Several weeks ago, Gear Patrol had the opportunity to check out the venerable gear outfitter, EMS. Now known for fully as Eastern Mountain Sports (ems.com), we went hands-on at their new flagship store here in New York’s SoHo. Better yet, we had the place virtually all to ourselves.
It goes without saying that there are few opportunities like this in New York, let alone new ones. We put together a slideshow of the new Eastern Mountain Sports SoHo location. Warning: you’ll probably find yourself wanting to buy some gear from ems.com. More after the jump.
The store itself is a fine example of a modern style mixed with pre-war building, then chock top to bottom with shiny, tasty gear. If you’re anything like me, you can’t help but have fleeting thoughts that a gear outfitter like Eastern Mountain Sports is actually your very own garage, with products ripe for use. The new SoHo location is equipped with a more modern twist on the EMS you (North Easterners) have come to know and love. There’s a fully equipped cycle shop, a small electronics and optics center, and a generous amount of space dedicated to climbers (I don’t think I’ve seen so many carabiners in one location).
To answer your question: yes, there’s plenty of gear. Yes, its all displayed and merchandised in an inviting fashion. Yes, there are plenty of helpful attendants ready to dive right into a discussion about the proper shoes for your next triathlon, bouldering excursion, or your entry into the Tough Guy Competition. But honestly, you’ll find all that at the EMS near you, online, or preferred outfitter.
The pièce de résistance of the new Eastern Mountain Sports is the Adventure Planning. They’ve thoughtfully provided a station manned by a well-traveled and seasoned adventure junkie ready and eager to help you get out, get equipped, and get going.
The Adventure Planning station is, as you’d expect, equipped top to bottom (see slideshow) with books, maps, guides, how-to’s, and even a Skype station where you can video chat with people on excursions themselves, relaying back the latest directly from their locales. Plop into one of the comfortable chairs or the couch, dive into a guide, or use the plotting table (corkboard top) and map out your next venture with someone who’s likely been there and done that. In our case, adventure evangelist Dan Wheeless helped Gear Patrol’s Stephen Thorpey plan his next snowboarding excursion to Chilé (thanks, Dan). Make sure and look him up next time you’re in the New York area – you never know where you might end up and with what.