Over the years, REI Stores have been known to close every Black Friday to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors after Thanksgiving. Instead, it’s running an earlier sale — the Gear Up Get Out Sale — so you can still get deep discounts on great-value outdoor gear. The sale runs until November 21st, and we’ve scoured everything to find the best outdoor deals.
Check out our other outdoor coverage, including gift ideas for the outdoorsman, why now is a great time to wear snow boots, and great trash cans for outdoor organizing.
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Hiking and Camping Deals
This is one of the best backpacks for the money. It’s lightweight at just 14 ounces, so it won’t strain your back, but it has padded shoulder straps and two exterior water bottle pockets, something many small backpacks don’t have. It holds 22 liters, enough for a raincoat, lunch, water, a sweater and an afternoon’s hiking maps. There is also a version with graphic prints for the same price.
If you like the idea of being away from it all but having a lifeline on hand in case something goes wrong, a satellite communicator can keep you in touch with emergency services and loved ones back home. You can share your location, communicate back and forth, and trigger the SOS button when rescue is needed. Weighing only 3.5 ounces, the InReach Mini 2 is small enough to fit in your pocket and take up little space. The battery lasts approximately 4 to 14 days, depending on settings and tree cover. Sure, the new iPhone 14 can do all this, but it won’t help if the battery dies after a day.
The Trail Hut 2 Tent strikes the right balance between price, weight and quality. Hardware like zippers and zip ties are solid, and at 78 ounces — though not featherweight — it’s not heavy either. The interior design is well laid out with interior pockets, two doors and vestibule. It’s great if you’re planning a solo hike and want the interior space for your backpack or gear. If you plan on sleeping two or three people in one tent, check out the Trail Hut 4 ($209), which is basically the same but bigger (and also on sale). Read our guide to the best tents to find out more.
Foam sleeping pads by themselves are not warm enough for cold weather camping. To insulate you and your sleeping bag from the winter ground, choose an inflatable model like this. NeoAir is an excellent insulator and is lightweight at only 12 oz and can be compressed into a small roll. As a rule of thumb, the weather is warmer when mercury levels are low.
Liquid fuel stoves are some of the sturdiest stoves you can bring into the backcountry. The downside is that they are often noisy, disrupting the tranquility of nature, but compared to similar products, WhisperLite is relatively quiet. Can stoves can give you performance issues in the harsh winter, but MSR’s bulletproof WhisperLite will keep on working in almost any weather.
Hiking with a flashlight is out, and it’s nearly impossible to pitch a tent in the dark trying to hold one. Use the headlamp to free your hands. The Spot 400 is a classic, reliable model that can throw 400 lumens onto a trail up to 100 meters away on its high setting. Its three AAA batteries last for 200 hours on the low 6-lumen setting, which is more than enough for basic camping chores like getting ready for bed.
The 7S Sapphire Solar (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a powerhouse for all preset modes and can track biometric data for a variety of outdoor activities: gravel biking, swimming, running, and more. This is our favorite outdoor watch because it connects to GPS quickly and accurately in rain and under heavy tree cover, plus it includes a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass. Read our guide to the best Garmin watches to learn more.
Ladies size, men’s size
No wonder we called them the cutest in our guide to the best trail running shoes. look at them. However, beauty is not just skin deep. They’re lightweight, breathable, and provide sure-footed grip on loose terrain. Keep in mind that Nike shoes run small, so you should consider going a half size up.
Ladies size, men’s size
Scuffing is no fun at all. Whether you wear the latest high-tech cycling pants or stick to tried-and-true denim jeans, layer a pair of padded cycling shorts under them to reduce wear and tear while riding. Stretchy, breathable polyester fabric wicks moisture away so you don’t feel drenched on long rides.
In our guide to the best running gear, we’ve crowned these the best cold-weather running tights, thanks to a high waist and drawstring that keeps them from sagging during your run. Acting as an insulating base layer under the pants, they add a great deal of warmth in inclement weather. They kept our reviewer warm, even in 30-degree temperatures, and were durable with little to no wear. One downside is that they only have 28″ seams, which can leave tall runners with cold ankles.
other outdoor activities
Ladies size, men’s size
Goose down jackets are only going to get more expensive, but REI’s own brand of fluffy down has held its base price for years. Now, it’s on sale at a rare and never-beaten price. The jacket has two zipped handwarmer pockets on the outside and two cavernous open pockets on the inside for hats, gloves and scarves. It acts as an outer layer or an insulating middle layer to keep you warm.
This is my favorite outdoor folding chair, made of sturdy aluminum, 300 denier nylon fabric, and solid wood armrests. It weighs 7 lbs 7 oz and can hold up to 250 lbs. There’s a padded version also on sale for a super-low $22, but it tends to be out of stock frequently in and out; make a note to check back next time to see if the deal is back.
I named the Big Haul the best duffel bag in my guide to the best travel bags because it’s made from Bluesign approved recycled nylon fabric and has plenty of internal and external pockets for organizing things, as well as a concealed backpack Strap so you can carry heavy items on your back. Anyone who has ever lugged an overweight suitcase through an airport will appreciate this. This 28-litre version is perfect for a weekend getaway and is small enough to take with you on a flight. There are more sizes on sale, all the way up to the gigantic 120 liter version.
You can’t stay healthy if your head is racing when you’re in a crash. Keep the Melon safe with this stylish and protective bike helmet from Nutcase. The Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a technology that provides additional protection to your brain from rotational injuries. Definitely worth the extra money. There are a variety of styles to choose from, from solid colors to really quirky designs.
Ditch single-use plastic and use durable, reusable Nalgene water bottles for your hydration needs from the desk to the campsite. More designs available here, but not shown on the previously linked product page, at the same discount. These models are BPA free, so you can drink with confidence.