Gear Reviews

15 Last-Minute Gifts for Hikers From REI's Holiday Clearance Sale

Put off doing your shopping? Lucky you: Right now, some of our favorite products of the year are on sale at REI.

Some of us are good at getting things squared away early. Others, not so much. Luckily for all of us procrastinators who fall in the second group, REI is holding one last big sale before the holidays, and some of our favorite gear of the past few years is available at steep discounts. We went through what’s on offer and cherry-picked out 15 of our favorite products to wrap up this year.

Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights

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Hiking in tights? We were skeptical until we took these rugged leggings on a (wet) hike in New Zealand’s Egmont National Park. “The Abisko Trekking Tights atone for every downfall of every pair of leggings that came before,” said our tester, by adding reinforcements, dense fabric that holds its shape, a high waist, and pockets. Buy them now for $122, or 30% off.

REI Co-op Backpacking Bundle

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If you have a newbie backpacker in your life, this combo is one of the cheapest ways to get them on the trail. With three REI-branded pieces of gear—a Passage 2 tent, Stratus Insulated pad, and Trail Pod 30 sleeping bag—the bundle knocks three of the most expensive items in a hiker’s kit off. Buy it now for $200, or 27% off.

Osprey Skarab 24 / Skimmer 22

Osprey Skarab 24 hydration pack
Photo courtesy

There’s a reason that the Skarab / Skimmer is one of our favorite hydration packs on the market: Besides fitting enough water for a dayhike, its hipbelt sat securely on our tester’s body with no sway. “They wrapped my hips like a bear hug,” he says. “No dead space meant great load transfer and zero pack-sway.” Buy it now for $48, or 40% off.

Garmin Forerunner 235

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Need something burlier than a pedometer but not ready to spring for a watch with mapping capabilities? The Forerunner 235, which combines a heart rate monitor with GPS tracking capabilities, may be just what you need. Bonus: With a Bluetooth connection to your phone, the Forerunner can show you your text messages and check the weather for you, too. Buy it now for $200, or 20% off.

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 2 Tent

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We gave the four-person version of this tent an Editors’ Choice Gold Award, and it’s easy to see why. “We’ve been using the original since it came out—the backpacker’s take on the 100,000-mile test—and slept everywhere from forest to slickrock, meadows, swamps, and sand, and the ultralight floor is still intact and waterproof,” said our tester after taking it on a trip through Colombia’s Páramo de Ocetá. Buy it now for $314, or 30% off.

goTenna Mesh Text and Location Communicator

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Turn your cell into an off-grid communication device with the goTenna Mesh, which can send messages up to four miles. “With the mesh network, two of us could split off to set up camp ahead of the others while in constant communication,” said one of our testers, who took the system on a trip into the Grand Canyon. Buy it now for $125.29, or 30% off.

Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System

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“For groups of four or more, there’s no easier way to treat water,” our reviewer said about this system from Platypus, which can treat four liters of dirty water at a time at a rate of about a liter every 45 seconds for clear water. Buy it now for $84, or 30% off.

Garmin eTrex 20x GPS Unit

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We’re longtime fans of Garmin’s eTrex line, and this handheld, which features 3.7 GB of memory for maps, Glonass compatibility, and IPX7 waterproofing, is more than enough for most backpackers’ navigational needs. Buy it now for $150, or 17% off.

Vasque Breeze III Mid Hiking Boots

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Our reviewer named this the best all-around shoe in our 2017 test for its mix of light weight and versatility. “I prefer a light, cushioned shoe like this for most of my trips, even with a heavy load,” said one tester. “I scrambled up 500 vertical feet of scree on Medicine Bow Peak in Wyoming’s Snowy Range and had no problem with traction.” Buy it now for $110, or 27% off.

Kammok Roo Double Hammock

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We’ve taken this packable, tough hammock everywhere from the Dominican Republic to Colorado’s Elk Mountains, and it’s handled everything from sweltering heat to near-freezing high-elevation temperatures with equal aplomb. Buy it now for $69, or 30% off.

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

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We’ve reviewed various versions of the Spot over the years, and with good reason: It’s one of the most versatile headlamps out there, striking that rare balance between power and weight. This edition packs in 300 lumens of power, with a beam distance of up to 80 meters on high. Buy it now for $30, or $25% off.

Kelty Discovery Low-Love Seat

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Do we need this seat? No. Do we want it for our base camps? Emphatically yes. This fold-out, steel-frame loveseat is comfy as heck, and packs into its own roll-up storage bag for easy carrying. Buy it now for $75, or 25% off.

Altra Superior 3.5

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For hikes where weight and dexterity are more important than cush, the Altra Superior is one of our go-to shoes. The zero-drop trail runners feature Altra’s signature wide toe box for maximum splay, as well as removable rock plates to protect feet from errant stones. Buy them now for $76.83, or 30% off.

MPOWERD Luci Color Essence Inflatable Solar Lantern

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MPOWERD’s Luci lanterns lit up our group tent at night on a hike through Colombia’s Cordillera Central, and recharged as we hiked, even under relatively cloudy skies. This new iteration adds a color cycle mode that shifts its LEDs through 8 different hues. Buy it now for $18, or 28% off.

Buff High UV Coolmax

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Every hiker should have a supply of these versatile neck gaiters, which we’ve used as everything from hats to pre-filters for our water supply. This version features a UPF 20+ rating to help keep harmful rays off your skin. Buy it now for $17, or 32% off.

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