Renting or Buying Hiking Gears in Kathmandu - Himalayan Glacier
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Renting or Buying Hiking Gears in Kathmandu

Every trekker dreams of trekking in Nepal, and practically each one of them has considered renting or buying hiking gears in Kathmandu. Both technical and non-technical trekking destinations need a variety of trekking equipment that serves as a lifeline to ensure a smooth trip. Many aspiring trekkers arrive in Kathmandu with their bags full of trekking gears, spending big bucks, which isn’t a good idea. You can easily buy trekking gears in Nepal from popular stores of the top standard at reasonable prices. Remember that after completing the journey, the finest keepsake for trekkers is their gears rather than anything else. 

Thamel, the best place for burying gears in Kathmandu
Thamel, the best place for burying gears in Kathmandu

Thamel, the best place for buying hiking gears in Kathmandu, is home to a profusion of stores selling a wide range of hiking gears to suit all preferences and budgets. From expensive brands to old equipment and buybacks, you have it all. 

Of course, your trekking gear list for Nepal may vary depending on how your trip is arranged, whether you will be camping overnight or staying in teahouses, and if you will have a guide or not. However, no matter what your requirement is, you can get it all in Nepal as there are a plethora of best places to buy and rent gears in Kathmandu. You will discover a broad choice of trekking equipment to fit your budget, ranging from pricey big names to local Nepali companies. You also have the option of renting trekking gears in Kathmandu if you don’t want to make a large investment. Make sure to decide what you want to buy and, if feasible, where you want to buy it before arriving in Kathmandu. 

Things to Remember

Trekkers frequently make mistakes by either hiring too many or buying too much. So, discover what gears you truly need and don’t need when trekking in Nepal by referring to our trekking gear list for Nepal beforehand the journey.

You can purchase almost any piece of equipment in Nepal, although we don’t recommend purchasing a costly piece of outdoor equipment. Instead of buying pricey equipment, you can easily hire it in Kathmandu.

discriminate what gears you truly need and don't need when trekking in Nepal
Always pack light; discriminate what gears you truly need and don’t need when trekking in Nepal

We recommend that you focus on branded trekking gears while planning for high-altitude treks like Annapurna Base Camp Trek, Everest Base Camp Trek, Kanchenjunga Trek, and so on. Local items can be as durable and functional for altitudes less than 5000m. 

In this blog, we have put up a detailed travel guide with fine points on buying and renting trekking equipment in Kathmandu. So, let’s dig in!

Where to buy trekking gears in Kathmandu?

Kathmandu seems to have everything you need for your adventure. The alleys of Thamel, the main trekkers’ center, are lined with hundreds of little stores stocked with trekking gears. It is a one-stop shop for hikers looking to buy hiking gears in Kathmandu for their Himalayan trips. The little businesses and famous establishments in Thamel sell everything for hikers and climbers to make their journey memorable. You can easily buy those trekking gears in Thamel which you don’t have or don’t want to carry from your home country, including sleeping bags, backpack, down jackets, trekking poles, purified bottles, and sunglasses.

When purchasing hiking gears in Kathmandu or Thamel, you have two choices: invest in qualitative equipment at a premium price or go with ordinary or fake merchandise at a fair price. It’s entirely up to you!

Branded Retailers Vs Local Retailers

After knowing that Thamel is the best place to buy trekking gears in Kathmandu, you also need to possess some knowledge about branded and local retailers. 

1. Branded Retailers

Branded outdoor gear manufacturers like Mountain Hardware and The North Face have developed a footprint in Kathmandu due to the overwhelming demands. The greatest advantage of a branded retailer over the local one is its widespread awareness and high recognition. Likewise, branded gear most of the time goes through a product testing procedure, making them more durable. Moreover, buying from branded retailers comes with a guarantee, which supposedly gives you peace of mind for a set amount of time if anything really bad happens.

Branded Retailer in Thamel, Kathmandu
North Face Kathmandu Store, Branded Retailer in Thamel, Kathmandu

Those who undertake trekking regularly should always invest in high-quality trekking gears that will last a lifetime. It is best to buy crucial trekking gears like down jackets, hiking boots, and so on from branded retailers to get the best years of usage out of them.

