About Us

The Camp Side

Switchback Gear Exchange opened its doors in beautiful Marquette, MI in 2010. We were passionate about helping our community enjoy the diverse recreation opportunities Marquette had to offer and we are geeked to bring our knowledge and excitement to Grand Rapids. We know that some activities are very gear intensive which can intimidate newcomers. Meanwhile, other outdoor enthusiasts love to make quick upgrades which leaves a lot of unused gear sitting around collecting dust. We provide a well-organized retail shop specializing in high quality and affordable outdoor recreation equipment. We also offer exemplary customer service, education, and insight related to outdoor recreation products and activities. We believe the more we enjoy our natural surroundings the more conscious we are about preserving it...and that's what we care about most!

Meet The Crew 

Ryan: Lead Mechanic,  Bike Wizard

Before Ryan joined us in May 2016 he was already building and tuning bikes in his basement for all of his friends.  He stumbled upon Switchback on a fateful Craigslist bike search and decided to come in and check us out.  After one visit, he was hooked.  The endless stream of used bike parts to rummage through was a dream come true, and he loved the family feeling of our staff.   Ryan recently had his mind blown right out of his hammock by a storm at Nordhouse Dunes, and is generally game for anything outdoors involving bikes, hikes, brews, or crews.  He is also clinically obsessed with bike polo and would love to tell you about it sometime!




Rachel: Owner, Mastermind

Unsurprisingly for the owner of an outdoor gear store, Rachel loves lots of different outdoor activities--mountain biking, kayaking, camping, social biking, bikepacking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking with her enormous dogs.  A trip that stands out to her is her first long backpacking trip on North Manitou Island. She got lost, enjoyed amazing sunsets, escaped an insane black fly hatch, and spent hours exploring the building ruins and walking the beaches. It’s the only place she’s backpacked more than once, and she highly recommends it. Rachel is a “Jack of All Trades” who is always seeking knowledge, understanding, and adventure.  She’s less concerned with being “epic” and more focused on spending some of every day in nature meditating and recreating.  She loves sharing that connection with her community. Whether its preparing for a thru-hike or buying their first bicycle, she loves helping others find their place in the natural world.

Ready to shop? Check out our ever-changing inventory here!