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’re able, take some time to get outside – go camping, take your dog for a longer walk, or explore that large urban green space 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 should have just received their 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.
Starting this Friday (March 20th – April 6th), you’ll be able to get 20% off one full-price item at REI – check out our 20 Great Ways to Use Your 20% Coupon to see some of our favorite gear items that you can save big on. Sales also go live on Friday, and we can’t lie, we’re pretty excited about what they’ve got going on this year. Below you’ll find all of our favorite deals from the REI Member Rewards Sale.
This post has been sponsored by REI, but as always, our opinions and reviews are completely independent and unbiased.
25% Off REI Co-op Brands: March 20-26th
From March 20-26th, you can enjoy 25% off all REI Co-op branded items (except for Co-op Cycles bikes). We’re big fans of many REI brand items, because they often cost a good amount less than other brands without skimping on functionality or quality. Below we’ll break down some of our favorite items in each category.
The REI Co-op Flash Air Tents are new for 2020, and they’re REI’s first entries into the single-wall, ultralight shelter market. The Flash Air series offers an affordable way to cut some serious weight from your pack, but it will take some getting used to if you’ve only ever used free-standing tents. Weighing in at less than two pounds, the Flash Air 2 is one of our favorite new tents this year.
The REI Quarter Dome Tents (offered in 1P, SL 1P (ultralight), SL 2P (ultralight), and 3P models) are affordable and reliable lightweight backpacking tents that have been bestsellers at REI for many years. For ultralight backpackers, the SL version of this tent saves weight with its semi-freestanding design and costs a bit less than similar tents from other brands. The Quarter Dome series tents aren’t necessarily our go-to backpacking tents, but they’re still a solid choice and they make our list of the Best Lightweight Backpacking Tents.
The REI Co-op Half Dome series of tents maximize interior space and durability while minimizing cost. The main downside with the Half Dome Tents is that they’re on the heavy side. Still, if durability, convenience, interior space, and affordability are your primary concerns, the Half Dome Series provides a good balance and is tough to beat. Our favorite size for backpacking is the 2 Plus, and the 4 Plus is more comfortable and spacious for front-country camping. The Half Dome tents are featured on both our Best Camping Tents and Best Backpacking Tents lists, because they’re some of our favorite crossover tents.
The REI Co-op Passage Tent series strikes an exceptional balance between functionality and price. If you’re new to backpacking or you’re on a tight budget, this could be an excellent tent to start out with. If you split the Passage 2 between two hikers, the weight and bulk isn’t too bad, and the Passage 3 is a decent option for family camping on a budget.
We love the luxurious Grant Hut camping tents because they’re spacious, easy to set up and they’re better equipped to handle bad weather than most other camping tents that are tall enough to stand up in. The Grand Hut 4 is our favorite size in the lineup, and was awarded the CleverHiker Top Pick for our Best Camping Tent for its superb balance of quality and affordability as well as interior space and ease-of-use.
REI Kingdom tents are great for car camping when you want a ton of space, durability, and weather protection. They’re available in 4P, 6P (this one’s our favorite), and 8P models, all of which pack down surprisingly small and are fairly easy to set up. If you’re looking for a baller nature palace to make your camping neighbors jealous, the Kingdom tent series, tent accessories, and line of furniture will not disappoint.
Backpacking Packs, Travel Bags & Daypacks
The REI Co-op Flash 55 (men’s & women’s) & 45 (men’s & women’s) backpacking packs are affordable options for hikers looking to keep their pack weight down. These packs have all the features you’d want in a lightweight pack including a comfy hip belt, foam back panel, and removable top lid. One of our favorite features of the Flash backpacking packs is what REI refers to as Packmod – the straps and pockets can be reconfigured into a whole bunch of combinations. We prefer the Flash 55 model and it’s a top pick on our list of the Best Backpacking Backpacks.
The REI Flash 22 day pack series has been a hiking staple for many years and with good reason. This pack is affordable and has a variety of convenient storage pockets, easy to reach water bottle holsters, and enough structure to feel comfortable against our backs on a day hike. This pack also comes in a Flash 18 model, but we prefer the Flash 22 because of its water bottle and top lid pockets. The Flash 22 is one of our top picks on our list of the Best Hiking Daypacks.
The REI Trail Packs – offered in both 40L (men’s and women’s) and 25L (men’s and women’s) versions – are affordable and compact daypack options. The 25L model is designed with a decent amount of organizational pockets and is great for day hiking and commuting. The Trail 40 also has a lot of organizational features and the main zipper opens the whole front of the pack making it ideal for light travel.
The rugged and well-designed Big Haul Duffels from REI are great for multi-day trips, transporting your gear, or throwing over your shoulder on your next flight. With a variety of carrying options – cross body straps, duffel handles, or backpack straps – the Big Haul duffels are convenient and versatile, and they even come in a wheeled model. The Roadtripper Duffels have a lot of similar features to the Big Haul line, but they’re lighter and more compact.