Furthermore, the likelihood of cost/quality deception is low. Most of the time prices are fixed, and all consumers, regardless of negotiating power, pay the same amount. The stores are marginally cheaper than their international branches, although not significantly i.e., around 5% less expensive with fewer choices. However, compared to local retailers, the cost of branded retailers is expensive because of the import and other taxes, proper finishing, and so on. Most of the branded outdoor gear manufacturers are on Tridevi Sadak, a short walk from Thamel’s center and some of them are: 

  1. Sherpa Kathmandu – Narayanhiti Path, Lal Durbar Marg
  2. Mountain Hardwear Shop Kathmandu
  3. North Face Kathmandu Store – Tridevi Sadak, Thamel
  4. Sonam Gear

We recommend that you ask your guide and trekking agency for a recommendation for a decent gear store in Kathmandu. You may also ask your guide to assist you in checking the quality of gears to identify whether or not the equipment is genuine and suitable for the entire trip.

2. Local Retailers

In Kathmandu, counterfeit hiking equipment is thriving. Most people prefer buying hiking gears in Kathmandu from local retailers. Detecting the changes in the quality of branded and local retailers is not always straightforward. The majority of the products are of Chinese or local origin, and you must carefully inspect the buckles, sewing quality, measurements, and so on. In any case, you may get high-quality things for a fraction of the amount you would spend in your native nation or branded retailers. 

When buying trekking gears in Kathmandu from local retailers, make sure to double-check the durability as some retailers offer bad products under the guise of legitimate brands.  

Local Retailer in Kathmandu
Guide Himalaya Trekking Shop, Local Retailer in Kathmandu

Even if there are a plethora of local retailers of varying quality, their fundamental issue is that they have no pricing stated and vendors imply pricing out of nothing. If you go to three separate stores, you may wind up with three different pricing for the same item. After that, you must haggle; some advocate subtracting 50% of the amount sought in such stores. As a result, one of the major features of local retailers in Nepal is the more you bargain, the more you save. There are some local retailers in Nepal, which are trustworthy and provide quality products within your budget. They are listed below:

  1. Sagarmatha Trekking Shop – Bhagwan Bahal, Thamel
  2. Outdoor Compass Trekking Shop – Thamel, Kathmandu
  3. Guide Himalaya Trekking Shop – Bhagwan Bahal
  4. Nepal Mountain Trekking Store – Thamel, Kathmandu
  5. Samden Sherpa – Jyatha, Thamel
  6. Gears Nepal – Thamel
  7. Kalapathar Trekking Store – Sath Ghumti, Thamel
  8. Goreto Gear Traders – Bhagatibahal Marga
  9. Shona’s Alpine – Thamel

In Nepal, bargaining is a way of life. Consider negotiating and haggling with shopkeepers, particularly if you are purchasing or renting domestically made gears. 

How much does it cost to buy trekking gears in Kathmandu?

Traveling lightweight from home country is a more convenient option for trekkers. However, when it comes to gears like hiking shoes, appropriate basic clothing, and likewise, you can always prefer bringing it from your home country. Besides these items, you can buy all the other trekking gears in Thamel. We recommend that you double-check them and walk out of the store only when you are completely satisfied with the merchandise. If you’re going to the Everest region, you may also shop at Namche Bazaar, albeit the limited choices. Also, unless you’re shopping in a fixed-price store, don’t be afraid to haggle. The below are some approximate costs for buying trekking gears in Kathmandu:

Trekking GearCost
Backpack (55l – 65l)USD 35-45
Daypack (25l – 35l)USD 25-35
Fleece SetUSD 15-20
Hiking ShirtUSD10-15
Hiking ShortUSD 15-20
Hiking PantUSD 20-25
HatUSD 3-5
Trekking ShocksUSD 2-3
Windproof GlovesUSD 10-15
Water BottleUSD 3-5
SunglassUSD 15-20
Trekking PolesUSD 5-7
HeadlightUSD 20-25
ScarfUSD 2-4

Note: The above prices are always subject to change so it’s better to consult with your trekking agency before going shopping. Also, make sure to carry enough cash. 

