The REI Labor Day Sale Is Here and Some of Our Favorite Gear Is Seriously Discounted

Stock up on shoes, bags, and camping gear from AFAR’s Best of lists during the REI Labor Day Sale, which runs through September 4, 2023.

A woman wearing a backpack and a dog on wooden pier looking at lake at sunrise

Get ready for your autumn adventures with top-of-the-line outdoor gear.

Photo by Shutterstock

For some, Labor Day marks the beginning of leaf-peeping season, the time of year they can start checking fall color forecasts and planning foliage-focused weekend road trips. But for the gearheads at AFAR, the first Monday in September means it’s time for the REI Labor Day Sale.

All year, we round up, test, and vet bags, backpacks, jackets, water bottles, and other items for the discerning traveler. Between Friday, August 25, and Monday, September 4, 2023, some of these items have been discounted up to 80 percent at REI to make room for next season’s products. Whether you’re looking for a new tent or headlamp for your fall camping trips, be sure to snag these great deals before we do.

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel in black, purple, blue color combo

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel in “Pitch Blue”

Courtesy of REI

Patagonia Black Hole Duffel Bag 40L

  • Buy now: $111 (was $159),
  • Deal: 30 percent off

Patagonia’s Black Hole duffels is one of AFAR’s favorite carry-ons—and for good reason. The ecofriendly brand’s durable and lightweight duffels are made with 100 percent recycled polyester fabric, lining, and webbing that is also water repellent. Available in four different sizes, the small 40L bag is the only one sized to fit in an overhead compartment—and right now it’s 30 percent off in a few colors.

The large main compartment comes with a full-length zippered opening that lets you access all your belongings at once. The large mesh pocket on the lid’s interior helps organize small items such as toiletry bottles, charging chords, or socks, while a zippered exterior side pocket lets you stash items quickly on the go. Padded backpack straps keep your shoulders from getting too sore and can be removed if you prefer to carry it with the traditional duffel straps. When you’re home, the entire bag can stuff into its own pocket for easy storage.

Cotopaxi Fuego Jacket for women in blue with orange stripes

Cotopaxi Fuego Jacket in “Poolside Stripes”

Courtesy of REI

Cotopaxi Fuego hooded down jacket

  • Buy now: $165 (was $275), (women’s); (men’s)
  • Deal: 40 percent off

With hundreds of five-star reviews from satisfied customers on REI, the Cotopaxi Fuego jacket features 800-fill-power goose down for maximum warmth and only weighs 14 ounces. When you’re not wearing it, you can stuff it into a pocket for ultra packability. On sale in limited sizes for men and women right now, you can choose from a variety of stylish color-blocked patterns that stand out on the trail but don’t look out of place when you go into town for a beer after your hike.

Two white Thule Compression Packing Cubes filled with clothes

These semi-transparent packing cubes are made with durable compression zippers to maximize your packing space.

Courtesy of Thule

Thule Compression Packing Cubes

  • Buy now: $36 for two (was $45),
  • Deal: 20 percent off

One of AFAR’s top recommended packing cubes, these Thule compression cubes are semitransparent, water repellent, and manufactured with minimal impact on the environment since they’re made with bluesign-approved ripstop nylon. They are marked down during the sale as a set of two with one medium and one small cube (they’re also discounted individually). Like other compression cubes, these feature a double set of zippers—one that closes the cube and another that zips it even tighter to eliminate extra air and reduce bulk. The YKK zippers on the Thule cubes are ultra durable and slide closed easily—and can even fit three bulky sweaters in the medium-size one. A standard-size carry on can fit either one medium and two small cubes, or four small cubes on each side.

A gray Forsake Patch Boot

The Forsake Patch boot in “Grey/Cypress”

Courtesy of REI

Forsake Patch sneaker boots

  • Buy now: $79 (was $160), (women’s)
  • Deal: 50 percent off

If you’re a women’s size 6, you’re in luck. “The Patch by Forsake has beautiful support, includes tread that grips and prevents slips, and is waterproof,” former AFAR editor Maggie Fuller says of her favorite hiking boots for women. “Plus, it just looks cool—a good combination of old-school hiker and street style.”

Members can get an additional 20 percent off this REI Outlet item with the code “LABORDAY23” at checkout, bringing the price of the shoes down to $63.

Side view of a blue Teva Original for kids

Teva Original for kids in “Sorbet Blue Coral”

Courtesy of REI

Teva Original Universal sandals

  • Buy now: $30 (was $40), (kids’)
  • Deal: 25 percent off

AFAR editors have worn the original Teva sandals everywhere from the streets of NYC to the beaches of the Galápagos. And they also make a great warm weather travel shoe for kids because they’re waterproof, lightweight, pack flat, and require zero break-in time. Right now they’re on sale in “Sorbet Blue Coral” in a range of kids’ sizes.

