As an outdoor enthusiast, I know the exhilaration of exploring the great outdoors. The feeling of the wind in your hair, the scent of fresh pine, and the thrill of conquering a challenging trail is a true adventure fueling our spirits. But let’s be honest, finding the best outdoor store that offers top-notch gear at affordable prices can sometimes feel like scaling a treacherous mountain.
That’s why I’m here to guide you through the rugged terrain of outdoor gear shopping. I’m thrilled to share my comprehensive guide to the best store to meet all your needs and exceed your expectations. It’s not just about the products but the experience.
So, buckle up and prepare to embark on a journey that will transform your outdoor escapades. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or just starting to dip your toes into nature’s playground, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions when choosing the best outdoor gear store for all your gear needs.
My Top Picks
Best Outdoor Gear Mega Stores
Gear mega stores are the meccas for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an awe-inspiring array of gear and equipment all under one roof. These colossal retailers cater to every adventure seeker’s needs, from hikers and campers to climbers and bikers. These stores may not offer the best prices, but they usually have the best selection across a wide array of activities.
- Shipping: Free U.S. standard shipping on orders of $50 or more
- Intl Shipping: Yes, recipient is responsible for payment of applicable duties, taxes and other fees
- Returns: 1 year if you are an REI Co-op Member, 90 days for non-members (some exceptions apply)
- Best For: Selection
REI Co-op, the Seattle-based outdoor giant, is the undisputed king of outdoor gear. They carry various outdoor equipment, from powder skis and bindings to trekking poles, climbing gear, and mountain bikes. They offer a wide variety of products and brands, making it easy to find what you need. In addition, their in-house line of outdoor gear is expanding and impressing customers with its quality. REI has a whopping 168 brick-and-mortar stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia. Members of the co-op receive a 10 percent dividend annually and free shipping to REI stores for pickup. REI also has excellent customer service, both online and in person. The best time to go to REI is during their Gear Up Get Out sale in May when you can save up to 30% on gear for your summer adventures.
REI also has an excellent travel department to help you plan your next outdoor adventure. They offer various trip-planning services, helpful tips, and resources. In addition, their expert staff can help you choose the best outdoor gear for your needs. REI also offers several classes and events to help people get introduced to the outdoors. Their “First Day Hikes” are a great way to get started, and they also offer beginner-friendly classes on topics like camping and hiking.
REI also has an online outlet store that offers discounted gear. The best time to shop at the outlet is during the semi-annual garage sales, when you can save up to 70% on gear.
Overall, REI is an outstanding choice for all your outdoor needs.
- Shipping: may offer free shipping on orders over $50
- Intl Shipping: Yes, product and destination dependant
- Returns: Unused gear can be returned at any time, Used gear must be returned within 30 days
- Best For: Return policy
Backcountry.com operates outdoor gear websites that sell outdoor clothing, equipment, and winter sports gear. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Park City, Utah. Backcountry.com operates several brick-and-mortar stores in addition to its online store. In total, Backcountry.com has over 1 million square feet of retail space. The company offers free shipping on orders over $50 and has a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Backcountry.com also offers a loyalty program called “Outdoor Pro.”
The Backcountry.com Outdoor Pro program is a loyalty program that gives members free two-day shipping on gear rentals, discounts on classes and events, and access to exclusive sales and offers. They offer courses on various topics, such as backpacking and rock climbing. Classes are taught by experienced instructors and are designed to help participants learn new skills or improve their existing skills. Class sizes are typically small, which allows for a more personal learning experience.
Backcountry.com offers a variety of trips and tours, such as backpacking trips, climbing trips, and mountain biking trips. Led by experienced guides, they provide participants with the necessary outdoor gear and instruction. The Outdoor Pro program is an excellent way for customers to save money on equipment and get the most out of their outdoor adventures.
- Shipping: Most orders over $50 ship free
- Intl Shipping: Yes, some products can’t be shipped outside the United States. Shipped with UPS Worldwide Expedited
- Returns: 366-day return policy, except for a small number of products
- Best For: Loyalty program
Evo is an outdoor industry retailer with excellent customer service, a welcoming environment, and expert knowledge. They specialize in outdoor gear and clothing, including base layers, kids hiking boots, and rain jackets.
