There are many places to buy hiking gear in Beijing – from the North Face and Columbia shops in Sanlitun to the stalls at the Zoo Market (where the products may have fallen off the back of someone’s truck).
When we go shopping for hiking gear we usually visit Sanfo and Decathlon, two chains of stores with quite a few branches around Beijing.
Decathlon is a French sports supermarket with five huge outlets in Beijing.
Good things about Decathlon: The product quality is fine, and they usually have shoe sizes up to around about 46 (Size 12-13). The prices are reasonable, and there are lots of other sporting goods to have a look at. (Protective underwear for when you're practising Kendo? They have it.)
But … hiking is just one of the product categories at Decathlon and the range is not extremely extensive: mostly clothing and footwear, but you will find tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks. None of the big international brands are represented.
Decathlon website: www.decathlon.com.cn (The Decathlon site is now Chinese-language only.)
Sanfo Outdoors is an outdoor equipment chain that started off in Beijing and now covers much of China.
What’s good about Sanfo: The stores have all sorts of outdoor equipment and clothing with lots of international brands represented. Most of the people who work in the stores look like they hike a lot.
But … high level brands and import taxes make Sanfo a bit pricey.
Do you know of any other good places to buy hiking gear in Beijing? Any favourites? Let us know!