supplier with stores in Plymouth and Exeter in the southwest of England. Stock Merino Wool socks and shirts, Pertex warmer jackets, and e-vent jackets (superior to to gore-tex). The staff know their shit, and will explain the the best gear. Individual items are pretty f-ing expensive, but worth the cost.

8:01 a.m. on August 24, 2009 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
Greenman Bushcraft, UK

This shop probably won't be very local to many of you, but it is still useful; and will ship to the US if you ask.

Greenman Bushcraft www.greenmanbushcraft.co.uk

The provide me with all my kit. They stock Bushcraft knives, survival gear, rucksacks, clothing, and loads of other bits and bobs. They specialise in bushcraft equipment, but also stock other products such as environmental education gear, hiking kit, etc.

Worth checking out anyway.

Bern

10:11 a.m. on August 29, 2009 (EDT)
65 reviewer rep
168 forum posts
Great Outdoor Provision Company, North Carolina

Great Outdoors Provision Company -- locations in several cities in North Carolina.

I use the one in Greenville, which is about 45 minutes from where I live. The staff is knowledgeable and the store is well-stocked. Prices are comparable to any brick-and-mortar store I've visited.

10:35 a.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
32 forum posts
Re: Sierra Trading Post

I purchase almost all my gear from Sierra Trading Post and Campmor

10:40 a.m. on September 2, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
32 forum posts
Great Outdoor Provision Company

Great Outdoors Provision Company -- locations in several cities in North Carolina.

I use the one in Greenville, which is about 45 minutes from where I live. The staff is knowledgeable and the store is well-stocked. Prices are comparable to any brick-and-mortar store I've visited.

I work for Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation and we purchased 8 kayaks from GOPC and they gave us the best deal by far. I have also shopped in the Greenviile store which is 45 min from where i'm from.

Where do you stay Brerarnold?

10:32 p.m. on September 3, 2009 (EDT)
72 reviewer rep
311 forum posts
Re: REI - many locations

REI has a satisfaction-guaranteed policy that is hard to beat. If you're unhappy with your gear purchase, or if it fails you, just bring it back and you get a new one. No questions asked. (They sell the returned gear periodically at "Scratch and Dent Sales."

If the item is several years old and no longer available, they look up your info in the computer and find out what you paid for it and either give you the money back or credit that much toward a new purchase.

It's hard to justify buying anywhere else with this kind of return policy. My 2-season-old Merrill boots ripped open and I'm getting new ones, even though Merrill's warranty was only for 1 year. We just replaced an REI tent that we ripped on our last camping trip. A friend got new XC boots after the 3-pin fitting ripped out, and they were 10 years old! I asked for seam sealer for a 12 year old rainsuit and instead they gave me full price toward a new one! Even though the last price listed in their computer was a much lower closeout price and it was a gift and I didn't have a receipt, or the date of purchase (though I knew what year because my sister was pregnant that Christmas!).

This policy holds whether it is an REI brand item, or another manufacturer's item sold at REI. They also have online sales.

This is why there prices are so high.On sale i will purchase from them but find it a little off base trying to return something i have used for 10 years or more and is damaged by me rather than a fault in the product.ymmv

11:15 p.m. on September 3, 2009 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
649 forum posts
REI

I agree with Skimanjohn. No doubt REI has a superior costumer service policy but I myself would not try to return some thing that I wore out. If I bought a pair of boots that had a year warranty and in 9 months they had a problem yes I would return them. If they had a problem in 13 months possibly but more than that no way. If a item of gear had a lifetime warranty and it was a reasonable amount of time after sale yes I would take it back to the store but after that I would contact the manufacture and not expect the store to that I bought it from reach into there pocket 10 years later. That's part of the reason why prices are so high now. The rule that states the customer is always right is not really true its only when in reason.

8:07 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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34 forum posts
The Fifth Season, Mount Shasta, CA

Mount Shasta, CA

The Fifth Season

300 N. Mount Shasta Blvd.

Mount Shasta, CA 96067

530-926-3606

530-926-5555 (Their mountain report)

www.thefifthseason.com/

Leaf is the owner. Jacque is manager. Both are great.

A well rounded, well stocked local store.

3:04 p.m. on September 25, 2009 (EDT)
26 reviewer rep
241 forum posts
Moor & Mountain: North Andover, Mass.

Local for me. North Andover, MA

http://www.moor-mountain.com

8:18 p.m. on September 26, 2009 (EDT)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts
LA

Surprisingly enough, LA has few real outdoor stores. There are a few REIs, a couple of Sport Chalets (local chain similar to REI in store size, but more general than REI); Sports Authority; a couple of Dick's and A16-a small chain with some high end gear and fairly knowledgeable staff.

If you read Chris Ayres's book, "War Reporting for Cowards", which is very funny, btw, ignore his glowing description of "A19" on Sunset. He made that up for some strange reason. A 16 in LA is on Pico in WLA and they have a couple of others scattered around. That is where he must have been shopping.

Doc's Ski Haus in Santa Monica has high end ski gear and H&H jobbers in Manhattan Beach and the garment district downtown has great deals on ski and snowboard wear. I got a nice one piece downhill ski suit there for about 50% off retail. There is a North Face store in Beverly Hills-pretty big, but no deals.

As far as I know, no one sells tele gear at all in LA; REI has some XC gear during the season.

6:53 a.m. on September 27, 2009 (EDT)
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1 forum posts
Woodlands Edge, Dahlonega, Ga.

Woodlands Edge, Dahlonega, Ga.

Great people, they know their stuff and are extremely helpful. Inventory is great too. I get most of my stuff from them, they have never steered me wrong.

9:23 a.m. on October 17, 2009 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts
Mel Cotton's and Sunrise Mountain Sports: Silicon Valley

In Silicon Valley, the two local musts are Mel Cotton's (http://www.melcottons.com/) in San Jose and Redwood Trading Post in Redwood City: http://www.redwoodtradingpost.com/

Sunrise Mountain Sports in Livermore is an East Bay fave (http://www.sunrisemountainsports.com/and Sports Basement in San Francisco is pretty popular http://www.sportsbasement.com/

I just moved to the North Carolina Triad region and made my first visit to a Great Outdoor Provision Company store in Winston-Salem last week. I was impressed with the selection; if I had someplace to store a kayak I think I'd be getting one there.

3:06 a.m. on November 9, 2009 (EST)
24 reviewer rep
41 forum posts
Rock Creek Outfitters: Chattanooga

I'm jealous of you all. I live 100 miles south of Nashville, Tennessee in Alabama and usually go to the REI in Franklin. Otherwise, I do my shoping on line.

Does anyone know a better store in Nashville?

if ur in NW bama, there is a very good retailer in chattanooga - rock creek outfitters, they have two chattanooga stores

11:31 p.m. on November 12, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
43 forum posts
Cumberland Transit and Blue Ridge Mountain Sports: Nashville

Nashville.

Cumberland Transit is an excellant outdoor store as well as bike shop.

There are two Blue Ridge Mountain Sports stores also.

Both C.T. and the Blue Ridge stores have experienced hikers as staff.

9:21 a.m. on November 22, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
6 forum posts
Mountain Crossings: Neels Gap, Georgia

If I knew then what I know now...

I would have saved my money and headed from my home in Florida to Mountain Crossings at Neels Gap on the AT in Georgia.

