Every year, the the sun emerges from behind the clouds. Like newborn horses, we shake our wobbly legs and stagger, blinking, back onto the trails. Every year, REI holds its biggest annual sale right before Memorial Day, so we can replace that leaky old tent before the first camping, climbing or mountain biking trip of the year.
This year, the sale runs from May 19 to May 29, with up to 30 percent off select gear. If you’re a member of the REI Co-op, you also get 20 percent off a full-price item at REI and the REI Outlet with code ANIV23. outdoor retailer Crossing has a competing sale, and moose jaw is offering 20 percent off a full price item with the code CHEESEBURGER.
Still trying to figure out how you’re going to navigate all this bounty? Don’t forget to check out the rest of our summer guides, including our guides to the best hiking boots or the best camping cookware.
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Fitness and clothing deals
Don’t see anything you like here? Check out our guides to the best fitness trackers and the best base layers.
All spring all the cool girls have been wearing these pants for climbing and hiking and I want a pair. This is REI’s collaboration with outdoors, a non-profit organization that celebrates, connects and inspires Black leadership and community in the wild. Fitting a wide variety of body types, these pants are made from breathable, water-resistant, durable nylon/spandex fabric and come in a variety of bold colors.
Shopping for toddler adventure shoes is hard. Go too cheap and they won’t be able to walk or play because of blisters and other problems. Go too expensive, and you’ll have spent a lot of money on shoes that will fit them for five months, tops. I usually pick up my kids’ shoes and raincoats during the annual REI sale, but you may find bargains on amazon also.
Janji makes sustainable running apparel and frequently collaborates with artists and athletes for limited editions. The company has committed to removing PFAS from its waterproof clothing, and his clothing is guaranteed for five years. I’ve had this running bra for almost as long and it’s still in excellent condition after years of weekly wear.
Altra is a small Utah-based company that makes shoes that replicate the barefoot experience as much as possible. They have no heel-to-toe drop and a wide toe box for your toes to spread out. This year’s iteration has a more streamlined, seamless upper (and better colours) than last year’s, but it still has the rock plate and big lugs on the soles. These are one of our top picks for hiking boots and shoes.
Over the years, multiple WIRED reviewers have agreed: Garmin’s Fenix series is the best outdoor fitness tracker if you love all outdoor sports. It connected to multiple satellite positioning systems faster than any GPS watch I’ve tested, even under cloud and tree cover; It measures every biometric under the sun, collects a ton of sports-specific data, is durable and sharp-looking, and has excellent battery life. During the sale, all Garmin Fenix and epix watches are $200 off, but you can’t apply your member coupon.
If you need to get back into waterproof jackets, now is a great time. Outdoor Research’s Helium line is a great moderately priced waterproof hiking jacket that won’t break the bank. It is also available from Backcountry in a somewhat more limited range of colors and sizes, in both men’s and women’s sizes.
Product reviewer Scott Gilbertson and I agree: Merino wool is the lightweight, versatile fabric of kings. You may think that summer is not an ideal time to buy inner layers, but if you are camping or climbing at altitude, it is likely that it will be cold at night. These are soft enough to double as camp jammy-jams. WIRED recommended Smartwool base layers are 25 percent discountalso.
Deals on Camp Stoves, Tents, and Equipment
Coleman’s ubiquitous green camp stove has been a mainstay at campgrounds since your grandparents were kids. It’s well built, sturdy on a table, and it just works. It’s not the most powerful stove, but it’s capable of maintaining a low flame, simmering soups, and cooking scrambled eggs without browning them.
An update on the Classic above, Coleman’s Cascade (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is our favorite luxury camp stove. It’s well made with sturdy cast iron cooking grates and includes a griddle and griddle for more cooking options. Latch and handle keep it securely closed and easy to transport. Combine that with the electronic ignition and excellent flame control that can even simmer, and it’s hard to find anything to complain about besides the price. That’s why you buy it now, on sale.
