/ Best Outdoor Shop

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Babika - on 23 Aug 2016
Now this isn't a plug - I have no affiliation with the shop or the staff whatsoever, but my vote goes to......

Joe Brown's in Capel Curig

Brilliant staff - knowledgeable, not condescending, let you browse around without bothering you and they know their shoe fitting. Good selection of gear AND a very sensible attitude if you have to return something (which I did after 15 months).

All in all a great place to shop.


Worst place - I shan't name it but its in the Peaks and has snooty staff (one who actually rolled his eyes when I dared to request a back gear loop on my harness), a "difficult" approach if you query anything and rather high prices.

There are lots of really good shops but I still think the Gold medal goes to Joe's.
Fredt on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Best:
Hitch'n'Hike at Bamford

Brilliant staff - knowledgeable, not condescending, let you browse around without bothering you and they know their shoe fitting. Good selection of gear AND a very sensible attitude if you have to return something.

All in all a great place to shop.

Worst - one at Capel Curig.
GridNorth - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Needle Sports, Rock & Run and V12 deserve praise as well.

Al
twodada on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

In things like this I find a single best a difficult concept. There are a bunch of shops that offer fantastic service, and i'm not taking anything away from JB's, but I have also found that Needle Sports, Cold Mount Kit and Elite Mountain Sports have all offered similar levels of service/advice/flexability. I tend to shop amongst these suppliers, looking for the best deal. I would not want to distinguish amgst them, as they are all fantastic.

Then there are a group of second tier Specilst shops (won't name) that have not quite got the service element and following up the rear are the mass market guys who usually have limited stock and poor/patchy knowledge and infexable 'policies' and little service mentality.
Babika - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to GridNorth:

Yes, a definite big tick for Needle Sports as well.

I rarely visit in person but I can't fault a superb online service.
johncook - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

I always advocate using independent retailers, but after visiting three recently with a friend who needed new rock shoes I am beginning to have doubts.
Favourite response is "What size are your ordinary shoes, you will need rock shoes at least two full sizes smaller."
After being told that the climber did trad up to VS, they tried to sell a very expensive and aggressive option. "You will climb a lot harder in the right shoes."
When a pair was found that fitted nicely but were somewhat tight the recommendation was to drop a size and a half and then allow them to stretch.
One store we visited advertised that they sold a particular brand, which my friend liked. When we got their they only had one very small (5) pair and proceeded to try to sell what I assume was a bigger profit making brand.
One of these 'experts', when pressed admitted he didn't climb, but was a fell runner.
Unfortunately for the independants my friend eventually bought a pair on-line. If the advice had been better and the shop people had known their job he would have bought from them. He lost all confidence in independants as a result and vowed to only shop on-line/go-outdoors
andrewmcleod - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
V12 is my usual shop of choice, partly because I am a premier member (£20/year, 15% points) but mostly because they have probably the best range of DMM krabs. One of the few places where you can buy most of the range in whatever colour you desire!
Post edited at 12:51
Glyno - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

just been giving a bit of thought as to my favourite outdoor shop and my least favourite, and they are both in Keswick!
Max factor - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:


> Joe Brown's in Capel Curig

> Brilliant staff - knowledgeable, not condescending, let you browse around without bothering you and they know their shoe fitting. Good selection of gear AND a very sensible attitude if you have to return something (which I did after 15 months).

And they do a really good job of not seeming to mind when we go in there like idiots, bother them to look at forecasts for all the potentially dry bits of rock and then spend 15 minutes dithering over our decision. Exemplary patience!
purplemonkeyelephant - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

I didn't know it was there but popped into Rock On by Mile End climbing wall recently. Amazing range of gear, some very hard to find elsewhere (ie big cams/totems etc).
dek - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to GridNorth:

> Needle Sports, Rock & Run and V12 deserve praise as well.

> Al

Another vote for Needle Sports! Fantastic online and telephone service. The lady who deals with customers, can't do enough to help, if you have any sizing queries, or problems. Very fast delivery of the goods too, and the refund of your returns postage was unexpected, simply excellent, and great to deal with!
gd303uk - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
Outside, Hathersage .
Joe Brown , Llanderis.

We are lucky to have some great shops,
Needle sports,
V12,
Banana fingers,
Urban rock,
Etc, all good.

