Local Hiking

Top 5 San Diego Outdoor and Camping Stores

San Diego Beach Aerial View

If you are looking to get new outdoor gear for your upcoming camping trip or hiking trip then San Diego has quite a few outdoor and camping stores to choose from. Each store will have unique outdoor items and brand offerings for you to choose from. From hiking boots all the way to camping tents, you will be able to find the gear you need for your upcoming outdoor adventure.

Here is a list of the top 5 San Diego outdoor stores and camping stores for you to get your new gear. These stores all offer different products, have their own return policy, prices, and more. Hiking gear and camping gear can be very expensive, so check out the store’s description down below so you can get gear at a great price and buy from a place with a worry-free return policy.

  • REI – Carries hiking gear, camping gear, outdoor apparel and footwear.
  • 5.11 Tactical – Carries outdoor Gear, outdoor apparel, and footwear.
  • Nomad Ventures – Carries hiking, backpacking, and camping gear along with apparel and footwear.
  • Walmart – Carries low-cost hiking, backpacking, and camping gear along with apparel and footwear.
  • Big 5 Sporting Goods – Carries affordable hiking, backpacking, and camping gear along with apparel and footwear.


Address: 5556 Copley Dr, San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 279-4400
Hours: 9AM-9PM (10AM-7PM on Sundays)
Store Site: https://www.rei.com/stores/san-diego.html
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/Q6QsebbRRL37KGqb9
REI is the most popular outdoor retailer in the states. They offer a wide variety of brands and gear item selections. REI offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all items they sell. You can return or replace items within one year of your purchase. While REI does have a great selection and wonderful return policy, their biggest downside is that they do not price-match.

5.11 Tactical

Address: 1257 Camino Del Rio South San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 501-9258
Hours: 10AM-8PM
Store Site: https://www.511tactical.com/
Google Maps Link: https://g.page/511-San-Diego?share
5.11 offers a wide variety of outdoor gear from outdoor clothes, everyday cary items, pouches, backpacks, boots, hats, and more. They unfortunately do not offer any camping items such as tents. All of the items offered in store are their own brand, so they have a limited selection for brands.

Nomad Ventures

Address: 405 W Grand Ave Escondido, CA 92025
Phone: (760) 747-8223
Hours: 10AM-6PM ( SAT: 9AM-6PM | SUN: 11AM-5PM)
Store Site: https://nomadventures.com/
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/M8Fj82UUaaMoz9Rt9
Nomad Ventures is a great outdoor stores that offers climbing gear, camping and hiking gear, backpacking, water sports, and more. They have a huge variety of brands to choose from . The downside to the store is that returns are only accepted within 30 days from the date of purchase and the items must be new and unused condition and any items bought online must be shipped back.


Address: 4840 Shawline St, San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 268-2885
Hours: 7AM-11PM
Store Site: https://www.walmart.com/store/5338-san-diego-ca
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/Qm7TrNsP6LTedkNs7
Walmart has everything these days, but don’t write them off for outdoor gear. They now carry the outdoor brand Ozark Trail. Ozark trail offers a huge variety of outdoor gear at very affordable prices. This is a great brand to get started with if you have a smaller budget. They have hiking backpacks, tents, headlamps, and almost everything you would need for your next hike or camping trip. Ozark trail is offered at all Walmarts, so find the one nearest to you.

Big 5 Sporting Goods

Address: 4838 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: (858) 560-0311
Hours: 10AM-8PM
Store Site: https://www.big5sportinggoods.com
Google Maps Link: https://goo.gl/maps/Hu1tJLegpRZHoezd9
Big 5 Sporting Goods offers a wide variety of hiking and camping gear. You can find many affordable options here for your outdoor gear needs. The downside of Big 5 Sporting Goods is that they have a limited brand selection. You can return online or in-store purchases after 90 days, though it has to be in brand new condition

3 Considerations Before Shopping at San Diego Outdoor and Camping Stores

hikers legs and boots on ground

Return Policy

There are three key things to consider before buying something from outdoor stores. You never want to buy new gear only to realize it isn’t for you and doesn’t fulfill your needs, so it is important to find out what their return policy is. Find out how many days they allow for their returns and also if it is okay to return used items. Sometimes you won’t know how an item such as a tent or pair of hiking boots performs until you actually try it out.

Price Matching

The cost of hiking and camping gear can be steep. Some stores have higher mark-up than others, however, there is one way to combat this. The next thing to consider is to find out if the store you are shopping at offers price-matching to other retailers or online retailers. Outdoor gear goes on sale year-round, so if you are looking for ways to save money then find the same item you want from the store and find it priced lower online to have them match the price.

Brand Offerings

Another thing to consider is if the camping store or outdoor store you are shopping at has a wide variety of brands to choose from. Some stores will only carry a select few brands which limit your options to pick from. A wider variety of brands is much better so you can find something that fits your needs and budget. It is a great idea to go to multiple stores so you have a wider selection to find the best item for you.

3 Ways to Save Money on Outdoor Gear

camper enjoying hot drink

Holiday Sales

Since camping and hiking gear can be so expensive, if you can afford to wait then you should wait until the next major holiday for big sales. Companies usually have between 20 to 50% off during major holidays. Starting from New Years Day, President’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas. These holidays or discount days usually have massive sales.

End of Season Clearance

The next best time to save money is to wait for end-of-season clearance. Summer gear is always on sale when Fall begins and winter gear is always on sale when spring begins. Although you are buying about a year early, you can save between 30 to 50% off usually. This has helped me save hundreds of dollars off my outdoor gear.

Shop Online or at Outlets

Although this is a list meant for shopping in stores at San Diego, one of the best ways you can save money is to shop online. I suggest you find the item in-store and try it out so you know it fits. From there if the store price matches then you can look that item up online to show them the lower price. If they do not price match then just order from the store that offers the lower price. Online stores now have fantastic return policies, so if something is wrong or you don’t like it, you can always return the item.


backpackers carrying gear towards forest

Shopping at local San Diego outdoor stores and camping stores is great. You will be able to see a huge variety of outdoor gear ranging from hiking boots, rain jackets, beanies, tents, to backpacks. You can see the features and materials of this gear in person. However, it is important that the store has a good return policy in the event that the item isn’t what you expected.

As you try and buy outdoor gear over the years, your preferences will likely change. Retailers have great offerings in-store and now as a consumer, you have many wonderful options online. The best of both worlds is when you can get price matching and have a great return policy so you can save a ton of money and not be locked into an item that didn’t work for you. Enjoy your trips to these outdoor stores and camping stores in San Diego!