Sleeping Bags & Quilts
We’re huge fans of the entire Magma line from REI – it’s available in 15°F sleeping bags (men’s and women’s), 30°F sleeping bags (men’s and women’s), and the 30°F Magma Trail Quilt. The Magma line of sleeping bags offer a combination of weight, warmth, and cost that few other sleeping bags can match. All versions of the Magma made it onto our Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts List, and the sleeping bag models are our top pick overall for their exceptional value.
The Joule 21 (women’s) and Igneo 17 (men’s) sleeping bags from REI are great options for those in need of quality comfort at an excellent price point. While not the lightest or most compressible option on this list, the quality, comfort, and warmth of these bags make them a great value option for backpackers on a tighter budget. Both of these bags make our Best Sleeping Bags & Quilts list for affordable warmth and comfort.
The REI Zephyr bags are perfect for those looking for high quality on a low budget. These bags contain synthetic fill making them more affordable, but that also means they will not be as packable or light as more expensive down-filled bags. The Zephyr bags come in 20° (men’s and women’s) and 30° (just for women for the time being) options – we find the 20° bag to be most useful as it will keep you comfortable on most spring, summer, and mild fall trips.
REI Co-op’s Flash 3-Season Sleeping Pad is yet another piece of REI gear that competes with industry leaders at a much more affordable price. The Flash series employs a comfortable dimpled design, offers lightweight warmth, and makes our list of the Best Sleeping Pads. Though not our top pad pick, the Flash is definitely an outstanding deal and still allows for a comfortable night’s rest. If you need to beef up the warmth, try the REI Flash Thermal Pad which comes with a higher R-Value of 4.7.
In our opinion, REI Co-op’s Self-Inflating Camp Bed is already one of the best deals on a luxurious car camping pad in the whole store, and now at 25% off it’s truly a steal. The Camp Bed is cushy, quick and easy to inflate/deflate, and is much more compact when stored than many other car camping pads, so it won’t take up as much real estate in your garage or gear closet.
If you want to take your backcountry sleep game to the next level, REI’s Camp Dreamer Line is a must. These camping mattresses and pillows are so thick and plush, they may make you forget that you’re not on your memory foam mattress back home. For couples, the Camp Dreamer comes in a Double model (that’s the size of a full bed), which also makes a great inflatable guest bed. During past sales we’ve seen this mattress sell out quickly, so act fast if you want to snag one of these beauties.
The REI Stormhenge 850 is a unique two-in-one jacket that offers warmth and protection from the elements in one convenient package. While it’s a bit heavy for technical use and not as versatile as two separate jackets for backcountry trips, we find the Stormhenge to be very useful for everyday outdoor wear, day hikes, and camping in chilly, wet conditions. The Stormhenge is our top pick for warmth and waterproofing on our list of the Best Down Jackets.
The REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0 (view women’s here) is a great option for lightweight adventurers on a budget. It’s made with lower-fill-power down, which means it’s not quite as technical and efficient as more expensive jackets, but for the price, we’re pretty happy with its performance. The 650 Down is our favorite budget-friendly ultralight jacket on our Best Down Jackets list.
The REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket (view women’s here) may be a budget jacket, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome! It has all the features you could want in a rain jacket (like pit zips and hem/hood adjustments), it’s lightweight, and it comes in a wide array of nice color choices. Pick up the Full-Zip Rainier Rain Pants (view women’s here) to complete the look and to feel like an unstoppable rain defying machine.
The REI Drypoint GTX strikes an excellent balance of being lightweight while still maintaining solid durability. The well-designed tapered cut and high-quality materials give it the appeal of more expensive premium jackets on the market, but for a moderate price. Because of its attractive fit, added durability, and practical weight, the Drypoint transitions well from urban environments to the trail, and is a great choice for those who want a single jacket they can use for multiple purposes.
Base layers can be a real game changer when you want to add a lot of warmth to your clothing system without adding a lot of weight. We’ve been using REI’s Midweight Merino Base Layers on backpacking trips for years. As hard as we’ve tried, we can’t get these things to stink. We’re partial to the Long Sleeve Crew Top (view women’s here) and Base Layer Bottoms (view women’s here) combo, but REI makes a wide variety of styles to suit your personal taste. For more information on layering and creating an effective backpacking clothing system, check out our Backpacking & Hiking Clothing 101 post.
REI offers their popular Sahara pants in men’s Convertible and Roll-up and women’s Convertible. No matter which style you go with, you’ll be donning a light and breathable pair of performance pants with pockets galore. As part of REI’s effort to create an environment of “outdoors for all” they also offer the Sahara pants in a range of lengths (women’s petite and tall) and extended sizes for men and women. Both the roll-up and convertible versions are top picks on our Best Hiking Pants for Men and Women lists.
REI makes a whole bunch of socks, y’all. You likely already have your preferences for what type of sock you look for, so we won’t bore you with explanations of the nuanced differences between Merino Wool Lightweight Crew Hiking Socks and Merino Wool Lightweight Tech Crew Socks. But what we can tell you is that the Merino Wool Lightweight Quarter Hiking Socks are our favorites and you can find them nestled among other top-notch tootsie covers on our Best Hiking Socks list.