I like and have used all the shops above as well as a few others.
Post edited at 15:45
Bjartur i Sumarhus on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Being a southerner I find Decathlon my most useful outdoor shop, had good service and its cheap. Having said that, I am a million miles away from the sharp end of any sport so never feel the need to own £600 "technical" mountain jacket to walk the dog in ;-)
andyjohnson0 - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

+1 for Needlesports. Great service, and they always get my custom when possible.

I'm still trying to work out who Babika's unnamed "worst place" is. Wondered if it might be Outside at Hathersage, but I find that hard to believe.
paul__in_sheffield - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Best Shop V12, good coffee, great range, and a great bunch working in there, even though they constantly tell you the new N Wales bouldering guide is 'almost ready'
Best online UK is Bananafingers, best range and discount, good service
Best anywhere though is Bergfreunde, even with the current bad exchange rate, their range and discounts are excellent, and because it's European you have a colour choice beyond UK drab. And it's one of the only places to pick up hard to get items like Sportiva Testarossas
Aztec Bar on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Arc'teryx Piccadilly, London.

All products have the important label, no riff raff, usually empty so staff attentive, some of the products are good too.

Shoes and boots are an acquired taste and over engineered but sense of superiority when leaving with purchase makes up for it.
tom_in_edinburgh - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Going to be hard to compete with Globetrotter and Sporthaus Schuster in Munich. How many UK sports shops have a via ferrata or a pool to test kayaks?
climberchristy on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Another +1 for Needlesports both online and in actual shop.

For online alone +1 for Bergfreunde. Some great discounts and amazingly cheap and fast delivery to UK.
Babika - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Yeah, I like Bergfreunde as well - but it's not very patriotic or giving employment, and I have yet to test the service when a product proves faulty after a few months.

That is one of the best tests - do they still love you and pay attention when the cash has long since gone in the till?
Babika - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to andyjohnson0:

> I'm still trying to work out who Babika's unnamed "worst place" is. Wondered if it might be Outside at Hathersage, but I find that hard to believe.

I'm not going to say, it wouldn't be nice.

But as well as being rather sneering and unhelpful when selling me a harness and boots on two separate occasions, maybe because I don't climb 7b, they also cut me a length of accessory rope (for my prussics) which measured short when I measured it at home. When I queried it the response was "well we've found we've been losing a lot of rope by cutting too generously"

Yes. Honestly. You couldn't make it up.
Mike Highbury - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Aztec Bar:
> Arc'teryx Piccadilly, London.

Top tip: no discount at Arcteryx so pop up the road to Liberty and use your loyalty voucher to buy the must have Veilance.
Post edited at 18:05
BnB - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> Going to be hard to compete with Globetrotter and Sporthaus Schuster in Munich. How many UK sports shops have a via ferrata or a pool to test kayaks?

I think we (my family of four) spent an entire day in Schuster the other year. Heaven!!
yelotango - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika: UpandUnder in Cardiff, helpful & knowledgeable staff(been there / done it without condescension), I`ve been talked out of buying stuff I don`t need.
CAB - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Why would you want to take a kayak on a via ferrata? Those kooky Germans!
stratandrew on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

+1 for Needle Sports. Head and shoulders both online and in store. The staff are just great.

Outside, V12, Joe Browns, Hitch 'n Hike are all about equal in my book

Online only: Whilst Alpkit have a limited range they are groing it and are superb for service, even if many of their products are out of stock.
Dave the Rave on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

High Peak Leisure in Stoke. Awesome. Friendly, informative staff and a good returns policy.
Big Steve - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
I like Joe Browns and V12 in LLanberis mainly for the reasons already mentioned by others - friendly staff who dont try and sell you stuff and are quite happy for you to browse

The worst has to either Cotswolds or Ellis Brigham in Covent Garden, you are treated as a shoplifter as soon as you walk in the door. Although to be fair, all Ellis Brigham shops are pretty awful
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 23 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

So to sum up. The independent specialist shops are good, the multiples not so. Support the independents.
johncook - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

AFAIK Browns is not an independent shop any more. Maybe someone could clarify the ownership of Browns. I would hate to have absorbed wrong information.
PATTISON Bill - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

There is one in Ambleside who advertised the new Borrowdale guide at £16 ,when I tried to buy it they said the computer had made a mistake Ha Ha,When I pointed out they were breaking the law they came up with a load of rubbish.Best avoided.Not what they used to be.
Greasy Prusiks on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Dicks Climbing in Bristol is great for buying rock climbing gear. Staff know their stuff and are up for a laugh they've a good range of gear and none of that apres climb bollocks!
WaterMonkey - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> Dicks Climbing in Bristol is great for buying rock climbing gear. Staff know their stuff and are up for a laugh they've a good range of gear and none of that apres climb bollocks!

