Getting equipped with the best outdoor gear isn’t hard when you live in a recreational headquarters like Durango. Finding the best deals, however, has become an artform.
Outdoor gear is rarely cheap, so when it comes time to buy, you deserve to know that you’re making the right decision at the right time. Trust the experts at our locally-run Durango businesses. Whether you’re budget-conscious and hunting for the perfect deal or a novice outdoorsman in need of the right advice, these top ten shops will help you get there.
Location: 546 E College Dr.
No matter what sort of gear I’m looking for, I always begin my search at the Durango Outdoor Exchange. Not only do I look forward to doggy kisses from the Great Dane/manager Tyson, I can also trust that DOE will have the largest selection of used gear in town - everything from skis to boots, bindings, climbing shoes, puffy jackets, kayaks, camp kitchen gear and more. If you time your visit just right, you may come out with the best deal of your life.
While you never know exactly what the Durango Outdoor Exchange is selling that day, there are a few tricks to finding killer deals. Often times, locals will sell their out-of-season gear on consignment at the shop. That means that when ski season starts, look for deals on summer gear like bikes, SUP boards, rafts, and swimsuits. Around March to April, you may find last season’s snowboards and skis up for sale. Nothing’s guaranteed, but it is always worth a look, especially since the awesome staff at DOE are always looking out for their customers. Check in with the team for tips on where and when to find just what you’re looking for.
Location: 1205 Camino Del Rio
Climbers, backpackers, skiers, and ultrarunners love the massive selection and awesome service at Backcountry Experience. Inside, you’ll find the latest and greatest new products and trends in the outdoor industry, as well as the most helpful staff around. The team, made up of some of the most interesting outdoor junkies and lifelong adventurers in town, provides nothing but honest, unbiased reviews, full of personal experience and understanding. If they don’t know how to help, they’ll know just who you should talk to next.
The Backcountry Annual Fall Sale, which happens at the end of October, is one of the most worthwhile blowout sales you’ll find. Browse for major discounts on outdoor apparel, hiking gear, climbing equipment, skis and more, as well as used demo equipment like backpacks, tents, and sleeping bags.
Location: 835 Main Avenue
Any outdoorists should make a point to check out the two-story mountaineering shop on Main Avenue. With brands like Black Diamond, Osprey, Dakine, Patagonia, Deuter and plenty more, Pine Needle boasts a small town REI feel. Downstairs, you’ll find everything from skis to seasonal apparel, climbing gear, boots, snowboards, and tents, while upstairs, they hide all the best deals on out-of-season gear and camp equipment.
Pay attention to the Pine Needle Calendar. The 10th Annual Ski Swap, an opportunity to swap old gear for new, just ended on October 26th. At the End of Season Sale, you can find clothing, footwear, sleeping bags, and all else discounted up to 30% off.
Location: 640 E 2nd Ave
A friendly face and a helpful hand can make all the difference between a frustrating or meaningful shopping experience. I give 2nd Avenue Sports a 5 star staff rating, for both their patience and helpfulness in answering the tough questions about the complicated gear. Nowhere else will you find the brutal, but necessary honesty that “yes, those ski goggles do make your head look weird.” The staff at 2nd Avenue reminds us to stop taking life so seriously.
Inside the shop, you’ll find big brand names like Pivot, Yeti, Scott, Trek, Santa Cruz, Kona and more. 2nd Avenue specializes in both ski and bike equipment, and offers retail and rental equipment year round. Can’t find what you need or prefer a different color? The team can order your perfect fit to be delivered right to the shop!
Location: 780 Main Avenue and 863 Main Avenue
Gardenswartz Outdoors and Gardenswartz Sporting Goods are right across the street from each other. The former specializes in camp and recreational gear, while the latter accommodates the hunting and fishing crowd. Founded in 1928, the Sporting Goods shop offers refined expertise in the realm of hunting. You’ll find beautiful knives, rifles, shotguns, optics, camouflage, as well as camp gear and hiking apparel. Gardenswartz Outdoors offers more lifestyle products, with gear for every backpacker, trail runner, climber, and mountaineer in your life. Together, both shops provide a well-rounded shopping experience and a massive selection of everything you’ll need.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the year for all Durango gear junkies is the Annual Gardenswartz Outdoors Extravaganza Sale. It’s a time when both stores combine their efforts to bring the best deals on essential gear like tents, sleeping bags, jackets, camp fuel, skis, boards, backpacking food, and everything in between. Based at the La Plata County Fairgrounds every spring, you’re likely to find the most in-demand gear of the year at whopping 70% discounts.
Duranglers Flies and Supplies
Location: 923 Main Avenue
Whether you’re looking to upgrade your fishing gear, restock the tackle box, or plan a trip in the Four Corners area, you must stop in Duranglers first. Not only is it an easy destination to purchase your necessary fish and game license, it’s one of the best hubs of fishing knowledge this side of Wolf Creek Pass. Take a class at the shop on Main Avenue or test out the gear you want to buy on a guided half or full day water excursion.
Look out for discounts on flies, boots, apparel and even watercrafts through their website. If you’re interested in more information check out the Durangler’s blog, full of gear reviews, trip reports, stories, and guides to fishable water in the area.
Location: 870 Main Avenue and 842 Main Avenue
Located across the street from one another on Main Avenue, Brown’s Sport Shoe and Brown’s Shoe Fit offer every shoe in every fit, for every form of adventure. You’ll find brands like Uggs, Merrells, Keens, Redwings, Tevas, Vasque Boots, Chacos, and more. Worried about pain points from your running shoes or concerned about proper form? The team at Brown’s Sport Shoe will walk you through the process of finding the perfect fit, step by step, just as Brown’s Shoe Fit can help with your hiking footwear needs.
The October Anniversary Celebration Sale is happening now at both locations, where you’ll find $10-15 off regularly priced footwear, as well as an additional 20% off clearance racks. Out of season gear is always the most discounted, so check their website for the latest news and steals.
Location: 598 Main Avenue
Where else in town can you build your dream mountain bike for rent, then apply the rental cost toward your purchase? Pedal the Peaks is Durango’s “little treasure bike shop” since 1992. No matter your budget, the team will work directly with you for your perfect, customized experience. Along with the rentals and maintenance offerings, Pedal the Peaks is a full service bike shop and arguably one of the best. The team has cultivated a community and wants to take you along for the ride. Seriously - there are opportunities available every week to join in on community rides.
What makes Pedal the Peaks special is their willingness to accommodate your needs as a cyclist, no matter your skill level. Stop in for advice or a brief consultation, and don’t forget to check the current coupon offerings on their website, which include discounts like “20% off Mountain Bike Rental” and “20% off Bicycle Repair Service.”
Location: 46825 Hw 550 N
Bubba’s Boards may be off the beaten path and easy to overlook, but you’d be mistaken to do so. The snowboard experts located on the road to Purgatory Mountain Resort are legendary in their genuine expertise of all things snowboarding. Find gear from brands like Dakine, Never Summer, DC, Flux, Smith, Vans, and Volcom in a shop that cares only about its customer base. Come in for rental gear, advice or the killer snowboard deals unrivaled in the Durango area.
Location: 360 S Camino Del Rio
If you didn’t find the discounted kayak of your dreams at Durango Outdoor Exchange, you may find it here at Durango’s expert water adventure destination. Beyond the epic guided rafting tours provided by 4Corners, their brick and mortar rafting shop will fulfill all your watersport needs. Find both new and used kayaks, rafts, canoes, and all the necessary gear to keep those boats a’floating. The shop offers rentals, lessons, and keeps a running list of everything on sale, so if you’re revving up for the best summer of your life, bring your shopping list here.