Gear you should always buy in a real shop
When Shopping for hiking gear in New Zealand,(or any where) there are some items that should always be purchased from a physical store;
- Footwear, packs and accessories(sandals, shoes, boots and gaiters)
- Clothing (Rain wear, general clothing and hats)
- Shelter(Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats)
These items are important to “try for size” for your comfort and fit each time you buy them. It is also likely that some of this items will be some of your more expensive items of hiking gear so you will want to get them right.
Do your own research before you shop.
In my observations its becoming more difficult to find physical store staff that know and use the gear they sell, so its wise to do your own research before you head to the store.
Knowing something about the item you are interested in can also be useful for gauging the product knowledge of the staff with a few “dumb questions” if they know the answers they can be useful.
Buying from over seas(Online)
This one is real simple, let the buyer be aware! You are generally not covered by NZ consumer laws… so know what your buying and be prepared to loose out if things go wrong.
The New Zealand stores I prefer for hiking gear
This is a list of of my preferred NZ shops and the items I use from their stores.
Swazi gear is stocked by the Hunting and fishing chain of stores, and can also buy direct from the very efficient online store. There gear is designed for hunting and its good.
- Swazi Fingerprints: Poly fleece fingered gloves – so warm!
- Cabin Socks: The best camp/ hut socks for freezing places: (made from Silk, Possum fur and fine Merino)
- Balaclava: -High visibility Poly fleece
Bivouac New Zealand – Love the online shop, but its also my first call when i need a real physical store too.
- Throlo light hiker socks
- Camelbak and accessories/ replacement parts
- MSR and 360 furno stoves
- Cooking pots
- Exped tents
- Thermarest mat
- Domex sleeping bags
- Goal Zero gear and accessories
Generally I avoid this store, as the clothing is generally over priced “city wear,” not recommend for hiking. The only item I buy here;
- Travel tooth brush kits – very light weight and and compact.
- PSB – Pocket Survival Bag
Online survey supply shop, with great prices and quick service.
- Hand held GPS
- Water proof note books
I am told these guys know there gear if you visit the store, but I have only used the online store and found them good for items that other shops don’t seem to carry.
- MSR accessories
Hunting and fishing chain through out New Zealand
- Huntech clothing
- Navigation compass
- Swazi clothing
- Sea to Summit dry bags
Online store with great pricing and fast service
My next stop after Bivouac, good selection of gear
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking accessories
Online shop – wide range of gear
- Multi tools
Safety equipment shop
- High visibility Clothing / Wide brim hat.(solar guard, light weight, breathable)
- Ear plugs ( great in crowded huts)
Macpac Online and Physical stores
- Hiking packs( although mine is now at least 20 years old… made in NZ before it went to china 🙂
- Hydration bladders
Where do you shop for hiking gear?