Lightweight Hikers’ Guide to REI Anniversary Sale 2020

Here’s how to get the best deals the REI Sale. I’ve been an REI member for over 40 years and I still get excited about a REI Sale. To prep for this sale, in addition to our knowledge of the REI’s lightweight and ultralight gear inventory, we did a bunch research online to find even more hiking and backpacking gear on sale. The result is our Lightweight Hiker’s Guide to the REI Sale:

  • EVENT 2020 REI Members’ Sale: Dates 5/15-5/25 | Save up to 30% off on select items
  • PLUS Members Get 20% off one full price item and 20% off one REI OUTLET Item Use CODE: ANNV2020
  • PLUS get free shipping on on orders over $50

Below, I share with you my strategy to get the best out of the REI sale. This is in the following sequence

  1. Hit the REI OUTLET to use your 20% off any one OUTLET items like Osprey Packs or Big Agnes Tents. Stuff goes fast and sizes/colors are limited to begin with.
  2. Hit the Regular REI Sale Items See our Regular Sale picks below. There’s a section below that has Regular Sale Items I thought were good. The best items on sale will go quickly.
  3. Shop Full-price Items. This is the last area I would look over but Full-price Items like a Hyperlite Mountain Gear 2400 & 3400 Southwest Pack, an Osprey Exos Pack or a Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad  that might give you the most dollar savings. 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.

24 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. Best, they are already on sale so you can save your 20% Off One Regular Price Item for something else that meets your fancy. The best items on sale will go quickly. So if you wait too long, you may not get your choice of size, model or color, or it might just sell out. And we’ll be adding more items to this guide during the sale, soo be sure to check back from time to time for new deals as we add them.

Peak Deals | These are in limited quantity.

“Get them before they’re gone. These deals go fast!”

peak deal REI Co-op Flash 45 Pack M’s & W’s

50% Off

$79.49 $159.00 even full price this is one of better pack values

If you have your load dialed in to 45L*, the REI Co-op Flash 45  is sweet pack. And of course at it’s a steal at $75. It um, is 1/3 the price and has similar features to another pack manufacturer that starts with an O. The Flash 45 Pack has a nice ventilated back panel, and very comfortable pre-curved hip belt that has pockets. REI has moved the water bottle pockets forward on the pack so you can reach bottles without taking the pack off. So if you’re kit is not quite down to 45L this might serious incentive to get there!

* If you need help getting your pack weight down checkout our Ultralight Backpacking Gear List | 9 Pound


REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack M’s & W’s

30% Off

$139.29 $199.00 even full price this is one of better pack values

If you need more room the similar but more fully featured REI Co-op Flash 55 Pack is a good option. While it’s not a peak deal it is 30% off. It comes with a nice rainproof top lid, and rainshield pocket on the shoulder strap perfect for iPhone or small camera. And you can put on or take off pack mod accessories (like pockets) to suit your needs. Removing all of them saves about 1/2 pound.

peak deal REI Co-op Igneo Sleeping Bag M’s
REI Co-op Joule Sleeping Bag W’s

50% Off

$139.49 – $164.49

A great value in 3 season bags that won’t weigh you down (most models are under 2 pounds!). Water-repellent 700-fill-power duck down keeps the price low. Strategic waterproof/breathable fabric panels improve its wet weather performance. The Women’s specific Joule bags are rated 30 °F or 21 °F  and is shaped and temperature rated for women. The Men’s Igneo bags are rated to 25 °F or 17 °F.

peak deal REI Co-op Pivot Quarter-Zip Pullover – Men’s

50% Off

$24.89 $49.95

Similar to the REI Lightweight Base Layer Half-Zip Top below but at an even lower price. We’re big fans of the versatility of a long sleeve, 1/2 zip tops and they go on most trips. It gives you full 50 SPF sun protection all day and extra warmth on a cool morning. But as the temps begin to rise, you unzip and roll back your sleeves for a much cooler garment. And of course it perfect wicking and breathable for layering under a rain jacket, windshirt, or warmer fleece. Shirt has underarm gussets, a longer back hem, and comfortable fabric and flat seam construction.

