6th Avenue Outfitters

Weather in Alaska can vary a lot during the summer. You can get warm sunshine or chilly rain and wind—all in a matter of one afternoon. And as a result, you may find yourself longing for a better windbreaker, a pair of gloves or some better hiking socks. This local-favorite store in downtown Anchorage, close to many of the city’s biggest attractions, has everything you didn’t realize that you needed when you were back at home packing your bags for the trip to Alaska.

A Growing Family Enterprise

The Williams family opened the store in 1985—with just 4,000 square feet and a surplus-store feel— in the downtown location where the beloved local bar Humpy’s stands now. In 1992, they moved one block down the street—luckily, no need to change the name—into the old Loussac library. Located just blocks away from the Dena’ina Center and the Anchorage Museum, 6th Avenue Outfitters now occupies 30,000 square feet of retail and warehouse space, with a focus on outdoor clothing, cold-weather gear, and anything you might need for your camping trip. It’s a classic Alaska general store—and then some.

From Brand Names to a Private Label

You’ll find plenty of big-name brands of jackets, boots and other apparel that are known for being both good-looking and reliable—like Canada Goose, Carhartt, Helly Hansen, Baffin, Sorel, Smart Wool and Mountain Hardwear. You can find camp gear (tents, stoves and camp-ready food) and something nice to wear around the campfire, as they are also Alaska’s largest Kuhl dealer—the timelessly stylish outdoor clothing line of adventure-friendly shorts, pants, jackets and more. They also carry their own private label, Alaskan Outfitters, which is comprised mostly of cold weather gear, from long underwear to coats. The Outfitters also created the uniforms for Team Alaska in the Arctic Winter Games (you can even buy the team-logo hoodie, coat or pants).

Insider Tips—and a Great Parka to Take Home

When you come into the store—whether it’s for a new pair of sunglasses, a few performance-fabric shirts, or some fishing-ready waders—you’ll be helped by a staff made up of locals, who tend to be adventure types themselves. So, not only do they have first-hand tips on which gear and brands might work well for you, but they also have great insider knowledge about good places to cycle, hike, fish and camp around Alaska. And even if you don’t need thermals or a parka for your summer trip to Denali, you may be tempted to take some home to beat winter back in your own hometown.