I agree great shop, but why don't they put price tags on gear? Unless it was due to the refurb but at the moment you have to ask the chap behind the counter how much stuff is.
deepsoup - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to PATTISON Bill:
Breaking the law how? By refusing to sell it to you at the price on the (incorrect) label?
If so, you were the one talking rubbish I'm afraid.
sheelba - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

I've always found V12 much more friendly, more helpful and occasionally cheaper than Joe Brown's. However Alpenstock in Stockport is comfortably the best for customer service. They will offer you tea and chat for hours, give you great advice and are unbelievably helpful.
PATTISON Bill - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to deepsoup:

Read the current legislation.
Richard Hall - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> I agree great shop, but why don't they put price tags on gear? Unless it was due to the refurb but at the moment you have to ask the chap behind the counter how much stuff is.

Hi,

Glad you like the shop.

In an ideal world we would of course price each product individually, however and I am aware that this sounds like a really weak answer, we simply don't have time.

We have deliveries everyday of not just a couple of items, but sometimes hundreds of different items all with different prices. So it would take someone perhaps an hour a day to price everything. Half of this stuff would then be out the door again within the next couple of days anyway. Also prices change regularly, so repricing would become a big administrative task. At the moment it just requires me to change numbers on a spreadsheet.

I have always tried to run the business as efficiently as possible. We currently have only two full time members of staff and one part time. We would certainly require more if we were to individually price ever item.

If our biggest market were people walking though the door and buying climbing equipment we would probably make an effort to price every item. This isn't our biggest market however, not by a long shot. I am aware that having to ask prices doesn't give the best experience for everyone, but I do think it encourages dialog between staff and customer, which I like. Ultimately I know that things should be priced, but have decided that the time is best spent on other things.


deepsoup - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to PATTISON Bill:
Here's something from a quick google:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/money-saving-tips/9762004/Shopping-consumer-right...

"MYTH 5

'The price tag was wrong, but the retailer has to honour it'

THE FACTS Unfortunately not. This is a case of "if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is". If you happen to spot something that is incorrectly priced you have no legal right to buy it for that price. If you get to the till and the sales assistant notices, the retailer is within its rights to refuse to sell it to you for that price. This is also the case if you order an item online – if the mistake is noticed before you have been contacted by the retailer to confirm the sale, there is no legally binding contract and it is within its rights to refuse the sale. "

Plenty more out there if you care to look.

> Read the current legislation.

Current legislation? You mean the Consumer Rights Act (which replaced the Sale of Goods Act last year)?
How does that change things? In what sense were you not talking rubbish in that shop in Ambleside when you "pointed out they were breaking the law"?
WaterMonkey - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Richard Hall:

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the prompt reply. Much appreciated and I understand your reasons. As I said, great shop and I look forward to visiting again next time I'm down that way
Richard Hall - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to WaterMonkey:

> Hi Richard,

> Thanks for the prompt reply. Much appreciated and I understand your reasons. As I said, great shop and I look forward to visiting again next time I'm down that way

See you then!

Dick
andrewmcleod - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to PATTISON Bill:

> Read the current legislation.

You are going to have to be more specific.

Putting an item up for sale in a shop with or without a price is not an offer in the legal sense but just an invitation to treat. The shop has every right to refuse to sell you an item for any reason they choose to think of. Since they have not made an offer, a contract will not be formed even if you make an offer and consideration (payment).
FreeHeelSki on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
I'm surprised Facewest hasn't appeared yet as an online favourite. I've used them for years, the customer service is absolutely superb with a great range of gear. No junk or fillers, just quality, well thought-out stock. They've got hold of gear l needed (needed...Mrs FreeHeelSki may disagree...) even if they don't stock it. Good loyalty scheme as well. Great bunch.