Regular Sale Items

The North Face TKA 100 Colorblocked Full-Zip Hoodie

The North Face Clothing

30% OFF

$75

Of course, a whole bunch of The North Face clothing on sale (like 433 items of all types of clothing from shorts to rain jackets). But here’s our favorite and a top seller at the REI Members’ Sale earlier this year.

A 100 wt fleece shirt is our go to favorite mid-layer—goes on every trip! And The North Face TKA 100 Colorblocked Full-Zip Hoodie is one of our favorites, adding a hood this year! This is a lightweight, inexpensive fleece that blocks the wind reasonably well and provides just the right amount of warmth. With an appropriate layering scheme, this can replace the need for a wind jacket for us entirely!  We find that in cool weather (where a layering system is most useful) a fleece shirt is better. For almost the same weight of a windshirt a light 100 weight fleece shirt has a greater temperature range for comfort — which means fewer clothing changes. And a thin fleece doesn’t trap moisture in the same way as windshirt.

REI Sahara Pants & Shirts

25% OFF

$34 – $70

We’ve used some version of REI Co-op Sahara pants for nearly 20 years. They’ve been to Patagonia, Alaska, Asia, the Deserts of Utah, and pretty much every mountain range in the lower 48. They get the job done. We like the thin, light but durable fabric key reinforcements in high wear areas. And that they come in a number of inseams. And of course, all those pockets are essential to keep your gear organized and readily available. Finally, they dry quickly and are great for international travel as well.

REI Sahara Shirts

REI Sahara Shirts are the same quality as the pants.

REI Lightweight Base Layers

25% OFF

$19 to $90

These baselayers will keep you comfortable all day. We’re big fans of the versatility of a long sleeve, 1/2 zip tops (and of course there are Ts and bottoms here too). It gives you full 50 SPF sun protection all day and extra warmth on a cool morning. But as the temps begin to rise, you unzip and roll back your sleeves for a much cooler garment. And of course it perfect wicking and breathable for layering under a rain jacket, windshirt, or warmer fleece. Shirt has underarm gussets, a longer back hem, and comfortable fabric and flat seam construction.

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket – M’s & W’s

30% Off

$99 to $139
For 12 years the Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket has been the classic, light do-it-all jacket. Biking, climbing, hiking, backpacking, bikepacking, you name it, this ultralight jacket is a great tool for the job. Synthetic PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco is a very light and warm insulation. It is more water-resistant than down is made from 55% post-consumer recycled fibers. If you add in the wind and water-resistant bluesign® approved fabric shell, the jacket is 75% recycled materials so you can feel good about the environment.

TIP: we prefer the warmer and even more versatile Patagonia Nano Puff Insulated Hoodie

Passage 2

REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent

30% OFF

$159

Value, value, value: The REI Co-op Passage 2 is the textbook definition of a backpacking tent but at a fraction of the price. Traditionally, tents from a reputable brand that look and perform this well would cost twice as much! While nothing about the Passage 2 is cutting edge, everything about its design is intentionally traditional, reliable and user-friendly, especially the two-door, two vestibule chassis and cross-pole frame. And it comes with a footprint saving you even more bucks.

SIMILAR MODELS: Passage 1pPassage 3p

BEST FOR: Budget or beginning backpacker seeking a classic, inexpensive backpacking tent that gets the job done

Black Diamond Headlamps

25% OFF

$30 to $50

Black Diamond Spot Lite 160 Headlamp  is the perfect blend of ultraight while still providing a ton of light! It’s the ideal light for around camp to cook dinner, or setup in the dark. But if in a pinch, if you need to do some night hiking it puts out 160 lumens for 2 hours, and on medium 80 lumens for 14 hours — enough to hike at night on-trail in an emergency. But it’s mild mannered enough to use in camp at 6 lumens, where it will last for 60 hours. We also like that it only takes two AAA batteries.

Need more power? Use the Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp if you need to seriously night hike — like all night! On high it puts out 325 lumens for 4 hours, and on medium 160 lumens for 8 hours — enough to hike out at night in an emergency on challenging trails, or even off trail. But it’s still mild mannered enough to use in camp at 6 lumens, where it will last for 200 hours.

REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack

REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack

30% Off

$80

Clear your mind and refresh your perspective by taking a hike! There’s no better time to enjoy the benefits of solitude and nature. Not surprisingly we’re seeing a huge people out hiking just about everywhere!

The REI Co-op Trail 25 Pack is a full featured day pack that is still lightweight. Unlike the 13 oz minimalist REI Co-op Flash 22 Pack (a favorite of ours), the 2 pound Trail 25 has a bunch well thought out features that many hikers may prefer — a HDPE framesheet adds structure and helps shield your back from protruding gear (and transfers some weight to your hips), a built in rain cover, more padding, more pockets, and easier gear access, etc. And it’s mostly made from recycled materials.

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

NEMO Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad

25% Off

$160 one of the quietest pads with good warmth

The Nemo Tensor Insulated Sleeping Pad is worth a look for those that want a cushy and quiet pad. And at R 3.5 it’s warm and at $160 it’s a decent value for a comfortable pad. This is the closest competitor to Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite. It has the advantage of being thicker 3.0″ nominal vs. 2.5″ for the XLite — and it’s lack of foot taper will be welcome to restless sleepers. It has a nice valve system and comes with an inflation sack at no extra cost. The Tensor comes in a number of sizes including a rare 25″ width in the standard (medium size) and it’s less noisier than the XLite.

GREAT FOR: Good combo of high cushion comfort, quieter, low weight, good R value

NEMO Disco 30 Sleeping Bag

Nemo Disco Sleeping Bag

25% Off

$194-$319

If confining mummy bags aren’t your thing then you might want to check out the Nemo Disco Sleeping Bags. Their “Classic Spoon™ shape” gives more elbow and knee room for restless and fidgety sleepers. And unlike minimalist mummy bags it has features like an integrated pillow pocket and vents that allow you to regulate heat without puffing in huge drafts of cold air. And the 650 fill power down keeps the price lower than it’s 800+ fill power bags. So if you need more sleeping room and can handle a bit more weight then the Disco is definitely worth a look.

REI Rain Jacket | REI Co-op Rainier

30% OFF

$45 – $90

$45 to $90 for a good quality and light REI rain jacket says it it all! The REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket’s utilitarian design keeps weight and cost low. Styling is a bit bit utilitarian but the jacket has room to layer. The Co-op Jacket has a modestly sized, 3-piece hood with dual hood adjusts (but still best with a ball-cap under it), two zippered hand pockets, a drawcord hem and internal elastic cuffs allow a seal at waist and wrists. And the new model has pit zips and uses Recycled nylon ripstop (bluesign® approved).

BEST FOR: Budget hikers and backpackers looking for good rain and wind protection that will last at an incredibly low price.

Nemo tent

NEMO HORNET 2P

25% OFF

$370

For those seeking one of the lightest traditional tents, Nemo Hornet 2P is a great option. At 1.9 lbs it is our lightest recommended traditional tent. And for $370, it’s the second most affordable. So it’s a great value! And the amazing part is that, despite the weight and cost trimmings, Nemo still managed to deliver what is only a somewhat smaller living space and vestibule setup than its heavier competition. Yes, the slanted sidewalls (tent lacks a spreader crossbar at the peak) make it better suited for sleeping than hanging out in (some even consider this a large person’s solo tent), but if small and light is your style, you were probably going to hike all day anyway. Keep in mind that the Nemo family goes deep and quality options abound. Larger hikers or anyone seeking livability will appreciate the expanded footprint, vertical sidewalls, and bigger vestibules on the Dagger 2P (listed below and also a very nice tent!).

SIMILAR MODELS: Hornet 1p, Dagger 2p,

Best For: Those seeking the lightest traditional tent, even if it means compromising  a bit on space and livability. Light fabrics should be treated with care.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

25% Off

$110

The Jetboil Flash stove is an all-in-one stove, heat exchanger, pot combination. It’s a great option if you want hot water quickly in camp – it’ll get your morning coffee boiling in just two-and-a-half minutes. That’s 3-4 times faster than an alcohol stove system. At 15.2 oz, it’s not too heavy and it packs to a small size to fit many places in your pack. Best of all after the discount it’s about 1/2 the price of the top of the line JetBoil stoves.

