Lightweight Hikers Guide – 2023 REI Member Moment Sale
With every spring comes the REI Co-op Member Moment Sale, but how best to use your 20% off coupons when there is an overwhelming amount of gear to choose from? That’s why we’ve created the Lightweight Hikers Guide to the REI Member Moment Sale. By meticulously scanning through all of REI’s online hiking gear listings, we have identified the best lightweight and ultralight styles in their assortment right now that can members can purchase at less than full price, either with coupons, or on sale.
Half Dome Tents Are 50% Off
The best and most important deal of the entire sale is that the Half Dome SL 2+ Tent is 50% off. This is one of the most popular backpacking tents of all time, & likely the lowest you’ll see it marked down all year. Half Dome SL 2+ is our favorite camping-backpacking crossover tent, & one of the best value tents on the market. We highly recommend getting one before March 27.
2023 REI Member Moment Sale Details
The REI Co-op Member Sale, which runs from March 17-27, is effectively broken out into three parts. Part 1 is your 20% off coupon to use on any one full-price item, some exclusions apply. Part 2 is your other coupon for an additional 20% off any one REI Outlet item. Part 3 is an assortment of select styles that members can shop up to 50% off, no coupon required. This is where you will find Half Dome, and lots more value-oriented Co-op brand backpacking gear, including sleeping bags and pads.
- March 17-27, 2023
- 20% off coupon for off one full-price item
- 20% off coupon for one REI Outlet item
- Up to 50% off select styles
Whether you’ve been an REI Co-op member for 40 days or 40 years, there is always something to get excited about when gearing up for hiking season. Good luck and happy shopping!
Optimal Use of Coupons & Sale
Of course it all depends on what gear you already have and what gear you need next. But the following would be our generic top recommendations from each category.
- 20% Off Coupon: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT SLeeping Pad or Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest Backpack
- 20% Off Outlet Coupon: Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Down Hoody
- 50% Off: REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2 +Tent
If you’ve been thinking about purchasing something major, like a quality tent or sleeping bag, this is an excellent time to do so because that 20% off one full-price item could save you up to $100! Shopping the Outlet and sale assortment is more about finding diamonds in the rough, which we have happily done for you. Be sure to purchase quickly though, because the best Outlet stuff always sells out.
Best Lightweight Hiking Gear At REI
Best Full Price Gear For Coupon Use
Sleeping Bags (⬇)
- Sea to Summit Spark 18
- Therm-a-Rest Vesper 25 Trail Quilt
- REI Co-op Magma 15
- REI Co-op Magma 30 Trail Quilt
- Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite NXT Sleeping Pad
- Jetboil Stash Stove
- Ursack Major Bear Sack
- Bearvault BV500 Bear Canister
- Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration
- Kahtoola MICROspikes
- C.A.M.P. Corsa Ice Axe
Rain Jackets (⬇)
Apparel & Shoes(⬇)
Best On Sale Gear, No Coupon Needed
50% Off REI Co-op Brand Backpacking Gear (⬇)
- REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+
- REI Co-op Arete Tent ASL 2
- REI Co-op Helix Insulated Air Sleeping Pad
- REI Co-op Down Time 25 Sleeping Bags
- REI Co-op Zephyr 25 Recycled Sleeping Bags
30% Off Artilect Brand Technical Apparel (⬇)
- Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover Fleece
- Artilect Merino Wool Base Layer Tops
- Artilect Merino Wool Base Layer Leggings
Best Outlet Gear For Coupon Use
- Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Down Jackets
- Patagonia Nano Puff & Micro Puff Jackets
- Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 Gore-Tex Jackets
- W’s Marmot Gore-Tex Minimalist Jackets
- M’s Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jackets
Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2
43 oz | $550
If you want the best overall freestanding backpacking tent that money can buy, choose the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2. Compared to similar models, it’s taller, lighter, better ventilated, and more livable. This is the backpacking tent we’d want to hang out in on a rainy day because the innovative awning system adds ventilation, and the near-vertical sidewalls and fully lofted ceiling provide excellent headroom for sitting up. We’re also fans of the interior pockets which keep your gadgets organized and easily accessible. The Copper Spur is sturdy, lightweight, and fully featured. This tent does it all and does it all extremely well.
Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL 2
35 oz | $450 MSRP
At only 2.2 pounds and with one of the best area-to-weight ratios, the Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL2 is the lightest option available among full size traditional backpacking tents. And priced at $450, it’s a really great blend of performance, value and features (we love the interior mesh pockets). In addition to overall lightweight materials, the Tiger Wall UL2 utilizes a semi-freestanding design to reduce weight, so you’ll need to stake out the corners. This is an excellent lightweight tent and great option to save weight without going overly minimalist.
