Old-fashioned campers and outdoors enthusiasts will love this store because it sells all sorts of solid, honest kit such as combat trousers and compasses - rather than getting carried away with newfangled, high-tech gadgetry such as GPS systems.
Personally, on the very rare occasion that I camp, I rather like gadgets and having a few camping home comforts around me. But if you're more of a hardcore, no-nonsense army type, this store is for you.
From army surplus such as special ops shirts and vests to Swiss Army knives and sleeping bags, they offer both brand new items (including Regatta, Craghoppers, Viper Kit, Web-Tex and Jack Pyke) and some second hand stuff to choose from, often at very reasonable prices.
What I really love about Army stores is that you can get outdoor gear a lot cheaper than you can in the average Millets type store.
I've got most of my walking clothes for this shop and find the staff really now their stuff and are very helpful. It can be a bit of an intimidating shop to go into because I still think I am going to be greeted by some shouty army major but that really isn't the case. It does cater more for men than women. Its quite near to the other outdoor shops in town so always worth having a look before you shell out.
Baileys (aka, The Army Store) is a men's shop that sits midway along the Wyndham Arcade. I was a little out of my depth, I have to admit. Amongst the sleeping bags, sporks and helmets, it was hard to know where to start. As you would expect from any good survival shop, it was well stocked and the guys that worked in there were keen to help and quite clearly knew what they were talking about... which only magnified how little I knew! The shop was tidy, but full and I think you would need to ask for help if you were looking for something specific. I expect that Bailey's might be one of Cardiff Campers best kept secrets...
I thought they had a good pricing spectrum, they had very expensive versions of something, like waterproof trousers, which they would also stock at a cheaper price. (although, I bet the more expensive waterproof trousers would keep your legs drier!)
I would recommend coming to look at Bailey's before trooping out to the bigger Go Outdoors superstore. there is also the facility to shop online!
This store caught my eye purely because there was out the front of the Wyndham Arcade. I used to own a pretty cool Italian great coat and went in to look to see if they any similar ones. Sadly they didn't but I did manage to get a new wallet for only £6.99 and a cheap shirt. Although they sell some pretty nice stock I'll admit I was expecting a second hand store but all the stock is seemly brand new. It is of course a lads shop and sells knives, hiking equipment and some camping equipment. The staff were very friendly and very polite by always addressing me as 'sir'.
They also take credit card which is serious life saver for considering I hate paying for things in cash. The pricing was fair as well although I did notice this gorgeous Royal Navy pea coat for £59. I would go recommend going to Baileys for some outdoor gear or if you like the odd bit of Army surplus you may find what youre look for.
Since I'm not a particularly outdoorsy person, the only real experience I've had with the shop is for fancy dress.
Army themed nights are one of the most common for students and this is a great place to grab some cheap stuff, rather than shelling out on a purposely made costume from a fancy dress or joke shop. And of course, they sell camo paint and it's much cheaper to get one of these than buying individual things of face paint. It'll last all night, too.
If you are the outdoorsy type, this is also a great place for getting your equipment as it's cheaper and designed to last quite well. It's also a great place to get first aid kits and such, although they may be a little more hardcore than your everyday household needs.
Oh, and you should probably head here if you're off to a festival. They even sell glowsticks for the occasion!
You might find it surprising that a shop just selling things that are army surplus would get a high rating. Well perhaps the cheap t shirts, boots, tops, tents, bags and all manner of other clothing is what did it. But the shop whilst rarely busy has friendly helpful staff so gets me to drift by if I'm ever looking for a warm hat in winter, or boots, or a belt, or a penknife, a torch etc.
worth popping a nose in if
This store has virtually anything you might need in the way of survival gear. If you like camping or any kind of outdoor activity then they have all of the kind of accessories and clothing you might need in almost any situation when braving the outdoor elements. They have a huge selection of clothing and it's all really well priced. I do find it a little unusual when walking past the store that the window is full of riot gear and combat gear. Not that I wouldn't expect to see that in the window, I just find myself wondering who would go and buy a riot jacket, helmet, goggles and gloves. It's not exactly needed for a weekend in the Gower but I guess it could come in handy for a weekend at the Gurnos estate if things were to get a bit rowdy. Personally I only went into the store to buy an army t-shirt but once I got inside I found myself having a good look around. The staff offered me assistance and were friendly enough but I really didn't know what to ask about. I kept thinking about the flak jacket I had seen and was busy trying to come up with some kind of legitimate reason for me to need one.
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