Explorer Outfitter is another local Malaysian outdoor gear retailer. They have been around for several years now but I never did have the chance (nor took the effort actually) to visit any of their stores. Rumours and whispers about this outdoor gear retailer has been mixed from the very beginning. Some say it has a lot of variety while others think the quality is crap. When a friend told me a new outlet is opening up in Damen USJ (near to me), I decided to check it out myself.
It was Explorer Outfitter’s first official opening day during my visit. They are located on level 4 and from the outside looking into the store, they seem to be fully stocked. I discovered that we (me and a friend) were the only people in the entire store during the time of visit. There were two staffs who seems more interested to chat with each other than to attend to us. This is fine with me anyway as I never liked shop staff hawking over me.
First stop has to be the knives and multi-tools section. Since Explorer Outfitters has been appointed as Mora distributor in Malaysia, I was very eager to see their section for these awesome knives. The Mora knives were displayed prominently and there is a wide range on display. Prices however are a more on the high side. I can get Moras cheaper on Mudah or OGM.
The camping stoves at Explorer Outfitters consists mostly of products made by Fire Maple. Fire Maple is a Chinese brand which has been around for quite some time. I have personally used them in the past and their quality is pretty good for the price paid. The range of models is good and they also include cutleries and pots/pans. There is no real distributor of Fire Maple products in Malaysia. Just about anyone can approach them for goods as long as you have the money to load up on stock, you are assured of good bulk discounts.
The Explorer Outfitters store in DaMen USJ carries quite a lot of stock by well-known brands. Brands like Sawyer (water filters- American), Deuter (packs- Germany), Thule (packs-Sweden), Mechanix (gloves- American) and are established brands that requires no further introduction. There is also a (big) section dedicated to vehicle off-roading enthusiasts, more accurately the prestigious Rainforest Challenge (something that I am totally unfamiliar with).
What actually bothers me are the ‘new’ brands and the in-house brands that they carry. Brands like Beaume and Explorer clothing etc feels cheap and frankly like rip-offs. I can’t comment on the quality (coz I am NOT going to spend money on them) but they don’t give me any confidence at all. The stuff reminds me of some malls in China where they sell rip offs and over runs. If I had to buy some winter clothing and travel wear, I will head over to Decathlon.
PIC: Beaume clothing Explorer Outfitter
Some of the Beaume range of clothing in the store
Crunch time…what do I think of Explorer Outfitter in general? Blah. Severely disappointing. Their only attraction for me so far is their range of Mora knives (but not the prices). The rest of their stuff are pretty much un-attractive. The place lacks wow factor. Neither there nor here. So much so, I would have no reason to go back there.