This 100-watt folding panel set is one of the more compact options we’ve tested. It’s not the cheapest, you usually pay more for compactness, but if you’re short on space, this is our top pick in our next solar panel guide.
This is the most compact of Goal Zero’s portable power stations. It is also the lightest and easiest to transport. It has 187 watt-hours, which is enough to keep phones and tablets charged on your next trip. It pairs well with the Nomad 100 solar panels above if you’re going to be away for a longer period of time and need to recharge.
We wrote about these for the 2022 Wish List, and I still have two. They’re made from a lightweight microsuede, soft enough to wipe your nose and tie around your neck, but absorbent enough to soak up an entire bottle of water if you accidentally forget to screw the cap on tight when tossing it in your climbing bag. .
With over 3,000 watt-hours, this massive power plant can keep your life running even when the grid isn’t. There’s a wide range of plug options, including AC plugs to power your fridge or power tools and charge electric bikes and whatever else you need to fend off zombies. If they keep coming (and zombies always do), even bigger Yeti 6000X is on sale for $4800 ($1200 off).
Dometic automatic coolers are an excellent alternative to the cooler. As long as you have access to power, a cooler will beat the heat in a way coolers can never match. We like Dometic for the nice displays and battery protection system to prevent draining the car’s battery, which wouldn’t be the way you’d want to end your trip.
The Dometic Go jug has two features that set it above the average plastic water jug: the large opening that allows you to reach inside and clean it, and the tap that screws on when you want to dispense it. If you really want to get fancy, you can add the pump faucet for $80 ($20 off) to convert it into a running water system.
Nemo’s Dagger Osmo 3P Tent (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is one of my favorites. It’s incredibly strong, well made, and lightweight. That’s expensive, and if you like millions of pockets and interior organization options, there are better tents out there. But if you want a lightweight, virtually bombproof shelter for the night, this is a great option. We also like that it’s made from 100% recycled polyester and nylon yarns, with no flame retardant chemicals or fluorinated water repellants (PFCs and PFASs).
I can’t do much solo travel these days, but when I do, this is the store I want. It’s super light (just over 2 pounds) yet roomy and comfortable. It stretches very securely, and the steep sidewalls and decent headroom make it feel bigger than it is. It’s also made from the same chemical-free fabrics as the Dagger above.
Here’s your chance to save on our favorite two-person gazebo. It’s sturdy, easy to set up, and offers ample living space for two people with gear. The mesh design, when combined with the rainfly and a good staking, will withstand storms and won’t burn you out when camping in the heat of summer. Double doors with double vestibules ensure you don’t step over your significant other in the middle of the night. The only real drawback is the lobbies, which are on the small side.
Exped is known for its durable, no-nonsense, and moderately-priced outdoor gear. I have been testing the Typhoon package for about a month. The roll-top closure and seam-sealing make it the perfect waterproof backpack, whether you’re in extremely variable weather or if you’re into paddling or other water sports. All Exped packs, sleeping bags and sleeping pads are 25 percent off; I also have my eye on megamat for my family tent.
I have a lot of backpacking gear, but probably the most used items are these camping chairs; I’ve had versions of these that are over a decade old. This latest version is made from bluesign-approved polyester, but has the same basic four-legged bar design with a seat suspended via stress points. It’s quite comfortable, easy to set up, and packs up very small.
It’s cycling season! Don’t forget to check out our guides to the best bike accessories and the best electric bikes.
I liked the Burley Trailer’s moderate price and ease of use when I tried it out several years ago; I had some doubts about its durability, but it’s thinner and easier to assemble and pack (and much cheaper) than the Thule chariot. It needs a lot of accessories to make it useful, but luckily, all Burley trailers, accessories, and strollers are 20 percent off.
Thousand’s helmets are standard for anyone who wants to casually bike around town without looking like a dumb committed cyclist. It’s got the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, which protects your head against rotational forces during an impact, along with great Thousand features like a deployable loop to lock it onto your bike, plus lights and a sun visor.