Interesting that the Arc'teryx Temple (sorry, shop) in Picadilly has come up as a favourite. As a fully commited member of the Cult of the Boney Bird, l went in to have a look at what they had in. The friendly, but to be honest not very knowledgable assistant proceeded to show me the Khamski 38, and told me that the zip pouch at the back to hold your probe, shovel and skins was 'for storing dirty things'. Either A, he had no idea about ski-touring or B, he was talking about my iPad and its browsing history. Probably both. Bizarrely, there is another small Arc'teryx shop in Covent Garden, the two blokes that staffed it were really friendly and knowledgable and happily chatted away about the wonder that is our favourite Canadian import, and they did discount. Piccadilly is useful to have a look, then buy from Facewest.

I've been impressed by Joe Brown's (both) and V12. Nice to see shops selling technical gear as a core, not just a credibility decoration.

As for the worst shop, Nevisport in Fort Bill is looking really tired recently. Changed days.
Post edited at 13:31
Ramblin dave - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

I'm generally happy with Needlesports, Joe Brown or Hitch N Hike.

But I'm going to vote for Open Air in Cambridge - not the biggest range of gear, but what they do stock tends to be the stuff that you want, and respect is due in any case for managing to keep an outdoors shop running successfully in the middle of East Anglia.
Aztec Bar on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to FreeHeelSki:

The inclusion of The Arc'teryx shop in Piccadilly was a bit tongue in cheek on my part, it is unlike any other outdoor shop out there and seems to be designed to remove large quantity's of cash from visitors to London from overseas. Coming out of the shop with an expensive item in a designer bag to be confronted by someone sleeping rough in a doorway or selling the big issue sort of brings it home.

On the Arc'teryx front if anyone is visiting Vancouver on the North Shore they have a factory outlet shop which sells seconds with very little wrong with them for about 1/3 the cost in UK. I picked up a few bargains on my last visit.
Timmd on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
I think I'd plump for Hitch n Hike and Outside as two shops which spring to mind for having great service at, when going for rucksacks and boots the 'd' family have had great advice and service at Outside, and really honest advice at Hitch n Hike about sleeping mats and other bits and pieces in the past.
Post edited at 14:02
radar - on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

A certain big shop in the Peak, used to be part and parcel of the routine for a day cragging. Big brew, bacon butty and a peruse of shiny things. Not been in there for a long time. Went last week. Rude staff, over inflated prices, made to feel like i was an unwelcome inconvenience to their day - I asked about base layers, assistant grunted and pointed at the women's section, which would have been fine if i was a woman. Left without spending any money. They used to be brilliant, got excellent advice buying a Macpac baby carrier, and various boots over the years.

Same as a trip to the Lakes had to involve a visit to Rock and Run in Ambleside, a brew at Wilfs, and a black pudding fritter and chips at Staveley chippy on the way home (they are as disgusting as they sound). Not the same visiting Ambleside now. Llanberis = Pete's Eats and V12.

Whereas Needlesports - brill shop, great range, competitive pricing, helpful and friendly staff.

On-line I've found Needlesports and Banana Fingers both excellent.
ads.ukclimbing.com
keith-ratcliffe on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
Up here in Scotland I have had good service from Tiso's especially at their Glasgow specialist store.
planetmarshall on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to andyjohnson0:

> I'm still trying to work out who Babika's unnamed "worst place" is. Wondered if it might be Outside at Hathersage

Well of course it is, which begs the question why it wasn't just named in the first place rather than this passive aggressive nonsense.
planetmarshall on 24 Aug 2016
In reply to andrewmcleod:

> The shop has every right to refuse to sell you an item for any reason they choose to think of.

Well not *any* reason... they cannot refuse to sell you goods if it would be deemed discrimination against a protected characteristic - as that would be unlawful. But yes, PATTISON Bill was talking bollocks.
BnB - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Well of course it is, which begs the question why it wasn't just named in the first place rather than this passive aggressive nonsense.

I kind of liked the obliqueness of the reference. As though Outside-baiting was an underground movement (no, not a shit in a cave). The first rule of...
Bellie on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to johncook:

Joe Browns was bought by the Climbers Shop.
janie67 on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

For me - Gear For Girls in Wooler/online. Equal would be Joe Browns, helpful, friendly and good pricing from both. Very good advice given freely.
Tony the Blade on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Decathlon or GoOutdoors.
andrewmcleod - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Bellie:

> Joe Browns was bought by the Climbers Shop.

