About Champaign Surplus


Champaign Surplus is a unique, independent, specialty outdoor retailer located in Champaign, Illinois. We pride ourselves on being a third generation, family-owned business, known since 1947 for our outstanding customer service and industry expertise. For over 65 years, we’ve offered our customers the highest quality products from leading brands such as The North Face, Columbia, Patagonia, Keen, Smartwool, Marmot, Mountain Hardwear, Osprey and Merrell, as well as the best in military surplus and tactical gear.

Champaign Surplus interior

Champaign Surplus interior

Champaign Surplus interior


 Champaign Surplus exterior


You might be wondering — how does a large, authentic outdoor store with a name like Champaign Surplus grow up in the midst of the very flat Illinois prairie and the most fertile farmland in the world? 


It began with Leo and Anne Weisel, who started Champaign Surplus just after World War II as an Army-Navy Surplus Store. In 1975, Ira and Lynn Wachtel (son-in-law and daughter) entered the business, retaining the surplus inventory while turning the store into the premier outdoor outfitter in Central Illinois. In January of 2010, Dan and Shira Epstein (Leo and Anne’s grandson-in-law and granddaughter) signed on as generation three, committed to continuing the unique blend of new and old, rugged outdoor and genuine military, brand names and special deals. Read more about our storied history.

We are members of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, a group of the country's top specialty outdoor retailers, dedicated to promoting independent business and working together to protect and promote the experience of all outdoor enthusiasts.

We are a ma-and-pa kind of place, with an informed, helpful staff and a welcoming, attentive smile for our customers. We will listen carefully as you tell us where you’re headed and what your needs are, and then help you find just the right gear. We appreciate the opportunity to help you, and love knowing that we made your trip, your adventure or your day exciting, comfortable and enjoyable. 

Keen Osprey The North Face Smartwool Columbia Sportswear Patagonia Mountain Hardwear Merrell