With the continuing risk of COVID-19, we’re first and foremost hoping for the comfort and safety of our readers, friends, and family. While experts are recommending social distancing for everyone and self-quarantine if you’re exhibiting symptoms, we want to remind you all of the mental and physical health benefits of an outdoor lifestyle. Always heed the advice of health professionals first but, if you are able, take some time to get outside – go camping, take your dog for a longer walk, or explore that large urban greenspace you’ve been meaning to check out. Getting outside and staying active has certainly been helping our mental and physical health during this trying time.
REI has shut its doors for the time being for the safety of retail employees (who are still being paid), members, and guests. That said, REI.com is still open and all REI members are eligible to use their coupons for 20% off one full price item and 20% off one outlet item from March 20th-April 6th.
In addition, REI members have also just received dividends (10% of their annual purchases back in store credit). And if you have an outdoor gear addiction like we do, your dividend can actually add up to a good chunk of change. Coupons plus dividend can lead to huge savings when you’re purchasing big-ticket equipment like a tent, backpack, sleeping bag or stove. We put together this quick post to highlight a few of our favorite high-end REI products.
This post has been sponsored by REI, but as always, our opinions and reviews are completely independent and unbiased.
Not a Member yet?
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.
Why We Love REI
Great in-store and online experience – While we do still love to support our independent local retailers, we also find the shopping experience at REI to be exceptional. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they work hard to connect members and guests with the right gear.
REI is a leader in environmental stewardship – Each year, REI donates millions of dollars to support conservation efforts. They send teams of volunteers across the country to build trails, clean up beaches, restore local habitat, and more.
REI has an excellent return policy – Customer service reigns supreme here. We love the ability to buy online and return in store with expert customer service staff, if need be.
REI Co-op products are a great value –We generally find that REI brand products strike a great balance between quality and cost.
REI is getting into the ultralight game – We’re pretty stoked to see REI jumping into the ultralight arena. They’re now stocking their shelves with UL brands such as Hyperlite Mountain Gear, as well as upgrading many of their REI Co-Op product lines to focus on fast and light gear.
Deals Worth Considering
In addition to your 20% off coupon, REI is also offering a few other deals. For a detailed look at the Member Rewards sale, check out our 35 Great Deals at REI’s Member Rewards post. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites below.
20 Great Ways to Use Your 20% Off Coupon
You only get to use your 20% off coupon on one item, so it makes sense to use it on a big purchase to make it count. Remember to use coupon code: MEMPERKS2020 at checkout.
The Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL2 has an exceptional blend of low weight, interior space, and functionality. For freestanding tents in this weight class, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option. Also, don’t sleep on the slightly larger HV UL3 model, which provides a lot more interior space for two hikers and has become a CleverHiker favorite. Both are top picks on our Best Backpacking Tents list. If you’re feeling particularly sassy, you could save some big bucks on their even lighter Platinum Series Copper Spur Tents.
The MSR Hubba Hubba NX has been one of the most popular tents in the backpacking world, and with good reason. It’s a well-designed, roomy, and durable tent that provides excellent protection in windy, wet weather. The Hubba Hubba was updated in 2019 to provide a more durable pole structure and increased weather protection. Though the Hubba Hubba isn’t the lightest tent on the market, it ranks squarely among the Best Backpacking Tents for dependable protection and comfort.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear Southwest Backpacking Packs
HMG makes some of our favorite “tough as nails” ultralight gear, so we were very pleased to see REI begin to carry their products in 2019. The unique DCF fabric and taped seams on the Southwest make it one of the most weather-resistant and durable ultralight packs we’ve ever tested, hands down. The Southwest is our top pick overall on our Best Backpacking Backpacks list, and it’s available in three capacity sizes – though we recommend either the 2400 (40L) or 3400 (55L). If your gear is ultralight and dialed in, we would steer you towards the 2400.
If comfort reigns supreme for you and you don’t mind carrying some extra weight into the backcountry, the Osprey Atmos 50 (men’s sizes) & Aura 50 (women’s sizes) are great options. These packs hold weight much more comfortably than any ultralight backpack. While the Atmos and Aura are heavier than packs we generally hike with on our ultralight trips, they’re a fan favorite in many backpacking circles and earned a spot on our Best Backpacking Backpacks list. Both the Atmos and the Aura are also available in a 65L model.
The Osprey Talon 22 for men and Tempest 20 for women are our top picks for Best Hiking Daypacks. They provide an exceptional balance of comfort, convenience, and functionality. With cushy hip belts, padded shoulder straps, and ventilated back panels, the Talon and Tempest ride very comfortably on the trail. These packs have plenty of room for a full day adventure and convenient storage compartments to keep our gear organized nicely.
Therm-a-Rest’s UberLite is the newest addition to their innovative line of NeoAir Sleeping pads. We absolutely love how light, compact, quiet, and comfortable the UberLite is. This is the pad you’ll find in our packs for all our summer outings. The main question to ask yourself with this pad is: how often do you backpack in sub-freezing temps? If the answer is rarely, this might be the perfect pad for you. For three-season coverage or winter trips, check out the NeoAir XLite and XTherm models, which are also exceptional pads. All three pads are top picks on our list of the Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads.
