Chatswood seems to be the adventure shop capital of Australia. I’ve just planned and completed a trip and here is my take on the offerings.
These guys only stock quality and the staff also know their stuff. So if you must have the best of everything or you need a lot of advice or perhaps you just want to be sure you get quality this is the place to go. They also have specialist climbing gear not available anywhere else. The staff are all experienced and have good advice. If I was going anywhere were gear was a matter of life and death I'd shop here. The prices are competitive for comparable quality elsewhere but they only sell good stuff.
Next to Rebel Sports in Chatswood Westfield. These guys make quality clothing and their packs are great. I haveone of their own 75 liter packs and it’s been fantastic. I've done the Overland and part of the Appalachian Trail with it and it's really comfortable. They have a good range of boots and lots of bits and pieces – pack covers, food , socks etc. It’s a good store but it aimed at the walker/tourist rather than the serious adventure buff. Prices are good and the staff are pleasant if not always the most knowledgeable.
They have two stores:
Price based stuff but in my mind of variable quality and if it just has to work and last I’d advise you shop elsewhere. I have one of their sleeping mats and it’s started leaking around the valve after 3 uses. So I had a few difficult nights and was just lucky it’s was not too cold. My brother is an outdoor guide and he won’t buy their stuff for the same reason. However if you need a cheap parka or base layer this is the place to go. The staff are friendly but not hikers.
If you do a lot of adventure walking you’ll bump into this brand everywhere. The packs, sleeping bags and tents are great quality, hardwearing and seem to be the choice of the professionals. They have a good range of clothes and wet weather gear. It’s all well priced, not loaded with features but fit for purpose and can be trusted. I’ve bought a fair bit of clothing there and my wife has one of their -6 sleeping bags and it’s been great. All the proffessional guides on our trail had their packs because they'll take a beating. The staff are the geekiest bunch of hikers who know there stuff and are great to deal with. They have all done a lot of hiking and have really practical advice.
It’s a small store with a limited rage of quality brands. They only sell good gear so you could shop here for a serious exhibition. They have things no one else has like “look twice” womens wicking underwear. That's sexy hiking underwear if you care. Actually you'll probably always look a bit better in their stuff. I bought my Scarpa boots there and I have been delighted with that purchase. They have been great. Prices are bit high and they are not always on sale like the others. It’s a good store.