I was wondering why their websites looked identical

The Brexit vote stopped buying from the EU being quite as appealing as it had been previously...

Jim 1003 - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Tony the Blade:

Agreed, Decathlon or Go Outdoors has best value by far.
Babika - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

Maybe best value, but how good are they if you have to return an item that has fallen apart after a year?

Any one got any experience?
nathan79 - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Not personally, but I know a few folk who've had great service with gear issues post-purchase.

I used to be a big fan of Go Outdoors, but my local one in Edinburgh seems to be declining in quality. Still an okay amount of decent stuff but ever-increasing levels of tat and low quality stuff (I guess purely for the sake of bringing in cash).
Sean Kelly - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

I was going to add the gentleman's outdoor shop, Robert Lawrie's in Kensington, but it has probably gone by now. They kitted me out for my first Alpine season circa 1969! Their leather boots were the best I have ever had, totally comfortable, took crampons and looked stylish, and of course they were British made!!
tripehound - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Needlesports.
crustypunkuk - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned trekitt. I've never visited in person, but I've always had superb service from them online and their prices are always excellent too.
paul_the_northerner - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

my local shop: Inglesport in ingleton Yourkshire.

Alan Steele the previous owner was a big help answering questions and advising on gear when i started out. he was also somewhat flexible on the marked price of things which great as a cash strapped student!
spenser - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Needlesports (Anything if I have time to wait for delivery/ don't want to fondle it first)
V12 (great for a bit of gear fondling when it's raining and everyone else is too hungover to venture beyond Pete's
LD Mountain Centre (Conveniently located, often have reasonable deals on things)
Wildtrak (sadly now bought out by start fitness and looking as healthy as the dodo)
Dick's Climbing (Interchangeable with Needlesports for climbing stuff)
Outside (Guidebooks for far away places)
All have previously provided me with excellent customer service, I went in, asked for what I was looking for, got it fitted, handed over my money and left (except for Dick's Climbing as that has always been online purchases for me).
Timmd on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
> Maybe best value, but how good are they if you have to return an item that has fallen apart after a year?

> Any one got any experience?

Somebody I volunteered for once said that the details of things which fall apart and are taking back, are fed into some kind of data base towards improving future products, after working at Decathlon previously. I've no experience of taking things back though.
Post edited at 23:46
IainWhitehouse - on 25 Aug 2016
In reply to Bellie:

Close but no cigar Bellie, it was the other way round.

Joe Browns bought the Climbers Shop.
wee jamie on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

My favourite always used to be Castle Mountain and Moor in Nottingham. I loved that place in the 1990s. They always had brilliant Berghaus and North Face clearance stuff at very low prices. The staff were very helpful and it was an exciting shopping experience - I never knew what I was going to leave with, but knew it was going to be great! I still have a fair bit of that kit now.

I used to work in the Ice Factor shop ten years ago. I took great pride in ordering the stuff I belived in, and the best few years were when I discovered the magic Patagonia clearance list. Amazing prices which I passed on to the customer (but still made our margins).

I'm afraid for me now, the best outdoor shops are the ones with the lowest prices. Therefore I have to say I enjoy shopping at Decathlon, Sports Direct, Ebay, Sport Pursuit and The Outdoor Shop's amazing closing down sale last year. That's just the way I am though - a bargain hunter of the extreme.

Wsdconst - on 26 Aug 2016
In reply to radar:

> A certain big shop in the Peak, used to be part and parcel of the routine for a day cragging. Big brew, bacon butty and a peruse of shiny things. Not been in there for a long time. Went last week. Rude staff, over inflated prices, made to feel like i was an unwelcome inconvenience to their day - I asked about base layers, assistant grunted and pointed at the women's section, which would have been fine if i was a woman. Left without spending any money.

Had a similar experience recently there too. Went in to buy some new shoes, guy reluctantly helped me for about 30 seconds then just wondered off and started talking to his bro's, a few people have been saying the same thing lately as well.
Jim 1003 - on 27 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:
> Maybe best value, but how good are they if you have to return an item that has fallen apart after a year?

