The fervor for vintage outdoor gear has never flared in the States like it did in 1990s Japan. Back then, Kiyo S., the proprietor of Brooklyn shop Monroe Garden Vintage Gear, was in high school, and his part-time restaurant salary wasn't enough to cover a Gregory backpack made a decade earlier, which might cost ¥80,000 (roughly $740).

When he and his wife moved to Brooklyn in 2006, the pair found themselves in a collector’s paradise. Over the past decade, they've periodically RV’ed around the country, visiting national parks and scouring flea markets and vintage shops — plus online vendors — to gather a one-of-a-kind horde of outerwear and ephemera, which they sell out of a small basement (by appointment only). The retro t-shirts, old trekking backpacks and out-of-print climbing magazines will make you wish you had grown up in the '80s — even if you somehow manage to leave empty-handed.

LEARN MORE

213 Taaffe Place, #106, Brooklyn, New York 11205
By appointment only

monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Over a decade, Kiyo S. has collected vintage gear from Patagonia, L.L.Bean, The North Face, Fjällräven, Gregory, Kletterwerks, Class-5, REI and more.
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips

"The early logo of Great Pacific Ironworks, the predecessor of Patagonia, uses the big wave of Japanese ukiyo-e painted by Hokusai, and the backpack with that logo [estimated value: $1,500] is my most important piece."

monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips

monroe garden
Decades-old catalogues and magazines provide a record of how outdoor gear has evolved.
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips

"It's fun to talk directly to customers about the charm of outdoor vintage items, and each other's outdoor experiences and memories."

monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips
monroe garden
Henry Phillips

monroe garden
The date — rough or exact — is indicated on each item in the showroom.
Henry Phillips