La Sportiva

La Sportiva Footwear | La Sportiva Bushido

30% Off

$130 La Sportiva Bushido

All La Sportiva Footwear is on sale. But our favorite La Sportiva hiking shoe is La Sportiva Bushido. It’s got an aggressively grippy sole that get traction in both wet and dry conditions. It’s a light shoe with a more snug/glove-like fit vs. the much wider Altra Lone Peaks and a moderate 6mm heel rise. And they are light at just over 10 oz per shoe but still amazingly durable.

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low Hiking Shoes - Men's

Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low Hiking Shoes

20% OFF

$100

This one of REI’s most popular hiking shoes with a 4.3 rating for 223 reviews. So if you are leery of trail runners for hiking and want a more supportive and protective shoe with some great traction then the highly popular Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Low Hiking Shoes are likely a good choice. The upper is a combination of leather for durability, and mesh for breathability. A slightly higher ankle and bellows tongue help keep debris out. And Vibram TC5+ outsoles with 5mm lug provide good grip in mud and the loose stuff. Oh, and it’s a very comfortable shoe.

Katadyn BeFree

Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle – Clever Hiker Description

25% Off

$40

WEIGHT: 2.3 oz.

PROS: Affordable, ultralight

CONS: Soft bottle durability, not ideal for backpacking

BOTTOM LINE: The Katadyn BeFree is an affordable, lightweight filter that works well on quick backcountry jaunts. The reason it didn’t make our final list is because we don’t think it’s ideal for the rigors of multi-day backpacking trips. The soft bottle of the BeFree isn’t built to withstand squeeze filtering 4-6 liters per day and hauling water from one source to the next. Also, the filtration unit on the BeFree is relatively small, which impacts its flow rate over time faster than we’d prefer. The BeFree is available in a 3-liter gravity bag model, which is a closer fit, but still has some durability and logistical issues (ex: no hang strap, hose, shut off clamp, or bottle adapters). We like the BeFree for trail running and quick backcountry trips around water sources, but we don’t normally use it as our primary purification method for multi-day backpacking.

Garmin inReach Explorer+ 2-Way Satellite Communicator

Garmin inReach Explorer+ 2-Way Satellite Communicator

save $100

Originally $450.00

As you know we’re huge fans of the 3.5 oz Garmin inReach Mini. But if you aren’t a fan of using both your phone and Satellite Communicator at the same time do mapping and communication then the fully featured Garmin inReach Explorer+ may be for you. In addition, it has 2x the battery life, a larger color screen for interactive mapping. It also has pre-loaded maps for those that feel challenged or simply don’t have the time to load the right maps on their smartphone.

Smartwool Socks

25% Off

We like all Smartwool Socks. Merino wool is naturally stink reducing which is a favor to both you and your fellow hikers on multi-day trips. The are comfortable and fit well. And they are durable. Our favorites for hiking and backpacking sock are the Smartwool PhD Outdoor Light Mini Socks.

Smartwool socks

Patagonia wind shirts

30% Off

$100

Patagonia wind shirts…

Smartwool socks

North Face Rain Jacket

30% Off

$100

North Face Rain Jacket…

Salomon Hiking Shoes

Salomon Shoes (Salomon X Ultra 3 Low hiking shoes)

30% OFF

$120-$150

Clever Hiker: Best hiking shoes overall for comfort, traction & durability

Smartwool socks

Mountain Hardwear makes a lot of cool outdoor threads, but our favorites are the Ghost Whisperer/2 Hoody (featured on our 10 Best Down Jackets list)and the Dynama/2 Ankle Pants (featured on our 10 Best Hiking Pants for Women list). The Ghost Whisperer is on clearance so there’s no 25% off, but you can use your Outlet Coupon on it to get an extra 20% off the already heavily discounted price.

