It’s Member Rewards time at REI! That means, if you’re an REI member, you’ve just received 10% of your annual purchases back in one lump sum reward, which is always rad. And if you have a backpacking gear addiction like we do, your Member Reward can actually add up to a good chunk of change.
To sweeten the deal, from 3/18 to 3/28 REI Members save 20% on one full-price item and an extra 20% off one REI Outlet item with coupon code MEMBER20. Now is one of the best times of the year to save on a big-ticket purchase such as a tent, sleeping bag, backpack, sleeping pad, or anything else with a hefty price tag.
Not a Member yet?
Oh yeah, if you’re not an REI member, don’t fret! You can pick up a lifetime membership for $30 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. Here are some of the reasons all of us here at CleverHiker have been REI members for years:
Knowledgeable and friendly staff – We always have an awesome experience with the sales and customer service staff. They’re friendly and helpful, and they really know their stuff!
REI membership gives a lot of benefits – There are so many benefits to membership, but some of our favorites are access to 20% off coupons a few times a year, 10% dividend back on full-price purchases, access to the used gear Garage Sale, and discounts on REI Adventures and in-store classes. If you’re not a member yet, you can sign up online here.
REI brand products are a great value – We generally find that REI brand products strike a great balance between quality and cost. The Magma line of sleeping bags and the Half Dome line of tents are some of our favorite products from their wide range of offerings.
REI has an excellent return policy– Customer service reigns supreme here. REI gives you 365 days to return or exchange items and we love the ability to buy online and return in store.
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 retailers, such as Hyperlite Mountain Gear, as well as upgrading many of their REI brand product lines to focus on fast and light gear.
50 Great Ways to Use Your REI 20% Off Coupon & Member Reward
You can use your member dividend on anything at REI, even sale items! But you only get to use your 20% off coupon on one full price item, so it makes sense to use it on a big purchase to make it count. Remember to use coupon code: MEMBER20 at checkout.
Saucony Peregrines (men’s / women’s) have been our go-to backpacking shoes for the past year. They have excellent traction, comfortable padding, and a roomy toe box. The Peregrines rank highly on our Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women and Best Trail Running Shoes for Men and Women lists.
We’re longtime fans of Altra’s Lone Peak footwear which all feature the signature “foot-shaped” toe box and zero-drop design. The Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mids (men’s / women’s) are a go-to for us on chilly and rainy hikes, and you can often find us sporting the lightweight Lone Peak 5 Trail Running Shoes (men’s / women’s) for backpacking in more mild weather. The Lone Peaks landed a spot on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women, Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women, and Best Trail Running Shoes for Men and Women lists.
For hikers who regularly tackle tough terrain, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid (men’s / women’s) is a widely popular boot that offers great durability and foot protection. We often find that boots with this level of support can feel a bit restrictive, but after a short break-in period the Renegades are very comfortable. Check out how the Renegades stack up against other boots on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women lists.
Salomon makes some of our favorite hiking footwear, and their X Ultra 4 GTX shoes (men’s / women’s) and boots (men’s / women’s) are among the best in the lineup. They feel great right out of the box, they’re lightweight, and they’re durable. So we highly recommend them for hikers who want a happy medium between lightweight trail runners and heavier boots. The X Ultra line of shoes has been near the top of our lists of the Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women for years.
If you’re looking for good value hiking footwear that doesn’t compromise on quality, the MerrellMoab 2 Mid WP (men’s / women’s) and Low WP (men’s / women’s) are excellent choices. The Moab line has been a favorite among hikers for many years due to their comfort, durability, and friendly price. Despite their tough build, the Moabs require very little break-in, and the mesh spots provide good breathability. The Moabs rank highly on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women lists.
If you’ve been searching for hiking footwear with a little extra wiggle room in the toe, Keen Targhees may be just what you need. They’re built with a wider toe box and they require very little break-in to achieve a comfy-all-day fit. We recommend the Targhee III Mid WP (men’s / women’s) if you need ankle support and the Targhee III Low WP (men’s / women’s) if you’re looking for something a little lighter. Check out more info about the Targhees on our Best Hiking Boots for Men and Women and Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women lists.
The Chaco Z/1 Classics (men’s / women’s) are our favorite hiking sandals because they’re adjustable to fit all kinds of different foot shapes, surprisingly supportive, and ridiculously durable. The soles on these sandals are pretty firm, so go with the Z/Clouds (men’s / women’s) if you prefer more cushion. The Z/1 Classics and Clouds are number one on our lists of the Best Hiking Sandals for Men and Women.
The MSR Hubba Hubba 2 is a lightweight, roomy, and durable tent that provides excellent protection in windy and wet weather. The symmetrical layout and near vertical sidewalls on the Hubba Hubba provide a lot of interior space for two hikers to sit up and hang out. And with a freestanding design that’s incredibly easy to set up, the Hubba Hubba ranks squarely among the best backpacking tents for dependable protection and comfort.