Evo’s values include communication, respect, credibility, invitation, balanced ambition, and leadership. They also have a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. These values guide everything they do. Evo donates 2% of Evo-branded product sales to youth-serving organizations in our community.
EvoTrip offers all-inclusive trips and tours to destinations around the world. For years, they’ve explored how to ski powder in Japan to Chilean peaks, and other breathtaking destinations. They help unite people, take care of the logistics for you, and bring a little Evo style to the party. Join them as they travel the globe skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and more! What sets EvoTrip apart is their years of experience and chosen local partners that remove all of the headaches from planning a trip.
- Shipping: Free with prime
- Intl Shipping: Yes, Amazon has international storefronts
- Returns: Most sellers on Amazon offer returns for items within 30 days of receipt of shipment
- Best For: Amazon prime
Amazon may have been known originally as a bookstore, but as it has grown as an online retailer, it has expanded into many new product categories, including outdoor gear. As an online retailer, Amazon offers many advantages, including a wide selection of products, low prices, and free shipping on many items. You can buy everything from ski backpacks to laptops all in one place. One downside of online shopping at Amazon is that knowing the quality of products can be challenging since you cannot see or touch them before purchasing. However, Amazon offers customer reviews that give you an idea of what others think of the product.
Amazon also has a Prime membership program offering free shipping on many items and exclusive deals and discounts. Prime members can also access Prime Video, a streaming service with movies and T.V. shows. Amazon Prime may be an excellent option if you are an avid outdoors person.
- Shipping: FREE on orders over $49.00 or orders with Moosejaw items over $12.00
- Intl Shipping: Free with orders over $199 USD (not all products)
- Returns: Lifetime return & Exchange Policy
- Best For: Customer service & price match
Based in Michigan, Moosejaw is an online outdoor retailer specializing in outdoor apparel and gear. They offer free shipping on orders over $49, have an excellent return policy, and carry brands like Patagonia, The North Face, and Columbia. Moosejaw also has brick-and-mortar stores. What makes Moosejaw stand out is its commitment to customer service and satisfaction. They have a team of experts who are available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have, and they offer a price match guarantee.
Eastern Mountain Sports
- Shipping: Standard shipping flat rate
- Intl Shipping: U.S. and Canada
- Returns: Rewards Member: 90 Days, Non-Rewards Member: 30 Days
- Best For: Wide selection
Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) is a well-established retailer that has been serving outdoor enthusiasts for decades. With a strong presence in the outdoor gear industry, EMS offers a wide range of products for various outdoor activities, including hiking, camping, climbing, skiing, and more.
Founded in 1967, EMS has built a reputation for providing high-quality gear and equipment. They pride themselves on their knowledgeable staff, who are passionate about the outdoors and can provide expert advice to customers. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a beginner, EMS offers a comprehensive selection of gear suitable for all skill levels.
Overall, Eastern Mountain Sports is a trusted retailer catering to outdoor enthusiasts’ diverse needs. With its extensive gear range, knowledgeable staff, fast shipping, and customer-friendly returns, EMS has established itself as a go-to outdoor gear and equipment destination.
- Shipping: Standard shipping is free on orders over $50 within Canada
- Intl Shipping: Yes, International Air mail 1–4 weeks ($50 – 100$)
- Returns: If an item’s quality hasn’t met expectations, you can return it.
- Best For: Loyalty program
MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) is a renowned outdoor store that caters to adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts in Canada. With a legacy from 1971, MEC has established itself as a trusted destination for high-quality outdoor gear and equipment.
You’ll find a wide selection of products at MEC to enhance your outdoor experiences. Their website offers a user-friendly platform to explore their extensive range of hiking gear, camping equipment, climbing gear, cycling essentials, water sports equipment, and much more.
What sets MEC apart is their commitment to sustainability and responsible business practices. They prioritize offering products from environmentally conscious brands and strive to reduce their ecological footprint. MEC is also a cooperative, meaning members can become shareholders and participate in decision-making.
You can expect exceptional customer service and expert advice when shopping at MEC. The website provides detailed product descriptions, customer reviews, and helpful guides to assist you in making informed choices. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or new to outdoor activities, MEC’s knowledgeable staff can answer your questions and provide personalized recommendations.