NEMO recently updated one of our long-time favorite sleeping pads: the NEMO Tensor Insulated Pad. In our opinion, this pad’s greatest strength is how quiet and comfortable it is compared to the competition. The latest version of this pad is lighter and warmer than the previous model, and has zero-profile valves and an included pump sack. This pad has earned a spot on our Best Sleeping Pads list.
You’ve got the campground castle and you’ve got the throne to go with it, all you’re missing is a royal camping bed chamber. The Exped MegaMat Duo 10 Sleeping Pad is one of the most luxurious camp mattresses we have ever tried, and may be just what you need to complete your car camping kingdom. If you’re looking for something a little smaller to outfit your converted van, check out the regular size MegaMat 10.
We’re longtime fans of Altra’s Lone Peak line of footwear. All Lone Peaks feature Altra’s signatures: a wide, “foot-shaped”toe box and zero-drop design. The Lone Peak 4 Mid RSM (view women’s here) is a go-to for us on chilly and rainy hikes, and you can often find us sporting the lightweight Lone Peak 4.5 Trail Running Shoes (view women’s here) for lightweight backpacking trips in more mild weather. Both versions of the Lone Peaks can be found on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Trail Running Shoes for Men and Women lists.
Comfort is the name of the game with the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX boots (view women’s here). They feel great right out of the box, they have super cushy soles, and they’re exceptionally lightweight for boots. If you prefer hiking shoes over boots, we also highly recommend the Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX shoes (view women’s here). Both versions are our top picks for lightweight hiking and backpacking on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women lists.
The Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX (view women’s here) boots tick a lot of boxes for us. They’re comfy right out of the box, supportive, durable, and amazingly breathable for waterproof boots. The Breeze boots also come in the equally awesome, and much lighter weight, LT model (view women’s here). If boots aren’t really your thing, we also highly recommend the Low shoe version (view women’s here). All of the Vasque Breeze footwear line made our top pick on Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women lists.
Arc’Teryx is known for its unmatched quality in outdoor gear, but also for its high prices. Well, this is your chance to score any one full-priced Arc’teryx item for 20% off. We’ve tried a lot of their jackets over the years, and we’re big fans of the Zeta SL Rain Jacket and the Cerium LT Down Hoodie, which both make our Best Rain Jackets and our Best Down Jackets lists respectively. We also really love theAtom LT Insulated Hoodie and the Kyanite Hoodie for around town.
The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie (view women’s here) is a warm, well-rounded jacket with classic stylish looks. Little touches like a soft zipper cover at the chin, an internal chest pocket, and hem adjustments that are accessible from inside the hand pockets make the Down Sweater comfortable and practical to wear on a daily basis. This hoodie is our top pick for everyday wear on our list of the Best Down Jackets.
The Jetboil makes cooking systems that’re about as convenient and efficient as backcountry stoves get. The MiniMo is loaded with useful features including a push-button igniter, excellent simmer control, and a stout shape that makes eating out of it easier. Metal coils along the bottom of the Jetboil increase cooking efficiency and produce incredibly fast boil times. Another great option is the simple, straightforward, and less expensive Jetboil Flash.
If you haven’t jumped on the trekking pole hype train yet, check out our Pros and Cons of Hiking with Trekking Poles post to see why we like them. Poles with cork handles help keep clammy hiker hands from developing blisters. Black Diamond’s Alpine Carbon Cork and Trail Ergo Cork trekking poles are two of our favorites and they can both be found on our Best Trekking Poles list.
Helinox makes a lot of pretty awesome camp furniture, some of which is even light enough to backpack with. Their sleek and functional designs do come at a price though, so this is a great opportunity to up your camping game with a new chair or table. The ultralight Chair Zero, high-backed Sunset Chair, and the next-level Chair Two Rocker are some of our favorites from our Best Backpacking Chairs and Best Camping Chairs lists.
NEMO’s Stargaze Recliner Luxury Chair has been a favorite in the luxury camping chair category for years due to its exceptional comfort and uniqueness. All this luxury comes with a high price tag, though, so this is a great way to use that sweet, sweet coup! For kids, the more minimal Stargaze Camp Chair is a good option, with a lower back as well as a lower price. This chair is one of our favorites on our Best Camping Chairs list.
The MSR Guardian is a top-of-the-line pump purifier built for the harshest conditions. Unlike most pump filters, the Guardian is a purifier, meaning it filters out viruses in addition to bacteria and protozoa. This makes it particularly useful for truly terrible water sources, especially in international destinations. The Guardian is also “self-cleaning,” meaning is automatically backflushes with about 10% of every stroke. You can find more info about the Guardian on our Best Water Filters list.
Summer’s almost here, and that means long weekends spent at your favorite campground or at the beach! Nothing’s worse than drawing the short straw and having to go on the ice run while everyone else tries out that new Pressurized Growler your best friend brought. If only you had a YETI Tundra Cooler that keeps ice colder for longer. Well, here’s your chance to save some big bucks on a YETI of your own.
If you have a small vehicle, large family, or just generally travel gear-heavy, a roof box can be one of the best investments you’ll make. But investment is the right word – they aren’t cheap. This is why it’s a good time to snag one at a discount. We love the Yakima SkyBox 16 Carbonite Cargo Roof Box, which is spacious yet aerodynamic, easy-to-mount, and overall very convenient.
We hope this guide helps you narrow down the very best way to spend your REI dividend. If nothing on this list sparked your interest, we encourage you to check out our full CleverHiker Gear Guide where you will surely find something you like.
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Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.