Here’s how to get the best deals at the REI Member’s Sale. I’ve been an REI member for almost 45 years and I still get excited about this sale. To prep for the sale I usually do a 1 to 2 hour visit to my local REI Store, and then some extensive research online to find even more great lightweight hiking and backpacking gear. The result is the following Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to the REI Sale:

  • EVENT: 2019 REI Member Rewards Sale. Save up to 30% off
  • Members save: 20% off one full price item, and an extra 20% off on one REI Outlet Item. Use coupon code: GEARUP2018
  • PEAK DEALS: Save up to 50% off Peak Deals. (Look for offers added on 11/9 & 11/12)
  • Sale Dates: Friday Nov 9 to Monday Nov 19 so get there early and look around to get the best selection.

My strategy to get the best out of the REI sale is to use the following sequence:

  1. Go first to my top 12 Pics for the REI Sale Items below. The best items on sale will go quickly.
  2. In this post I’ve listed some key gear where 20% off would be most welcome  it’s a good starting place. But look over the entire REI non-outlet site for more expensive full priced items. Use your 20% off one full price item coupon to save money on that expensive item you’ve wanted that never goes on sale.
  3. Lastly, hit the REI OUTLET to use your 20% off any one OUTLET item. Stuff goes fast and sizes/colors are limited to begin with. And do some searching. If you’re a small or very large person, you can totally score here. Keep in mind that something labeled “men” might be good for women, and vice versa.

Finally, this Sale Guide equally includes links to Men’s and Women’s items whenever possible. This makes sense since my wife, Alison is my favorite backpacking, climbing and adventuring partner and she and other women deserve the best!

Oh and do get out there and enjoy! Happy trails to all of you. -alan & alison

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to the REI Sale

12 Quick Pics for the Sale

Short on time? Here are some key picks for great gear deals that should appeal to most lightweight hikers and backpackers.

50% Off  REI Co-op Magma 850 Hoodie Down Jacket — $109

This may be the best deal of the sale! So get really warm this winter and save a whopping amount! The REI Magma 850 down jacket offers easy movement and just-right warmth for backpacking, hiking and travel. This jacket was a favorite of ours and a great deal at $219 but at $109 it’s a steal, especially compared to competitors jackets than can run $300 or higher.

The Magma 850 Hoodie has all the features you want in a down jacket, the  lightest high fill power water resistant goose down, a hood critical to increasing warmth, a durable Pertex® ripstop shell, well articulated shoulders for free range of motion, and variable baffles that provide warmth where it’s needed and reduced bulk where it’s not. Finally it has pockets that aren’t blocked by a pack hipbelt, a gripe we have with a lot of jackets.

30% Off All Women’s and Men’s Patagonia Nano Puff Jackets

Get ready for wet winter weather with a Patagonia ultralight classic at a sweet price. Perfect for a mix of precipitation and cold temperatures, the PrimaLoft™ Gold Insulation Eco is water-repellent, highly compressible and maintains warmth when wet. This carefully designed garment works well for climbers and casual use with just the right features — three pockets, storm flap, and great hood make it fully functional, but keep the weight just bit over 10 ounces! Finally, as with many Patagonia gear these days, it has a lot of materials that meet the bluesign® criteria.

Top Mistakes Using the Layering System – How to Stay Warmer and Drier

What Cold Weather Clothing Do I Need?

This is the time of the year when it’s a great idea to take advantage of some big sales on cold weather gear like the incredible Patagonia R1 Hoodie currently on sale for 30% off. The following article will help you figure out what techniques and essential clothing you need to stay warm and comfortable this fall and winter. And will help you better navigate the fall sales on cold weather clothing — get just the right clothes and nothing more!

Top Mistakes Using the Layering System – How to Stay Warmer and Drier: The layering system sounds attractive in theory. But as practiced by most hikers it is seriously flawed. It can be heavy and expensive. Not used properly, it could even make you colder. This article points out the major mistakes hikers make when buying and using a clothing layering system, and of course it has tips on how to properly select and use a better and lighter layering system!

30% Off MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2-Person Tent $400 – $279

At this price the MSR’s Hubba Hubba NX 2p may be the best deal for an ultralight tent (a little over 3 lbs)!  The Hubba Hubba NX 2p is ideal for backpackers seeking a sturdy, storm-resistant tent who also value durability. Due to its famous strength and durability, it’s one of REI’s best sellers. Well-engineered pole structure and additional wind/water-resistant interior canopy fabric keep the wind at bay. Not surprisingly it has one of tautest pitches for an ultralight tent. Campers rest comfortably in the roomy, near-vertically walled interior. It’s 30d Ripstop floor and 20d Ripstop fly are built to last. And it has some of the most sturdy, easy to handle and operate hardware in its class.

