Need hiking or ski gear? Check out our top picks.
Where we go for hiking and skiing gear
Getting new gear is always on the mind - give yourself one year in a new touring shell and your anxious for a new one the next. But just as that thought comes to mind, so does the reminder that you have to pay your mortgage. So there you are another year into your old gear.
But it doesn’t always have to be that way. While we are hugely passionate about the cooperatives like REI, we also have a few favorites that will save a little wallet heartbreak. Check out our top 5 places to go for gear – on a budget.
Outdoor shops around the country
Sure we buy from the big guys, but we also want to contribute to small business as much as possible. In fact, this is really important to us. We have a few local favorites like the The Mountaineer in Keene, NY – but with small business hopping to e-commerce, there are some amazing options across the country that you can support from thousands of miles away. For example, Tom needed (wanted), a pair of high-top hiking boots that I just couldn’t’ find for a good price. That is until I stumbled upon OMCGear out of Oregon. I was not only able to get a great deal on them, I now check out OMC Gear whenever I am looking for outdoor supplies. These types of stores can be significantly valuable when looking for niche gear or expert advice from local outdoorspeople around the country. And if they have an Instagram, we suggest giving them a follow! These passionate group of store owners are likely experts in the area, and can give you inspiration for your next travel.
Can anyone really go wrong at REI? This has been a favorite from the time we started hiking, and you can frequently find us browsing its halls. We love a good REI trip, and for good reason. They have great gear, great classes, and an even greater co-op program. This has been vital knowing that gear is so expensive.
Call us loyalists, but we love a good Backcountry.com deal. Not everything on the website is wallet-friendly, but you have to be proactive because just when you least expect it, you’ll see some of your favorites go on sale. Our favorite part about Backcountry is not necessarily the deals, but the brands. They have a wealth of brands from Bergan’s to Norrona – both which are extremely hard to come by at your local outdoor retailer. Sure, they have the Patagonia’s too – but if you have niche tastes, this will be a sure win for you. But did we mention the shipping? Their 2-day FREE shipping is extremely clutch in tight situations or just when you are straight anxious.
Sierra Trading Post
Sierra Trading Post is a new discovery off of a recommendation from a friend that we quickly visited within 20min of the said recommendation. Owned by TJX (Marshalls, Home Goods), you would initial think this is the Marshalls of the outdoors – and it is, but it is actually has some good finds. You’ll get the Marshall’s prices, but what you’ll also get is the REI brands. I’m talking Fjallraven, Arteryx, Bergan’s, Woolrich and more – from backpacks to everyday wear. No you won't get key gear here, but it is good for layered basics. Tom and I have had many haul from this store - including a Woolrich vest that is still $99 on their site, which I got for a cool $29, thank you very much.