I’ve been an REI member for almost 45 years. Still, when the REI Member Rewards Event comes around, I get excited about picking up some new gear for the upcoming hiking season. This year, I decided to prep by going for a 2 hour visit to my local REI Store, and then doing research online selecting more great lightweight hiking and backpacking gear. The result is my Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to REI Member Rewards Event.

Note while the 20% offer is now gone, many items are still on sale, as such you an use this as a a guide to finding some great deals and closeouts.

  • Offer: Members save 20% on one full-price item and an extra 20% on one REI Garage item
  • Dates: 3/23-4/9
  • Coupon Code: MEMPERKS

Below, I share with you my strategy to get the best out of the REI Member Rewards Event. Here is the sequence I use:

  1. First: hit the REI GARAGE to use your 20% off any one GARAGE item. Stuff goes fast and sizes/colors are limited to begin with. I’ve noted a few items that I found to be good deals, but be flexible since sizes and colors can go quickly. And do some searching. If you’re a small or very large person, you can totally score here. I’ve only put in items that had several good sizes. Keep in mind that something labeled “men” might be good for women, and vice versa.
  2. Second: Hit the Regular REI Sale Items (I have some picks below that I think are good). The best items on sale will go quickly. Note: this is technically not a “sale” event, nonetheless there are some good items on discount. And while you are shopping you might as well take a look.
  3. Third: Shop Full-price Items. This is the last area I would look over. Again in a section below, I have noted some high priced items where 20% off would be welcome, as well as some lower cost options. These are still great gear choices, even without the 20% off.

Some Quick Pics

Good luck and happy shopping!  -AdventureAlan

Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to REI Member Rewards Event

Here are some ideas to use your 20% off one REI GARAGE item

Marmot Atom Sleeping Bag – Long 

$215.73   $309.00*  Save $93.27 (30%)

Only 1.5 lb. Good quality and roomy 3-season mummy bag at a great price. High-quality, water-resistant 800-fill-power goose down. Don’t let the long length worry you too much.

  • EN Lower Limit 35.4 degrees Fahrenheit
  • EN Comfort 44.1 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Rating (F) 40 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Temperature Rating (C) 4 degrees Celsius
  • Weight  Long Left 1 lb. 8.5 oz

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Hooded Down Jacket
Men’s Jacket
Women’ Jacket

$226.73 $325.00* Save $98.27 (30%)

Mountain Hardwear touts the Ghost Whisperer as “the world’s lightest full-featured down jacket.”

MH uses a unique “Whisperer 7D x 10D Ripstop” fabric that is light, tough, down proof, and fairly water resistant. Oh, and the Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer has won a ton of awards.

  • Q.Shield Down resists moisture & retains maximum loft when wet
  • Low-profile quilting holds down in place
  • Zip hand pockets
  • Hem has an interior toggle
  • Stow pocket has a loop so you can clip the jacket to your harness
  • Soft knit inner cuffs have elastic binding

30% off Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie or Jacket – Men’s

A steal if you also use your Members Get 20% off one REI Garage Item.

This jacket has been a staple of the ultralight crowd for years. My wife and I both own one. It’s not the cheapest jacket but it’s light, and uses a generous 3.5 oz of 800-fill-power traceable down. It comes in both a jacket and a hooded version for a little more money. The hooded version is hands-down our favorite!

  • Insulated with premium 800-fill-power 100% Traceable Down: goose down that can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed, never live-plucked
  • Pertex® Quantum ripstop nylon shell fabric is the lightest-weight fabric used by Patagonia; variegated channels stabilize the goose down
  • Slim silhouette layers under a shell and efficiently traps heat; side panels with narrow channels provide shape and reduce bulk
  • Zippered chest pocket; zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Center-front zipper has an inner stormflap and soft, wicking zipper garage at chin
  • Jacket stuffs into its chest pocket with a carabiner clip-in loop; it also stuffs into its left-hand pocket to create a travel pillow
  • Single-pull adjustable hood, drawcord-adjustable hem and elastic-bound cuffs seal in warmth

25% off Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail Shoes, M’s & W’s – REI Garage

A good pair of hiking shoes, ain’t cheap. So these might be a good choice for the your 20% off any one Garage item.

These are Alison’s and my favorite backpacking and hiking shoes. These are the most comfortable shoe after a 30+ mile day on the trail. One key is the massive toe room that is so kind to trail-swollen feet at the end of the day. They are light and have a zero drop heel for a more natural stride. These come in both Men’s and Women’s models.

