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6 Incredibly Budget-Friendly Outdoor Stores for the Best Shopping in Denver

best shopping in Denver

These days, clothing costs a lot of money. If you’re anything like me, spending top dollar on clothing has always been a struggle and you’ve typically chosen the “fast fashion” route. While this worked throughout my ever-evolving youthful years, I’m starting to grow into my functional, basic, and sustainable era that I plan to keep for a while. Neutrals only baby. There are several reasons for this shift including getting older, hating shopping, and moving into a van. This move forces me to remove the excess and discover minimalist lifestyle benefits. Since downsizing, I’ve learned a bit more about the investment and methods of shopping sustainably in a budget-friendly way. Little did I know this months-long obsession would also become a quest to find the best shopping in Denver for functional outdoor and athletic gear on an average budget.

I explored so many clothing stores in Denver that eventually led me to this list. It features everything from consignment and Denver thrift stores to simply the clearance sections of major outdoor stores in Denver. You’re bound to find some of your new favorite outdoor stores in Denver on this list. 

1. Feral

Feral is a local outdoor store in Denver that offers both new and used outdoor and athletic gear. Not to mention, they rent out things like bear safety gear and they’ll repair your beloved outdoor gear as well. Come here for your higher ticket items such as ski, bike, and camping gear like tents. The used clothing is my favorite part with so many awesome brands lining the racks. Alongside the used items, you’ll find apparel from top outdoor brands like Topo Designs and many other practical trinkets and outdoor items for your next adventure. Don’t forget to make your money and sell unwanted gear here!

2. Wilderness Exchange

Like Feral, Wilderness Exchange is local and offers outdoor gear consignment. However, Wilderness Exchange is unique in that it offers sample clothing items from top brands like Patagonia and Smartwool. Basically, samples are how clothing brands test their product lines. Wilderness Exchange buys these items at their reduced prices once their done testing and then sells them back to the public avoiding the higher wholesale costs. This amounts to 40-60% off retail. Their basement is seriously jam-packed with these samples and you don’t have to worry about the quality as these items are not used.

3. REI Garage and Clearance

As we all know from the dreadful drives up and down I-25, Denver is home to the REI flagship store. You could spend your entire day browsing this massive outdoor store in Denver, but I encourage you to start by heading upstairs. Although you’ll have to climb a few flights and get fairly winded, it will be worth it. Upstairs you’ll find the REI garage. A new installation that features used outdoor gear and clothing. The garage has everything from men’s and women’s clothing to camping stoves and sleeping bags. If you’re an REI Co-Op member, you can make money and sell items here! If you move just beyond the garage you’ll then find the clearance section, which never seems to disappoint.

4. Common Threads

Common Threads is a high-end consignment store in Denver. Everything in Common Threads is thoughtfully and tastefully chosen to reflect luxury boutique shopping in Denver at extremely reasonable prices. Again, Common Threads is not exclusively outdoor gear but it has 2-3 racks of high-end athletic brand clothing. I just bought Alo and Lululemon leggings for a total of $70. Common Threads is a bit pickier about the clothing brands on their racks, so bring your best! You can make an appointment to sell and read all the rules for selling here!  

5. Crossroads Trading (South Broadway)

Crossroads is a consignment store in Denver that isn’t exclusively for outdoor or athletic gear. However, it seems that when you’re shopping in Denver, you’re going to naturally find more of these items. Crossroads has several racks of mid-luxury brand athletic clothing such as Lululemon, Girlfriend Collective, Athleta, Nike, Addidas, etc. Beyond the athletic clothing, I have also seen great jackets, hiking shoes, sneakers, durable outdoor pants, and jeans. My favorite purchase from Crossroads is my Madewell vintage straight jeans that I bought for $24. Go here when you have lots of time, there is a large inventory and lots to browse. Another great spot to sell your stuff for some cash or store credit!

6. Goodwill (South Broadway)

Alright, hear me out on this one. As mentioned earlier, Denverites have a lot of outdoor gear filling up their closets. This Goodwill is one of the best thrift stores in Denver because it is clean, safe, and MASSIVE. Not to mention, this location is right in the heart of the hipster’s paradise of South Broadway so you are bound to find some good stuff. There is a lot to root through here so be sure to take your time. Crossroads and this Goodwill are right near one another on SoBo so you can hit both on your shopping spree. Unrelated, but I also recommend checking out their home goods and furniture selection, some great stuff. My favorite purchases from here include a Madewell Flannel and North Face hiking pants.

I should mention that this whole process of finding the best shopping in Denver for sustainable and budget-friendly clothing has been a cyclical exchange. Every time I invest in new clothing for van life, I am also recycling the clothing I no longer need. I typically do this by selling it to consignment stores in Denver or donating it to thrift stores in Denver. Overall, I have replaced many of the clothing items that I knew were not functional or long-lasting for life on the road. While it feels like a very large upfront cost, I know that investing in better clothing will eventually lead to less money spent down the road. Anyway, I hope you feel inspired to not only shop more sustainably but save money and check out some of the best shopping in Denver!

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