Outdoor adventure

5 Places to Rent Outdoor Gear for a Summer’s Worth of Adventures

Kayaks, tents, mountain bikes, and more.


rent camping gear

You can rent camping gear from United by Blue. Photograph courtesy United by Blue

Looking to get off your beach blanket this season? With their nearly seamless rental programs, these local resources make being a spontaneous outdoors enthusiast a no-brainer.

For the camping rookie

Even car camping typically requires, at minimum, a tent and a sleeping bag. Now, though, hometown apparel shop United By Blue loans out weekend kits of standard essentials for solo campers ($75) or beefed-up options featuring cook sets, coffeemakers and lanterns for pairs ($250) and groups of four ($380). 205 Race Street, Old City.

For the water-sports wannabe

Dip your paddle in the water — in this case, Cooper River Lake — with single or tandem kayak rentals starting at $20 for an hour at Crosswater SUP in Pennsauken. 5300 North Park Drive, Pennsauken.

For the first-time mountain biker

Decent mountain bikes can cost as much as $10,000. Ouch. But cycling neophytes can rent an entry-level ride from Brewerytown Bicycles for $40 a day, plus tax and a booking fee. Add clip-in pedals and a car rack for an extra $5 a day to make sure you’re fully ready to hit the trail. 2819 West Girard Avenue, Brewerytown.

For the novice fisherman

Catching a muskie in the Schuylkill requires patience but also a line and tackle. Bartram’s Garden has a Fishing Equipment Loaner Program that lets you borrow a rod for up to a week — gratis. The only caveat: You must have a fishing license if you’re over 16, which you can get online for less than $12 for one day. 5400 Lindbergh Boulevard, Southwest Philly.

For the beginner boulderer

To stay safe while bouldering — an increasingly popular no-ropes form of rock climbing — you’ll need a crash pad. Doylestown Rock Gym rents them to those with a valid driver’s license starting at $15 for a day of outdoor adventure. Just don’t stray too high off the ground … yet. 3853 Old Easton Road, Doylestown.

Published as “Changing Gear” in the June 2019 issue of Philadelphia magazine.