Altra Superior 3.0 Trail-Running Shoes  $81.73  $110.00 Save $28.27 (25%)

We also like the lighter and award winning Altra Superior shoes. We have even taken them technical canyoneering with good success. M’s model and W’s model. One thing that makes the Superiors stand apart is upper fabric is that it stops sand and grit entry while still being breathable!

  • Hooks on the laces and hook-and-loop tabs on the heels pair easily with gaiters (sold separately) to help keep out trail debris
  • StoneGuard™ rock plates protect your feet from sharp rocks and are removable for running on less demanding terrain
  • Toe boxes have ample space for toes to splay out
  • Outsoles with canted lugs beneath your metatarsals provide grip on gnarly terrain

Selected Regular Sale Items

Stay tuned more items to be added soon!

Since this gear is already on sale, you can’t use your 20% off any one -full-priced item. But there are some great deals here that can lighten your pack.

$200 (only during member event) REI Co-op Backpacking Bundle . My guess is this is part of REI’s “What’s your But?” campaign. As such, this bundle solves the “but it’s too expensive.” So If you are just starting out and on a tight budget you might find this attractive. Not exactly light at ~9lb for tent, sleeping bag and pad. But for $200 it’s hard to beat, especially when you consider the REI warranty.

REI Co-op Rhyolite Rain Jacket M’s & W’s  $189 – 12 oz  now 40% off – $113!

One of the best hardshells out there and it costs far less than the competition.

3-layer eVent waterproof breathable membrane is highly breathable & durable

The REI Co-op Rhyolite is a great three layer jacket with two well placed chest pockets and adjustable hems, cuffs and hood. REI made several clever design choices with this jacket: The pockets are high enough to use when wearing hip straps and use mesh pocket lining to creating two effective chest vents for backpackers. Additionally, the Rhyolite jacket is REI’s durable rain jacket, due to tough fabric and seam placement on the shoulders -they directed the seams away from high friction areas on the shoulders and back where a backpack would accelerate wear. If you’re planning on buying this jacket, note that the hem comes up just a little short in the back, and the fabric is just a touch stiff (these issues can be solved with thoughtful sizing).

BEST FOR: Hikers and backpackers looking for rain protection with good breathability and great ventilation that can endure significant wear and tear in formidable conditions.

Swiss Army Classic SD Knife $13.93 $19.95 REDUCED PRICE You Save 30%

And yes, the Swiss Army Classic is well, a classic ultralight knife. But in a definitely new look!

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – Men’s and Women’s 30% off now $138.99

A Patagonia Ultralight Classic! Compared to fleece its lighter and more compressible for equivalent warmth. And unlike down it still keeps you warm when wet.

  • 60g PrimaLoft® Gold Insulation Eco, made with 55% post-consumer recycled content. The most thermally efficient synthetic insulation
  • PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco is also water-repellent and retains 98% of its insulating ability even when wet
  • 2,156,127 plastic bottles will be saved from the landfill in the first year alone, thanks to the use of new PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco
  • Wrapped in a windproof and moisture-shedding 100% recycled polyester ripstop shell with a DWR (durable water repellent) finish; bluesign approved
  • Brick quilting pattern with narrow horizontal quilt lines on side panels stabilizes insulation and uses durable thread for abrasion resistance
  • Elasticized cuffs and a dual-adjust drawcord hem seal out wind and seal in warmth
  • Center-front zipper has wicking interior storm flap and zipper garage at chin for next-to-skin comfort
  • Two zippered handwarmer pockets have cleanly finished zipper garages; zippered internal chest pocket doubles as a stuff sack with a reinforced carabiner clip-in loop

REI Co-op Magma 850 Down Jacket – Men’s and Women’s

$129.99 Was $189

Similar to the lauded Patagonia UL Down Jacket but less than 1/2 the price! The REI Magma 850 down jacket offers easy movement and just-right warmth for backpacking, hiking and travel.

  • Goose down boasts durable water repellent (DWR) treatment to help keep you dry and warm
  • 850-fill goose down insulation provides a high warmth-to-weight ratio and compacts so easily you can pack the jacket into its own left-hand pocket for storage
  • Variable baffles map insulation to the body, providing warmth where it’s needed and reduced bulk where it’s not
  • Pertex® ripstop shell is ultralight and durable
  • Shoulder seams are rolled forward to reduce bulk and prevent chafing under pack straps
  • Tightly quilted underarm gussets reduce bulk, improve range of motion, and prevent jacket hiking at the waist
  • Elastic cuffs and drawcord hem help seal in warmth
  • Zip hand pockets are positioned to be compatible with a pack’s hip belt

25 to 50% off (select) Women’s and Men’s Patagonia Midweight Capilene Baselayer

If wool isn’t your thing… light and durable Patagonia Capilene Midweight baselayers are a great option.