Smartwool socks

Arc’teryx all of

25% Off

$100

Arc’teryx all of …

Garmin Fenix 6 Watches

Garmin Fenix 6 Watches

25% Off

$100

Garmin Fenix 6 Watches…

Salomon Hiking Shoes

Salomon XA Pro 3D Trail-Running Shoes

20% OFF

$130

Take on tough trails with gusto in the men’s Salomon XA Pro 3D trail-running shoes. For this version, Salomon doled out an extra dose of comfort, stability and traction.

  • Breathable synthetic mesh uppers
  • Sensifit wraps over your insteps and locks heels down, providing a snug, comfortable, precise fit for agility in varying terrain
  • 3D Advanced Chassis delivers stability on the trail
  • Kevlar® Quicklace ensures a secure and customized fit—just pull, lock the toggle and go; pockets on the tongues store laces out of the way
  • Contagrip® outsoles are made of a unique combination of rubber types for ideal grip on both wet and dry surfaces; aggressive lug pattern offers excellent traction
  • Removable OrthoLite® footbeds add shock absorption; antimicrobial treatment deters odors
  • EVA molded footbeds and dual-density EVA midsoles offer cushioning and support
  • Protective toe caps guard against bumps and abrasion
  • Closeout
  • Imported.
  • * Intermediate markdowns may have been taken.

Suggestions for your 20% off any one full-price item

ultralight backpacking tent | rei flash air 2

New REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent

Affordable Ultralight | 2-Person Tent | Under 2 Pounds!

$299

New for this spring, is the 2-person REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent is a 1.9 lb, full sized, 2-person tent that costs under $300. Right off the bat, those specs set it in a class by itself (tents in this weight range usually cost $600 to even $800). As such, it’s a solid choice for any backpacker looking to save weight and cost, even if you’ve never used a tent like this before. But unlike many tents in this rarified weight range, it’s quite user friendly. The design, ease of setup, space, and moisture-management of the Flash Air 2 all work to create a great user experience, even for non-expert backpackers.

See our full review of this tent: REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent Review

new Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket 2020

$159 (older models on sale for less)

TECH: Pertex Diamond Fuse 2.5-layer waterproof breathable laminate Ripstop nylon

The Outdoor Research Helium is a great value, costing less than other jackets in the rarefied 6 ounce range!  And for 2020 it’s way more durable at the same weight! The first upgrade to the highly regarded Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket in 8 years! It boasts a new super strong Pertex Diamond Fuse fabric. Outdoor Research say it 5x more tear resistant and 2x more abrasion resistant than the old Helium. That’s a huge deal for a 6 oz Rain Jacket where any increase in durability is most welcome. In addition for 2020 it got a slightly roomier fit. While it weighs far less than most rain jackets, it still has a good feature set — drawcord adjustable hood, elastic adjustable cuffs, and a chest pocket that can stow the entire jacket. While a bit larger for 2020 this jacket this jacket is still trim. It will layer over an 8-12+ oz fleece midlayer, but anyone layering it over something larger (e.g. a down jacket) should likely size up. And like always, the 2020 Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket costs less than competitor’s 6 ounce rain jackets!

The matching Outdoor Research Helium Rain Pants share the same strong Pertex Diamond Fuse material, where its durability may be even more welcome as pants often take more abuse than jackets. They also have lace loops to attach to your shoes which turn the pants into a semi-gaiter.

BEST FOR: Combination of low weight, durability and value | One of the best all-around rain jackets for serious travelers, hikers and outdoor athletes looking for extremely light rain protection without the high prices of other jackets at this weight and who value high packability.

NOTE: for now, the new 2020 Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket and Pants are exclusive to REI.

REI Co-op Drypoint Gore Tex Jacket

25% OFF

$124 to $249

TECH: Highly breathable GORE-TEX Active waterproof breathable laminate (20-denier ripstop nylon)

Our pick for best all-around performance rain Jacket. Another great REI Rain Jacket. The REI Co-op Drypoint GTX Jacket is a solid three layer jacket at a great price! It has two well placed mesh backed chest pockets and adjustable hem, cuffs and hood (3 adjustments). REI made some good design choices with this jacket: the pockets are high enough to use when wearing hip straps and it has mesh pocket linings creating two large and effective chest vents (which we prefer over pit-zips). Additionally, the Drypoint’s seam-free shoulder design is good when wearing a pack and should increase durability in this critical area.

