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23 of the Best REI Anniversary Sale Deals for Travelers

By AFAR Editors

May 21, 2021

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It’s time to get back out there.

Photo by Scott Goodwill on Unsplash

It’s time to get back out there.

Snap up some of our favorite gear at a serious discount during REI’s annual Memorial Day Sale, which runs May 21–31, 2021.

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The REI Anniversary Sale is here. That means it’s time to refresh your gear closet and get ready for the adventures you’ve planned for your first postvaccine summer. Whether you’re heading to a national park, renting a beach house or cabin, or going glamping, it’s worth replacing your worn-out hiking shoes or finding a new backpack before you head out. Here’s what you need to know before you shop REI’s annual outdoor gear sale.

What is the REI Anniversary Sale?

Each year in late May, REI marks down outdoor gear during its annual Anniversary Sale. You can find discounts up to 50 percent off outdoor gear from its in-house Co-op brand as well as other popular brands, including Patagonia, Smartwool, Merrell, BioLite, and more. Because of its timing, the Anniversary Sale is also often referred to as the REI Memorial Day Sale.

REI hosts other sales throughout the year, including an annual Labor Day Sale and a Cyber Monday Sale, but the company refers to its Anniversary Sale as its “biggest sale of the year” in its promotional catalog. 

After limiting its sale to online only in 2020, due to the pandemic, the REI Anniversary Sale is available to shop again in stores in 2021. However, if you still prefer to shop online, you can select curbside pickup at checkout. If you spend $50 or more, you can qualify for free shipping.

When is the REI Anniversary Sale?

Scheduled each year before Memorial Day weekend, the REI Anniversary Sale begins on Friday, May 21, and runs through Monday, May 31, 2021.

Do you need to be an REI member to shop the sale?

No, but getting an REI membership is worth it since it costs just $20 for a lifetime membership and includes extra benefits, like a member dividend (typically 10 percent back on eligible REI purchases), up to 33 percent off camping gear rentals, and 10 percent off bike and ski shop services.

During the Anniversary Sale, members also get 20 percent off one full-price item, plus an extra 20 percent off one REI Outlet item (online only) with the code “ANNIV21” during the sale. Exclusions apply. For further details, visit rei.com/coupon.

Our top REI Anniversary Sale deal picks for 2021

To help make finding the best deals easier, the gearheads at AFAR have dug through the sale to find the shoes, bags, water bottles, and camping gear—some of which are featured in AFAR’s Best of lists—that have been discounted up to 50 percent at REI. Just be sure to snag these great deals before we do.

Travel bag deals

The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack is available in a variety of colors, including “Spruce” seen here.

Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack

  • Buy Now: $140 (was $200), rei.com
  • Deal: 30 percent off

An AFAR Approved pick, the Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack is a carry-on, duffel, and backpack all in one and has zippered compartments for laptops, passports, clothes, and keys. Did we also mention it’s waterproof?

The North Face Base Camp Duffels

  • Buy now: $90–$139 (was $120–$185), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

When we say these rugged, durable bags hold everything, we mean everything. It’s no wonder the small 50 liter version is one of our favorite weekend getaway bags for when you need to bring a lot of stuff.

Clothing deals

The Prana Electa Leggings are available in sizes XS through 3x.

Prana Electa Leggings

  • Buy now: $62 (was $89), rei.com
  • Deal: 30 percent off

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If you’re looking for comfy pants that will work for your permanent WFH situation and your first long-haul flight in ages, Prana’s Electa leggings are comfortable to wear for hours whether you’re sitting on your couch or in a tiny airplane seat. AFAR’s SEO manager Jessie Beck loves them because “the wide waistband hugs my hips without creating a muffin-top scenario, and the deep side pockets are perfect for holding my phone on the go.” These leggings are also on sale in extended sizes for the same price.

All Smartwool Socks

  • Buy now: $10–28 (was $13–$35), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Good socks can mean the difference between an enjoyable hike and a miserable one. And Smartwool socks are good socks. Even if you can’t imagine wearing anything other than flip-flops this summer, it’s worth stocking up for next winter—your feet will thank you. 

Arc’teryx Cala Dress

  • Buy now: $74 (was $99), rei.com 
  • Deal: 25 percent off

More than 200 items of Arc’teryx clothing and gear are currently 25 percent off. We have our eyes on the Cala dress, a versatile style that you can dress up with heels or down with strappy flats for your first business trip back after the Great Pause. The Cala is also relatively wrinkle resistant, and yes, it has pockets.

Arc’teryx Venda Anorak

  • Buy now: $299 (was $449), rei.com 
  • Deal: 33 percent off

You’ll find even bigger savings on the AFAR Approved Arc’teryx Venda Anorak, one of our favorite waterproof and windproof jackets that is ideal for late spring or early fall weather. Available from the REI Outlet at 33 percent off; REI members can get an additional 20 percent off with the coupon code “ANNIV21” at checkout. (Don’t want to do that math? That brings the price of this versatile jacket down to just $239.)

Footwear deals

For camping trips when you aren’t carrying a lot of gear, low hiking shoes work just as well and take up less space in your suitcase.

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Low Hiking Shoes

  • Buy now: $113 (was $150), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

A large selection of Salomon hiking footwear for women, men, and children is 25 percent right now, but the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is one of AFAR’s favorite hiking shoes for men. In fact, AFAR cofounder Greg Sullivan recently wore a pair on a gorilla trekking trip to Rwanda. He prefers the low-cut version because they’re smaller and more practical to pack than full-size boots, but the Gore-Tex lining means they can withstand wet conditions. 