Mudpie and I re-entered backpacking about three years ago, fell in love with the AT and plan a thruhike of it. We've wasted time and money through ignorance on too-heavy, not-high quality gear that we've been replacing slowly. We've visited Mountain Crossings twice, had a shakedown, bought some stuff. Terrific service, no pressure sales, even advice to buy some stuff elsewhere. They don't do ultralight at the risk of safety and comfort, but they insist on the lightest possible that's safe. Prices are essentially MSRP, with some discounts. The advice is superb. They have fitted me and Mudpie for packs that have made all the difference.

We began using Campmor and still like it a lot. Very fast service.

9:57 a.m. on November 30, 2009 (EST)
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415 forum posts
Great Outdoor Provision Company

Adding a link for Great Outdoor Provision Company -- http://greatoutdoorprovision.com/shops/ ... this goes to a Google map of all their locations in North Carolina. They're in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Raleigh, Greenville, Greensboro, Charlotte and Chapel Hill.

(Hmm, this sounds like a lineup of NASCAR races).

1:24 a.m. on December 3, 2009 (EST)
2 reviewer rep
66 forum posts
Recreation Outlet, Utah

Recreation Outlet has a bunch of great deals in Utah. Their website is getting better too.

I usually go here first to try to find the gear I need.

http://www.recreationoutlet.com/

7:05 p.m. on December 14, 2009 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
2 forum posts
Re: Alabama Outdoors

Try Alabama Outdoors. I do not know how close they are to you, but I've got few good deals from them when I lived in knoxville. I hope this helps.

That is who I go to for all of my gear, good store and good deals. Empoyees are very helpful too.

8:31 p.m. on December 14, 2009 (EST)
69 reviewer rep
21 forum posts
Kalamazoo Michigan - Lee's Adventure Sports

For Kalamazoo Michigan there's one best choice - Lee's Adventure Sports

www.leesadventuresports.com

2:57 p.m. on December 29, 2009 (EST)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
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1,300 forum posts
International Mountaineering Equipment, North Conway, NH

Top quality gear, highly knowledgeable, and they also rent, sell used gear, and run clinics and classes for rock climbing and mountaineering.

2:28 p.m. on December 30, 2009 (EST)
2 reviewer rep
3 forum posts
Play It Again Sports

Play It Again Sports, even though they specialize in used sporting and workout equipment. They usually have a good selection of all-weather clothing for cheap. Also, when they do get backpacking and camping gear, it is often dirt cheap, since most people don't go there to buy that sort of thing. I bought 3 pairs of patagonia pants there that retail for $50 each for 20 dollars a piece! what a steal.

1:03 a.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts
Re: Pine Mountain Sports, Bend, Oregon

Karmantra

Do you live in Bend? Do you ski up at Meisner? Would you be interested in meeting, I live in Sisters? If so go to my profile and email me.

Jim

5:34 p.m. on January 2, 2010 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
Pittsburgh Area

Pittsburgh Area- Well there is a REI in the South Side, 2 Gander Mountain stores within 30min, a Cabelas/30min away, there was an EMS(Eastern Mountain Sports for those who are unfamiliar) but sadly I have found out that they are no longer here. We have a slew of Dicks Sporting Goods, Dunhams, Sports Authorities, blah blah blah. Only time I go there is if I maybe need a new pair of Merrel Chameleon Stretches or some Under Armor Cold Gear....

1:41 a.m. on January 3, 2010 (EST)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts
Pittsburgh Area

So now it has come to my attention that they just opened another REI here in the Pittsburgh area. 12 miles from my house. In a way I honestly feel bad. There alot of places out there that don't have any type of shops for gear and what not. But then again if it were up to me there would be 2-5 in every town.

2:41 p.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
71 reviewer rep
440 forum posts
Dynamic Earth, Overland Park, KS

Dynamic Earth, Overland Park, KS 4/5

In addition to the stores mentioned in my posts above, there's one I didn't know of at the time but have since used a fair amount: Dynamic Earth. They also have a store in Springfield, MO. They have easily the most knowledgeable staff of any of the outdoor shops around here with regards to hiking/backpacking/climbing/kayaking/canoeing. Good products, good help in making choices. Only complaints are that selection is generally narrow, and often centered on a price point a bit high. (On the plus side, it's hard to buy any "sub-optimal" gear of any sort here.)

3:10 p.m. on January 6, 2010 (EST)
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Re: Dynamic Earth, Overland Park, KS

Thanks for sharing, Perry. My brother lives in Overland Park. Perhaps I'll visit this store sometime when I visit him.

3:51 p.m. on January 8, 2010 (EST)
27 reviewer rep
200 forum posts
Great Miami Outfitters - Miamisburg, OH

80 S. Main Street
Miamisburg, Ohio 45342
Phone: (937) 847-8787
Toll-free: 1-877-947-8787
Fax: (937) 847-8704

http://www.greatmiamioutfitters.com/

Great Miami Outfitters is a small but well-stocked store in my small suburb of Dayton, OH. They maintain an impressive range of selections for the novice to the pro, specializing in the kind of outdoor activities you're likely to encounter in the Midwest. They particularly specialize in kayaking, and have a full-service paddle shop where you can sample floor model kayaks. I don't kayak, but I can only imagine how helpful it is to sit in one before you buy it. I know how particular I am about boots, and those are just for my feet!

Anyway, it's a great store with great staff in the heart of a great little town that once served as a primary Miami-Erie canal stop. Patronize them if you're in the area, or if you're within driving distance of Dayton, make a day trip of it. There's plenty to do here.

2:16 p.m. on January 19, 2010 (EST)
75 reviewer rep
306 forum posts
Little River Trading Co.: Maryville, TN

Little River Trading Co.

2408 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy

Maryville, TN 37804

(865) 681-4141

www.littlerivertradingco.com

Fairly small store absolutely packed full of gear and supplies. They are in a great location as they are on the way to the Smokies, making it a great place to hit up before spending time on the trails. They carry many of the top brands in the business. The sales staff is very knowledgable and have plenty of information about local trails. I just wish they carried some Arcteryx products! Other than that, great little store.

D

11:48 a.m. on January 26, 2010 (EST)
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Chattanooga: a RockCreek review, etc

As others have mentioned Chattanooga, TN has Rock Creek Outfitters, which is currently doing quite well as an online retailer. They have three locations in the Chattanooga area, though one is specifically for whitewater sports. The "downtown" location is alright, and has (at best) an OK range and selection of items. But I find that the atmosphere is much like the TNF store that Perry mentioned: quite elitist and catering to the wealthy green-outdoor-eco-fasionista types who wear TNF and Patagonia to the mall, drive a luxury SUV, and carry their sigg water bottle in a Designer leather clutch….but I digress, sorry.

I am quite glad that I have access to at least one outfitter nearby. However, aside from the reasons above, I find that their staff is often not very knowledgeable or helpful, and their selection and range of gear, though not horrible, is quite lacking in some areas, and they can be VERY overpriced. The biggest issue is that they have NO competition within 100 miles, so they don't really have to try to please the customer like they would if there was an REI or even Cabela's down the street.

Oh, and don't even bother with the location at Hamilton Place Mall- utterly worthless IMO. One of the reps there had never heard of Primus or Optimus. Really??? (they only sell MSR)

If you are a rope user (climber, caver, etc) Chattanooga has OnRope1, a truly world class supplier of vertical gear owned by Bruce Smith, co-author of ON ROPE, the veritable "bible" of North American vertical rope techniques.

Most of my shopping has been online, or in Nashville at Cabela's & REI, where I have found some pretty good deals.