BEST FOR: Hikers and backpackers looking for a great value in rain protection with good breathability and great ventilation that can endure significant wear and tear. And it has the REI warranty!

Altra Lone Peak Trail-Running Shoes

20% Off

$120 – $150

Altra Lone Peak Trail-Running Shoes 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. But there are a few other models to choose from: Altra Superior another favorite of ours (lighter and less cushioned than the Lone Peak). And for those liking more cushioned shoes: The Altra Timp 1.5 Trail-Running Shoes (more cushioned than the Lone Peak) and the Olympus (max cushioned shoe).

best backpacking gear - Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Pack

Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs

$345 – $365

Adventure Alan Staff Pick: The HMG 2400 & 3400 Southwest Packs are a Staff Favorite and a Backpacker Magazine award winner for “Best UltraLight Pack.” HMG makes very light, functional and extremely durable packs that are virtually waterproof — no need for a rain cover!  HMG packs have stiff frames that comfortably support even heavy loads.  It’s slim profile gives great balance for scrambling or difficult trail. HMG packs are made with Dyneema Composite Fabric Fiber (formerly Cuben) which is light, waterproof and extremely durable. We prefer the 3400 Southwest Pack for it’s larger volume while weighing just a few oz more than the 2400.

Osprey Exos and Eja Backpacks

$200 – $220

Osprey Exos 48 or 58 Backpack (Unisex/Men’s)

A Thru-hiker’s choice and the most popular pack in the Appalachian Trail. The Osprey Exos 48 is light but will still hold enough gear and food for 7 days (use the larger Exos 58 if you carry more gear). Of course the Exos 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. And of course it comes with REI’s return policy.

Osprey Eja 48 and 58 Pack (Women’s version of the Exos)

New for 2018 is a women’s version of the incredibly successful Osprey Exos, the most popular pack in the Appalachian Trail. The Osprey Eja Backpack’s have women’s specific fit, like optimal sternum strap location for women, less bulky shoulder straps and of course an improved hip-belt design. Otherwise all the features that made the Exos packs great are there including the AirSpeed Suspension system that keeps the weight (and sweat) off your back with a tensioned breathable-mesh back panel.

Ursack Major XL Bear Bag

$99 – $120

The Ursack Major Bear Bag  will keep bears out of your food. It weighs a fraction of a typical bear canister, and costs about the same. This is the largest, 15 L model which can easily fit 6+ days of food! There’s a smaller version too for shorter trips. It holds about 10.7 L, and costs $70. These are easily the best bear protection available, but make sure it’s a sanctioned solution where you go as sadly, not all parks have caught on yet.

REI CO-OP Magna Trail Quilt 30

REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30 ($299 – $339)

New for 2019 | Off the shelf and ready to go! | REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30. We are super stoked to see REI offer a quilt version of the award winning Magma series bags! Pair this with the “Women’s” version of the XLite, (yes it fits men fine — all the men we know use it) and you will be toasty warm at night. And no wonder since it’s stuffed with an incredible 11 ounces of Water-resistant 850-fill-power goose down. This quilt is cut a bit wider than most to give you lots of room and a good seal around the edges. What’s not to like!

Magma Sleeping Bag

REI Co-op Magma 15 and 30 Sleeping Bags

$329 – $399

As a top pick in our Sleeping Bag Guide, we feel that the new REI Co-op Magma 15 Sleeping Bag M’s & W’s is a good all-around three season choice for many campers. But if you go out in warmer weather or are concerned about weight, the REI Co-op Magma 30 just a bit over a pound but filled with 8.5 oz of 850-fill-power goose down! That will keep many sleepers warm but still not weigh a ton! BUT if you do sleep cold: check out the original, award winning REI Co-op Magma 15 Sleeping Bag. It will either keep colder sleepers happy in peak 3 season camping, or take most folks into colder shoulder (3+ season) camping of early spring or late fall.