Branded outdoor gear cost in Kathmandu

Well, some of you might be traveling to Nepal without any backpack and burden. In that case, you need to buy a jacket, sleeping bags, and so on after you arrive in Nepal. These items are essential throughout the journey and without them, the success rate is too low. So, we always recommend you invest in branded items when it comes to buying hiking shoes, camping tent, sleeping bag, and down jacket. The branded outdoor gears are pricey but they are worth it. The following are the starting price of the most essential trekking gears having branded quality:

Branded Outdoor GearStarting Price
Hiking BootsUSD 220
Sleeping BagsUSD 150
Down JacketUSD 80
Camping TentUSD 150

Where to rent trekking gears in Kathmandu?

Some trekkers don’t want to buy trekking gears in Kathmandu. For them, renting gears in Kathmandu would be the greatest option. Also, if you don’t do mountain hiking very often, renting rather than buying the essential gear for your trip may be a better option. If you’re not carrying your stuff to and from Kathmandu, it’s also a wonderful option to keep your luggage minimal. Thamel is the best place to rent gears in Kathmandu. You may rent practically anything you need for as low as USD 1 each day, including comfy down jackets, trekking poles, and backpacks. 

Place to rent trekking gear in Thamel
Sagarmatha Trekking Shop, Place to rent trekking gear in Thamel

We recommend you consult your local trekking agency, who’s helping you plan your trip, for the finest and most trusted venues to rent camping gears in Nepal. They’ll also be able to guide you there since many of these little establishments are nestled away in Thamel’s back alleys and can be difficult to discover.

Remember renting from a reputable store ensures that the equipment is well-maintained and washed after each usage. Although you may hire equipment at Thamel, it is advised that you purchase boots, thick hiking socks, basic clothing, and other essential comfort items at home. In Kathmandu, you may rent camping gears, down jackets, sleeping bags, and so on. Additionally, most of the trekkers feel like they made a mistake by buying everything in their nations as it only increases the load. Below are a few stores that are best for renting trekking gears in Thamel:

  • Sagarmatha Trekking Shop – Bhagwan Bahal, Thamel
  • Outdoor Compass Trekking Shop – Thamel, Kathmandu
  • Guide Himalaya Trekking Shop – Bhagwan Bahal
  • Nepal Mountain Trekking Store – Thamel, Kathmandu
  • Shona’s Alpine: Thamel
  • Gears Nepal: Thamel
  • Samden Sherpa: Jyatha, Thamel
  • Gears Nepal: Thamel
  • Kalapathar Trekking Store: Saat Ghumti, Thamel
  • Goreto Gear Traders: Bhagatibahal Marga

How much does it cost to hire trekking gears in Kathmandu?

Small warehouse businesses in Kathmandu that rent authentic trekking equipment are an excellent way to save money. So, if you are traveling on a limited income, it is usually a good idea to rent trekking gears in Kathmandu. These businesses repurpose authentic cold-weather apparel and specific things for Nepal. It will serve you well for the time you intend to use it. The cost of hiring trekking gears in Kathmandu is less than a dollar each day and you can return them at the end of the trip. In Kathmandu, the average cost of renting essential trekking equipment is:

Trekking GearSize & TemperatureCost/day (Approx.)
Hiking BootAny sizeUSD 1
Sleeping Bag10°C to 20°C USD 1-2
Camping tentRidge/Dome USD 3-5
Down JacketAny sizeUSD 1.5
Trekking PolesAnyUSD 1

Note: The cost of renting trekking gears in Nepal is subject to change slightly depending upon the size and quality. 

Major Trekking Gears you can rent in Kathmandu

You can easily rent everything you need for trekking in Nepal in Thamel, Kathmandu at reasonable prices. Some of the gear that is widely rented are Hiking boots, down jackets, sleeping bags, and camping tents.

1. Sleeping Bag

Most trekking gear rental stores in Thamel have three types of sleeping bags: basic, moderate, and premium grade sleeping bags. A basic sleeping bag can tolerate temperatures of -5°C to -10°C and will cost roughly $1 per day. A sleeping bag of medium grade is acceptable for temperatures ranging from -10°C to -15°C. A medium-quality sleeping bag is available for roughly US $1.5 per day. A high-quality sleeping bag that is water-resistant and has fur to keep you warm is available on rent for roughly $2 per day.

2. Down Jacket

A down jacket from a well-known brand would cost you more than a hundred dollars, so don’t expect to be able to rent one. Instead, you’ll be able to rent a high-quality down jacket from local retailers for a reasonable fee. A down jacket costs about USD 1 per day.