The REI Quarter Dome SL 2 & SL 1 are great options for lightweight backpackers on a budget, as they’re among the most affordable options in the ultralight tent world. Despite being so light, the Quarter Dome SL offers a good amount of living space inside and large vestibules outside for storage. Learn more about these tents on our list of the Best Backpacking Tents.
The REI Half Dome series of tents are a good value for those wanting a tent that’s practical for both backpacking and car camping. These tents provide a good balance of durability, interior space, and affordability, and their freestanding design makes them easy to set up. Our favorite size for backpacking is the 2 Plus, and the 3 Plus is more comfortable and spacious for car camping. The Half Dome tents are featured on both our Best Camping Tents and Best Backpacking Tents lists.
We love the luxurious Grand 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 on our Best Camping Tents list for its superb balance of quality and affordability.
HMG makes some of our favorite tough as nails ultralight gear. The DCF fabric and taped seams on the Southwest make it one of the most weather-resistant and durable ultralight packs we’ve used. If your gear is ultralight and dialed in, we would steer you towards the 2400. If you need a little extra capacity for longer stretches or bulkier gear, go with the 3400. The Southwest is our top pick overall on our Best Backpacking Backpacks list
The REI Flash 55 (men’s & women’s) backpacking pack is an affordable option for hikers looking to keep their pack weight down. This pack has a comfy hip belt, a supportive foam back panel, and a 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. The Flash 55 is a top pick on our list of the Best Backpacking Backpacks.
The REI Flash 22 daypack series has been a hiking staple for many years because it’s affordable, it has a variety of convenient storage pockets, it’s designed with easy to reach water bottle holsters, and there’s enough structure to feel comfortable against your back on a day hike. The minimal, yet effective design of the Flash 22 earned it a top spot on our list of the Best Hiking Daypacks.
If comfort reigns supreme for you and you don’t mind carrying some extra weight into the backcountry, the Osprey Atmos 65 (men’s sizes) & Aura 65 (women’s sizes) are great options. Thanks to their ample padding and beefy suspension, these packs transfer weight to the hips very well. The Atmos and Aura are fan favorites for carrying loads of 35 pounds or more, and they rank highly on our Best Backpacking Backpacks list.
The Cotopaxi Allpa 35 has everything we look for in a travel pack – streamlined organization, easy-access pockets, a comfortable carry, and unique style. The Allpa is made of thick durable material that can handle any adventure you throw at it, and there’s a removable hip belt for times when you need to carry a heavier load. The Allpa comes in a few sizes to suit any need, but the 35L size is our top pick on our Best Travel Backpacks list.
The Osprey Farpoint (men’s sizes) and Fairview 40 (women’s sizes) are comfortable and versatile bags with quality construction. They can be tailored to many different travel styles with the option to carry as a backpack, a briefcase, or a messenger bag. Learn more about the Farpoint and Fairview on our Best Travel Backpacks list.
Sleeping Bags & Sleeping Pads
We’re huge fans of the entire Magma line from REI – it’s available in 15°F sleeping bags (men’s / women’s), 30°F sleeping bags (men’s / women’s), and the 30°F Magma Trail Quilt. These bags offer a combination of weight, warmth, and cost that few other sleeping bags can match. All versions of the Magma rank highly on our Best Sleeping Bags and Best Backpacking Quilts lists.
NEMO makes some of the most luxurious sleeping bags around. Their signature Thermo Gills make it easy to regulate your temperature, and the spoon shape is ideal for side sleepers. If you’re looking for a comfortable sleeping bag with a lot of space, the NEMO Disco 15 (men’s / women’s) is a great option. NEMO also makes the Disco 30 (men’s / women’s) for those who do most oftheir camping in summer. Both make our Best Sleeping Bags list for their roomy comfort.
It’s no secret that we love the NeoAir line of sleeping pads from Therm-a-Rest. You can usually find us snoozing on the Uberlite for summer adventures, the XLite for 3-season trips, and the XTherm for winter excursions. Head over to our Best Sleeping Pads guide to learn more about each of these pads.
The NEMO Tensor Insulated Pad is one of our long-time favorite sleeping pads because it’s quieter than other pads and it’s exceptionally comfortable. The Tensor also comes with one of the best pump sacks on the market, which makes inflation fast and easy. This pad comes in several shape and size options, including mummy, rectangular, and the elusive regular/wide model, and it ranks highly on our Best Sleeping Pads list.