We usually prefer to bring a sit pad or UL hammock instead of a chair on serious ultralight adventures, but backpacking chairs can be great for short casual trips. Of course, we love using camp chairs for front-countrycamping, events, and travel. The Flexlite Camp Chair, which weighs less than 2 pounds, is comfortable, sturdy, and packs down very small, making it an excellent choice for those on the go. The Flexlite family of chairs has earned a place on both our Best Backpacking Chairs and our Best Camping Chairs lists. The REI Camp Roll Table is also a great addition to your car camping setup.
Though all of REI’s trekking poles are on sale, we have some favorites. The Flash Carbon Trekking Poles (view women’s sizes here) are a great option for those looking to trim a few ounces without breaking the bank. They’re also featured on our Best Trekking Poles list. If you’re looking for trekking poles that can pack down small to stow away, REI also offers their Flash Folding Trekking Poles.
We are somewhat recent converts to the magical world of backpacking with a pillow (or two). They really make a difference in the quality of our comfort and sleep and are well-worth the weight. If you haven’t tried it out yet, it’s the perfect time to pick up the REI Trailbreak Pillow from our Best Backpacking Pillows list. If you’re looking for something a little lighter and more compact, the REI Camp Dreamer Pillow will bring the Z’s as well.
REI has designed a large line of coolers that ranges from flat-packs to backpacks. We own the Pack-Away Cooler in multiple sizes and we love them for two reasons: they take up virtually no space when not in use and they have a convertible design that turns them into a lunchbox. Nothing beats that! The Trail Split Pack Cooler is a unique backpack-style cooler that’s perfect for carrying everything you need for a day at the beach. The top compartment holds all the essentials, like towels and a change of clothes, and the bottom compartment can pack up to 12 cans plus ice. Amazing.
We’ve been thinking a lot about water bottles lately. Spoiler alert: we are working hard to bring you the ultimate list of the best water bottles humankind has ever seen. Stay tuned, it’s gonna be big. For now, suffice it to say that Hydro Flask and Nalgene score high marks with us. These two hydration giantspartnered with REI to make all sorts of fun printed and colorful water bottles that you can score for cheap this weekend.
Other Small Items
Small but mighty, one or more of these items can usually be found in our packs at any given time.
Member Exclusive Deals March 27th-April 6th
March 26th is the last day to get 25% off the REI Co-op branded items above, and then the second leg of the sale starts on March 27th. This part of the sale is only for members and includes discounts of up to 40% off popular brands like Sea to Summit.
If you’re not an REI member yet, now is a great time to sign up. Not only do you get exclusive access to sales (like this one and the garage sale) and limited edition members-only products, you also get 10% back on all of your full price purchases at the end of the year. Not to mention you also get a coupon for 20% off one full price item and an additional 20% off one outlet item a few times a year (current coupons are valid March 20th-April 6th, even if you sign up to be a member within that window).
For some ideas on how to spend your coupon this year, check out our 20 Great Ways to Use Your REI 20% Off Coupon post.
Sea to Summit Aeros Premium Pillow – 30% Off
The Aeros Premium Pillow is our favorite among all the pillows in the Aeros line. It has a great balance of features that make it comfortable, and it’s incredibly lightweight. The Aeros Premium has a thin layer of synthetic fill on top, which allows for better comfort and breathability and has earned it a place on our Best Backpacking Pillows list.
The Sea to Summit Trailhead ThII 30 Sleeping Bag has some pretty sweet and unique features. The zipper goes all the way around the bag allowing you to open it up like a quilt for warmer nights or forsharing. You can also use it to open up just the footbox end to regulate tootsie temperature. The shape of the Trailhead is slightly more rectangular than most other mummy bags and it features some extra space to wiggle around for all you rotisserie sleepers out there.
Sea to Summit Ultralight Air Mat – 30% Off
Sea to Summit Air Pads are known for being exceptionally comfy and durable and the Sea to Summit Ultralight Air Mat is no exception. Keep in mind that this version of the Ultralight Air Pad is non-insulated, so it’s great for summer but won’t keep you warm enough in cooler temperatures. The insulated version, and a lot of other great three- and four-season sleeping pads, can be found on our Best Backpacking Sleeping Pads list
ENO DoubleNest Hammock – 40% Off
The spacious and durable Eagles Nest Outfitters DoubleNest is an excellent hammock for outdoor lovers. It’s wide and tough enough to fit two people comfortably. It also comes in a bunch of different color combinations. It’s heavier than the hammocks we prefer to backpack with, but it’s perfect for camping, hiking, and trips to the park.
Camp Chef Everest 2X High-Pressure Stove – 30% Off
The Camp Chef Everest High Pressure Stove is a must have for all you creative camp cooks who love whipping up gourmet camp meals. This thing is seriously powerful – each burner has a heat output of up to 20,000 BTU. By comparison, household stoves have an average output of 7,000 BTU. Needless to say, that’s a lot of fire power! The Everest also features a convenient igniter button and built in wind blockers to maintain efficiency.
We hope this guide helps you find some great outdoor gear that you’ll love for years to come! If you found this guide helpful, please feel free to share it with friends and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five.
For more popular CleverHiker content, check out the following links:
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small 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.