10 Great Ways to Spend Your REI Dividend
It’s dividend time at REI this week! That means, if you’re an REI member, you’ve just received 10% of your annual purchases back, which is always rad. And if you have a backpacking gear addiction like I do (I’m working on it!), your dividend can actually add up to a good chunk of change.
In addition, REI often pairs their dividends with excellent coupons. Starting this Friday (March 18th - April 4th), you’ll be able to get 20% off one full-price item at REI. That can lead to huge savings when you’re purchasing big-ticket equipment like a tent, backpack, sleeping bag or stove. I put together this quick post to highlight a few of my favorite high-end REI products. You’ll only get to use the 20% off coupon on one item, so you'll probably want to make it count.
Oh yeah, if you’re not an REI member, don’t fret! You can pick up a lifetime membership for $20 and still get to use the 20% off coupon (learn how here). So, your lifetime membership will pretty much pay for itself with one big purchase.
10 GREAT WAYS TO SPEND YOUR REI DIVIDEND
In my opinion, the Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 provides the best balance between weight, convenience, interior space, and functionality of any backpacking tent on the market. It’s light enough to disappear in your pack, but roomy enough to wait out a prolonged storm without going stir crazy. Check out my Best Tents Guide for more info.
REI QUARTER DOME 1 & QUARTER DOME 2
The REI Quarter Dome 1 and Quarter Dome 2 are excellent ultralight tents that maximize convenience and interior space at an affordable price. Their features are on par with the very best ultralight backpacking tents on the market, they just come at a fraction of the cost. Check out my Best Tents Guide for more info.
The Osprey Exos 58 is a cushy ultralight pack that comes at an affordable price. It has a stout aluminum frame combined with a tension-mesh back panel that provides excellent back ventilation. The Exos 48 is the same pack with a smaller volume. Check out my Best Backpacks Guide for more info.
The Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite is a complete game-changer when it comes to trail sleep. It's a cushy 2.5 inches thick, ridiculously light, and with an R-value of 3.2, it’ll keep your body toasty warm, even on frigid nights. If you’re looking for one of the lightest, warmest, and coziest sleeping pads on the market, look no farther. This pad is the jam. Check out my Best Sleeping Pads Guide for more info.
In my opinion, speed valve technology is the future of backpacking pads. The NeoAir XLite SV has a large port that drastically cuts down on inflation and deflation time. Lots of backpackers hate blowing up air pads. If that's you, this the XLite SV is your guy. This pad has the same R-value (3.2) and thickness (2.5in) as the XLite with a 4oz increase in total weight. Check out my Best Sleeping Pads Guide for more info.
The Jetboil MiniMo is a complete cooking system that’s just about as convenient and efficient as backcountry stoves get. It’s loaded with useful features including a sturdy handle, push-button igniter, excellent simmer control, and a stout shape that makes eating out of it easier. Throw in the Jetboil Grande Coffee Press for making baller backcountry java. Check out my Best Stoves Guide for more info.
If you’re looking for a lightweight down mummy bag at an affordable price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the REI Igneo. It’s not the lightest, warmest, or most compressible sleeping bag on the market, but it does come surprisingly close. Check out my Best Sleeping Bags Guide for more info.
The Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoody is my go-to jacket for almost every 3-season backpacking trip I take. It’s warm, light, stylish, comfortable and has a great fit. I highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a new down jacket. Check out my Best Jackets Guide for more info.
The spacious and durable Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest is an excellent hammock for outdoor lovers. It's wide enough and tough enough to fit two people and it comes in a range of cool colors. It's heavier than the hammocks I prefer to backpack with, but it’s perfect for camping, hiking, and trips to the park. Check out my Best Backpacking Hammocks Guide for more info.
I’ve logged over 1,000 trail miles (and counting) on my Saucony Peregrine 5 shoes. Saucony recently released the Peregrine 6 model, and I can’t wait to get my hands on them. I’ve beaten the crap out of my current Peregrines, and they’re somehow still holding up. They have comfortable padding, fantastic traction, and a soft sole. Check out my blog post 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Hiking Boots to learn more.
Keeping this list down to ten items was surprisingly tough. Here's some excellent gear that would also make a great 20% off buy. These guys just narrowly missed the cut.
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