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The 15 Best Deals From REI's Surprise Weekend Camping Gear Sale, According to a Lifelong Camper

Travel + Leisure 3/10/2023 Katie Jackson

Score up to 70 percent off on hundreds of items, including top-rated gear and accessories from Yeti, Rumpl, and more.

Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland © Provided by Travel + Leisure Travel + Leisure / Tyler Roeland

While other kids were shouting “Marco, Polo” in hotel swimming pools or singing “It’s a Small World” at Disneyland, my brothers and I were telling ghost stories around a campfire and having s’mores-making (and eating) competitions. My mom camped throughout all of her pregnancies, so I’ve pretty much been camping even before I was born. In the last 33 years, I’ve camped in state and national parks, as well as international parks and campgrounds — including a remote ice cap in Greenland where we had to pack everything in and everything (i.e. human waste) out. 

Although not every camping trip has been postcard perfect, I've found that the gear you pack will make or break your time in nature. And because I think that camping shouldn’t break the bank — after all, it is one of the most affordable ways to see the world — I basically live in REI’s sale section. And, as luck would have it, the retailer is having a massive (and surprisingly under-the-radar) sale on camping gear and accessories. 

Currently, there are nearly 800 products on sale up to 70 percent off, so whether you’re in the market for a new camping tent, a more comfortable camp chair, a two-in-one lantern power bank, or a hiking pack that doubles as a water bottle, you've come to the right place Not sure where to start? Don't worry, this lifelong camper is here to help. I’ve combed through all of the camping markdowns and pulled the 15 best deals that I think every camper should have on deck. Trust me, you don't want to sleep on these savings. And, with all the money you'll save, you can buy yourself a National Parks Pass. 

REI Co-op Trailbreak 60 Pack 

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I’ve been backpacking since I was 12, and my parents sent me to a camp in Minnesota where we had to spend a few nights swamp-hopping. It wasn’t a punishment; it was meant to build character. That’s where I came to understand how important it is to have a quality backpack like the REI Co-op Trailbreak 60 Pack. It holds 60 liters, which is enough space for a few days' worth of stuff, but not too much room that you'll overpack or feel weighed down. There are also plenty of convenient pockets for everything from your water bottle to snacks to your sleeping bag. I also love this bag’s hipbelt, which helps distribute the weight more evenly, and the fact the torso is adjustable. Just so you know, this will probably be the pack that you pass down to your kids when they go camping — it's designed to last that long!

To buy:, $74 (originally $149)

Klymit Traverse Hammock

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

What do I set up first when I get to the campground? Spoiler alert: it’s not my tent. I love hanging out in the hammock, and while I grew up lounging around in traditional rope hammocks, the Klymit Traverse Hammock is a much better option if you’re trying to pack light. It weighs just 1 pound and is made of a durable polyester fabric that allows it to fold down small so as to not take up too much space in your bag. 

To buy:, $38 (originally $60)  

Rumpl Flannel Sherpa Blanket

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I’m a huge fan of Rumpl’s puffy travel blanket (it folds down into a water bottle), so naturally I’m drawn to the perfectly rated Rumpl Flannel Sherpa Blanket, which marries two of the best materials for camping: flannel and fleece. It's water-resistant and stain-resistant, and since it’s machine washable, you can always get the campfire smell and dirt stains out. 

Even with the 40 percent off markdown, this Rumpl blanket still falls on the pricer side. So, if you're looking for something a little more wallet-friendly, I found this REI Co-op version on sale starting at $30. 

To buy:, $101 (originally $169) 

Mountain Summit Gear Camp Roll Top Kitchen

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Even in my parents’ giant RV (that sleeps nine), my mom is always running out of surface when she’s cooking. This Mountain Summit Gear Camp Roll Top Kitchen is like a bonus counter for the designated campsite chef who wants to enjoy the outdoors while they prep. It adds three new separate counter spaces and sets up and folds up in seconds. It also comes with a convenient carrying case and is made of lightweight aluminum, making it easy to move and pack up when the meal is over. Finally, not only are the legs durable and weather-resistant, but they’re also adjustable so you can set them to your optimal height. 

To buy:, $91 (originally $130) 

Yeti Rambler Tumbler with MagSlider Lid

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I swear coffee at the campsite always tastes better than coffee made by the best barista in town. And with the double wall vacuum-insulated Yeti Rambler Tumbler with MagSlider Lid, it will be warmer, too. This best-selling tumbler has nearly 26,000 five-star ratings, and while it’s only on sale in the stainless steel color, it’s a gender-neutral classic that will always be in style. The lid is built with magnets to ensure that you can take it on and off easily, and the tumbler is shatterproof, so even if Bigfoot breaks into camp and steps on your stuff, it will survive. 

To buy:, from $28 (originally $38) 

Hydro Flask Serving Bowl with Lid

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Even though it's not the most eco-friendly practice, you can always buy paper cups and plates for camping. However, you can’t buy disposable serving dishes, which always come in handy when you're camping with multiple people. Fortunately, Hydro Flask has this 3-Quart Serving Bowl that keeps your food at the ideal temperature, which is thanks to the brand's TouchShield double-wall insulation technology. The included lid keeps dirt and insects out, and the non-slip grip finish makes it easy to hold onto, even when your hands are full. It’s definitely a dish you'll want to bring to a barbecue and make sure you don’t leave behind.