Side view of a Women's Vasque hiking boot in beige, teal, and black

Vasque Breeze LT NTX hiking boot for women in “Drizzle”

Courtesy of REI

Vasque Breeze LT NTX hiking boots

  • Buy now: $140 (was $190), (women’s)
  • Deal: 26 percent off

When I say Vasque hiking boots required zero break-in period, I mean it. They wore just as comfortably on day one walking around Brooklyn’s Prospect Park as they did after a few months of wear when I took them on the Inca Trail in Peru. Made with Nature-Tex waterproof membrane, these boots are fully waterproof, but the recycled mesh upper is breathable enough that my feet stayed comfortable even in the Peruvian humidity. Although these feature a full over-the-ankle shaft, the women’s version is less than two pounds so these boots won’t weigh your bag down.

Members can get an additional 20 percent off this REI Outlet item with the code “LABORDAY23” at checkout, bringing the price of the footwear down to $112.

Rumpl Puffy Travel Blanket in Black, plus stuff sack the size of a water bottle

The Rumpl NanoLoft Travel Blanket packs down small but unfurls for full body warmth.

Courtesy of Rumpl

Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Travel Blanket

  • Buy now: $64 (was $85),
  • Deal: 25 percent off

A wide variety of Rumpl’s compressible blankets and pillows that pack down into a small bag or carrier are on sale, including its national parks collection and sherpa-lined version for colder weather. Our pick is for its AFAR Approved travel blanket that is just $64 right now and packs down to the size of a water bottle—making it the perfect airplane companion.

Teal-colored Hydro Flask 32 Oz Wide Mouth Water Bottle

Hydro Flask 32 Oz Wide Mouth Water Bottle in “Laguna”

Courtesy of REI

Hydro Flask 32 Oz. Wide Mouth Water Bottle

  • Buy now: $30 (was $45),
  • Deal: 31 percent off

AFAR loves 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.

Side view of a Green Teva ReEmber Slipper

Teva ReEmber slip-on in “Jadesheen”

Courtesy of REI

Teva ReEmber slip-ons

  • Buy now: $40 (was $80), (women’s)
  • Deal: 50 percent off

For something cozier for the fall, Teva’s ReEmber slip-ons make a great holiday gift for serious campers. This version—on sale in the green “Jadesheen” shade—features 100 percent recycled ripstop uppers and rib-knit collars as well as 50 percent recycled EVA midsoles and rubber outsoles.

“I love the sleeping-bag-meets-slipper design as well as the collapsible heel that lets you wear them as either a snug sneaker or chill clog, depending on your mood,” says Jessie Beck, AFAR’s senior manager, growth and SEO.

Khaki-colored Thule duffel bag

The Thule Aion duffel in “Nutria”

Courtesy of REI

Thule Aion luggage

  • Buy now: $152–$280 (was $190–$350),
  • Deal: 20 percent off

The Swedish brand’s durable Aion luggage collection is marked down 20 percent right now, including a 35-liter duffle bag, a 35-liter wheeled suitcase, and a 40-liter travel pack. All three bags are carry-on compliant and are made with 100 percent recycled polyester fabrics and water-repellent waxed canvas. You can choose from black or “Nutria,” a khaki color.

A gray Nemo Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair

Nemo Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair in “Coriander”

Courtesy of REI

Nemo Moonlite reclining camp chair

  • Buy now: $120 (was $160),
  • Deal: 25 percent off

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

Red and gray BioLite headlamp

BioLite 330 Headlamp in “Ember Red”

Courtesy of REI

BioLite 330 headlamp

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

All campers need headlamps, and BioLite makes some of the best. The BioLite Headlamp 330 emits 330-lumen white flood lighting with a beam distance of up to 75 meters, and it runs on USB-rechargeable lithium ion battery.

Bright green sleeping pad

The Exped Ultra 5R sleeping pad in “Lichen”

Courtesy of REI

Exped Ultra 5R sleeping pad

  • Buy now: $140 (was $200),
  • Deal: 30 percent off

Upgrade your outdoor snoozing with an Exped sleeping pad. We like the Ultra 5R, which is insulated for four-season use. The duo version that sleeps two people is also 30 percent off.

Osprey Fairview Backpack in dark greenish blue

Osprey Fairview Backpack in “Night Jungle Blue”

Courtesy of REI

Osprey Fairview/Farpoint 40L travel packs

  • Buy now: Fairview (women’s), $139 (was $185),; Farpoint (men’s), $139 (was $185),
  • Deal: 25 percent off

Osprey’s highly rated Fairview/Farpoint travel backpacks are marked down 25 percent right now. They come in multiple sizes, but our pick is the 40 liter version. At 22 x 14 x 9 inches, it meets most airlines’ carry-on size restrictions, but it is large enough to fit 40 liters of gear and clothes. In addition to one large main compartment, it also comes with a quick access pocket that fits up to a 16-inch laptop, plus stowable shoulder and hip straps so it can be carried as a duffel.

The Prana Halle II pant in gray

The Prana Halle II pant has five pockets for stashing your essentials on the trail.

Courtesy of REI

Select Prana Halle II pants for women

  • Buy now: $48–$71 (was $69–$95),
  • Deal: 25–30 percent off

The latest version of Prana’s popular travel pants for women—the Halle II—is marked down and available in a variety of colors and styles including straight and bootcut, plus joggers, shorts, and skorts. Prana’s ReZion fabric is abrasion resistant and quick drying and has a durable water-repellent finish, making it ideal for hiking and camping.

This article was originally published in 2020; it was last updated on August 25, 2023, with current sale information.

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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