10:30 a.m. on February 6, 2010 (EST)
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23 forum posts
Appalachian Outfitters: Peninsula, OH

Appalachian Outfitters

60 Kendall Park Rd

Peninsula, OH 44264

330.655.5444


Great staff! Always knowledgable and helpful. Willing to talk with you instead of "selling" to you. I'd give them my money any day over Dick's Sporting Goods or some place like that. They have a website, but it's still in the process of being revamped so I didn't post it.

10:30 a.m. on February 17, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
39 forum posts
Sportsman's Warehouse

Sportsman's Warehouse

-Can be found mostly in the western US with a few stores in eastern states

http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/

I have been finding the staff here very helpful and they actually do know things about their products. They carry many well known brands and their prices are fairly close to most of the online retailers. They are a nice alternative when the only other thing we have is REI and Dick's. I plan on making many more purchases with them.

12:56 p.m. on March 4, 2010 (EST)
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4 forum posts
Half Moon Outfitters: SC and GA

My recommendation in South Carolina and Georgia is Half Moon Outfitters. From surfing to climbing to backpacking they got you covered.

I went there a few weeks ago to purchase an Osprey pack for my wife's Valentines gift and the employee who assisted me had just returned from doing the AT. Needless to say, I appreciated his insight.

They have locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville, Savannah and Atlanta and have a great website. Enjoy!!

7:33 p.m. on March 31, 2010 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,295 forum posts
Re: REI - many locations

REI has a great return policy, but IMHO REI isn’t what it used to be. They have gone from a true adventurer’s gear shop to a boutique outdoor merchandiser, marketing mainly items that maximize profit, such as those “hard core birder” shirt and trouser sets, and packs with all manner of pockets for your PC, ipod, cellular and water bladder, yet no straps for your skis, or lash points for you crampons. And the selection of external frame packs is limited to just a few items. Sure you can special order, but what a hassle that presents when procuring something that must fit, like mountaineering and tele boots, or a pack, thus requiring one to return and reorder said item, making the purchase take much more time than should be necessary. You can argue REI is only catering to demand, but REI has purposefully marketed these products, effectively creating demand for these products over other more functional and less expensive items.
I am done with my rant, now excuse me while I go sulk in my canvas tent!
Ed

4:05 p.m. on April 9, 2010 (EDT)
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1 forum posts
RockyMountainTrail.com

I don't know if they have a store front, but they are out of Colorado. I have used them a lot and have been really happy with the prices. They offer free shipping on orders over $25, too, which is the lowest I have seen.

11:33 a.m. on May 5, 2010 (EDT)
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SAN DIEGO AND RIVERSIDE COUNTIES:

NOMADVENTURES

locations in Escondido, Temecula, Idyllwild, and Joshua Tree

All of the right equipment, with SUPERIOR customer service. The staff are extremely knowledgable, and they have great selection. If it's not at one store, they can get it to you w/in a day or so.

http://nomadventures.yolasite.com/locations.php

WEST LA AND SAN DIEGO:

www.Adventure16.com

Many locations and great selection

10:08 a.m. on May 21, 2010 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
20 forum posts
Dynamic Earth, Springfield Missouri

Dynamic Earth

1110 East Republic Road #108
Springfield, MO 65807
(417) 877-8855

Saw the post about the one in KS. but if you're in SW MO this is the place to go for gear. They are a little overpriced, but not much more than you'd pay for shipping online. They are connected to another local company, the south side location of Mama Jeans Natural Foods, in a new green building with giant light gathering skylights and grow-scape on the roof/patio for insulation.

If that doesn't suit your fancy, there is also Ozark Adventures across the street at

1111 East Republic Road
Springfield, MO 65807-5813
(417) 889-6633

Ozarks Adventures sells North Face, Kelty, and Patagonia items, while Dynamic Earth carries Arc-teryx, Marmot, OR, Osprey Kavu, etc. That's talking about apparel, mainly.

As for gear, about the same, while Dynamic has Big Agnes bags and pads, both carry Therm-a-rest, both carry about the same tents, I believe, but I think Ozark Adventures has more. Dynamic has a better variety of paddling gear. I don't know about the climbing gear, personally.

We are also home to the first and best Bass Pro Shops

1935 S. Campbell
Springfield, MO 65807
Phone: 417-887-7334

GPS Coordinates:
37.1798ºN, 93.2973ºW (WGS84/NAD83)

(copied and pasted the whole thing from their website)

They've got a pretty good selection of packs, their bags are lacking, but their tent selection is pretty good. The flashlight section is insanely good, you can spend 5-500 dollars there. The shear amount of random camping gear they have is amazing. The paddling section is quite good, and the place looks great. Plus, if you need and line, tackle, hooks, knives, rounds, powder, arrows, camouflage fake turkeys, boots, waders, etc. they've got that too.

oh, and I'll be moving to Florida soon so if anyone knows of any good gear shops in the Ft. Meyers area, please post it here.

10:16 p.m. on May 27, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
45 forum posts
Wichita, Kansas, area recommendations

Wichita Kansas area

Backwoods in Wichita, KS-very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable

Sportsman's Warehouse in Wichita, KS- this was our overall favorite in central Kansas area until they closed last year. I believe they are mainly in the western states. They usually had a good selection of products and were fairly knowledgeable but would let you shop without hovering and prices were lower than smaller 'specialty' shops.

Gander Mountain, Wichita- We like to go in but often don't seem to find anything that we actually purchase. Very limited stock on tents. Good for shoes and guns though.

12:41 p.m. on June 10, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
200 forum posts
GoFastAndLight

I'm a bit of an aviation fan, so among the blogs I read regularly is the Flying Magazine blog from Lane Wallace. Lane is quite the accomplished pilot, whose adventures include bush flying around Idaho with Harrison Ford. Her new entry today details a mightily positive review of a backcountry accessories dealer by the name of GoFastAndLight. I encourage you all to read her posting and check out the company. She isn't one to lightly offer praise.

http://www.flyingmag.com/blogs/flying-lessons/go-fast-and-light?cmpid=enews061010

http://www.gofastandlight.com/Aboutus.asp

10:44 a.m. on June 29, 2010 (EDT)
16 reviewer rep
19 forum posts
Trailfitters, Dulith, MN

Trailfitters
600 East Superior Street
Duluth, MN 55802-2237
(218) 722-6776

www.trailfittersduluth.com

Admittedly, they're really the only game in town other than Gander Mountain and another store or two geared more towards hunting or canoe trips. Most of it is expensive and boutiquey, but they have a decent selection of Osprey packs at the usual prices and friendly staff.

I'll also second alan's recommendation of Midwest Mountaineering- Backpacker Magazine's 2010 Outdoor Retailer of the Year!

Regards,
Aaron
(in Duluth, MN)

10:09 p.m. on July 26, 2010 (EDT)
9 reviewer rep
29 forum posts
DAC

DAC

Ok, here's one for a non-store - but the best customer support ever. I have several Kelty tents and I was looking for the footprint clips that would attach to the DAC Jake's Foot clips on the tent. After working with Kelty, I contacted DAC directly and we tried to find a retailer for the clips - but without success. The DAC representative, Lan, then offered to send me the clips directly. Customer service doesn't get any better than that. I'll definately look for the DAC logo before I buy another tent.

10:30 a.m. on July 31, 2010 (EDT)
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55 forum posts
Myrtle Beach area

Myrtle Beach area has a Bass Pro Shops and a Coleman outlet. Mostly just average camping gear for the car campers, but some light weight stuff as well. BPS caries some MSR gear, Kelty and packaged foods. Coleman Outlet has a tent sale a couple of times a month during the tourist season.