REI Co-op Flash Air 2
46 oz | $399
Updated for 2023, the 2-person REI Co-op Flash Air 2 Tent builds off the success of their first ultralight design that we loved for its great value proposition. Improvements include larger vestibules, more headroom, increased durability, and the use of recycled materials. On the flip side, the Flash Air 2 is now half a pound heavier and $100 dollars more expensive than it’s predecessor, so it’s not quite ultralight nor is it a screaming deal. Nonetheless, it’s a really solid trekking pole shelter from our beloved Co-op.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Southwest
32 oz | $379
This is our favorite backpack, the one we grab most often. Constructed with ultralight, waterproof, and tough-as-nails Dyneema fabric, the HMG Southwest 3400 delivers the best overall performance among all backpacks currently available. We laud it also for a surprisingly comfortable carry, unfathomable durability, and massive external pockets. It is simply unequaled.
Osprey M’s Exos 58 & Osprey W’s Eja 58
45 oz | $260
Perhaps the best selling and most iconic lightweight backpack of the last ten year, the Osprey Exos and Eja 58 are known for their high volume, bear canister compatibility, and exceptionally comfortable and well-ventilated frames with suspension back panel. What’s more, they’re now manufactured with 100% recycled nylon! This pack is great for backpackers of all levels.
REI Co-op Flash 55
45 oz | $199
REI Co-op Flash 55 is a well-rounded lightweight backpack that delivers excellent performance at an impressive value. From our perspective, it is the singular best backpack one can purchase for under $200. For a 45 oz backpack, there’s lots of modular pockets and features, plus the fit is adjustable. Almost everyone finds this backpack to be comfortable, and we love the distinct yellow colorway.
Sea to Summit Spark Ultralight 18
24 oz | $509
Sea to Summit Spark 18 is the best sleeping bag currently sold at REI because it delivers an incredibly high warmth-to-weight ratio. We love how the baffles switch from horizontal to vertical to reduce cold spots, and we applaud their mixture of ultralight 10d/7d fabrics. This is a truly excellent and exceptionally well-made actually ultralight sleeping bag.
REI Co-op Magma 15
28 oz | $389
REI has been steadily expanding the Co-op brand’s ultralight offering, and the Magma 15 is their crown jewel. On stats and price, it is our pick for best value sleeping bag currently available, only outperformed by an elite few of significantly more expensive models. The Pertex shell and 850 fill power goose down are absolutely premium and fully ultralight, and its design is a time-tested and backpacker approved mummy.
Therm-a-Rest Vesper Quilt 20
19.0 oz | $460
Weighing only 19 oz, Therm-a-Rest Vesper is likely the best ultralight quilt REI has ever sold. With 900 fill power hydrophobic goose down and 10d fabric, this one is seriously ultralight and keeps campers comfortably warm down to freezing. The boxed baffle construction helps prevent cold spots and it has a neck snap, cinching, and sleeping pad attachment points to prevent drafts. Stay cozy and carry less weight with this ultralight quilt!
REI Co-op Magma Trail Quilt 30
19 oz | $329
The Magma Trail Quilt 30 is another example of good quality ultralight basics from the Co-op. Weighing only 19 ounces, it is significantly lighter than the average sleeping bag, and $329 is a very fair price for that level of performance. However, we model this quilt’s actual comfort rating to be about 40, which makes it less insulated than average. But hey, this is perfectly legit ultralight quilt for summertime use.
JetBoil Stash Stove
7.1 oz | $145
The lightest fully integrated stove-pot combo system available! We love Jetboil Stash Stove‘s amazing heat output and fuel efficiency, and how nicely all of the components nest into the pot. This is our go-to stove, and a very smart piece of ultralight backpacking gear. No other stove is this good for backpacking.
Ursack Major Bear Sack 10L
7.6 oz | $90
Unless a canister is strictly required by land management, we always prefer the Ursack Major Bear Sack, now made with ballistic grade Spectra. It’s lightweight, comfy to carry, and does actually protect your food in the overwhelming majority of bear encounters. We recommend pairing it with the Loksak Opsac bag as a smell-proof, waterproof, liner system. When full, it holds about 4-5 day worth of food.