REI Quarter Dome Tents

$299 – $349

REI fans rejoice, the REI CO-OP Quarter Dome SL 2 is a legitimately great option for any backpacker seeking a premium, free-standing, lightweight tent that won’t break the bank. Among our favorite freestanding options, it’s $50 cheaper than the MSR Hubba Hubba NX 2 and $100 cheaper than the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 while still offering the same large vestibules and near-vertical sidewalls. Sure, at 3.3 lbs, Quarter Dome 2 isn’t the most featherweight option available, but it’s still over a pound lighter than most budget tents and can be carried into the backcountry with ease. 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.

BEST FOR: Backpackers seeking a premium tent that won’t break the bank.

SIMILAR MODELS: REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1p, and REI Co-op Quarter Dome 3p

REI Half Dome Tents

Value in a Crossover Tent for Camping or Backpacking

$229 – $249

The REI Half Dome 2 Plus was a pick in our Tent Guide, and a best selling tent at REI for a reason; it just works. No matter where and how you choose to camp in the backcountry or front-country, this tent will keep you warm, dry and comfortable. Its vertical walls, spacious interior, and expansive vestibules make for great livability, which is why this backpacking tent also has great crossover into car camping. If you need a quiver of one budget tent for all purposes, the Half Dome is your go-to. In addition to more volume and features than the Passage 2, it’s also made with higher quality, longer lasting materials. A 60d floor prevents rips and pokes while durable DAC poles form a strong and light cross-pole frame with sidewall lifters. But all of these benefits comes at the weight-cost of 4.9 lbs, making it the single heaviest tent we recommend. Quality and value run throughout the entire Half Dome Plus family, so don’t hesitate to buy according to your typical group configuration.

SIMILAR MODELS: Half Dome 1p, Half Dome 3p, Half Dome 4p

BEST FOR: Budget or beginner backpackers seeking a safe, comfy, reliable tent that works great for backpacking and car camping.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad – $175

The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite Sleeping Pad  has been the standard 3-season sleeping pad for ultralight backpackers’ for years. But it rarely goes on sale. Compared to self-inflating, foam core pads it’s lighter and way more comfortable. If you don’t own one of these, you owe it yourself to try one. It will change your backcountry sleep experience for the better, while lightening your pack.

REI Co-op Flash 3-Season Sleeping Pad

REI Co-op Flash 3-Season Sleeping Pad

$99 – $120

HIGHLIGHTS:  1/2 cost of similar pads without giving up much

The Value Pad Pick in our Sleeping Pad Guide, and a good all-around pad from a trusted source. Around 1/2 the price of the competition, the Flash 3-Season pad had one of the highest scores for value (R/cost). Updated for 2020 with stronger and more durable construction. And at it’s R 3.2 insulation value is competitive with many thicker (non-XLite/XTherm) pads in this guide.

GREAT FOR: A low cost, light and comfortable, 3 season pad from a trusted source

REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket

$69 – $100

For those who want to save a bunch on a down jacket, the REI Co-op 650 Down Jacket is a great value. While it weighs a bit more vs. an 850 fill power down jacket, it also half the price. Otherwise it has a same features and functionality of the more expensive down jackets. Altho a bit pricier we prefer the hooded version.

Flash Packs

REI Flash 18 & Flash 22 Packs

$30 – $40

Staff Pick: The REI Flash 18 & Flash 22 Packs are a Staff Favorites. They are very light, inexpensive & functional ultralight day packs. Blessedly minimal with just the right features, the  Flash 18 is only 9 ounces and the Flash 22 just 13 ounces. As such, they will lighten your load and step.

Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System

$150

The best Jetboil Stove! The award winning Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System gives you all of Jetboil’s new technologies: A proprietary regulator and enhanced regulator diaphragm for consistent performance down to 20°F. And their redesigned valve gives you better simmer control. Finally, we’re huge fans of the wider pot. It’s easier to eat out of and clean and has a more fuel effect shape to boot. No wonder this is the stove we take guiding. We can make tons of coffee for clients in no time. And a caffeinated client is a happy client.

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