MEC’s dedication to the community extends beyond its products. They actively support outdoor education and conservation initiatives and advocate for accessible outdoor spaces. Through its initiatives and partnerships, MEC strives to foster a love for the outdoors and inspire people to connect with nature.
Best Discount Outdoor Stores
Steep & Cheap
- Shipping: Standard shipping rates
- Intl Shipping: Yes
- Returns: 30 days (new & unused gear)
- Best For: Limited-time specials
Steep and Cheap is an online outdoor gear store selling high-quality discount outdoor gear. The catch is that each item is only available for a limited time, so you must act fast! Steep and Cheap is owned by Backcountry.com and operated as a sister site. Steep and Cheap is a great outdoor gear store for deals on top brands because of the heavily discounted gear offered on limited-time items.
Sierra Trading Post
- Shipping: Standard shipping rates
- Intl Shipping: No
- Returns: 40 days online, 30 days in-store (original condition)
- Best For: Value for money
Sierra Trading Post is an outdoor gear store that sells quality goods at discounted prices. Starting in 1986 with just a small warehouse and a hand-drawn catalog, Sierra has become one of the most popular outdoor retailers, with many convenient locations across the United States.
Sierra Trading Post focuses on offering great value for money is set apart from other outdoor retailers. They sell brand-name and high-quality outdoor apparel, footwear, and gear at 20%-60% below the regular prices of other retailers. Sierra is also known for its constantly changing selection of merchandise, with new items arriving almost daily. Their buyers are always on the lookout for the best deals from around the globe, so you can find great brands and products at excellent prices. Often products are only available for a short time. This makes Sierra an exciting place to shop, as you never know what you might find.
- Shipping: Seller dependant
- Intl Shipping: Yes
- Returns: 14 days
- Best For: Used gear
Gear Trade has become a trusted platform for buying and selling new and gently used equipment, founded to provide a sustainable and cost-effective way to access outdoor gear.
The company’s journey started with a group of outdoor enthusiasts who wanted to create a community where adventurers could connect and exchange gear. Over time, Gear Trade has grown into a thriving marketplace that brings together buyers and sellers worldwide. They offer extensive outdoor gear, including clothing, footwear, camping equipment, hiking backpacks, and more.
Gear Trade takes pride in its commitment to fast and reliable shipping services. They understand the excitement of receiving gear promptly, and they strive to process and ship orders in a timely manner. Whether preparing for a hiking expedition, a camping trip, or any other outdoor adventure, Gear Trade ensures that your gear reaches you efficiently, no matter where you are.
International customers are also well-served by Gear Trade, as they offer shipping options to customers worldwide. This global reach allows outdoor enthusiasts from different countries to access their platform’s diverse range of gear. Regardless of your location, Gear Trade makes it convenient to browse, select, and purchase the gear you need for your outdoor pursuits.
- Shipping: Free shipping on orders above $50
- Intl Shipping: Yes
- Returns: 30-day return policy
- Best For: Discount gear and adventure experiences
The Clymb is a leading online outdoor gear store offering discounted equipment, apparel, and adventure experiences. With a mission to connect outdoor enthusiasts with top-quality gear at affordable prices, The Clymb has established itself as a go-to destination for those seeking great deals on outdoor equipment.
Since its inception, The Clymb has cultivated strong partnerships with well-known brands in the outdoor industry, allowing them to curate a diverse and high-quality selection of gear. They cater to various outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to cycling and climbing. Customers can browse through their website and discover an array of products, including apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories.
Overall, The Clymb is a reputable online outdoor gear store offering discounted outdoor gear and adventure experiences. With their commitment to providing quality products at affordable prices, fast shipping, and customer-friendly returns, The Clymb has become a favored choice for outdoor enthusiasts looking to gear up for their next adventure without breaking the bank.
Best Brand Stores
- Shipping: Free on orders over $99
- Intl Shipping: UPS Worldwide Expedited
- Returns: Anything, if over 1 year, may receive store credit
- Best For: Return policy
Patagonia is an American clothing company that specializes in sustainable outdoor apparel. The company was founded in 1973 by Yvon Chouinard and is headquartered in Ventura, California. Patagonia’s mission is to “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, and use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” In addition to selling outdoor clothing, Patagonia also gives back to environmental causes through grants and donations.
