Need … want … There’s often a fine line between those two terms–especially when it comes to camping and backpacking gear. After all, there’s a strong case to be made that we need a new GORE-TEX jacket and a top-of-the-line tent to protect us from the elements. And when these arguably essential pieces of outdoor gear are up to 30% off at REI’s Anniversary Sale (the outdoor monolith’s biggest sale of the year), that need/want line gets even more blurry.
Factor in the ability for REI Co-op members to save an additional 20% on one full-price item and an extra 20% on one REI Outlet item (online only), and it’s clear this gear fits squarely in the “needs” column. So without further ado, we present our top picks from REI’s Anniversary Sale.
Hurry though! The deals end May 30. This is your LAST CHANCE to save during REI’s Anniversary Sale. And remember, REI Co-op members can use code ANNIV22 at checkout to save 20% on one full-priced item and 20% off one REI Outlet item!
$500.00 $349.99 (30% off)
Don’t be fooled by the Garmin Forerunner 945 LTE’s sleek silhouette. This smartwatch is a veritable performance powerhouse equipped with a color maps feature, sleep tracking, the ability to easily toggle between different workout settings, and so much more. Plus, with its ability to store and play music through Bluetooth headphones (not included), you can whistle while you wander even when you don’t bring your phone along.
$225.00 $168.69 (25% off)
Most of us prefer outdoor adventures where Mr. Golden Sun is the proverbial star of the show. Then again, those outings clouded by impromptu downpours always seem to be the stories that go down in family lore. The Outdoor Research Foray II GORE-TEX Jacket–with its fully taped seams, GORE-TEX PACLITE fabric, YKK AquaGuard Zippers, and fully adjustable hood–is ready to make a cameo in those “Remember when” anecdotes.
$199.00 $139.29 (30% off)
Suitable for three seasons and weighing a respectable 4 lbs. 14 oz., the two-person Trail Hut 2 Tent from REI Co-op is our top pick for your home away from home. It features a dual-entry system (essential for avoiding late-night arguments when your tentmate has to crawl over you to use the nature toilet) and thus two large vestibules to shelter gear that doesn’t fit inside.
$279.00 $209.19 (25% off)
Have you hopped on the trail quilt bandwagon yet? We love them for around-camp coziness and find the extra jolt of warmth when layered over our sleeping bags is well worth the weight to pack it in (the 2-person Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Blanket clocks in at just 3 lbs. 6.4 oz). And unlike traditional synthetic fills, Rumpl’s 100% post-consumer recycled NanoLoft insulation mimics the properties of down clusters to more efficiently preserve heat, regardless of conditions. See our highlight of the Rumpl NanoLoft for more!
$140.00 $104.93 (25% off)
For dawn-patrol ascents up my local peak, we always find ourselves reaching for our trail runners rather than my full-on hiking boots. If you’re the same, consider giving Altra’s Timp 3 a go. Its proprietary high-cushion midsole offers comfort for miles, while the brand’s signature FootShape toe box allows little and big piggies the room they need.
$49.95 $34.89 (30% off)
We have a full article extolling the virtues of hiking in shorts, so we’ll keep this, well, short. With a UPF 50+ rating, quick-dry properties, snag-resistant durability, and elasticized waistband, the Sahara Amphib Shorts from REI Co-op are perfect for any backcountry excursion. And with a print as sassy as their sun leaves multi-colorway, they may even boost your courage to jump into that ice-cold mountain lake.
$87.95 $65.89 (25% off)
We admit, the BearVault BV500 Food Container probably isn’t the sexiest item the Anniversary Sale has on offer, but as any seasoned backpacker knows, these ursidae-defying capsules are indeed a trail essential. Durable, polycarbonate construction means the weight is low and volume is high, meaning you can expend those extra grams on something more fun … like beer.
$135.00 $101.19 (25% off)
Chilly mornings on the trail call for cozy midlayers. We recommend snuggling into Cotopaxi’s Abrazo Hooded Full-Zip Fleece Jacket, which is made with 100% recycled fabric in a lovely range of can’t-miss-me colors. Also available in women’s!
$79.95 $63.89 (20% off)
In our humble opinion, it’s never too early for kids to hit the trail. When they do, ensure they’re equipped with sturdy, rock-hopping-ready shoes like the KEEN Targhee Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots. The leather uppers are treated with the brand’s propriety KEEN.DRY technology that’s impressively waterproof and breathable, while the rubber outsole provides great grip. This top pick is available in little kids’ and big kids’ sizes.
$36.00 $26.99 (25% off)
Unfortunately, we can’t spend every day out on the trail. And while the ultra-soft, 100% combed and ringspun cotton Parks Project National Park Welcome T-Shirt isn’t quite as good as catching sight of a mama moose and her calf or witnessing a backcountry sunrise that you’re sure was designed for your eyes alone, it’s pretty darn close.
All images courtesy REI, All Rights Reserved.
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