Founded way back in 1938 by a group of 23 avid climbers, who also happened to be close friends, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (better known as REI) has been one of the most trusted purveyors and manufacturers of outdoor equipment around the world. In fact, their dedication to helping people enjoy the great outdoors via a selection of some of the best gear around, education, and inspiration is outlined plainly in the first line of their mission statement.
Of course, with 162 retail locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia and literal thousands of pieces to select from, shopping with REI has the potential to get a bit overwhelming. To help you navigate the exceptional and expansive landscape, we’ve gone to the trouble of combing through their catalogs for some of the best-designed and most-capable equipment the retailer has to offer. And we’ve rounded up a curated collection for you right here on our Scoured guide to the best outdoor gear on REI.
REI Co-op Merino Wool Lightweight Hiking Crew Socks
Comfy, cozy, and the second line of defense between the trail and your feet, REI’s Merino wool hiking crews you see here are soft to the touch, naturally breathable and sweat-wicking, and they’re odor-resistant. Plus they’re reinforced where it counts to ensure you’re comfortable all day long.
REI Co-op Packmod Hipbelt Pocket
Even if you have a hiking backpack on you, there’s some gear you’d probably rather have easily accessible — like sunscreen, a trail snack, chapstick, etc. And you can keep all of that within arm’s reach, even if you don’t have pockets, with REI’s DWR ripstop nylon Packmod Hipbelt Pocket. It’s small enough to be out of the way while you truck along but spacious enough for all your essentials.
Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle
Nothing is more immediately important to your safety and survival than water, which is why every hiker should keep a bottle on themselves whenever possible. And you can’t do much better than this 32-ounce vacuum-insulated Hydro Flask with its quick-access, no-fuss sport lid. As an added bonus, it can keep your water ice-cold for hours on end.
BioLite HeadLamp 330
Whether you’re caught on a hike after the sun has gone down, you’re trying to navigate a campsite after the campfire has been put out, or you just need something to help you check the dark nooks and crannies of your tent or overlanding vehicle, Biolite’s 2.43-ounce, 330-lumen headlamp will illuminate your path without occupying your hands.
Salomon Agile Nocturne 2 Hydration Vest
Even if you want to forego a backpack entirely — be that for speed, comfort, or both — you’re still going to want to have water on your person when you’re away from the safety net of civilization. Salomon’s Agile Nocturne 2 Hydration vest is ultra-comfy, is reflective for low-light visibility, and hauls up to 34 ounces of fluid to help quench your thirst anywhere.
Leatherman Signal Topo Multi-Tool
Assembled in the USA and boasting a whopping 19 built-in tools, Leatherman’s Signal is one of the best trail-ready multi-tools around. Boasting a large blade, saw, pliers, an awl, and plenty more, this handy device is like having a mobile, pocketable toolbox on your person. It even comes with a carabiner clip, so you can attach it to a belt loop or backpack strap for easy, out-of-the-way, quick-access storage.
REI Co-op Hyperaxis Fleece Jacket 2.0
A major upgrade over traditional fleece, REI’s Hyperaxis Fleece Jacket 2.0 offers all of the comfort and warmth you’ve come to expect, but now it’s in a handsome package that’s stretchy, breathable, sweat-wicking, and so much more. Swap out your old fleece jacket for this one and you’ll never go back.
REI Co-op Stormbolt GTX Pants
Equipped with a 3-layer GORE-TEX membrane, REI’s Stormbolt Pants are perhaps the perfect hiking bottoms for inclement weather — be that rain, sleet, snow, sludge, or whatever else. Of course, these ripstop nylon pants (on top of being waterproof) are also articulated and gusseted for all-day comfort, they have zippered ventilation for warm turns in the weather, and they have zippered pockets for all your smaller gear.
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots
Loaded with technology to help reduce fatigue and equipped with seam-sealed GORE-TEX membranes, Salomon’s Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots are some of the most versatile camping-friendly footwear around. They also boast antimicrobial treatment, they’re breathable and moisture-wicking, and their EVA midsoles ensure you don’t feel too much shock from your footfalls.
Garmin eTrex 32x Handheld GPS
Especially if you’re far away from civilization — partaking in dispersed camping, perhaps — having a handheld GPS device, like Garmin’s eTrex 32x, can mean the difference between a successful adventure and a dire survival situation. Complete with a built-in compass, altimeter, barometer, and with the ability to preload topographical maps, this is kind of like having your very own high-tech trail guide in the palm of your hand.