7:25 p.m. on August 11, 2010 (EDT)
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263 forum posts
Mountain Miser: Englewood, Colo.

I miss Mountain Miser which I saw through a couple of moves over 30 years and located in Englewood, CO. Gone now.

10:43 p.m. on October 4, 2010 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts
Re: Campmor.com

It's not a store but here in Cleveland options are few. Campmor.com regularly stocks some of the best gear and clothing and at good prices. Of course you cant handle the product or ask questions but you might find what you want for a decent price.

Campmor is most definetely a store, though when your there it is hard to believe it's real... It's like Mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. I was fortunate to grow up within a 20 min. drive of their store and though I'm a bit more like 40. minutes away now and I'll pass REI and several others on the way, Campmor is the THE place to go. The people working there are knowledgeable like the veterans who frequent this forum and happy to explain what makes a piece of equipment the right or wrong one for you or what you intend to use it for. You walk in and see people walking around the store wearing full/weighted packs, just trying them on for fit while they shop around the store. They actually have quite a bit of stuff set up so you can try things out to help make a decision.

If you keep an eye on them, their store or website, they have some really great regular sales and specials/clearances.

If your in the Northern NJ/NY area, it's worth a trip. Not too far south of Harriman State Park. If not, order from their website, call them if you need any help at all. They are a stand up company with great quality stuff.

6:01 p.m. on October 9, 2010 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
82 forum posts
Whittaker Mountaineering, WA State

This store, though remote, offers some great equipment along with some of the most experienced staff in the US. Owned by Peter Whittaker (guide for over 25yrs, host of "Trailside: Make Your Own Adventure", his uncle Jim Whittaker was first American to summit Everest in 1963)everyone there seems to have a vast knowledge of outdoor skills. They offer many products I've never seen in any other store. Check them out if you're in the area:

Whittaker Mountaineering
Box W, 30027 SR 706E
Ashford WA 98304

or online at: http://www.whittakermountaineering.com/pg/home

9:22 a.m. on November 20, 2010 (EST)
87 reviewer rep
1,072 forum posts
Outdoor Trails: Daleville, Virginia

The one store which I find courteous and helpful and is local. It's in Daleville, Virgina. They are only two blocks from the Appalachian trail head, THEY OFFER HIKER DROP BOX , MAIL DROP AND SHUTTLE SERVICES THEY ARE LOCATED ON ONE OF THE ONLY EXIT POINTS OF THE TRAIL in Virgina.

I went on a Saturday to buy a gear loft for my tent and the sales clerk took money off for me to help me out. I rate them a (10) very helpful and friendly.   Here's their info.

                                    Outdoor Trails

                                    Botetout Commons shopping center

                                     28 Kingston Drive

                                    Daleville, Virginia

                                    phone (540) 992-5850

                                    www.outdoortrails.com

 

 

5:31 p.m. on December 7, 2010 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
56 forum posts
MEC and Adventure Guide

MEC

Mountain Equipment Co-op...very surprised that it has not been mentioned yet.

http://www.mec.ca/Main/home.jsp

Hands down, THE LARGEST GEAR SELECTION IN ALL OF CANADA, perhaps North America.  Their prices cant be beat either! 

As per 'small' fries in this area...Adventure Guide is great.  I need to mention them as well.  I do shop here because they in fact match MEC prices, although you have to do your window shopping first, and they are closer to me.

http://advguide.com/

6:01 p.m. on December 7, 2010 (EST)
210 reviewer rep
4,244 forum posts

REI, Golite, The North Face, Sierra Trading Post, Eastern Mountaineering Sports, Cabela's....

10:41 a.m. on December 11, 2010 (EST)
26 reviewer rep
56 forum posts

Hey Gary?!

Does EMS have actual outlet stores or are they online distributors only?  I have two EMS garments but I bought them at Winners.

11:08 p.m. on December 12, 2010 (EST)
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78 forum posts
Campmor (NJ, USA) and Cotswald Outdoor (UK)

I second the recommendations of Campmor, New Jersey, USA and Cotswald Outdoor in the UK.

Campmor, for me is about a 45 minute drive from home. Large store and good prices but primarily the usual gear. No disrespect to them. I just usually prefer specialty gear first researched on the Internet, comparing prices and then buy.

EMS has a smaller store next door to Campmor.

Cotswald is also located in Brecon, Wales. It's not a large store, but for the level of area activity, I was pleased. I was there this past August.

8:59 a.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
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Hey Gary?!

Does EMS have actual outlet stores or are they online distributors only?  I have two EMS garments but I bought them at Winners.

EMS (Eastern Mountan Sports) has retail stores in New England and the eastern United States.

Find a store: http://www.ems.com/storeLocator/

10:18 a.m. on December 13, 2010 (EST)
242 reviewer rep
123 forum posts
Re: Campmor.com

I like Campmor, go there and buy a lot from them. Some of there employees are very helpful and know there stuff, but some, more recently, don't know jack. Seems like a lot of kids/younger people just looking for a job and don't have working knowledge of anything and get their info from vendors (some talk like they are reading a text book). Also, Campmor doesn't special order anything unless it's something in their catalog or out of stock. I've tried several times for them to get me something, that could be commonly found elsewhere, but they won't do it. Ramsey Outdoors is not far from them. They have a better staff (knowledgeable, helpful, pretty cashiers :)  ), will order anything, but have limited inventory on hand.

4:05 p.m. on December 21, 2010 (EST)
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1 forum posts

San Antonio, TX;

Good Sports Outdoor Outfitters

12730 IH-10 West #300
San Antonio, TX 78230
210.767.2896 phone
210.694.4137 fax

Email: info@goodsports.com

Whole Earth Provisions

225 E. Basse Rd. (Quarry Market)

210-829-8888

9:26 p.m. on December 22, 2010 (EST)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts
Re: Campmor (NJ, USA) and Cotswald Outdoor (UK)

I second the recommendations of Campmor, New Jersey, USA and Cotswald Outdoor in the UK.

Campmor, for me is about a 45 minute drive from home. Large store and good prices but primarily the usual gear. No disrespect to them. I just usually prefer specialty gear first researched on the Internet, comparing prices and then buy.

EMS has a smaller store next door to Campmor.

Cotswald is also located in Brecon, Wales. It's not a large store, but for the level of area activity, I was pleased. I was there this past August.

I was shocked to see that EMS was still in business. Literally right next to Campmor I didn't think they stood a chance. At least this location seems to be more of a ski boutique' than an outdoors outfitter. Great for the ski bunnies, nothing all that functional, but looks great in the ski lodge. They have another store in the mall in Woodbridge, not much better.

 

Ramsey is a better alternative. They have a new store out near me in Succasunna. Pretty big, lot of stuff. Still like Campmor better.

 

Some of there employees are very helpful and know there stuff, but some, more recently, don't know jack. Seems like a lot of kids/younger people just looking for a job and don't have working knowledge of anything and get their info from vendors (some talk like they are reading a text book)

I've noticed that myself the last couple trips there... That's odd, it wasn't always like that.

Something else I recently found out. Researching things and comparing prices on the net, I went in to Campmor to buy and the price in the store is lower than what they have on the website. The boots I was looking at were $30. less in the store, glad I made the trip instead of just ordering them.

 

Also, if your a member of the NY/NJ Trail Conference you get a 10% discount on most things. Worth the price of the membership and then some.

1:33 p.m. on January 30, 2011 (EST)
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2 forum posts
Re: Great Outdoor Provision Company

I personally believe the great outdoor provision company's return policy is deficient when it comes to handling warranty items compared to REIs. The great outdoor provision is a great outdoor high-end specialty store but refuses to handle warranty claims for any of their products. At the very least they should work with their customers to better remedy a situation that arises when one of the products in which they represent has a manufacturing defect.

