For years, REI has famously closed its doors every Black Friday to encourage people to enjoy their time outdoors post-Thanksgiving. Instead, it holds an earlier sale—the Gear Up Get Out Sale—so you can still enjoy steep discounts on great outdoor gear. The sale runs through November 21, and we’ve sifted through it all to find the best outdoor deals.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.
Hiking and Camping Deals
This is one of the best daypacks for the money. It’s lightweight at a mere 14 ounces, so it won’t strain your back, yet it has well-padded shoulder straps and two exterior water bottle pockets, which many small packs lack. It holds 22 liters, which is more than enough for holding a rain jacket, lunch, water, a sweater, and maps for an afternoon of hiking. There’s also a version with graphic prints available for the same price.
If you like the idea of getting away from it all but keeping a lifeline handy in case things go wrong, a satellite communicator can keep you in touch with emergency services and loved ones back home. You can share your location, communicate back and forth, and trigger an SOS button if you need a rescue. The InReach Mini 2 weighs only 3.5 ounces and is compact enough to take up a little room in a pocket. The battery lasts for roughly four to 14 days, depending on settings and tree cover. Sure, the new iPhone 14 can do all of this, but it won’t help if the battery’s dead after a day.
The Trail Hut 2 tent nails the right balance between price, weight, and quality. The hardware, such as zippers and guyline tie-outs, is solid, and its 78-ounce weight—while not featherweight—isn’t terribly heavy either. The interior design is laid out well with interior pockets and two doors and vestibules. It’s great if you plan on solo hiking and want space inside for packs or gear. If you plan to sleep two or three people in a tent, check out the Trail Hut 4 ($209), which is largely the same but bigger (and also on sale). Read our Best Tents guide for more.
Foam sleeping pads on their own aren’t warm enough for cold-weather camping. To insulate you and your sleeping bag from the winter ground, choose an inflatable model such as this one. The NeoAir is an excellent insulator, plus it’s lightweight at 12 ounces and packable down to a small roll. Speaking from experience, it’s plenty warm when the mercury drops low.
Liquid fuel stoves are among the hardest you can take into the backcountry. The downside is they’re often loud and spoil nature’s quiet, but the WhisperLite is relatively silent compared to others. Canister stoves can give you performance problems in the dead of winter, but MSR’s bombproof WhisperLite will keep kicking through almost any weather.
Hiking while holding a flashlight gets old, and it’s nearly impossible to set up a tent in the dark while trying to hold one. Free up your hands with a headlamp. The Spot 400 is a classic, dependable model that can throw 400 lumens up to 100 meters down the trail on its high setting. Its three AAA batteries will last for 200 hours on the low, six-lumen setting, which is enough for basic camp chores such as getting ready for bed.
The 7S Sapphire Solar (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a powerhouse for all the preset modes that can track your biometric data from various outdoor activities: gravel biking, swimming, running, and more. It’s ours favorite outdoor watch for its quick and accurate GPS connection in rain and under dense tree cover, plus it packs a built-in altimeter, barometer, and compass. Read our Best Garmin Watches guide for more.
It’s no wonder we called them the cutest in ours Best Trail Running Shoe guide. Just look at ’em. Beauty isn’t just skin deep, though. They’re light, breathable, and offer solid traction on loose terrain. Just remember that Nikes run small, so you should consider sizing up a half-size.
Chafing is no fun. Whether you wear the latest high-tech cycling pants or stick with tried-and-true denim jeans, slip on a pair of padded cycling shorts underneath to take some of the wear and tear off biking. The stretchy, breathable polyester fabric wicks away moisture, keeping you from feeling swampy on long rides.
We crowned these the best cold-weather running tights in our Best Running Gear guide, thanks to a high waist and drawstring that keeps them from sagging during runs. As an insulating base layer under pants, they add plenty of warmth in rough weather. Even in 30-degree temperatures, they kept our reviewer warm and have lasted years with little wear. One downside is that they only come in a 28-inch seam, which could leave taller runners with chilly ankles.
Other Great Outdoor Deals
Goosedown jackets are only getting more expensive, but REI’s house-brand down puffy has remained the same base price for years. Now, it’s on sale for a price rarely matched and never beaten. Two zippered handwarmer pockets on the outside are joined by two cavernous open pockets inside the jacket that can hold beanies, gloves, and scarves. It’s warm as an outer layer or insulating mid-layer.
This is my favorite outdoor folding chair, and it’s made of robust aluminum, 300-denier nylon fabric, and solid wood armrests. It weighs 7 pounds 7 ounces and holds up to 250 pounds. There’s a padded version also on sale for the ultra-low price of $22, but it tends to go in and out of stock often; make a note to look at it another time to see if the deal comes back.
I crowned the Big Haul the best duffel bag in my bag Best Travel Bags guide because it’s made of Bluesign-approved recycled nylon fabrics and has plenty of interior and exterior pockets for organization, as well as hide-away backpack straps so you can carry heavy loads on your back. Anyone who’s ever lugged a super heavy duffel through an airport will appreciate that. This 28-liter version is perfect for weekend getaways and is small enough to work as a carry-on when flying. There are more sizes on saleall the way up to an enormous 120-liter version.
You can’t stay fit if you bust your noggin in the event of a crash. Keep that melon safe with this stylish, protective bike helmet from Nutcase. Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a technology that offers added protection to your brain from rotational injuries. It’s absolutely worth paying a little extra for. There are many styles available, from solid colors to truly wacky designs.
Ditch single-use plastics and go with a durable, reusable Nalgene water bottle for your hydration needs, from desk to campsite. There are more designs available here, which don’t show up on the previously linked product page, for the same discount. These models are BPA-free, so sip without worry.