Poet, Podcaster & Photographer with travel agent, airline, cruise ship, flight attendant, tour guide, and teaching airfares background. Read my travel articles and book cheap flights >>
Published December 18th 2017
Cheap outdoor, sporting and adventure gear for everyone
The bargains begin the moment you walk in at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Decathlon is warehouse-sized, rather than a department store, but it was pretty easy to find your way around. Aisles are grouped by sporting type, with water sports grouped together like swimming, snorkelling, surfing and diving; and team ball sports grouped together like soccer, rugby and basketball.
There's bicycles galore at Decathlon from mountain bikes to kids bikes. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
There was also items I'd not seen in a general sporting store such as prescription swimming goggles, horse riding gear and rock climbing equipment. All their equipment is not just cheap but also matches technical requirements of the sport. Check out their product design and testing process on their website.
Besides their cheap prices, there was a clearance section of stock that was reduced even further. What I liked about the whole shopping experience was that goods were labelled based on use, so if you're a casual tennis player, that doesn't require the same racquet that Federer or Nadal uses, then there's a whole section for you, including entry level pricing.
Surfing equipment can be found at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
If you're more of a regular user, such as a daily runner or swimmer, who requires better quality gear, then there is more advanced products, which are only marginally more expensive.
There was a good selection of products in each range and shelves were clearly labelled; for example, adults swimming goggles at the top, kids swimming goggles at the bottom, cheap, low-end user to the left, more expensive, daily user to the right. It seemed the store layout was planned, based on the user experience, rather than the product they wished to sell more of.
There's plenty of outdoor gear for kids at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Most products seemed like reasonable quality, however their returns policy means there is no concern over quality. You have 365 days to return any item, used or unused for a refund or exchange. No other sporting goods store offers that.
I had little intention of buying anything, but walked out with a couple of shirts ($15 each), a small hiking backpack ($4.50), binoculars ($40 in a pouch) a DSLR camera bag, big enough for a camera and spare lens ($22), some diving gloves ($22) and some flippers ($18).
I'd definitely go back to look into the camping gear, wetsuits and stand-up paddle boards.
Pick up a new hobby like fishing at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
You can sign up for a free membership online or in-store (look for the large touch-screens), just be sure to have your membership activated before you get to the register, as you need to scan your barcode in order to make purchases. The self-serve checkouts have a magic system that automatically scans the product using RFD technology when you place it in the basin beneath the screen. There's also plenty of parking.
Horse riding gear at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.
Decathlon is perfect for those wanting to expand their gear collection or have back-ups. It works particularly well for those wanting to start a new hobby or for getting the whole family kitted out, without spending a fortune.
Ski and snowboard gear at Decathlon. Image by Jade Jackson Photography.