1:43 p.m. on January 30, 2011 (EST)
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2 forum posts
Re: REI - many locations

Rei definitely has a superior return and exchange policy in comparison to some of our local specialty retailers like the Great Outdoor Provision company.

I personally believe the great outdoor provision company's return policy is deficient when it comes to handling warranty items compared to REIs. The great outdoor provision is a great outdoor high-end specialty store but refuses to handle warranty claims for any of their products. At the very least they should work with their customers to better remedy a situation that arises when one of the products in which they represent has a manufacturing defect. REI seems to always stand by customers that have issues with the products that they sold.

The fact that everything is kept in their database and a copy of a receipt is not needed is also a great benefit. The great provision outdoor provision in comparison has a 30 day return policy and ask for a copy of the receipt

9:53 p.m. on February 23, 2011 (EST)
17 reviewer rep
14 forum posts
IME (International Mountain Equipment) in North Conway, NH

IME (International Mountain Equipment) in North Conway NH is my go to store for mountaineering and climbing. They have an amazingly well thought out selection and great service.

9:48 p.m. on March 16, 2011 (EDT)
110 reviewer rep
8 forum posts
Wildernest Lancaster, PA

Don't let it's size fool you, there is a bunch of stuff jammed behind those doors.  All of the staff is super knowledgeable, ie:  they spend a lot of time outdoors.  And they do consignments too.

4:21 p.m. on March 17, 2011 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

REI

 

and

 

Bass Pro Shop

7:40 a.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts
Mid-Atlantic area ... D.C. / NOVA

Mid-Atlantic area ... D.C. / NOVA


Hudson Trail Outfitters.   Knowledgeable and helpful staff.   Modest selection, but adequate for hiking, biking, camping.

 

Eastern Mountain Sports.   Knowledgeable and helpful staff.  Good selection for hiking, biking, camping.   Pricey.

 

Blue Ridge Mountain Sports.  Knowledgeable and helpful staff (very).  Good selection for hiking, camping.  Very good prices.

9:52 p.m. on April 5, 2011 (EDT)
122 reviewer rep
69 forum posts
Re: Nashville?

It's been mentioned already Rock Creek Outfitters in Chattanooga, TN and you might try

Bass Pro Shops 

323 Opry Mills Dr
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 514-5200

 

Bink's Outfitters

Stones River Mall Store
1720 Old Fort Pkwy Ste: L-300
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
(615) 895-8909

 

Both of these stores have great customer service and good all around products for the outdoor community.

 

REI and Dick's Sporting Goods of Franklin, Tennessee was also mentioned before. They are nearby Nashville and Murfreesboro, TN.

12:52 a.m. on April 30, 2011 (EDT)
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93 forum posts
Seattle and Bellevue

Two come to mind in Seattle. Second Ascent in the Ballard area of Seattle and Pro Mountain Sports in the University area of Seattle. Pro Mtn Sports owner Jim Nelson is a well known climber/author and quite expert on lightweight gear.

Over in Bellevue we have Marmot Mountain Works.

6:21 p.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
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8 forum posts
Adventure Attic: Dundas, Ontario

Adventure Attic in Dundas is a great little store for anyone in Southern Ontario. Really friendly and helpful staff and they have tons of great stuff at a reasonable price. 

http://www.adventureattic.ca/

7:54 p.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
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617 forum posts

That place looks really good Samson. I'm in Toronto so it's not that far of a drive. I was checking out their website and they have an orienteering class as well. I've been looking for one to sign up for and I think that 'fits the bill'. Thanks for the recommendation!

12:05 p.m. on May 8, 2011 (EDT)
122 reviewer rep
69 forum posts
Mountain Outfitters: Monteagle, Tenn.

I forgot to mention that "Mountain Outfitters" has a place in Monteagle, Tennessee. It is halfway between Nashville and Chattanooga and not too far from Huntsville, Alabama.

They have a good selection of products and experienced staff that are friendly and willing to help where needed.

Here is the website: http://www.themountainoutfitters.com/store/

903 West Main Street
Monteagle, TN 37356-7030
(931) 924-4100

They have given me discounts for loyality as well. I would recommend them for your basics and some specialized gear.

8:30 p.m. on May 26, 2011 (EDT)
318 reviewer rep
56 forum posts
Re: Midwest Mountaineering: Minneapolis, MN

x3 on Midwest Mountaineeing!!

9:35 a.m. on June 7, 2011 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
658 reviewer rep
2,149 forum posts

N2DaWild, Thanks for posting that about Mountain Outfitters. I didn't know they were there; I will have to stop in and check them out sometime.

11:16 p.m. on June 11, 2011 (EDT)
24 reviewer rep
18 forum posts
Vermont: Mountain Travelers and in Brattleboro VT. Has almost everything you could

Mountain Travelers in Rutland, VT. Peter K owns and operates the store. Tele skier and paddler. He keeps top notch gear in stock and he or one of his staff has first hand experience with it. I never got anything there that I was disappointed with.

Watch for his spring penny sale.

Sam's Outdoor Outfitters in Brattleboro, VT. Has almost everything you could possibly need. Great brand selection.

2:00 p.m. on June 12, 2011 (EDT)
141 reviewer rep
218 forum posts
Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle

I found Mountain Outfitters in Monteagle for the first time On Good Friday. Good selection of gear and great people.

 

1:01 a.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
38 reviewer rep
395 forum posts
Re: Arizona Hiking Shack, Summit Hut

+1 on Arizona Hiking Shack

Store is gonna be relocating July 1 2011. They say it will be larger with bigger selections. I kinda like the small shop it is now, but will be closer to home and looking forward to more stuff! Great place for hiking and climbing gear. Staff is very helpful and know all about the gear their selling. I like the more personel one on one sales and service I get here over places like REI, I hope that doesnt change as they grow. I go to REI alot becuz of the selection and they do have quality gear.

 Dont even get me started about BIG 5, Sport Athourity or Dicks when it comes to hiking, packing or camping gear.  

3:47 p.m. on June 23, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
11 forum posts
Tucson, Michigan, and San Francisco

I live in Tucson, Arizona and am close to the both a large REI store and The Summit Hut.

The girls and guys at Summit Hut have been very helpful with technical information and insights on equipment I've bought and on equipment I review.

When I am in there I never mention what I do for a living (product review editor) and I just let them do their thing. They have frequently demonstrated genuine concern for things like pack and shoe/boot fit, great insights on tuning boots and shoes with socks, insoles and lacing and other useful insights.

I like the place- they have good selection, the inventory is kept fresh and seems to turn fast and they have a good blow-out/discount section.

It's a nice place to shop.

In Michigan my absolute favorite store is Sandy Graham's store in Traverse City, The Benchmark. Sandy has been around the outdoor industry for years and not only knows his product he also knows how to assemble a great staff and take care of his customers. Sandy's store was a five hour drive (!) from my house when I lived in Michigan and it was worth the trip to Traverse City to shop at his place.

In Northern California/San Francisco the place to visit, a true destination retail "shrine" is Patrick Ma's Triple Aught Design. This place is unique in that they are a retail showroom/concept store for the Triple Aught Design brand. They sell what they make. Their FAST packs and hard shell and soft shell designs are sold around the world and used by outdoor recreational users and elite military units.