As an Eco-conscious shopper, you’ll appreciate Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability. The company uses recycled and organic materials in its products and offers repairs and replacements for worn or damaged items. In addition, Patagonia gives back to environmental causes through grants and donations. 1% of all sales are pledged to preserve and restore the natural environment. So, if you’re looking for sustainable outdoor gear, Patagonia is a great option.
The North Face
- Shipping: Free shipping
- Intl Shipping: Yes
- Returns: 60 days from the date of purchase
- Best For: Technical clothing
The North Face is one of the most popular outdoor gear brands. The company’s products are made from high-quality materials that withstand extreme conditions. Plus, North Face frequently offers sales and discount outdoor gear. So, if you’re looking for durable, affordable outdoor equipment, North Face is a great option.
North Face’s vision is to “explore new ways to make a difference for each other and our planet.” The company is committed to creating sustainable products and supporting environmental causes. North Face also regularly offers discounts and sales on its outdoor gear so that you can find affordable, high-quality outdoor equipment.
- Shipping: Free on orders above $100
- Intl Shipping: No
- Returns: 1 year unused/unworn
- Best For: Eddie Bauer products
Eddie Bauer is one of the best outdoor gear stores and for a good reason. Eddie Bauer has a long history of outfitting adventurers with high-quality outdoor equipment. The company was founded in 1920 and has become one of the most trusted names in outdoor gear. Eddie Bauer’s products are known for their durability, and the company offers a lifetime warranty on most of its equipment.
Eddie Bauer’s extensive product line includes everything from outdoor clothing and footwear to camping equipment and accessories. They also have a great selection of outdoor furniture, so you can deck out your patio or deck for any occasion.
Eddie Bauer is a great place to start your search, no matter your outdoor needs. You’re sure to find everything you need, and their quality products will last you for years.
- Shipping: Standard shipping is free on orders above $50
- Intl Shipping: U.S., Canada & Japan only
- Returns: within 1 year
- Best For: L.L. Bean products
L.L. Bean is a trusted name in outdoor apparel and gear. The company has been around for over 100 years, and its products are known for being durable and high-quality. They carry everything you need for your next camping trip or hike, including tents, sleeping bags, hiking sandals, and more. Plus, their prices are very reasonable. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoorsman, L.L. Bean is a great place to shop for all your needs. Plus, L.L. Bean frequently offers sales and discounts on its gear. So, if you’re looking for a great deal on outdoor gear, L.L. Bean is definitely worth checking out.
- Shipping: $5
- Intl Shipping: No
- Returns: within 60 days of purchase.
- Best For: Marmot products
Marmot was founded in 1971 by climbers Eric Reynolds and Dave Huntley. Marmot now produces various outdoor apparel and gear, including tents, backpacks, and clothing. Although they are a smaller supplier, the quality of their equipment speaks for itself. Their clothing is made to withstand any weather conditions you may encounter while exploring the outdoors. Marmot also offers a limited lifetime warranty on all of its products.
Marmot strongly believes that People, Products, and Planet are the three fundamental principles to success. Their goal is to make the best products possible while protecting the planet. They partner with many organizations to help promote the outdoor industry and stewardship of the environment.
Best Brick and Mortar Outdoor Stores
Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Shipping: free shipping on orders above $65
- Intl Shipping: No
- Returns: 90-day return policy on most products
- Best For: Community support
Dicks Sporting Goods is an online store that was started in 1948. It is a leading retailer that provides athletes and outdoor enthusiasts with the necessary products to pursue their dreams. The outdoor sports store is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has expanded to include 850 physical stores, an online presence, and a mobile app. Dicks also owns and operates GameChanger, a youth sports mobile app. The company’s mission is to provide products and services that improve customers’ lives by making it easy and enjoyable to pursue their passions.
While more of a sports retailer Dicks Sporting Goods has a large section of its online store and shops dedicated to outdoor gear. This ranges from camping equipment and hiking shoes to fishing and hunting supplies. They also have a wide variety of outdoor apparel for adults and children.
Very few outdoor retailers can match the selection, price, and quality that Dicks Sporting Goods offers. If you are looking for a one-stop shop for your outdoor needs, look no further than Dicks Sporting Goods. Plus, the store frequently offers sales and discount outdoor gear.