25% off Darn Tough Socks – Men’s and Women’s

Buying multiple sets of socks gets expensive, so this savings really adds up. Darn tough socks are among the best — good fit, comfortable and legendary durability. We use Darn Tough Wool Socks whenever we hike, because (among other reasons) wool stenches far less than synthetic socks. But they make plenty of non-wool socks if that’s your thing. We prefer thinner socks with lower tops like the 1/4 Sock Light, and 1/4 Sock Ultra-Light. We’re guessing most people also prefer their lighter cushion versions.

From Darn Tough: “Our unconditional lifetime guarantee is simple and without strings or conditions. If our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair. For life.

  • Custom-count, shrink-treated merino wool that enhances comfort and durability for outdoor activities
  • Merino wool wicks away moisture and breathes to regulate temperature for outstanding comfort in a variety of conditions
  • Ring-toe construction hides seams and enhances comfort.
  • Reinforced heels and toes; elastic support around the arches

30% Off All Women’s and Men’s Patagonia R1 Hoodies & Pullovers

Think of it as “fur for humans.”  Patagonia R1 Hoodies & Pullovers are our favorite shirt/base-layer when the temperature drops! Mine has been to many a mountain top all over the world and is possibly the most versatile cold weather base layer ever made. They work over an astonishing range of conditions: whether you’re hiking, biking, backpacking or climbing it’s perfect for staying warm in cold fall and winter weather. We prefer the hoodie for its increased warmth, increased flexibility to handle a broader temperature range, and for the sleeve thumbholes.

  • Polartec® Power Grid fabric is lighter and more breathable than before, but offers the same outstanding stretch, durability and compressibility
  • Polygiene permanent odor control helps keep it fresh
  • Spiral-stitch construction lets you push up the sleeves with no ensuing forearm pump
  • Off-shoulder seams allow pack-wearing comfort; raglan sleeves increase mobility
  • Deep center-front Slim Zip zipper allows for quick venting, and a zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort
  • Chest pocket has a Slim Zip zipper, zipper garage and mesh pocket bag
  • Fabric is bluesign® approved
  • Torso is 1 in. longer than usual to stay tucked in under a harness or a pack hipbelt
  • Hoodie sleeves have discreet on-seam thumbholes for added coverage
  • Hoodie has snug-fitting, balaclava-style hood fits comfortably under a helmet

30% Off Arc’teryx Aptin Zip Hoodie

The Arc’teryx Aptin Zip Hoodie is the brand’s do-it-all midweight fleece top. It’s similar to the Patagonia R1 Hoodie but has some important differences. First, the upper portion of the Aptin Zip Hoodie has a wind and water resistant Arkose shell layer. This make the Aptin more versatile since you won’t need to layer a shell over it as quickly in wet and windy weather. On the downside, this also makes the upper portion less breathable vs. the R1 Hoodie. Also the Aptin is a lighter fleece at ~9 ounces vs. the R1 Hoodie at ~13 ounces. This would make it more appropriate for warmer temperatures or for highly aerobic outings like trail runs in cold weather with drizzle and spitting rain.

  • Moisture-wicking, quick-drying and breathable Polartec® Power Dry® technology keeps you dry and comfortable
  • Chest overlay is crafted from lightweight woven Arkose™ fabric with a durable water repellent (DWR) finish, providing good stretch and protection from wind and weather
  • Midweight, smooth-faced and grid-backed fleece provides ample stretch and a high warmth-to-weight ratio
  • 3/4 placket features semi auto-locking zipper slider and enables easy venting
  • Thumbhole cuffs features a low profile and offer extra hand warmth.

25% off  Arc’teryx Atom LT Insulated Hoodie – Men’s and Women’s

Stay warm, but don’t get drenched in sweat! And at under $200 this is priced far below the competition.

Similar to Patagonia’s highly popular Nano Air Series Jackets, the Arc’teryx Atom LT Insulated Hoodie has a highly air permeable shell. This means that it won’t trap moisture, so you’ll stay drier when working hard — and that’s a very good thing.