10:06 a.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
6 forum posts

I am a Jerseyian so if I'm going out to the store I usually go to EMS (Eastern Mountain Sports). However, I have a slight obsession with online shopping (my guilty pleasure) so I mostly buy things online.

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10:25 a.m. on August 19, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I would like to throw out a mention to Back Country Edge. Nice people. I purchased my Spur from them. 

They are located here in the Susquehanna Valley here in Pa. Great return policy, 100% satisfaction guarantee, free shipping on anything over $50.

http://www.backcountryedge.com/t-about.aspx

Oh and they have awesome sales. Check em out...

12:56 p.m. on August 20, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
912 forum posts
Bluff Mountain Outfitters, Hot Springs, NC

I want to recommend Bluff Mountain Outfitters in Hot Springs, NC.  Literally on the Appalachian Trail (it runs through downtown Hot Springs). They've got a nice selection of gear and resupply stuff that you won't find a the Dollar General down the street.

While the rest of my party went white water rafting on the French Broad, I went through our packs with Wayne.  He was VERY helpful in recommending what to remove and replace to lighten our loads.

When the rest of my party got back from rafting, he adjusted their packs for them.  My daughter was very reluctant to come in and get her pack adjusted. She didn't understand why it would help. She and my wife were very thankful.  He says that he often has hikers walk in that have been on the trail for weeks and he'll ask them "Is that comfortable?" and then adjust their pack for them.  It's the kind of service you want from an outfitter.

6:44 p.m. on August 31, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
29 forum posts

not local for my area but sometimes it's cheaper to just shop online:

www.moosejaw.com 

www.doughboyssurplus.com 

9826 E. Artesia Blvd.
BellflowerCA
90706
Toll Free: 888.867.2063
Local: 562-867-2063

more of a military store but has a small selection of outdoor/survival gear

5:09 p.m. on October 3, 2011 (EDT)
3 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
Re: Arizona Hiking Shack, Summit Hut

Glad to hear that Summit Hut is now big.  When the store began about 1970,  it could have fit in a large broom closet; right from the start, its staff has been informed folks who knew what they were talking about...

7:38 a.m. on November 3, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

Blue Mountain Sports and Wear - Jim Thorpe, PA, is a great little shop to find all the necessities for a weekend in the Poconos. They offer full service bike repair and bike, sit-on-top, ski, snowboard, and snowshoe rentals.

At Mauch Chunk Lake, the BMS "Camp Store" offers canoe, sit-on-top, kayak, and row boat, and fishing gear rentals. Add to all his, their bike shuttle and you've got one of the most visitor friendly little shops in this historic coal region town. Nice folks!

If you're in the Jim Thorpe area, tell Tom, "Franklin sent ya!"

______________________

happy.gif



3:11 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
118 forum posts

Just found a great seasonal sale going on at ProlightGear.com right now.  The Smartwool NTS baselayer is almost 50% off!!!

3:45 p.m. on December 25, 2011 (EST)
MODERATOR
38 reviewer rep
1,757 forum posts

I was in Sport Chalet (a California based chain somewhat like a cross between REI and Sports Authority) and they now have an REI style return policy. SC sells team gear, tennis and golf, scuba gear, skis and snowboards, climbing gear, camping and some fishing gear and clothes and shoes.

Online too and a few stores in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

www.sportchalet.com

7:22 a.m. on January 10, 2012 (EST)
5 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

Adventure 16 in SoCal.  They have several stores in San Diego and LA area. They have a great selection and an awesome clearance section.  We got a pair of Vasque hiking boots for my wife for 83% off!  Not bad for just going in to browse. 

1:40 p.m. on February 28, 2012 (EST)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

In Canada, or if you're near the border, the only real choice is Mountain Equipment Co-op. They have stores in most of the major cities and are expanding rapidly.

A few big differences about the co-op model:

First, the prices are the same or better than the commercial retail outlets, since they can buy in bulk and pass on the savings to the customers. The product lines are similar to places like North Face or Atmosphere, but since they're not tied to any one manufacturer, they can offer more variet,y and some really decent products of their own.

Second, they really DO care about giving you the right gear. Nobody's on a commission, and most people who work there do it just because they love the outdoors (and get their pro discount on gear). One of MEC's biggest staffing problems is finding people who are willing to work on weekends - all the best ones head for the mountains!

Third, the refund policy is 100% guaranteed. For any reason. At any time. If you buy a pair of boots and they give you blisters after doing a week-long backpack, take them back. If they fall apart five years later, and you think they should have lasted longer, take them back - you'll get a new pair of boots or a 100% refund. The refund policy applies to everything in the store, and is absolute.

10:51 a.m. on March 15, 2012 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Just phone ordered from Mel Cotton's Sporting Goods as they were the only store in the US to have product.

6:36 p.m. on March 18, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

I dig REI’s tight return policy.  Unless they don’t carry a particular brand you’re lusting for, why buy anywhere else? 

1:54 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
13 forum posts

Rei stl mo.

That's my one and only. There are no mom and pop shops here in southeast mo. I would buy online bit I'm a hands on shopper. Give us a shout if there r any shops in the semo region. I do enjoy Rei very helpful and love the return policy. It's huge when a company will stand behind their products like that.

8:56 p.m. on April 5, 2012 (EDT)
4 reviewer rep
9 forum posts

Mountain high outfitters Two great stores with excellent service in Mountain Brook, AL

9:51 a.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts
Re: REI

mike068 said:

I agree with Skimanjohn. No doubt REI has a superior costumer service policy but I myself would not try to return some thing that I wore out.

MEC in Canada has the same 100% guarantee return policy. Most people seem to think just like you, Mike - when the store introduced it, the number of returns actually went DOWN, not up!

 I guess that when you know you have the option, most people will say "I shouldn't really have put the tent so close to the campfire - it's my own fault it has holes burned in it.", or "I bought those climbing shoes and used them a few times, but now I'm not interested in it anymore. My fault, not the store's.".

And the biggie: I don't know anyone who would return an old beatup pair of boots, even though the store would honour the guarantee. I don't know anyone who would bring back a bent hiking pole and expect a refund unless there was an obvious manufacturing flaw.

Because the number of returns dropped, MEC can keep their prices LOWER on similar items than the commercial stores.

11:50 p.m. on April 11, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
105 forum posts

American Alpine Institute Bellingham WA

8:11 p.m. on April 20, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
126 forum posts

holy crap,everybody has an opinion.you didnt specify online,local retail.you're in maine,ll bean(expensive,repackaged mass market),campmor,probably the best direct to manufacturer outlet with product research capabilities&SPECS.and prices to match,sunny sports(sometimes prices & product availibility varies),sierra whatever(has mountainsmith&primus cheaper than anybody)cant forget REI(real expensive immediately)my local REI has a rock climbing mountain inside the building.you didnt say how old you are but 40 yrs ago LL BEAN was a white barn in freeport that sold canoes and a very limited supply of backpacking gear.but guess what the rock radio pickens were just as slim WBLM out of lewiston.

12:59 a.m. on April 28, 2012 (EDT)
143 reviewer rep
69 forum posts
Beaver Sports - Fairbanks, Alaska

Beaver Sports - Fairbanks, Alaska

 

These guys will hook you up so you can ski in the winter (XC skiing!), canoe or bike in the summer, climb in all seasons, and dress smartly for all events.  I bought so many things from these guys when I was still in Fairbanks.  It is really a great thing to try out what you will use and tap into a lot of experience the staff had.  Also, there is an ice cream shop across the street which was an added bonus (in the summer time).

