When I first started adventuring, I had some of the worst gear. My daypack had uncomfortable straps. My hiking shoes left me with blisters. Even the clothes I wore did nothing for me. I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to upgrade my gear closet, but it has come at a significant cost!
The best gear on the market is never the most affordable. As someone who travels often, I always hit the sale racks to find items that will fuel my adventures and still leave change in my pocket for another plane ticket.
Well folks, I’ve just made the best discovery. Allow me to introduce you to REI Used Gear Beta – the only site you’ll ever need for high-quality, affordable gear. Have you heard of REI’s famous Garage Sales? Where people line up hours in advance for good deals on used products? Now REI is doing it online, with a bigger selection, open every day.
Here’s the deal:
1. Customers return gently used gear. 2. REI inspects and selects the best items. 3. The gear is put up for sale online. 4. You shop!
I have to say, I’m surprised with the wide selection of products on the site. The best way I can describe REI Used Gear is to compare it to a treasure hunt. There seems to always be something new on the site, and it’s fun to see what you’ll find! Jackets, tents, socks, watches, sleeping bags and more. Brands like KEEN, Patagonia, Hydroflask, Gregory Packs and Marmot are just a few of the many companies with products for sale. Did I mention that all these items are almost half the price you’d pay to purchase them brand new?
To see how much bang I could get for my buck, I teamed up with the folks at REI Used Gear Beta to purchase $200 worth of stuff and review it for you all. My goal was to get distinct types of items, and in varying conditions. The site makes it easy to understand what you’re getting by “grading” item condition from “Excellent Condition” to “Well Worn”. I ended up with a fleece sweater, trekking poles and a pair of hiking boots.
Let’s start with probably my favorite item, the Patagonia Better Sweater Quarter-Zip. I love this sweater. I think I wear it just about every time I step outside (don’t worry, I wash it). It’s become a winter staple in my closet and the only fleece sweater I’ll need for a long time. This pullover retails for $99 and I snagged it for a solid $59.40 – score. It was labeled as “Excellent Condition” and I must agree. There wasn’t a stain or snag anywhere on this bad boy. I’ll take it. Purchase number one was a success.
Next came the Black Diamond Distance Z Trekking Poles. I’ve never owned a pair of trekking poles before, but I’m glad I do now! Like the quarter-zip, the poles were rated “Excellent Condition”. They lived up to the standard on some recent snow hikes in Utah! I loved the extra traction on icy terrain. I was able to snag the poles for $49.98, an awesome deal. Two down, one to go!
The last item I bought was a pair of KEEN Logan WP Hiking Boots for $64. My feet are extremely sensitive and there are only a handful of shoes out there that give me the right balance between cushion and performance. Needless to say, I was hesitant to buy a pair of used boots, let alone some that were listed as “Lightly Worn”.
To my surprise, the boots were great! I honestly couldn’t find anything “worn” about them, aside from some fading on the sole. I brought these boots on a snowy trip through Utah National Parks and found that they had the same amount of grip as any pair I’ve purchased new. Three for three – no complaints here!
In total, I was able to get three pieces of high quality gear for $201.41. I checked back on the site recently and saw that they’ve added a bunch more stuff! REI Used Gear Beta is now my go-to pick for affordable gear from the best brands in the industry. There aren’t a ton of places for adventurers to find reliable gear that won’t stretch the wallet, and I think the REI team did a fantastic job of putting together a collection of items that explorers of all kind need.
You can learn more about how REI Used Gear Beta works here. To shop gear that’ll help you opt outside, visit https://www.rei.com/used.
This blog was written by Mtn Chicks founder, Dani. To get more blogs like this sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter down below.
Dani is the Founder of Mountain Chicks and the primary author of the Mtn Chicks Blog. Here you'll find outdoor tips, travel experiences, gear reviews and more.