The Exped MegaSleep 25/40 (single / double) is great for those who want one space-saving sleeping bag that can adapt to different temperatures and conditions. Use the bag with the dark blue side on the top to keep you warm in temperatures down to freezing, or flip it over and have the less insulated light blue side up for warm summer nights. The Megasleep bag is one of our top sleeping bag picks for car camping.
The REI Camp Dreamer XL is an impressively thick, comfy, and easy to use camping mattress at an excellent price point. It makes sleeping outdoors feel lavish, while still being relatively lightweight and portable. For couples and those who prefer to sleep like a starfish, the Camp Dreamer also comes in a Double Size. Because it’s similar in quality to many high-end camping mattresses but a lot more affordable, we named it the best value mattress on our Best Camping Mattress list.
We’re big fans of MSR stoves and the PocketRocket 2 has been a CleverHiker Top Pick for years because it’s lightweight, compact, durable, and has great simmer control. The upgraded MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe has some extra features, like a push button ignitor, better cold weather/high altitude performance, and better wind performance. Both are excellent backcountry stoves that rank highly on our Best Backpacking Stoves list.
If you mostly need a stove for boiling water for rehydrating freeze-dried meals, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Jetboil Flash. When it comes to boiling water quickly, the Flash lives up to its name and costs less than some of Jetboil’s other systems. Though this stove lacks simmer control, this isn’t a deal breaker for most. The Flash is a top choice on our Best Backpacking Stove List.
The Camp Chef Everest 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. The Everest stove is our top pick on our Best Camping Stoves list.
Patagonia’s Nano Puff Jacket (men’s / women’s) is warm enough for 3-season adventures, but also stylish for wearing around town. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and highly compressible. What sets this jacket apart is the synthetic PrimaLoft Insulation, which helps retain heat better than down in wet conditions.
We love the versatility of Patagonia’s Better Sweater (men’s / women’s) – it’s stylish enough to wear around town and functional enough to wear as a layer for adventures. The material is comfortable against the skin and it holds up incredibly well over time. One of our staff has been wearing hers for almost a decade now, and it’s still going strong! The Better Sweater is our top pick on our Best Fleece Jackets list.
The Patagonia Down Sweater Hoodie (men’s / women’s) 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.
From gloves, to hats, to base layers, and undies – Smartwool products are high-quality and dependable. There’s a lot to love in their exceptional line-up of clothing and accessories, but their Merino 250 (men’s / women’s) and Merino 150 base layers (men’s / women’s) are some of our absolute favorites. These warm and comfortable base layers provide excellent insulation for active days, and they wick moisture effectively. Learn more about what makes these layers great on our Best Base Layers list.
The REI 650 Down Jacket 2.0 (men’s / women’s) 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 we’re pretty happy with its performance for the price. The 650 Down is our favorite budget-friendly ultralight jacket on our Best Down Jackets list.
The Yeti Tundra 65 has made such a big name for itself due to its best-in-class insulation and durability. No matter how hard you play, you don’t have to worry about dents or breaking hardware. It also doesn’t hurt that it comes in a variety of attractive colors. Learn more about why we like the Yeti Tundra on our Best Coolers list.
The Black Diamond Spot 350 has been a tried and true favorite of hikers and climbers for some years and is a top pick on our Best Headlamps List. It’s sleek, comfortable, and stays the brightest for the longest out of any of the headlamps we tested. We highly recommend this feature-rich headlamp and we think its price point makes it an exceptional value buy compared to the competition.
NEMO’s Stargaze Recliner Chair has been our favorite luxury camping chair for years due to its exceptional comfort and unique design. All this luxury comes with a high price tag, though, so this is a great time to get it at a deep discount! Check out how the Stargaze compares to other camp chairs on our Best Camping Chairs list.
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. We like poles with cork handles because they help keep clammy hiker hands from developing blisters. Black Diamond’sTrail Ergo Cork trekking poles (men’s / women’s) are some of our favorites for their balance of comfort and durability, and they can be found on our Best Trekking Poles list.
The convenience of the Platypus GravityWorks is tough to beat, especially for large groups. To use the GravityWorks, simply fill up the “dirty” water bag, hang it above the “clean” bag, and let gravity do its thing. The main benefit? No tedious pumping or squeezing required. See how the Gravityworks compares to other water filters on our Best Water Filters list.
For wilderness areas that require a bear canister, we always pack along our trusty BV500 from BearVault. This thing is super tough and has plenty of space for five or so days of food. Our bear can has traveled over a thousand miles with us from the Sierras to the Smokies. If you’ve got plans to visit the backcountry of any national parks, you’re likely to need one. So this is a great time to snag one at a discount.
The season of new gear releases is upon us which means last year’s colors and designs are going on clearance. If you don’t mind being a little behind on the latest fashion trends and gear updates, this is the perfect time to grab some big ticket items (like footwear and tents) at a deep discount.
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!
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