Bearvault BV500 Journey Bear Canister
40 oz | $95
When bears are present and canisters are required, we recommend the Bearvault BV500 Bear Canister for the best blend of volume, protection, and value. We prefer bear bags whenever possible, but this is our go-to when that’s not an option.
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration
3.6 oz | $41
Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly. We also like the sawyer water bags for compressibility and having on hand so you can camel up at the last water source before dry camping at a viewpoint. This is ultralight backpacking gear. The filter itself weighs only 3 oz, and the 3.6 oz listed total also include a .6 oz 1L bag.
11 oz | $75
Often copied but never equaled, the Kahtoola MICROspikes are the go-to option for walking on steep snowy and icy terrain. They have incredible traction, last forever, and are the preferred option of PCT thru hikers in the Sierra Nevada mountains during high snow years.
C.A.M.P. Corsa Ice Axe
7.1 oz | $120
For periodically ascending steep-but-non-technical snowy passes and peaks, the ultralight C.AM.P. Corsa Ice Axe is all you need. It serves the primary purposes of self arrest and acting as balance point, while also saving more pack weight than any other ice axe when stowed. We think it’s the best ice axe for hiking and backpacking.
Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket
6.3 oz | $170/$180
Weighing just over six ounces, the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket is incredible ultralight backpacking gear at an incredible price. The minimalist design is fully waterproof and breathable and features include a chest pocket, hand pockets on the W’s version, and hood and hem cinching. Pertex Shield Diamond Fuse fabric is incredibly durable for how thin and light it is, so this rain jacket should last you quite a while.
REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket
12.5 oz | $169
The REI Co-op XeroDry GTX is an excellent all-purpose Gore-Tex hiking rain jacket at an incredible reasonable price. It’s hard to find bomber Gore-Tex protection for under $200, and this one is listed at an eye popping $170. It’s just so much bang for the buck. The jacket itself is a classic 2-layer Gore-Tex hard shell with basic features including two hand pockets, a chest pocket, and hem/cuff/hood cinching. It gets the job done in the backcountry.
Patagonia Torrentshell 3L
14.1 oz | $179
We love when sustainable gear made with recycled materials performs as well as unconstrained designs, and the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L Jacket leads the pack for rainwear. But not only is it eco-friendly, it’s also a fully featured 3L rain jacket, making it one of the most affordable of it’s kind. We love the pit zips, and the tricot backed membrane is waterproof and comfortable to wear.
Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie
5.2 oz | $75
For a majority of three season hiking, we recommend the Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie. This sun hoody is incredibly light, stretchy, comfortable, breathable, airy, quick drying, moisture wicking, and rated to UPF 15-20 (depending on color). This shirt does it all, and is perfect compliment to an ultralight backpacking gear kit. Pack a sun hoody and you’ll find that you will save weight carrying less sunscreen and also get less sun burns. We’ve worn this shirt around the world and are always impressed. What’s more, it’s built with eco-friendly recycled polyester!
REI Co-op Sahara Path Hat
2.5 oz | $50
Based on the popular Tilley sun hats, REI’s Sahara Path Hat offers even more ventilation and at half the price . This safari hat looks great and is rated to UPF 50. The brim is stiff enough to hold its shape and floats in water. The hat is quick drying and wicks sweat off of your brow. A great buy for $50.
Altra Lone Peak 7
11 oz | $150
As the most popular hiking shoe on the PCT, you just know Altra Lone Peak 7 is comfortable and long lasting. Famous for its wide toe box and zero drop, the Lone Peak series allows one’s toe’s to spread out and naturally expand over the course of day, which improves balance and prevents discomfort due to swelling. We’ve hiked thousands of miles in Altra’s, this trail runner is an absolute classic.
Topo Athletic MTN Racer 2
10 oz | $145
Not sure if you like HOKA or Altra better? The Topo Athletic Mtn Racer 2 combines popular features of both brands as an excellent third option for lightweight yet aggressive trail shoes. The mesh upper is comfortable, and reinforced with a toe cap, and it’s manufactured with recycled materials. A great all-around trail shoe that seems to please most everyone.
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+
3 lbs 15 oz |
REI Co-op Half Dome SL 2+ is an incredibly versatile tent. Great for backpacking and perfect for car camping, this is the largest and most livable 2-person tent in our arsenal. Loaded with all of the features, it has two large vestibules, good ceiling height, interior mesh pockets, is easy to set up, and comes with its own footprint and stakes. Half Dome is arguably the most popular backpacking tent of all time, and while it’s a bit heavy for our style of ultralight backpacking, it should serve beginners and experts alike on all of their outdoor adventures.
REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 Tent
5 lb 10 oz |
The REI Co-op Arete ASL 2 Tent is a mid-weight 4 season tent designed to handle snow, winds, and storms. While this is not your everyday backpacking tent as it is far too heavy to justify carrying on a summer trip, during shoulder season and winter, it might just allow you to camp safely and comfortably when your daily driver would not. With a four pole crossing design, it is very stable and secure and comes with lots of great features including vents and interior mesh storage. A great pick up at half off.
REI Co-op Helix Insulated Air Sleeping Pad
21 oz |
How comfy does this sleeping pad look!? With a R-Value of 4.9, and 3″ thick box baffles, Helix Insulated Air is one of the most deluxe backpacking sleeping pads. At 21 oz, it’s a bit heavier than we would prefer, but it’s so well insulated that it still scores reasonably well when measuring R-Value-to-weight ratio. If you’ve slept poorly on uncomfortably sleeping pads in the past, this might time to try out a more deluxe model without breaking the bank.
REI Co-op Down Time 25 Sleeping Bag
39 oz |
The REI Co-op Down Time puts highly economical 600 fill power duck down to good use in this budget friendly backpacking sleeping bag. With recycled shell fabric and bluesign approved manufacturing, it’s fair to the planet and at 2.5 lbs, it just lightweight enough to lug around. There’s nothing fancy here, but for half off an already good price, this is the best sleeping bag you could hope for at just over at $114.
REI Co-op Zephyr 25 Recycled Sleeping Bag
47 oz |
With 100% recycled synthetic polyester insulation and 100% recycled shell, the Zephyr 25 Recycled Sleeping Bag is a great way to do mother nature a solid, and a killer pick up for less than $100. While this is certainly a heavier sleeping bag then we normally choose, it’s otherwise completely functional and should keep backcountry campers warm in most 3 season backcountry conditions down to just below 40. Sweet dreams!
Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover
9.3 oz |
Constructed with 160g of recycled PrimaLoft Bio Fleece, Artilect Halfmoon Bio Pullover is one heckuva sustainable fleece. Not only do you get name brand PrimaLoft quality, but this material is designed to break down quickly should it shed microfibers or wind up in oceans or landfills. Plus, it’s warm, fuzzy, and at only 9.3 oz, also very lightweight!
Artilect Boulder 125 Merino Base Layer Tops
For shoulder season hiking, we prefer a quarter zip merino wool pullover, and the Artilect Boulder 125 should get the job done nicely. It’s an 85% merino blend with 15% nylon with the benefits of anti-microbial fabric, flat seams, stretch, breathability, and high warmth-to-weight. The quarter zip helps with venting should you start to overheat. High end merino base layers like these are expensive, so we’re always happy to see them on sale.
Artilect Boulder 125 Merino Base Layer Leggings
For temps in the mid-30’s on down, we recommend adding a pair merino leggings underneath your hiking pants. Artilect makes high end base layers, and we think their Merino Leggings should perform comparably to similar options from Smartwool. They wick, they breath, they’re warm, they quick dry, and they’re antimicrobial. Nab a pair while they’re 30% off!
Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer 2 Down Jackets (M’s & W’s)
8.8 oz |
The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer line has long sat atop the throne of ultralight down apparel from mainstream outdoor brands. While the marketplace has gotten more competitive, Ghost Whisperer is still an excellent puffy that weighs next to nothing in your pack at only 8.8 oz for M’s medium. It uses 800 fill power hydrophobic down with a 100% recycled ripstop nylon shell. Hoodies, jackets, and are both available at the outlet.
Patagonia Nano Puff & Micro Puff Jacket (M’s & W’s)
11.9 oz |
Patagonia Nano Puff is one all time most popular puffy jackets, and has been a top performer in the synthetic jacket space for decades. Patagonia has perfected the art of wrapping PrimaLoft inside a lightweight shell, only now they do it with 100% recycled materials, minimize emissions in the production. At 12 oz it’s on the heavier side, but these things things are durable and long lasting so you’ll get your money’s worth.
Mountain Hardwear Exposure/2 Gore-tex Jackets (M’s & W’s)
9.1 oz |
The Mountain Hardwear Exposure Jackets are a line of high quality, lightweight Gore-Tex apparel that’s perfect for hiking and backpacking. The Paclite Plus men’s jacket weighs only 9.1 oz, an expectedly low weight for Gore-Tex. These are protective, minimalist, and a great pick up before they sell out.
Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic Jacket (M’s only)
11 oz |
Heralded as one of the comfiest and best performing stretchy rain jackets on the internet, the Mountain Hardwear Stretch Ozonic makes for a great outlet pick up. At only 11 oz, it’s rather light, and it’s fully featured with pockets and pit zips. This jacket is beloved by both expert reviewers, and gets 4.5/5 stars among user reviews.
Marmot Gore-Tex Minimalist Jacket (W’s only)
13 oz |
As a fully featured Gore-Tex rain shell with pit zips and a full set of pockets, the Marmot Gore-Tex Minimalist is a killer deal for $150. At 13 oz, it’s not the lightest jacket, but average for such a protective and built hard shell. This a great jacket to take into a heavy duty storm, and Marmot’s Minimalist line has been keeping hikers dry for ages.
Sierra Designs Nitro 20 & Cloud 20 Sleeping Bags (M’s & W’s)
31 oz |
Our previous pick for best value sleeping bags, the Sierra Designs Nitro and Cloud 20 sleeping bags have since been discontinued and you can pick one up on sale right now. Stuffed with 800 fill power hydrophobic down, they deliver high end warmth-to-weight at a mid-range price, further discounted via outlet and again via coupon. Incredible opportunity.
Altra Lone Peak 6 (M’s & W’s)
10.5 oz |
With wide toe box and zero drop, the Altra Lone Peak series is a supremely comfortable thru hiker approved trail running shoe, perfect for hiking. The sixth edition has since been discontinued in wake of the seventh, but the sixth was an excellent trail runner, exceedingly perfect for wide feet. This model was the most popular shoe on the PCT for multiple years.
REI Co-op Passage 2 Tent
66 oz |
We had previously given REI Co-op Passage 2 our blessing for the best budget backpacking tent. It’s since been moved to the Outlet for clearance, but that doesn’t make any less of an excellent pick-up if you want to save money on a basic backpacking tent. Unlike most budget tents in this price range, it has two doors and two vestibules, which adds massive livability.
Mountainsmith Scream 55 Backpack
45 oz |
The Mountainsmith Scream 55 Pack the least expensive sub three pound, fully-featured backpacking pack we know of, and now you can get it for just over $100. This is a basic roll top design with an internal framesheet. It’s constructed with Robic Nylon ripstop, the most classic UL backpack material of all time. We’ll admit the dual back zippered pockets are odd, but that’s a minor detail when you’re getting such a light pack for such a great price.
Komperdell Trekking Poles
17 oz |
We’ve always felt Komperdell Trekking Poles were a bit overpriced, but these carbon fiber Austrian walking sticks are sold at up to 50% off via the Outlet, which alleviates our pricing concern. Looks like REI put their entire line on sale, so we’re guessing they ditched this brand. Good opportunity to score some high end carbon fiber trekking poles.
Topo Athletic Ultraventure Trail Running Shoes (M’s & W’s)
10.5 oz |
Topo Athletic is an up and coming trail shoe brand, and the Ultraventure Trail Running Shoes exist at the intersection we call “HOKA-meets-Altra.” They have the distinctive wide toe box, but aren’t zero drop and come with a bit of extra cushion. These are very very well rounded trail shoes, and we’re excited to see them here. A great pick up from the Outlet!
Exped Mira III Tent
3 lbs 6 oz |
To be honest, we’ve never used an Exped Mira III before, but this lightweight 3-person tent’s semi-freestanding design and pole structure reminds us of the Big Agnes Tiger Wall, and its stats are really good. At 3 lbs 6 oz, it has a better weight-to-person ration than our top pick dome tent, the Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2, and a lower total weight than the Half Dome SL 2+. Notably, we love camping two people in a 3P tent, it always adds tons of livability for a minimal weight increase. What’s more Mira III, it has a 45″ ceiling height, which makes it significantly taller than average. If you’re in the market for a 3P tent, this seems like a really great opportunity to get a lightweight one, especially if you factor in the additional 20% off from a coupon.
Klymit Double V Sleeping Pad
40 oz |
While we generally prefer strapping our Therm-a-Rest Neo Air pads together, a dedicated two person pad is technically comfier for two people to share because there is no gap in the middle. While the Klymit Double V‘s weight of 40 oz (20 oz per person) and R-value of 1.5 are both sub par, at least it’s 3″ thick. This summer sleeping pad could facilitate better snuggling, and might be worth a coupon drop just for fun.
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