We are really excited about this emerging series of lightly insulated jackets in the range of 12 ounces that have air permeable shells. They are prefect for hiking, backpacking, and cycling in cold weather. In comparison, old non air-permeable, insulated shells would trap your sweat, get your insulation wet and then you’d freeze. You can say goodbye to this with a Arc’teryx Atom LT Insulated Hoodie.

30% off  Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Jacket – Men’s – Men’s and Women’s

Welcome to both durable and light rainwear. The Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Jacket – intelligently combines lighter waterproof GoreTex PackLite fabric in low-stress, low wear areas and heavier and more durable supple Gore-Tex with Gore C-Knit backer fabric in high-wear areas. This make sense as rain jackets usually wear out first in the high stress areas of the shoulders and neck. And for just 12 ounces this jacket has all the bells and whistles, pit zips, drop hem in the rear, helmet compatible hood, and articulated elbows and shoulders for ease of movement. And of course, you get impeccable Arc’teryx fit, and a stylish dead dino on your chest!

30% Off on a Ton of Smartwool Stuff — Lots of garments and styles on sale to suit every need and taste. In fact, if it’s Smartwool there’s a good chance it’s on sale.

From the Desert Southwest to Alaska and Patagonia we’ve worn Smartwool base-layers and socks. They are also great for travel as they stay stench free much longer without washing.

Smartwool’s super soft merino wool is the original antimicrobial, non-stench fabric that keeps you warm when its wet. Super fine Merino wool is soft and comfortable against the skin and doesn’t itch. Doesn’t feel as clammy as synthetics. Long wearing.

25% Off all Outdoor Research HatsGloves and Gaiters

Outdoor Research is well known for its light and highly functional hats, gloves and gaiters.

We’re fans of the VersaLiner Gloves for cold weather (pictured above). They have pockets on the backs of the fleece gloves for hand warmer packets. And they come with a rain/wind shell that you can put over the fleece liners. You can take the shells off at night and quickly dry out the liners — something you can’t do with a glove that has the shell sewn to the liner.

Some of our personal favorite for hats are the light and warm Option Balaclava (pictured below), the highly adaptable Sun Runner Cap, and the classic Seattle Sombrero.

25% off all Adventure Medical Kits “Mountain” and Ultralight Watertight” Series First Aid Kits

If you are like many people, it’s likely that your first aid kit is depleted — med’s gone or out of date, and the bandaids have lost their stick. This is a great time to get a complete kit with all in-date supplies!

As a guide, most of the injuries I have treated in the backcountry have been scrapes and cuts (abrasions and lacerations) and all I had to do was stop the bleeding (direct pressure, always) and clean it up and dress the wound. And of course what I most often treat is blistering feet. The less expensive and lighter (under 1/2 lb) Adventure Medical Kits, like the Mountain Series Day Tripper will do all of that just fine and includes some over the counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and antihistamine.

What do you need to be prepared in the backcountry?

Read my 13 Essentials for the Modern Hiker – A Realistic “10 Essentials.” This article proposes a more realistic 13 Essentials that will better keep the modern hiker safe. This is because the Classic 10 Essentials (first proposed in the 1930’s) needed an update for the 21st Century given the realities of a modern day hiker.

$150 off All Garmin Fenix 5 Series GPS Watches

GPS stuff rarely if ever goes on sale, and your 20% off coupon doesn’t work for GPS devices so $150 off is a big deal. Garmin has been a leader in outdoor, wearable GPS devices. And the Fenix watches have been the choice for backcountry travel. But it can also do all the exercise monitoring for your daily life as well. When I was an elite triathlete I used a Garmin Fenix both for all my training and race monitoring. And then I took the exact same watch out into the backcountry for backpacking and climbing trips. As the listing says “There’s little the Garmin Fenix 5 multisport GPS watch can’t do.” That being said, Fenix 5 watches are top of the line and thus expensive.


Even without the discount these are still some great gear!


The Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 Tent has no equal when it comes to volume-to-weight ratio among traditional tents. It’s seriously huge AND light. In fact, at 2.6 lbs, it’s lighter than all the rest of our favorite two person traditional tents and its’ ~1/3 larger than them to boot. Somewhat mindbogglingly, the Tiger Wall UL3 is only seven ounces heavier than its 2-person counterpart Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 Tent (a great solo tent option), so why not go big? Complimenting the cavernous interior are two doors and two regular sized vestibules for plenty of access and gear storage. Keep in mind that while this tent is quite large for two campers, it’s a much tighter squeeze for three. A final note, some weight savings comes from the need to stake out the two rear corners. As such, this is a is semi-freestanding tent. Not a big deal to our minds.