Best of The Rest
- Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $75
- Intl Shipping: Canada only
- Returns: all unworn, undamaged items with tags within 45 days of purchase
- Best For: Athletic clothing
Outdoor Voices is best known for its trendy and stylish athleisure clothes, but they also have a great selection of outdoor gear! Their clothing is perfect for both active adventures and casual days spent outside. You won’t find technical outdoor gear, but their activewear will keep you comfortable. Its mission is to Get the World Moving because they believe being active and having fun with friends are the best ways to lead a happy and healthy life. Outdoor Voices wants to help people escape the expectation of needing to perform and just have fun doing things. Their Values are People, Planet, and Products. They put real people at the center of everything they do and work with sustainable manufacturing partners to provide high-quality products that minimize environmental impact. Outdoor Voice is an excellent choice for stylish and trendy outdoor clothing.
- Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $98
- Intl Shipping: Free on orders above $198
- Returns: within 30 days of delivery (excluding final sale items)
- Best For: Quality selection of men’s clothing and outdoor gear
Huckberry is an online shop and lifestyle brand that provides stylish clothing, gear, and other accessories for men who love the outdoors. The company was founded in 2010 by Richard Greiner and Andy Forch, two friends who met while working at a creative agency.
Huckberry’s mission is to inspire people to live more adventurous lives. The company does this by curating a selection of the best outdoor, apparel, and lifestyle products. In addition to selling products, Huckberry also produces original content, such as articles, videos, and podcasts, that covers topics like travel, adventure, style, and culture.
Huckberry outdoor gear store is one of the best because it offers a unique mix of products and content that appeals to many customers. The company’s online outdoor gear store is easy to navigate and provides detailed product descriptions. In addition, Huckberry’s customer service team is responsive and helpful.
Direct from the Retailers
Several of the outdoor gear websites in our list are direct from the retailer. These online outdoor gear stores don’t offer as wide a variety of products as some of the other stores on our list, but they make up for it with great prices and excellent customer service.
To determine the best outdoor gear websites, we considered several factors. First, we looked at the platform itself. We thought about selection, shipping, and return policy. We also looked at customer service to understand how helpful and responsive each retailer is. Finally, we considered international shipping to provide the best options for our international readers.
When determining the best outdoor gear websites, we looked at the platform. We considered the online shopping experience, selection, shipping, and return policy. We also looked at customer service to understand how helpful and responsive each retailer is. Finally, we considered international shipping to provide the best options for our international readers.
The best online outdoor gear stores should have a wide selection of brands and products. We considered the number of products each store carried and the variety of product categories. We also looked at whether the store offered discounted gear or sales on their merchandise.
When looking at shipping, we considered the minimum purchase for free shipping and turnaround time. Some stores offer free shipping on all orders, while others have a minimum purchase amount. We also looked at how fast each store could get the product to you and whether they offer expedited shipping.
We considered whether the store offered shipping to your country for our international readers. We also looked at whether the store had a return policy for items that were shipped internationally.
We considered return policies for each outdoor gear store on our list. We looked at return time-frames, restocking fees, and whether the store offered free returns or exchanges.
When looking at customer service, we considered the outdoor gear store contact information and hours of operation. We also looked at how easy it was to find answers to common questions on the retailer’s outdoor gear websites.
Is backcountry owned by REI?
Different companies own Backcountry.com and REI. Backcountry.com is owned by TSG Consumer Partners and REI is a co-op and owned by its active members.
What is the best outdoor store for backpacking and hiking
No matter what your outdoor activity of choice is, having good quality outdoor gear is essential:
- It ensures your safety while you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
- Good outdoor equipment can make your experience more enjoyable by keeping you comfortable and dry during camping, hiking, or just spending time in the backyard.
- High-quality outdoor gear is built to last, so you’ll save money in the long run by investing in good equipment instead of cheap gear that will need to be replaced often.
Regarding finding the best outdoor gear stores, REI is an excellent option because they offer high-quality products at reasonable prices. They provide a great selection of gear for all your needs and have affordable shipping and return policies. Additionally, their customer service is top-notch, and they offer international shipping. So, if you’re looking for the best place to buy outdoor gear, REI is the place to go.