We are particular fans of the Patagonia Capilene Midweight Zip-Neck Long Underwear Top with its long, center-front zipper for easy venting when you work up a sweat, full underarm gussets and raglan shoulder seams that provide unhindered shoulder mobility, and elastic thumbholes that keep sleeves from riding up and provide partial coverage for your hands.

  • Quick-drying Polartec® Power Grid™ fabric with 93% (solids) and 63% (heathers) recycled polyester content has a smooth face for easy layering
  • Brushed fabric with a grid pattern next to the skin provides warmth, breathability and moisture-wicking performance
  • Polygiene permanent odor control helps keep the fabric smelling fresh, wash after wash
  • Flatlock seams minimize chafing
  • Fair Trade Certified sewing means the people who made this shirt earned a premium for their labor

Suggestions to get the most from your 20% off any one full-price item

Even without the discount these are still some great gear!

Patagonia R1 Hoodies & Pullovers – possibly my favorite shirt/base-layer for cool weather!

Think of it as “fur for humans.” Possibly the most versatile cold weather base layer ever made. It works over an astonishing range of conditions. Perfect for staying warm in cool spring weather!

  • 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
  • Snug-fitting, balaclava-style hood fits comfortably under a helmet
  • 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
  • Sleeves have discreet on-seam thumbholes for added coverage
  • Torso is 1 in. longer than usual to stay tucked in under a harness or a pack hipbelt
  • Fabric is bluesign® approved

Guide to REI Member Rewards Event

Big Agnes Copper Spur Tents

If you want to cut a little weight, but keep lots of space, Big Agnes has you covered with their Copper Spur ultralight freestanding tents. They are some of the most spacious backpacking tents out there, which is great if you are going to be stuck in your tent playing cards for a while in bad weather, or just prefer highly livable tents. The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 Tent is a longtime favorite among ultralight backpackers.


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.

 Guide to REI Gear Up Get Out Sale

Osprey Exos 48 Pack – $190

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. Best of all, at under $200 it’s a good deal for a pack of this weight and quality.


REI Quarter Dome 2 Tent – $349.00

REI’s long-time favorite Quarter Dome Tent is a great option for those looking for a reasonably priced lightweight free-standing backpacking tent. If ultralight tarps seem too daunting, this will still help you cut weight, weighing just over 3 lbs, but the Quarter Dome remains comfortable with ample head room, and plenty of space for two backpackers. The increased room and livability from extremely vertical walls is what sets tent apart from most of its peers. (Now even more room with 2017 update.)

Note: Compare this to the Big Agnes Fly Creek HV UL 2 Tent 


REI Co-op Magma Sleeping Bag – 17° W’s & 10° M’s – $399

This 2017 Backpacker Editors’ Choice will keep even cold sleepers warm. 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 into 3+ season capability.


REI Co-op Igneo 25 Sleeping Bag M’s & Joule 30 W’s – $269

A value 3 season bag for under 2 pounds. Water-repellent 700-fill-power duck down keeps the price low. Strategic waterproof/breathable fabric panels improve its wet weather performance. This Women’s specific Joule bag is rated to 30 °F  and the Men’s Igneo bag is rated to 30 °F.


Marmot Phase 30 Sleeping Bag – $399

This is 1/2 the weight of the bags above it! A very warm one-pound Ultralight bag wth high quality 850 fill power water-resistant goose down. EN rated to 33 °F, and with a full zipper which is a pleasant surprise in a bag this light!


REI Co-Op Rain Jacket – $70 (actually it’s on sale for $35 to $49)

This functional rain jacket is under 10 oz. and a great bargain! Most of us end up tearing or wearing out a rain jacket after a few seasons anyway, so why spend the big bucks? This jacket comes in both Men’s and Women’s sizes (9.4 and 8 oz respectively), has zippered pockets and an adjustable hood making this 2.5-layer breathable waterproof jacket a an excellent deal!

 Guide to REI Gear Up Get Out Sale

REI Flash 18 Pack (on sale for $28)  and Flash 22 Pack $50

These little day packs are great. They are light in an era when many “daypacks” approach the heavy weight of long distance backpacks. With the weight savings you can carry a camera, a drawing pad and pencils, or some extra food.

Theses packs hold just the right amount for a day (18 or 22 L), and don’t have too many bells and whistles. Simple, inexpensive, and good. This simple drawstring design has been with us for years, because it has proven itself to be perfect for just about any day-long mission.

There are some fancy colors in the Special Edition 18 Pack and the Special Edition 22 Pack.

1. REI GARAGE selections

2. Regular REI Sale Items

3. Full Priced Items


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.

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