3. Hiking Boots

It’s ideal to hike in durable hiking boots that are broken in. So, try to bring the used boots from your home country. However, if you don’t want to buy, you may rent trekking boots in Thamel. Hiking boots of virtually any size are available on rent for around US $1 per day.

4. Camping Tent

Camping trek is very famous in Nepal so you can find lots of options while renting camping gears in Nepal. Some trekkers do not usually camp, while others do not want to keep their gears at their homes. Among all the gears, a camping tent is a crucial one and it is an ideal choice to rent it instead of buying. 

So, should I buy or rent trekking gears in Kathmandu?

By now, you must have understood that when it comes to hiking equipment, there are several solutions available. One can either buy or rent trekking gears in Kathmandu for the length of the trip. Having a personal product gives greater autonomy and flexibility. However, it is not always feasible to purchase all of the necessary equipment, therefore rental is more preferred. Your affordability, suitability, and demands will all play a role in determining whether you should purchase or hire the trekking gear.

Trekking gears and other necessities for trekking in Nepal
Trekking gears and other necessities for trekking in Nepal

In terms of economics, there isn’t much of a difference between hiring and buying, especially with so many possibilities on the market. Many things, such as sleeping bags, backpacks, and hiking poles, are now manufactured in Nepal and readily accessible at low rates.

To begin, we highly encourage trekkers to purchase the most important gears, like shoes and daypacks, on their own. Besides, for people who go trekking frequently, it is usually best to buy one rather than hire one, as hiring may result in you having to pay a huge quantity of money at the end of the day. Renting, on the other hand, would be the ideal alternative in terms of both quality and budget. In Nepal, you can simply rent a sleeping bag, down jacket, and hiking stick. However, some people are sensitive to old sleeping bags or down jackets; in this case, you should have your own. 

Tips and Advice

  • If you don’t want to take your hiking gears home or if this isn’t a common activity for you, renting the missing equipment is a better alternative.
  • Always bring trekking boots from home as they should be broken in and dependable
  • If you’re looking for affordable goods, there are lots to choose from, but pay close attention to details; knock-off businesses vary widely in cost and performance. So, always ask your trekking agency where to shop.
  • In Kathmandu, you may pay in US dollars, Euros, or Sterling Lira at a variety of stores. However, some of the stores only accept country currency so keep Nepalese currency cash with you.
  • If you opt to purchase or rent trekking gears in Kathmandu, plan at least one/two days for this process.
  • Remember famous outdoor gears are just as pricey as they are in your native nation.
  • Local retailers set the price of gears out of thin air so don’t forget to bargain until and unless you see the store with a Fixed Price tag.
  • In case if you are planning to rent trekking gears, make sure that you have a large deposit of cash i.e., around NPR 8000. However, the store will refund your money after you return the gears.
  • Look for favorable ratings before purchasing or renting. Some stores may let you down!

Overall, renting and buying trekking gears in Kathmandu is an overwhelming experience. Along with the shopping, you can know about the trend of markets and develop the skill of bargaining. Most trekkers prefer carrying hiking boots and basic clothing from home. You can purchase the remaining of your supplies, whatever you need for your trek, at Thamel for a reasonable price. Remember Thamel is densely packed with stores where you can buy and rent gears and equipment at low prices. So, avoid a huge backpack from home and invest in reliable products by landing in Nepal, Kathmandu.

Himalayan Glacier has more than a decade of experience in leading enthusiastic travelers to their desired destination. Along with guidelines for travel, we also provide authentic information regarding the best rental and purchase stores. As said before, there are not many stores along the main street. So, our knowledgeable guide will assist you in locating the appropriate location and qualitative trekking gears at the best price. If you have any other queries regarding renting or trekking gears in Kathmandu, you are more than welcome to contact us

Himalayan Glacier Adventure and Travel Company
About the author

A leading adventure & tour operator in the Himalayas since 1992, Himalayan Glacier Adventure & Travel Company® is the #1 guiding adventure travel company on Mount Everest Base Camp and beyond with 98% success rate. Continuing its decades-old legacy, Himalayan Glacier is a little different from other adventure & tour operators. Each of our holidays is truly a tailor-made package which we design for all ages, groups, families & solo travelers. We have veteran mountaineering leaders who have been into this industry for several decades. So, we offer you complete choice and freedom to explore the real pleasure of traveling.

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