It's a great time of year to go outside. Vermont's leaves are changing colors and West Texas's scorching summer heat is starting to ease a bit. It's easy to set up a tent in almost any part of the United States and go on a hike in autumn. When you go on the trails, make sure your bed and feet are comfortable.
REI and Backcountry are hosting Labor Day Sales to help you keep warm, dry, and nourished as the mercury drops and leaves turn. You can find our buying guides on the Best Camping Gear and Tents as well as the Best Camping Stoves to help you make a decision.
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REI Co-op650 Down Jacket 2.0 Photograph by REI
Goose down is warmer than synthetic insulation in terms of warmth per ounce and also packs down more compactly. It would be so much cheaper. The REI house-brand jacket, which retails at $199, is an incredible deal. Now it's on sale. The same jacket is also available in a women's version.
Merino wool will not feel itchy or clammy like synthetic fleece. SmartWool's lightweight fabric can still be warm enough to go on winter hikes in snow. This is my go-to beanie when it gets cold outside, whether in the city or the mountains.
It's a smart idea to bring a rain jacket, even if you are just going on a short hike in any climate. Even in mild conditions, getting soaked can cause hypothermia. The Rainier rain jacket is our favourite budget option. It packs down easily into its left pocket. The men's version is available here.
WrightSock CoolMesh II Quarter Socks Photograph: REI
The WrightSocks have two layers. The inner layer slides over the outer layer to prevent blisters. The synthetic fabric is lighter and more bulky. You can choose from a variety of lengths and versions. I love WrightSocks, and use them for mountain climbing with the CoolMesh IIs.
Wool socks don't smell and wick away moisture. For cold-weather hikes, I bring another pair of socks to sleep in and as an extra pair. They are thick wool Darn Toughs. You can also buy the men's version.
Buffs can be used for many purposes, including keeping your hair tucked back, covering your neck and chest during sunny days, and keeping grit from your mouth and nose. It is light enough not to overheat and has a UPF 50 rating. Backcountry also has it for sale. You can find more of our top sun protection clothing here.
Get Camping and Hiking Deals
BearVault BV450 Photo: REI
In my review of the best reusable water containers, I gave the Classic high marks. It's been almost four years since I first bought it. Other than a few very minor scratches in the powder-coated finish on the lid, it's as good as new.
Bear country requires that you cook from your tent and seal it in a bear-resistant container. Then, toss it far from you. It can store approximately four days worth of food. Backcountry also offers it for sale.
Grayls are great for backpacking. You don't need to bring a separate filter or water bottle. Filtering 99.999% of the common backcountry viruses, bacteria and protozoan cysts out of water takes just a few minutes.
Some people don't want to drink water and eat dehydrated food for the entire weekend. A pan is essential for anyone who wants to cook real food. The ceramic coating on this aluminum skillet makes it nonstick and is not Teflon. This aluminum skillet weighs 7 ounces and can be taken camping or carried in your backpack for multi-night hikes.
Synthetic sleeping bags are more durable than goose down and dry faster. This bag is rated at a cheerful 30 degrees Fahrenheit and is also available for purchase at REI. A sleeping pad is a must. The great Therma-Rest Z Lite SOL is now on sale for $34, or $12 off
REI's camp chairs are stronger than many other brands I have tried. Although it is called a lawn chair by REI, this one can be used for camping, tailgating, tailgating and watching fireworks.
This can be set up in your car or in a tent. The queen-sized, 40 degree Fahrenheit air mattress set includes sheets, a manual hand pump and an insulated top blanket to keep you and/or your partner warm on cold nights.
To keep your hands free when setting up a tent or packing for an early morning departure, wear your illumination on the top of your forehead. This illumination is IPX8 water-resistant and can withstand submersion. It also runs on three AAA batteries.
Eagle Creek have been treated with a water-repellent polyvinyl coating that can withstand rain showers while out and about. The backpack-style shoulder straps are also included in this model.
Stanley Pour-Over Coffee Set Photograph by REI
Car camping is a great alternative to backpacking. You can bring your own coffee equipment and not have to worry about lugging it around. For a good cup of coffee, don't buy instant coffee. Instead, bring your best whole beans. While you're at the Hario Skerton Pro manual grinder ($47), don't forget about your coffee maker.
Specials on Climbing, Cycling, and Skiing
Portland Design Works Full Metal City Bike Fenders Photograph by REI
If someone asks me for a recommendation for a harness that is suitable for indoor climbing or outdoor sports routes, I will point them to the Solution. It is well-padded and comfortable for long hangs. Black Diamond is well-known for its quality build. Black Diamond also offers a men's version at the same price.
Because the toe is not pointed too much and is downturned, these shoes are great for beginners. This shoe is popular with experienced climbers for routes that require a lot of smearing or contact between the sole and the sloped rock.
These aluminum fenders will replace your cheap plastic ones. These fenders are easy to install, but they provide extensive coverage. There's no need to be concerned about your tires getting road water on your back or putting wet skunk stripes on the faces behind you.
Smith I/O ChromaPop Ski Goggles Photograph by REI
Smith's ChromaPop lens technology allows colors to pop in low light situations like foggy mountain climbing or skiing. These goggles are more comfortable because they have bubble-shaped lenses that are ventilated.
Retailer Sale Pages
Do you want to find Labor Day sales? We have compiled a list of our top retailers.
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