Champaign Outdoors (formerly Champaign Surplus) is a 3rd generation family and locally-owned specialty outdoor retailer. We serve everyday urban adventurers and active outdoor enthusiasts by offering quality merchandise at an outstanding value. We carry a wide array of jackets, clothing, footwear, accessories, fashion brands, outdoor gear, and fun gift items from quality name brands. We use and enjoy the things we sell. And, most of all, we pride ourselves on treating our customers as friends and providing unequaled personal service and expertise.

Our brick and mortar store is located in Champaign, Illinois about a mile from the University of Illinois campus. We are a "Ma-and-Pa" kind of place, with one location, great merchandise and an informed, helpful staff. We listen to our customers’ plans and needs and enjoy selling them the gear they want. We love to hear that we helped to make your trip, adventure or your day on the job just a little bit more exciting and enjoyable.

Leo and Anne Weisel started Champaign Surplus in 1947 as an Army-Navy Surplus Store. In 1975, Ira and Lynn Wachtel (son-in-law and daughter), become the 2nd generation to enter the business, building it into the premier outdoor outfitter in Central Illinois. In January 2010, Dan & Shira Epstein (grand/son-in-law and grand/daughter) became the 3rd generation,  launching two e-commerce websites. In 2018, Dan & Shira changed the name of the store to Champaign Outdoors and moved the brick-and-mortar operation to a new location.

Dan & Shira summiting Mount Rainier

Most Innovative Retailer 2017

Champaign Outdoors was awarded 2017 Most Innovative Retailer of the Year by Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a community of over 65 independent outdoor specialty retailers and 80 brands dedicated to the specialty outdoor retail industry.


We were surprised, excited and extremely honored to be recognized in this way. It’s because of our amazing customers, staff, vendors and colleagues that we are able to evolve and offer a unique place within our community. We owe all of you a big THANKS for sticking by us and letting us try our crazy, out of the box ideas. We strive to keep innovating and improving, and look forward to continuing this journey with you!