Image by Cameron Kirby

Gear

Rock Climbing
Hiking Boots

While you can find some outdoor equipment in large chain stores, a lot of gear is sold at specialized stores. Sometimes the selection is vast, other times it’s disappointing.

 

These are the stores that we’ve visited. We didn’t make purchases in all of them but we want to include them to give you all the options we know.

STORES
Canada

Top Outdoor Stores in Toronto

Reading a Map

We visited the Toronto store in 2018. We heard it recently relocated to an even bigger space. It’s not cheap, but you can find everything for various sports in one place.  We loved how outdoor savvy the staff was. 

Woman in Grey Jacket

We discovered this Toronto store by walking along Queen Street. They specialize in sustainable Merino wool. The quality is amazing and their technology impressive. 

Hike in the Forest

The Toronto store is pretty small. We haven’t used this brand much but it’s good to know it’s there. 

Nature Photographer

We discovered this Toronto store by walking along Queen Street. They specialize in sustainable Merino wool. The quality is amazing and their technology impressive. 

Mexico

Top Outdoor Stores in Mexico City

Bouldering Wall

The biggest mountaineering store in Mexico City still carries a limited selection, especially for women’s clothing. It’s expensive but they offer interest free payments and a card to accumulate points. 

Dry Woods

This store relocated to a bigger space a couple of years ago. They specialize in mountaineering. Their staff is experienced and knowledgeable

Teenagers hiking

The best option for entry-level clothing, shoes and some camping gear. We don’t love the quality, but it’s the cheapest option. Don’t expect to find technical equipment. 

Compass

This is another option for cheap and entry-level clothing and camping gear. It can get crowded and it’s not easy to browse, but they have a good selection.

Scaling the Rocks

This store is located at the headquarters of the Mexican Alpine Club. It’s small but they carry a fair selection of mountaineering and camping gear. 

Nature Photographer

Our favorite brand for trail running gear. They also sell some winter gear and boots. We usually go to Perisur but sometimes the prices are more expensive than in independent stores. 

Patagonia

Top Outdoor Stores in Chile

Winter Views

The headquarters of Chile’s most popular mountaineering shop has a good selection of mountaineering, camping and winter gear. 

Nature Explorer

Although a lot smaller than the Santiago store, we found everything we needed for our W trek. It may be hard to find a good selection during high season. 

A note on Patagonia

Puerto Natales (Chile) and El Calafate (Argentina) have a large number of outdoor shops for such small towns. We won’t list them here because:

1) there are too many and,

2) by the time we took our trip, we had everything we needed.

In our experience, buying outdoor equipment and clothing can be expensive but not extortionate. For example, you can choose less technical clothes from cheaper brands if you’re doing short and easy hikes. Upgrading may come naturally over time but it’s only optional. 


However, if you’re on a budget, don’t ever skimp on safety equipment. It has to be certified and new from a trustworthy brand. Your life depends on it! 

ONLINE

Online options vary depending on where you live. We’re based in Mexico City and large stores like REI or popular brands like Osprey don’t ship to Mexico. We can get a lot of brands here but the import taxes really increase the price.

Go to the blog to read our thoughts on everything we've bought and how much it cost.

Bekenyn-llbean-helium-jacket_edited_edited.jpg

L.L. Bean is an understated brand that has a huge selection of outdoor clothing and footwear.

 

It’s best for hiking, running, trekking and snow sports. We particularly love the many sizing options they have for women.

We've found that the quality of L.L. Bean clothing rivals that of brands like The North Face.  

And they ship worldwide!