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 2 Tent ($350)

At $100 less than the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2  Ultralight Tent, REI’s long-time favorite Quarter Dome Tent is a legitimately great option for any backpacker seeking a premium, free-standing, lightweight tent that won’t break the bank. Weighing just over 3 lbs, the Quarter Dome remains comfortable with ample head room, and plenty of space for two backpackers. The increased room/livability from extremely vertical walls is what sets this tent apart from most of its peers in this price range. The bottom line is that this tent is an REI best-seller because it meets all the requirements of a lightweight backpacker for a very reasonable price. Bravo REI!

Osprey Exos 48 and 58 Pack (Men) – Osprey Eja 48 and 58 Pack (Women) – $200

A Thru-hiker’s choice and a darling of the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. The Osprey Exos 48 is light but will still hold enough gear and food for 7 days (use the large 58 if you carry more gear). Of course it has the famous Osprey fit and comfort. It’s fairly durable for a lightweight pack but best of all, at $200 it’s a good deal for a pack of this weight and quality.

Building on the success of the men’s Exos pack, Osprey introduced the women-specific Eja in 2018. The Osprey Eja 48 and Eja 58 are specially tweaked to fit women better and be more comfortable.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite $160

Warm, comfortable, light and compact. What more do you want?

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir line sets the gold standard for backpacking sleeping pads. This is the “Women’s” version of the XLite, but it’s the right size for most backpackers (all the men I know use it). At 12 oz and with an R-value of 3.9, it’s warmer and lighter than the “Men’s” version. This pad will be a go-to piece of any backpacker’s sleeping kit.

REI Co-op Magma Sleeping Bag – 17° W’s & 10° M’s ($349)

A sweeet deal at far less than competitors bags! This 2017 Backpacker Editors’ Choice will keep even cold sleepers warm but still not weigh a ton! This Women’s specific bag is rated to 17 °F and stuffed with 850 fill power water-resistant goose down. The weight is not bad at a little over two pounds. The Men’s version is essentially the same bag but rated 10 °F because Men sleep a bit warmer. This puts it solidly into 3+ or even 4-season capability.

Marmot Phase 30 Sleeping Bag – $399

A very warm one-pound Ultralight bag with high quality 850 fill power water-resistant goose down. This is 1/2 the weight of most down sleeping bags in the same temperature range! EN rated to 33 °F, and with a FULL zipper which is a pleasant surprise in a bag this light and makes it easy to use it as a quilt in warmer weather. That’s great versatility.


This post contains affilate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on the these links, a slight portion of the sale helps support this site at no additional cost to you.  I am never under an obligation to write page post a review about any product. Finally, this post expresses my own independent opinion.

14 replies
  1. CraigK
    CraigK says:

    Hi Alan – thanks for summing up sale highlights…super helpful. Picked up an Atom LT hoodie…it’s fantastic!

    Could you double check the Darn Tough entry…thinking only the ski socks are on sale, not the hiking editions. I walked into a store yesterday, and I was so darned confused about the pricing. :)

    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Good catch Craig, only ski socks were on sale. Since this is backpacking and hiking site, I pulled the socks out of the guide. Still there are some very nice Smartwool socks on sale for 30% off and that includes hiking and running socks. Best, -alan

  2. Steven
    Steven says:

    Great post but want to clarify one thing. The Exos backpack shown is last year’s model; the 2018 version lost the hipbelt pockets (which is a real shame)

    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Thanks for finding that Steven. Yes, the actual link is was and is correct for the current model but the image is not. I already had the image of last years in my image library and forgot to change it in the rush to get the guide out in time for the sale. Hoping you had a great Memorial Day Weekend. Warmest -alan

  3. Amy
    Amy says:

    This is a great list! I’m fairly new to backpacking and have some of these items already but I’m adding the Joule 21 sleeping bag, MSR pocket rocket 2, nuun tablets, and a climbing harness from this sale. Steep & Cheap seems to be competing with this sale because they’ve added new items. I purchased prAna Halle pants in a color not available at REI and a compression sack. Excited to test out my new gear :)

    • Alan Dixon
      Alan Dixon says:

      Very nice Amy. Glad you are getting some new light gear. And so smart to shop sales and closeouts when you are getting started. Will save you a ton of $. Warmest, -alan

  4. Katherine
    Katherine says:

    I used me member discount on a Ursack All-White. Because my “bear hangs” are more often “chipmunk hangs” and it’s time to stop pushing my luck.


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