Test the Water - North Pole, Alaska

I don't know if the store is technically in North Pole or Fairbanks but I always enjoyed going there.  It's a small store that makes it's money on SCUBA and canoes but they had good gear all around.  My Mad River still bears the Test The Water sticker. 

11:32 a.m. on May 5, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
Re: Nashville?

Cumberland Transit is also a good store on West End Ave.

12:47 p.m. on May 5, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
78 forum posts
Re: Cotswald Outdoor, England

They have a store in Brecon, Wales.

 

2:54 p.m. on May 15, 2012 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Exkursion Outfitters-Pittsburgh Pa.

http://www.exkursion.com/

Family owned and operated...

2:11 p.m. on June 21, 2012 (EDT)
84 reviewer rep
12 forum posts

Outdoor Sports Center, Wilton CT

80 Danbury Road

I've been a happy customer of Outdoor Sports for more than 20 years.  It is a family-run store with a focus on giving back to the community and caring for their customers.  They carry a full range of outdoors gear for the back country, from sleeping bags to tents to camping equipment.  They have a well-staffed hiking boot department, and they cherry-pick their suppliers to get the best individual products -- based on knowing the needs of their customers --  rather than just taking whole lines.  They have a large bike store, the best selection of kayaks in the area, and store staff who actually use all this stuff and know what works and what doesn't.  I've probably purchased 3 or 4 whitewater boats from them, car racks, bike racks, and various boating gear from drysuits to float bags.  I've bought downhill skis from them in the winter and all kinds of outdoor clothing and gear.  I've never had a bad transaction!  OK I had a rack that was defective, but they gave me a new one, without any hassle.

Mostly, it's the quality of the people there and the knowledgeable personal care that keeps me coming back.  Highly recommended!

9:41 a.m. on June 26, 2012 (EDT)
GUIDE/OUTFITTER TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
875 reviewer rep
48 forum posts
Gear Shop - Littleton, New Hampshire

The Gear Shop just relocated from Arizona to Littleton, New Hampshire and specializes in outfitting costumers for a variety of activities. They only carry equipment they have thoroughly tested in the field.

Personal experience has supported the owner's mission is to be a go to outfitter who will work tirelessly to equip you with the best gear to meet your needs.

badassoutdoors.com

17 Main St

Littleton, NH 03561

11:50 p.m. on July 13, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
30 forum posts

The Gearage - Fort Collins, CO

They sell used equipment on consignment...a great place to browse on a Sunday afternoon. If you just gotta have that shiny new hiking widget, REI is a couple miles down the road, but if you can live with lightly used, there are plenty of deals to be had.

244 North College, just north of downtown

Hours are a little spotty, but what are ya gonna do...

12:40 p.m. on July 18, 2012 (EDT)
1,357 reviewer rep
1,339 forum posts

Outdoor Research, Online store

http://www.outdoorresearch.com/landing.html


Hands down, the best warranty in the business. I called to complain that my 'waterproof/breathable' jacket soaked through in a downpour and they didn't even blink.

'It's covered under our 'Infinite Guarantee'. Please provide shipping information and we'll send out a new one, or you can upgrade to something better. ' They offered me a GoreTex version instead of the cheaper Pertex one I had, at no extra cost!

By the time I got off the phone, the replacement was on its way to me!

6:17 p.m. on July 21, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
126 forum posts

ALICIA,everybody has a favorite for different reasons,you should have specified for price,and im too drunk to name the other criteria you should have whatever im bored,happy hiking

8:19 p.m. on July 21, 2012 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
592 reviewer rep
1,517 forum posts

If you are going on an adventure somewhere..ANYWHERE where trekking ot Mountaineering is concerned, and your skilled enough but prefer to use a guide company, I suggest MOUNTAIN MADNESS. While located in Seattle, they offer trips the world over. I used them for my Everest Trek and sure did make a good choice! They were as professional as could be and worth every penny. You can tell how good a company is if something goes wrong and they know what to do. I got sick, I got heli-evacted and they were behind me all the way including support back in Kathmandu.

For kayak support in Las Vegas Area, I suggest Desert River Outfitters.

1034 Highway 95
Bullhead City, AZ 86429
1-888-KAYAK-33
info@desertriveroutfitters.com

12:09 p.m. on August 2, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
3 forum posts

Hilton Tent City - Boston, MA

272 Friend Street
Boston, MA 02114
(800) 362-8368

 

Great local store (non-chain) that has been around since 1947.  Right next to the Boston Garden (or whatever they are calling it this month).

4 floors of camping supplies.  The staff are avid outdoor enthusiasts who know their stuff.  Always willing to give advice, or leave you alone if you just want to browse for hours at a time :)

They have a price guarantee too.  If you can find it elsewhere for cheaper, they will match it.  I think because of this, their prices tend to be slightly cheaper than most other retailers for the same product - at least around the Boston area.

3:14 p.m. on September 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
For Gear in Minnesota

Here in St. Paul, there's a new gear store featuring a ton of old standby MN/USA brands as well as some of the higher tech and mil surplus. Marmot and Columbia are both featured, and they're also "pioneering" their own brand of wool clothing. They have some great Osprey backpacks that are just right for a small-group food pack or for a day pack in the canoe. Some of the smaller packs are great for carrying tackle and fishing gear as well. I bought a pair of Vasque hiking boots with Goretex for portaging between lakes as well, and they feel and seem to work great. The guy who helped me with them knew all about them too. Didn't know Vasque was a Red Wing brand, so it's pretty cool that the heritage and history is incorporated into my hiking boots. Anyway, lots of great gear for the camper-hiker-backpacker and reasonable prices. Its called Tradition Creek and I'll be shopping there a lot before my trips next year!

10:08 p.m. on September 17, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,083 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

where is the store located? I live in the twin cities.

1:49 p.m. on September 18, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

933 W 7th St, St. Paul. It's right across from the old Schmidt brewery. Yellowish building with blue signs and flags on the front, kinda have to keep your eyes peeled to catch it.

11:36 p.m. on September 19, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,083 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

thanks, I'll have to check it out.

 

6:30 p.m. on October 1, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

I was just in the other day and saw a whole lot of new wool clothing that Tradition Creek is bringing in. They've got hats, scarves, pants, and coats. These are your traditional "Filson-esque" kind of coats and pants. It's the old style wool, light weight but insulating. I really like them and they're already on my Christmas list.

11:22 p.m. on October 2, 2012 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,083 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

I ran to the store today over my lunch hour.  A very nice place and a good selection, I hope they do well. 

 

12:02 p.m. on October 12, 2012 (EDT)
162 reviewer rep
7 forum posts

Mountain Gear, 2002 N. Division, Spokane, WA

Good in-store selection and also good online selection. Store staff is very helpful and knowledgeable. Easier to get service and advice from staff than REI.

8:55 p.m. on December 3, 2012 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

Alan, you should check it out sometime before Christmas. I was just in over my thanksgiving break and they have a lot of new winter outdoor stuff. My favorite is the traditional snow shoes.

7:29 p.m. on December 24, 2012 (EST)
BRAND REP
319 reviewer rep
17 forum posts
/

/

9:40 a.m. on January 19, 2013 (EST)
24 reviewer rep
14 forum posts

Campmor, Paramus, NJ

Another vote here for them. I've been buying for decades, both online / phone and in store. Yes, it used to be that the staff was solidly reliable for advice & experience, but hey, people move on and times change. I've still gotten good vibes, and that goes for over the phone, too. I live 100+ miles away now in S. Jersey and still visit the store for certain purchases (and go hike Harriman S.P., too).