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX Hiking Boots

  • Buy now: $150 (was $199), rei.com
  • Deal: 24 percent off

La Sportiva is one of our favorite brands for women’s hiking shoes and boots. Select styles for men and women are currently marked down. The best deal is on the highly rated Nucleo High GTX Hiking Boots; they are currently marked down to $150 and are still available in a wide range of sizes for both men and women.

Chaco Z/CloudX2 Sandals

  • Buy now: $83 (was $110), rei.com
  • Deal: 24 percent off

A variety of Chaco footwear for men, women, and kids is on sale right now. Our pick is for the women’s Chaco Z/CloudX2, a great summer hiking shoe for casual trails. Thanks to its strong jacquard webbing and a toe loop, your feet will be secured, and the comfy, rubber compound sole keeps things stable even in wet conditions. Available from the REI Outlet, members can get an additional 20 percent off with the code “ANNIV21” at checkout, bringing the price of these sandals down to $66.

All Keen Footwear

  • Buy now: $40–$156 (was $50–$195), rei.com
  • Deal: 20 percent off

Another beloved footwear brand, Keen’s classic hiking boots and water sandals are available at 20 percent off in men’s, women’s, and kids’ sizes.

Camping gear deals

The BioLite CampStove 2+ cooks your food and charges your phone at the same time.

BioLite CampStove 2+

  • Buy now: $112 (was $150), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Take your camping cooking high tech with the BioLite CampStove 2+, a portable stove that converts a wood fire’s exhaust into electricity to charge your phone. The larger BioLite FirePit is also 25 percent off right now.

Snow Peak Tabiki Fire & Grill

  • Buy now: $255 (was $320), rei.com
  • Deal: 20 percent off

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Snow Peak also makes some of the best camping cookware out there. Upgrade your outdoor grilling this summer with the Snow Peak Tabiki Fire & Grill, which keeps hot coals away from the ground so it’s easier to leave no trace behind while camping.

REI Co-op Grand Hut 4 Tent

  • Buy now: $210 (was $300), rei.com
  • Deal: 30 percent off

You can find a number of tent brands and styles on sale right now, including the sleek Nemo Hornet 2, but the spacious Grand Hut tent sleeps four and has nearly vertical walls, making it perfect for a family trip or for solo campers looking to maximize space.

Exped MegaMat10 Sleeping Pad

  • Buy now: $149 (was $199), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Upgrade your outdoor snoozing with an Exped sleeping pad. We like the MegaMat 10, which is featured on our list of the best camping gear for beginners. The duo version that sleeps two people is also 25 percent off now.

The North Face One Sleeping Bag

  • Buy now: $217–$224 (was $290–$300), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Another must-have from our best camping gear list is the North Face One Bag. Thanks to interchangeable layers that adapt to varying temps, this versatile sleeping bag is essentially three in one.

Petzl Actik Core Headlamp

  • Buy now: $52 (was $70), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

All campers need headlamps, and Petzl makes some of the best. You can get 25 percent off several different kinds from the brand right now, but our pick is the Actik Core Headlamp. It emits 450-lumen white and red flood lighting with a beam distance of up to 90 meters, making it one of the brightest by Petzl. 

Nemo Stargaze Recliner Luxury Camp Chair

  • Buy now: $165 (was $220), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

A comfy chair is a must-have when stargazing this summer. As its name suggests, the Nemo Stargaze Recliner allows you to lean back and look up at meteor showers without hurting your neck or back.

Deals on everything else

The Rumpl Yellowstone blanket is marked down to $97 from $129 during the REI Anniversary Sale.

All Rumpl Blankets and Accessories

  • Buy now: $6–$300 (was $8–$399), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

A wide variety of Rumpl’s compressible blankets that pack down into a small bag or carrier are on sale right now, including its national parks collection and sherpa-lined version for colder weather.

ENO Islander Deluxe Blanket

  • Buy now: $45 (was $60), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Asheville-based Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) has a large selection of its hammocks and camp furniture on sale right now. But if you’re heading to the beach this summer, one of our favorite beach blankets—the ENO Islander Deluxe—is just $45 right now. Large enough to fit six adults side by side, the ripstop nylon blanket folds down small into an included stuff sack.

Nalgene Water Bottles

  • Buy now: $3–$9 (was $7–$18), rei.com
  • Deal: 50 percent off

For those who haven’t started carrying around a reusable water bottle, you’ve officially run out of excuses. You can now get the OG of reusable water bottles—even the ones with beautiful or fun designs—for less than $10.

Hydro Flask Bottles, Drinkware, and Accessories

  • Buy now: $4–$94 (was $8–$125), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

If you’re looking for something a little more high-tech, AFAR loves the Hydro Flask’s water bottles. The brand’s double-wall insulation will keep your drinks temperature-stabilized for a full day’s hike—24 hours for ice-cold beverages and up to 12 hours for hot ones. During this sale, you can also find Hydro Flask insulated totes, wine tumblers, and more on sale.

Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle

  • Buy now: $65 (was $90), rei.com
  • Deal: 27 percent off

Never buy bottled water abroad again. With nearly 400 five-star reviews on REI, this water bottle comes with a built-in filter that removes waterborne pathogens as well as heavy metals, chemicals, and flavors so you can safely drink tap water on any continent.

Matador FlatPak Toiletry Bottles

  • Buy now: $26 for three (was $35), rei.com
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Another AFAR Approved item, the Matador FlatPak reusable toiletry bottles are easy to fill, never leak, and shrink to fit their contents so your dopp kit isn’t full of empty bottles.

>> Next: The Essential Travel Accessories We Never Leave Home Without

Products we write about are independently vetted and recommended by our editors. AFAR may earn a commission if you buy through our links, which helps support our independent publication.

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