To buy:, from $38 (originally $55) 

Nemo Moonlite Reclining Camp Chair

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I went on a second date once with a guy who took me camping. He told me he’d pack everything, so I showed up with nothing. Unfortunately for me (or him because he never got a third date), he only brought one of these Nemo Moonlite Reclining Camp Chairs. I had to sit on a log while I watched him recline and enjoy having his back supported. This chair is not only comfortable, but it’s also durable and can hold up to 300 pounds. That said, it weighs less than 2 pounds, so it’s easy to carry. Take a cue from my failed date and stock up on multiple Nemo camp chairs before your next adventure, especially while they're 50 percent off. 

To buy:, $75 (originally $150) 

Camp Chef Teton 2-Burner Stove

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I love the idea of cooking over an open fire, with just the grate provided by the campground. But the reality is, my dishes turn out way better when I use a camp stove; it’s a more consistent and manageable source of heat. At 50 percent off, this Camp Chef Teton 2-Burner Stove is a steal. I like the three-sided wind screen, the convenient carrying handles, the easy clean-up drip tray, and the fact you don’t need a match to light it; it runs off of propane, and each burner produces 10,000 BTU of heat.

To buy:, $80 (originally $160) 

Mountainsmith Antero +35 Sleeping Bag

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

My first sleeping bag was a hand-me-down from my uncle who was in the military. I wasn’t a fan of the army green, or the musky smell, but boy, was it warm during those cold Montana nights. These days, however, I camp in warmer climates where I prefer ones like the Mountainsmith Antero +35 Sleeping Bag. In addition to being a more lightweight (it only weighs 2 pounds) option, it's also rated for temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit and is designed to be spacious (which is good news if you're someone that tosses and turns or likes to spread out). While it’s not waterproof, it’s made of a moisture-wicking polyester, so you’ll stay warm even when wet. 

To buy:, $90 (originally $120) 

Mountain Equipment Helium 2.5 Sleeping Pad

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Sleeping pads may be thin, but there’s a huge difference between sleeping on the ground and sleeping on an inch of air or foam. For starters, a sleeping pad like this one from Mountain Equipment absorbs the cold off the ground so your body doesn’t have to. It also provides exceptional cushioning and support. I love that this sleeping pad is self inflating, so you don’t need to manually blow it up or carry a pump. And, it comes with a stuff sack. It’s also a great option for backpacking as it’s incredibly lightweight (it weighs just over 1 pound). 

To buy:, $63 (originally $115) 

Lander Boulder Rechargeable Lantern + Power Bank

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Lanterns have come a long way from the old-school ones that my generation — and even the generations before me — grew up depending with. This two-in-one model from Lander not only provides light, but it can also charge up to four devices (including one wirelessly). It charges via USB-C, and on one charge, it can last up to 300 hours. Another thing I love about this lantern is that you can adjust its brightness and color via the free smartphone app. 

To buy:, $66 (originally $120) 

Gregory Nano 22 H2O Hydration Pack

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Like most people, I have a hard time staying hydrated when I camp and hike. I don’t like to be weighed down by multiple water bottles in my backpack, so I’m a big fan of what I like to call “bags with bladders,” such as this Gregory Nano 22 Hydration Pack. It has a 3-liter water capacity, and it's equipped with water bottle holders on the side (I like to bring a beer — or two — with me into the woods), and tons of pockets for smaller stuff you'll need to stash, like matches and keys. 

To buy:, $50 (originally $90) 

Nomadix National Parks Maps Original Towel

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

I always keep my bathroom at home stocked with fluffy towels to make it feel like I'm staying at a 5-star resort. But when I’m camping, I prefer a lightweight, quicker-drying towel like this Nomadix National Parks Maps Original Towel. It’s made of recycled plastic, so it’s sustainable, and it features a map with 62 of our national parks. Not only will it make you feel more at home while you're at the campground, but it can also be a thoughtful gift for the camper/national parks enthusiast in your life. 

To buy:, $23 (originally $40) 

Cedar Ridge Aspen 2 Tent

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Throughout my travels, I’ve stayed in every kind of tent from minimalistic pup tents (what the Boy Scouts stay in) to luxurious canvas tents (think: glamping). When it comes to a tent that I want to pack, set up, and sleep in for days at a time, I always opt for something entry-level yet high-quality like this Cedar Ridge Aspen 2 Tent. It’s a three-season tent for two people that boasts internal organization features and fly doors that can be tied up to show the night sky if you want to sleep under the stars, literally. It also comes with a rain fly so you stay dry, even during a downpour. 

To buy:, $75 (originally $100) 

Mountainsmith The Cooloir 6 Cooler

REI © Provided by Travel + Leisure REI

Nothing makes you appreciate ice like camping, especially during the warm-weather months. This Mountainsmith Cooloir 6 Cooler is a bargain right now thanks to a 37 percent off discount. With its heavy duty foam insulation, your ice won’t melt for up to 24 hours, so not only do your drinks stay cold, but you can also have them over ice if you want. While it’s a lightweight personal cooler, it still has an adjustable, padded shoulder strap to make it even comfier to carry. 

To buy:, $38 (originally $60) 

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