Sierra Trading Post, Cheyenne, WY

Another vote for them, too, I'm always happy with what I get and the return policy has yet to be tested.

REI, local store

FWIW, my nearby REI has a good staff, friendly, knowledgeable, they do trips, too, don't only clerk in the store. I use it for little stuff I need fast, otherwise it's too platinum-priced for me, as is LL Bean across the road.

12:42 a.m. on February 2, 2013 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
26 forum posts

Backcountry.com for online just because their unlimited guarantee is so damn amazing. It's double insurance in case the manufacturer tries to stiff you. Competitive prices too. If you can, supporting your local Mom and Pop outfitter or a larger local company is great. In Portland try Oregon Mountain Community or US Outdoors. Seattle try Whittaker mountaineering or the flagship REI is sure to impress. In Vancouver you can find some good stuff at Valhalla Pure. REI is a good company but I wouldn't go on just the advice of their salespeople. I'm sure there is a ton of knowledgable folks who work there but I have on more than one occasion encountered good-hearted folks who don't have a clue what they are talking about. The more specialized the store the more knowledgable the staff I've found. Go to a mountaineering store and you can bet they hire mountaineers who actually use the gear. They get sweet pro deals because the manufacturers want them out there using their stuff and passing the word along to consumers. I've found the absolute best stores are the small ones where the owner has to make the tough decision which brands to put in their limited floorspace. I manage a small store and the owner puts his heart and soul into making sure he carries great brands. When Sierra Designs started cutting corners on quality he dropped them and picked up Rab. When Solomon wasn't playing fair with our customers returning their boots he told them adios and picked up Scarpa. You are likely to pay full retail at a Mom and Pop but you are also likely to get the best service. They have to treat you like royalty because there is no way they can compete with the bigger outfits on price.

8:02 p.m. on February 22, 2013 (EST)
57 reviewer rep
59 forum posts
Rocky Mountain Outfitter Kalispell, MT

http://rockymountainoutfitter.com

RMO 135 S. Main St. Kalispell, MT 59911

1-406-752-2446

Open 10am-6pm Mon-Sat

From 1-5 stars, I rate them a 10! **********

Located in the largest town near the North end of the Continental Divide Trail and Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, and The Bob Martial Wilderness. Yea, not much to do here!

Don and his staff are extremely knowledgeable, and use, what they sell. I attempted to purchase a $360 item that I really didn't need and they prevented me from making the purchase. They know my style and stepped in for some divine intervention, just like family. They will not try to sell you something, just to make the sale. You are treated like a lifelong best friend from the moment you walk through the door. I've also found their pricing to be 3-10% below other local retailers and online!

http://rockymountainoutfitter.com

7:46 p.m. on April 2, 2013 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
5 forum posts
Re: For Gear in Minnesota

Just heard about a big event, called the Gear and Beer Experience, at Tradition Creek in St. Paul on May 9th from 5-8 PM. 

From the event page:
"Stop Thursday May 9th for a couple of beers, some good food, a chance to meet product reps from brands like Vasque and Darn Tough Vermont. Also meet folks from the Superior Hiking Trail Association out of Two Harbors MN, The Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa, and the Center For Outdoor Ethics out of Bolder Colorado. 

There will be some good music, a campfire, and some great sales going on! What a great way to start your Camping season off right!"

 

 

8:25 a.m. on April 4, 2013 (EDT)
9 reviewer rep
28 forum posts
Re: Midwest Mountaineering: Minneapolis, MN

Midwest Mountaineering rocks!

7:52 p.m. on April 6, 2013 (EDT)
27 reviewer rep
8 forum posts

REI 

west hartford CT

They always have the most helpful staff! I really love going there, you get great information. 

12:35 a.m. on April 17, 2013 (EDT)
251 reviewer rep
4 forum posts

Don't know if it's been mentioned, I read about 13 posts and skipped the rest. Anyone in Northern NY/VT should check out both:

The Mountaineer

www.mountaineer.com

Phone: (518) 576-2281

Email: mountaineer@mountaineer.com


1866 NYS Rte 73
Keene Valley, NY 12943

Outdoor Gear Exchange 

www.GearX.com

Phone: 888-547-4327

Contact Page

37 Church Street

Burlington, Vt 05401

5:09 p.m. on July 5, 2013 (EDT)
RETAILER
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

Hermit's Hut in Redding, CA. (I work there.)

Locally owned by a charming old man named Bob. He's lovely and the staff are cheerful and hardworking!

They have the best in store and online prices I've seen and offer free shipping on all orders over $50. I think they may also match prices on certain items . . . not sure.

Hermitshut.com 

1-888-507-4455

1-530-222-4511

2:59 a.m. on August 1, 2013 (EDT)
204 reviewer rep
3 forum posts


DSCN7506.jpg
I live in the Pittsburgh area. My choices are few for actual walk in stores dedicated to backpacking enthusiasts. REI comes closest to meeting my needs so I find myself shopping there often, we have two stores within a reasonable drive from where I live.
Sure we have a Dick's and Gander Mountain. But they don't carry allot of gear that suits my needs. Nor does Cabela's. They seem to gravitate more towards hunting, fishing, and car camping.
I'm forced to do much of my shopping online. Campmor, Campsaver, and REI gets most of my business with an occasional purchase from Backcountrygear.

I would love to see an actual store dedicated to meet my backpacking needs that I could go to in my area. Even thought about opening up one on my own, but..........

2:01 a.m. on September 28, 2013 (EDT)
210 reviewer rep
4,244 forum posts
Outdoor shop

I was looking for new gear and found this shop:

http://www.theclymb.com/

Lots of great products!

9:58 a.m. on September 28, 2013 (EDT)
118 reviewer rep
131 forum posts
Re: Outdoor shop

Thanks for the link, looks like they have lots of discounted products. Added it to my bookmarks.

Big downside is you have to subscribe to the website to see the products they offer. Oh and they show the items that are "sold out" so those clutter the screen. Don't know why some companies do that. If a product is sold out they should take it off the screen, or drop it to the bottom of the page so we don't have to scroll past it to get to the stuff they have.

Nice that they have free shipping over $75.

4:00 a.m. on November 12, 2013 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts
Re: Outdoor shop

Hi Gary,

I have found iwarehouse - they offer anything and everything outdoor and you do not have to subscribe to their website and they do not pester you with spam. they stock camping gear, hunting gear, 4x4 equipment, Camo Clothing, Knives, flashlights etc.  I have ordered from them a few times and the level of service are great and not to mention that they are cheap.

8:58 p.m. on November 28, 2013 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
43 forum posts

Mountain Crossings, Neels Gap, Blairsville Georgia

Mountain Crossings has new owners! Georganna Morton and Logan Seamon have bought out Winton Porter, and are looking to continue the tradition of a Thru-hiker couple running the store.

Great news for anyone looking to hike the Appalachian Trail. They are on 30 miles NOBO, but go by first, get a shakedown (free) and save yourself a lot of pain!

12:50 a.m. on January 22, 2014 (EST)
3 reviewer rep
16 forum posts

Not a local store, but a friend just told me about steepandcheap.com

Nice gear huge discounts interesting format, run by a major outdoor gear retailer. Worth looking at.

11:48 a.m. on February 20, 2014 (EST)
21 reviewer rep
1,222 forum posts

Sierra Trading Post, Cabelas, REI, and Campmoor work for most things.

For serious clothing that will hold up day after day working in the bush:

CC Filson and Co., Seattle, WA

9:13 a.m. on February 21, 2014 (EST)
210 reviewer rep
4,244 forum posts

;b

October 31, 2014
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