> Any one got any experience?

Decathlon changes up to a year, it doesn't matter if you just want to change it because you don't like it. I bought some ski boots in Decathlon Edinburgh last year, then changed them in France 2 months later because I didn't like them. I then bought another pair in France used them for 2 weeks and took them back because I didn't like them either. I was given another pair, no questions asked.
I have just bought an Alpine sack there for less than half the price I would have paid at Needlesports, if I don't like it I'll take it back after I've used it. Try doing that at a Needle sports or Joe Browns!
Decathlon is the only outdoor shop with an unconditional change policy for 12 months, I think helmets, hardware will obviously be excluded, but obviously if there is a fault they just change stuff as normal.
Post edited at 11:17
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 28 Aug 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:

So basically you take the pi$$
Rick Graham on 28 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

All shops can have their " bad " days but overall we have had a lot of strong contenders for best/good shops already mentioned.

Missing still, I think, is the Climbers Shop in Ambleside.
I have found them very good recently.
Timmd on 28 Aug 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:
I can remember being in a branch of Outside during my teens while on a work experience, and while chatting with the boss and one of the staff, it emerged that the (well respected) staff member didn't have any alpine or mountaineering experience - which seemed to surprise Dick in how he reacted and he walked off looking thoughtful. Then years later I read something in one of the magazines about the Outside staff going on a summer climbing trip to the Alps each year, to make sure they all have some alpine/mountaineering experience as well as in general climbing.
Post edited at 21:02
Jim 1003 - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> So basically you take the pi$$

Not really, it's their policy to change things if you don't like them. I say I don't like them...they change them..why shop elsewhere?
john_mx - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

V12 is the best by far in my opinion
David Coley - on 31 Aug 2016
In reply to Babika:

Cold Mountain Kit
Timmd on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to Jim 1003:
> Not really, it's their policy to change things if you don't like them. I say I don't like them...they change them..why shop elsewhere?

There's a concept/saying about the difference between the letter and the spirit of the law going through my head. It possibly applies to policies too? ;-)

( or possibly not )
Post edited at 20:42
cas smerdon - on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to Babika:

> Maybe best value, but how good are they if you have to return an item that has fallen apart after a year?

> Any one got any experience?

Took Salomon boots back to Go Outdoors after 2 years as they started leaking. Just outside Salomon's 2 year warranty but they sent them back to gortex for testing and I got a replacement pair.

I nominate The Epicentre in Ambleside. Knowledgeable staff and good bargain floor upstairs.
Timmd on 01 Sep 2016
In reply to cas smerdon:

> Took Salomon boots back to Go Outdoors after 2 years as they started leaking. Just outside Salomon's 2 year warranty but they sent them back to gortex for testing and I got a replacement pair.

That's brilliant.

Aztec Bar on 02 Sep 2016
In reply to Aztec Bar:

I've changed my mind, don't go to the Arc'teryx shop in Piccadilly London. About half an hour ago I walked in, no other customers in shop and about 6 members of staff. I was asked about 4 times in five mins if they could help me , I said no thanks only looking.

I was followed around the shop by 6 pairs of eyes, every time I touched an item of clothing a member of staff would tidy it about a minute later. I left without purchasing anything.
About as relaxing experience as having your prostate checked.
Tam O'Bam - on 03 Sep 2016
In reply to nathan79:

> I used to be a big fan of Go Outdoors, but my local one in Edinburgh seems to be declining in quality. Still an okay amount of decent stuff but ever-increasing levels of tat and low quality stuff (I guess purely for the sake of bringing in cash).

I agree. Frequently there is something advertised on-line as being available, but when you go for the "click and collect" option (usually the home delivery option is not available), the Edinburgh store is "out of stock" for that particular Item, and the nearest "in stock" store is in Cumbria, Inverness or Stockton-on-Tees. They aren't keen on transferring stock from one store to another when you ask them either. Climbing gear seems to be a lower priority in-store than all the other stuff. Hey-ho.

Always found Needlesports very helpful and usually reasonably priced, if not the absolute cheapest.

Tam O'Bam - on 03 Sep 2016
In reply to Aztec Bar:

> About as relaxing experience as having your prostate checked.

There MIGHT be some who enjoy that experience. (Personally I needed every mililitre of my "deep breath")!

