Our Best Gear, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Here at the co-op, we test tons of products. Small to large, complicated to simple, we’ve tried them out and brought you reviews of the best of the best. However, sometimes it’s even better to hear from the people who buy the products. Especially when those people are SO EXCITED to share their feedback.

Sit back and enjoy—and maybe make some space for this gear on your wishlist. (These reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

REI Co-op Quarter Dome 1 Tent


The Greatest Piece of Engineering in the World

“This tent is the pinnacle of modern engineering.

“I was camping at Badlands National Park and god unleashed but the worst thunder storm in the history of time that night. The gale force winds shook my soul as I looked death in the eye that night. Other, less [intrepid], tents crumpled and folded under the pressure. But this tent bent and bent but it did not break. The hail came and the rainfly refused to give me up. I have never seen such determination out of a piece of technology in my life. When all was said and done, this tent kept me dry and safe through a storm I had no business surviving.”


Patagonia Black Hole Duffel – 60L


It Fits Everything

“I don’t usually write reviews for the things I buy, but this bag is so good that I specifically sat down to write one. The name says it all, it’s a black hole.

“I used this bag last weekend to go and visit some old friends a few hours away, and it fit literally everything I needed to bring. I packed: 3 full days worth of clothes including pants and sweatshirts for each of the days, running shorts/shirt/top and bottom base layers/hat/gloves/socks/and SHOES, a pair of sweatpants, all my chargers, my tablet, my toiletry bag which is like half the size of a football, an entire board game, and my pillow. My whole entire pillow. …

“I just kept putting stuff in, and putting stuff in. I had it all laid out and thought to myself, “Ok. I’ll need this bag, and then probably a backpack or something and I’ll carry my pillow.” And then the black hole ate everything. Not only that, but it’s a backpack itself! …

“I went back and forth about buying this bag vs other ones, but hands down I would buy this one again. I don’t have a bad thing to say about this bag.”


climbOn! Skin Repair Bar – 1 oz.


The Bar is the Bomb, Use it or Lose it!

“Use as directed, it’s cool.

“What’s so great about it, it really works!

“What’s not so great, you use it up!

“If only life or love could be as refreshingly simple and predictable as this little miracle in a can!”


Bodyglide Anti-Chafe Formula Skin Protectant – 1.5 oz.


Worth its Weight in Gold

“Rarely do I ever find a product that is so good that I feel compelled to write a review about it. I have been searching for a cure for as long as I can remember for chafing in the nether-regions. I have grown up in the south and always been plagued by excruciating pain after doing anything active outdoors in 90+ degree weather. I have used every known home remedy and nothing has worked as well as this or been as easy and non-messy to use. I work at a restaurant that requires us to wear jeans and we have a patio. I always considered this “cruel and unusual punishment.” By the end of a twelve hour shift I could barely walk without severe pain. This product allows me to work all day unaffected by the heat, sweat, and irritation that used to cripple me by the end of the day. It prevents saddle sores while cycling. I use it on my stomach when “boogie-boarding” at the beach. I put it under my pack straps and on my feet when backpacking. I have nothing bad to say about this product. It has allowed me to enjoy every step of a hike in the summer around where I live. The last few miles of a hike used to be excruciating which really can rob the splendor of the overlooks and the small beauties along the way. I wish that I had found this product ten years ago. I have suggested this product to all of my hiking buddies and fellow servers at work. If you have any doubt just buy this product and you will feel the same way. It might be my imagination but it also seems to reduce odor as well. This stuff is great!!! Never greasy, never messy, a preventative measure as well as a cure. Thanks Body Glide!!!”


Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak

Advanced Elements AdvancedFrame Convertible Tandem Inflatable Kayak


A Great Boat in Your Trunk

“I have a Buick Park Avenue for which roof top carriers aren’t available. When my wife and I wanted to buy either a canoe or a kayak, we decided to go inflatable and skip the rack search. Good idea! After a few trips to local lakes, we took our tandem to Glacier N.P. and had a wonderful outing on Lake MacDonald. 15 minutes of set-up with a battery powered Coleman air pump did most of the job, topped off by a few strokes from a 2-way hand pump we bought with the boat. It could not be easier, even for a nuclear med tech like me!! Back in its case, back in the trunk and a smooth 6 hour drive back to Colville in my big Buick and I’m a happy man. Buy this boat!! You will not be disappointed. We may buy a canoe for local runs, using my wife’s Ford for carrying it, but the kayak remains our long distance traveling companion. Nice Job, Advanced Elements!!!!”

Tony the Nuke

Trigger Point Performance GRID Foam Roller



“I’ve had my Trigger Point foam roller for a couple of weeks now, and am so happy my physical therapist recommended it for my back issues. I just wish I could take it with me everywhere I go, but people would most likely stare if I did this at the mall, grocery store, church, etc. It’s wonderful!”


Balega Hidden Comfort Socks


The Best Socks for Just Walking

“Took these socks on a trip to Glacier Park. Am past the age of hiking, so short walks were in order. The socks felt Wonderful! Haven’t had folks look at my feet in years, but several people did and commented on my socks. Wow! Would I buy more of them? You bet!”

Hollister Harpy

Pearl Izumi Pursuit Attack Bike Shorts – Men’s


Love It!

“I really cannot think of anything to not like about these shorts. I’ve restarted cycling after a long way away due to an injury. Basically, my butt had reverted to novice status; but these shorts help me achieve long rides with ease.”


Kammok Roo Double Hammock


From the Minute I Ordered

“From the minute I ordered it, I knew that I couldn’t wait to get the package in the mail, leading to multiple mail interceptions and ultimately skipping my lunch period to go to the post office and pick it up myself. [Less than] 30 minutes later, the hammock was [hanging] with a Grand Trunk and Eno in an encompassing triangle shape in the bosom of the Colorado Rockies. I stayed in the hammock for at least two hours and waited into the cold until I had to go home. The set up took only minutes, and the Python straps are definitely a must buy. World grown, world sown, and world known. Kammock Roo’s and other accessories are a must by a continuous thrill seeking and enhancing product.”

Kingsley R.

The North Face Resolve Reflective Jacket – Boys’


I Use This Jacket Every Single Day!!!!!

“I use this product on rainy or not rainy days … almost every day! So comfortable and such a great product!!!! Great thing for being small could fit in kids sizes!!! Wooohoooo!!!!”


The North Face Reversible Mossbud Swirl Fleece Jacket – Girls’


Dream Became Reality for a Little Girl

“I wanted to purchase a gift for my 11 year old niece as a reward for her performance in her school play and a great report card. Her dream was to have a mint green North Face coat. The look on her face when she put on the beautiful coat was just priceless. Thank you for making such a wonderfully warm and stylish coat and enabling her dream to come true.”


1 Comment