If you missed the REI anniversary sale in May, this is the next best thing: Backcountry.com has a twice-a-year promotion with much of its gear, including top brands like Patagonia and Sorel, marked down 50 percent—and the summer sale runs now through August 28.
Hoping to find a new rain jacket for that day hike, or a backpack for the camping trip your family has planned for Labor Day weekend? To make your shopping life a little easier, AFAR editors rounded up a few of our favorite items.
Clothing and Accessories for Women
Arc’teryx Andra Coat Buy now: $314 (was $499), backcountry.com
On rainy days or potentially rainy trips, I never leave home without the Arc’teryx Andra Coat. Not only does it keep me dry with a Gore-Tex membrane, two-way front zipper, and adjustable hood, but its longline design and fun color options make it stylish enough for urban outings. Plus, it has two generous pockets for stashing my phone and wallet for easy access. —Jessie Beck
Sorel Winter Fancy Lace II Boots Buy now: $62 (was $150), backcountry.com
I hoped for snow during the winter just so I could wear my new Sorel boots. These are more for urban adventures because of the slight heel, but the discount is too good to ignore. Sorel boots also have amazing traction, so you shouldn’t slip around on the sidewalk; the synthetic interiors keep your toes warm but not hot, and the suede-and-rubber exterior practically makes this winter boot fashionable. —Laura Dannen Redman
Chaco Z/Cloud X2 Sandals Buy now: from $77 (was $110), backcountry.com
You can find Chaco sandals for men, women, and kids up to 68 percent off during this sale, but the Chaco Z/Cloud X2 sandals from Chaco’s Cloud Collection are AFAR’s pick for best hiking sandals for women. Made with a top layer of ultra-soft polyurethane to cushion feet, double-strapped polyester jacquard webbing that wraps around the foot and midsole for a customized fit (a toe loop ensures secure movement), and a ChacoGrip rubber compound in the sole for traction in wet conditions, you’ll find these durable sandals are on sale in more than half a dozen colorways. —Jill K. Robinson, in a May 2018 review
Clothing and Accessories for Men
Patagonia Hi-Loft Hooded Down Sweater Jacket Buy now: $195–$299, backcountry.com
Any chance you have to invest in one of Patagonia’s hooded jackets, take it. This one hits the hip and acts as a standalone coat or can be layered under a shell; it works well for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, or a city commute in the winter. —L.D.R.
Vuarnet Sunglasses Buy now: from $88 (was $225–$350), backcountry.com
In AFAR’s March/April 2018 issue, gear writer Kelly Bastone wrote about the comeback of the iconic French sunglasses brand Vuarnet. The brand gets its name from French skier Jean Vuarnet, who wore them during his gold medal–winning runs at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, California. More recently, Daniel Craig as 007 wore Vuarnet Glaciers in the James Bond film Spectre. While the Glaciers aren’t on sale currently, 14 other styles are discounted up to 65 percent off right now. —Lyndsey Matthews
Clothing and Accessories for Kids
Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Sweater Bunting for Infants Buy now: $104 (was $149), backcountry.com
We inherited one of these Patagonia buntings from a friend whose daughter had outgrown it, and my now-one-year-old practically lived in it through four months of rain, snow, and sleet (like she was a tiny postal worker). It was perfect for playing in the snow, even without boots—the foldover mitts and foot coverings did the job—and I was surprised by how comfortable she seemed in less frigid temps. It is down, so keep that in mind if your kids have a hint of an allergy. There’s also this reversible bunting (buy now: $64, was $99, backcountry.com) that’s less expensive and has a fleece hood but isn’t down-filled; good for rainier weather. —L.D.R.
We have bookmarked the Smartwool page, our essential merino wool layer, to stock up on socks and shirts for the winter. And you can’t go wrong with a Thermarest discount if you plan to go camping anytime soon. Here are a few more of our favorite gear picks that are on sale right now.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set Buy now: $28 (was $40), backcountry.com
A packing cube can help you keep your gear organized, while a compression bag or sack can help shrink the size of your clothes. Usually, these are two separate things, but not with the Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cube Set, which combines the best of both features. Lightweight and water-resistant, these cubes will help you keep your clothes organized inside your luggage and can also help you save valuable space. Ever since I jumped on the packing cube train, these have been my go-to for every adventure. —J.B.
Gregory Proxy 65L Backpack Buy now: $136 (was $170), backcountry.com
A mainstay on AFAR’s “best travel backpacks” list, the Gregory 65L women’s Proxy and men’s Praxus fit it all, and even corral dirty stuff in a separate waterproof section: A big, interior, pack-length, zippered compartment made of TPU prevents wet swimsuits or muddy shoes from contaminating your clean, dry items. The shoulder straps adjust to suit various torso lengths, which not only helps wearers achieve a perfect fit but also allows people of varying heights to share this backpack. —Maggie Fuller, in a March 2019 review
Yeti Rambler Insulated Travel Mug Buy now: $28 (was $35), backcountry.com
An AFAR Approved pick, my Yeti Rambler Tumbler comes with me almost everywhere I go. The superior double-wall vacuum insulation can keep my morning tea hot from 8 a.m. all the way through lunch time. And as for cold water? I’ve left ice in my Rambler overnight and woken up to ice cubes the next morning. It’s been knocked over and dropped more times than I can count, but there’s not a dent on it. It looks as new as it did when I bought it. The grippy DuraCoat exterior just doesn’t scratch. Better still? The kitchen-grade stainless steel vessel is dishwasher safe. In addition to the Yeti Rambler 30-ounce Tumbler, the Yeti Rambler 10-ounce Lowball Tumbler (buy now: $17, was $20, backcountry.com) is also on sale in the basic stainless steel color and is ideal for campfire cocktails, boozy picnics, and sundowners during spontaneous sunset viewings. —M.F., in a September 2019 review
Rains Water-Resistant Backpack Buy now: $71 (was $95), backcountry.com
Fall travels often call for water-resistant gear in case of unexpected downpours. I picked up this vintage-inspired Rains backpack on my last trip to Copenhagen, where you see the weather-friendly Danish brand on all the stylish locals. The rubbery polyurethane exterior repels water, and the interior has a laptop pocket and plenty of room for all my other daily essentials. —L.M.
Rumpl Down Puffy Blanket Buy now: $139 (was $199), backcountry.com
Rumpl’s compressible blanket that packs down into a small bag the size of a one-liter water bottle is 30 percent off right now. Bastone compared this down-filled throw to a “cloud of instant warmth that’s as welcome on the back patio as it is on chilly planes,” in AFAR’s July/August 2018 issue. For colder weather, Rumpl’s Sherpa Puffy Blanket (buy now: $104, was $149, backcountry.com) comes with a soft sherpa fleece lining. —L.M.
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