CliffPowys on 03 Sep 2016
In reply to Babika:
If not limited to the UK:

Best in UK - Needle Sports
Best in Europe (now that you guys are leaving) - Sporthaus Schuster, Munich
Best in North America - draw between REI, Los Angeles and Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada
Best in Australia/NZ - Mountain Equipment, Sydney
Best in Nepal - draw between Everest Hardwear and Mountain Outdoors
Best in Peru - Jawapi Adventures, Huaraz
Post edited at 23:43
Aonach on 04 Sep 2016
In reply to Babika:
Seems to be confusion between price and value in this thread.
12 indie outdoor shops per year go bust.
Some go bust because they've got bad owners, bad stock or bad staff - fair enough.
Most go bust because they have bad customers.
Rick Graham on 04 Sep 2016
In reply to Aonach:

> Seems to be confusion between price and value in this thread.

> 12 indie outdoor shops per year go bust.

> Some go bust because they've got bad owners, bad stock or bad staff - fair enough.

> Most go bust because they have bad customers.

The second last word is a bit harsh, maybe you just used it to maintain the flow of prose.

Replace bad with not enough and it makes more sense to me.

IMHO a lot of indies are run because the owners want to be in the business.

The bigger chains are run because the owners want a business.

Getting both options covered only happens in a few cases, a combination of luck, good decisions and hard work.
Timmd on 04 Sep 2016
In reply to Tam O'Bam:
> Always found Needlesports very helpful and usually reasonably priced, if not the absolute cheapest.

With shops like Needle Sports or Outside or Hitch n Hike (etc), I like to think I'm paying for the knowledge and experience behind their advice, so price isn't the most important thing for me when buying something where it's important to get good advice and to be able to check something out in person before buying it.
Post edited at 20:52
deepsoup - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Babika:
I'd like to add a non-climbing contender here. (The thread title does say "Outdoor Shop" after all.)

Peak UK (who make kayaking gear) have a little factory shop at their HQ in Darley Dale. It isn't really intended as a retail shop as such, but you can often just drop in during office hours. I was tempted to mention them earlier, based on my experience a year or so ago when I wandered in as a beginner looking to buy a few bits of kit for the first time - I got tons of good advice, a nice cup of coffee, and a great deal of patience while I tried on everything in the shop.

Last week I dropped in to ask a bit of advice about some tape that was coming adrift around the wrist seals on my well-worn (and well out of warranty) second-hand drysuit, and to see if I could get a replacement for a velcro tab that was a bit knackered. They asked me to leave it with them, the workshop was quite busy but they'd have a look when they got a chance. I was just about to ring to chase it up, when it arrived back to me by courier this morning - neck and wrist seals re-taped, velcro tab replaced and P&P to send it home, free of charge. Got to like that.
Xharlie on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to deepsoup:

It's probably out of range for many but if you do happen to be coming over here to climb some of the cornucopia of limestone outcroppings in the Frankenjura (die Fränkische Schweiz as it is called, locally) there is a great little store in the south of Nuremburg called Toni Weiß. You'll always meet the same three blokes behind the counter and they are very helpful and will trade in English if you ask them to. It is far and away the best climbing and alpine shop that I have ever visited - also the only one to sell me boots that work in real-life mountain conditions.

I bought a pair of crampons from them and the member of the trio who was helping me went to the back and dug up a spare crampon bag (nice, solidly constructed canvas and mesh thing with a quality zip) from another brand. He gave it to me for free because he reckoned, correctly, that it was a vastly superior bag to the one that was supplied by the manufacturer of the boot-teeth I had bought. I walked out with the best crampons for my boots and price range and the better bag, knowing where I'd be buying my next bit of kit. Wins all round. (Later, when my backpack wasn't shredded by dripping metal spikes covered in glacial grit, I was grateful for his largess.)
toad - on 16 Sep 2016
In reply to Babika:

Has anyo ne mentioned proadventure in Llangollen, yet? More of a general outdoors/ bushcrafty place, but does sell guidebooks, climbing gear/ kayak gubbins as well. Plus they do seem to be trying to raise the profile of Llangollen as an outdoors destination and seem pretty rooted in the community.

And they sell lovely, if overpriced axes. MMmmmm axes.......

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.