The Gear REI Members Love: Top Products of 2018

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We love our members here at the co-op. They’re an outdoorsy, savvy bunch with skills and opinions (lots and lots of opinions, judging by the number of product reviews on When they make their gear preferences known, we take notice. These 10 pieces of gear are among our members’ favorites of 2018; they might just become your next favorite too.

1. Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Socks

Versions: Women’s, Men’s

Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Socks.

MSRP: $22

Fabric: Women’s: 59% merino wool/39% nylon/2% Lycra spandex; Men’s: 61% merino wool/36% nylon/3% Lycra spandex

Height: Crew

Cushion: Medium

Good socks can make or break an adventure, and people can’t stop raving about Darn Tough. Thanks to durable, merino wool and a lifetime guarantee, your feet will rejoice no matter how many miles you tackle.

Take it from our customers: “I bought my first pair of Darn Tough socks seven years ago. Since then, I have bought a couple dozen more pairs in various heights, weights and colors. They are now the only socks I wear for any purpose. Hiking, biking, running, skiing, mountaineering, work, travel, leisure—if I have socks on my feet, they are these. I have NEVER worn a pair out. Not one pair! I still wear the very first ones, and they show so little wear that I cannot distinguish them from any other pair that color.” -Idaho Adventurer

2. Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle – 32 fl. oz

Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle – 32 fl. oz.

MSRP: $39.95

Liquid capacity: 32 fl. oz.

Material: Stainless steel

Insulated: Yes

Another adventure essential, it’s no surprise that hydration is on members’ minds. This double-wall vacuum-insulated Hydro Flask bottle keeps drinks cold or hot for long periods of time. Not to mention the rad array of color choices.

Take it from our customers: “I bought this expecting to keep my water cold throughout my day hikes. What I didn't expect was to be able to fill it with ice water one morning, carry it throughout a summer day in the sun, throw it in my hot car, leave it overnight and open it up the next morning to still find ice in it.” –Imps

3. Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

Versions: Women’s, Men’s 

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket.

MSRP: $199

Fabric: Recycled polyester

Insulation: 60g PrimaLoft Gold Insulation Eco 100% polyester (55% post-consumer recycled content)

Weight: Women’s: 10 oz.; Men’s: 11.9 oz.

Ask any outdoor enthusiast and they will wax poetic about their preferred insulating layer, citing warmth to weight ratio, packability, type of insulation, and of course, style. A consistent favorite is the Patagonia Nano Puff jacket, which hits a sweet spot of weight, warmth and cross-over appeal.

Take it from our customers: “I've worn this jacket for nights out on the town, a windy snowshoeing adventure, and everything in between. It's light enough that I don't get too hot running errands around town but warm enough for a chilly night out in Vail. Works great for layering under a shell or with my Nano Puff vest layered under it, and it packs down well in a pack [or even in my purse when I don't feel like carrying it].” –KS888

4. REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite

REI Co-op Multi Towel Lite.

MSRP: $9.95-$24.95

Fabric: 85% polyester/15% nylon microfiber

Dimensions: S: 14 x 10 inches; M: 22 x 12.5 inches; L: 36 x 16.5 inches; XL: 54 x 25 inches

Weight: S: 0.7 ounces; M: 1.4 ounces; L: 2.9 ounces; XL: 6.4 ounces

The most used pieces of gear aren’t always flashy, trendy or complicated. They pull more than their fair share of weight on any adventure, and people often find ingenious uses for them. Thus, the humble multi towel makes the list as a member favorite. What’s not to like? Fast drying, super absorbent and versatile, it might as well be the 11th essential.

Take it from our customers: “I travel full-time for work, regionally and internationally. This towel is the first thing I always pack. … I use it for just about everything: spills, sweat, sun protection, creating shade, covering items in my car, meditation blanket, pillow on trains, the list goes on. It's super easy to clean and dries quickly. It's light and compact. It's not fancy but it gets the job done in a big way. I've been using it for about four years and it's still in fantastic condition. Would 100% recommend.” –birons03

5. KEEN Newport H2 Sandals

Versions: Women’s, Men’s

KEEN Newport H2 Sandals.

MSRP: $99.95

Closure: Single-pull lace

Materials: Polyester, neoprene, EVA, carbon rubber

Weight: Women’s: 1 lb. 6 oz.; Men’s: 1 lb. 12 oz.

What do you wear when your adventure includes various environments and activities? A multisport sandal of course. With bumper toes and bold webbing, the ambitious KEEN Newport H2 is perfect for squelching through mud or portaging over river rock and can take on activities both terrestrial and aquatic.

Take it from our customers: “I bought these sandals for amphibious hiking and specifically for hiking the Narrows in Zion National Park. With the current and rocks and boulders of unknown size underfoot, the sandals performed marvelously. I cannot think of a better text for the sandals. They held up well then and have continued to hold up well as my go-to everyday summer sandal.” -Josh

6. Petzl Tikka Headlamp

Petzl Tikka Headlamp.

MSRP: $29.95

Bulb details: White LED; Red LED

Battery: 3 AAA; Compatible with rechargeable Ni-MH Petzl Core battery (sold separately)

Weight: 3 oz.

The fun doesn’t stop when night falls thanks to this efficient headlamp. With up to 200 lumens, a red-light mode and water-resistant design, the Tikka strikes the perfect balance of brightness, features and price. And a nifty glow-in-the-dark reflector helps you find it when you need it most: in the dark.

Take it from our customers: “After comparing multiple headlamps, I ended up going with this one. I loved the three light options along with the red light. Its small size, ease of use, and glow in the dark ring were some of my favorite features. Great for just about anyone and anything!” -happycamperoc

7. Patagonia Barely Bra Sports Bra

Patagonia Barely Bra Sports Bra.

MSRP: $49

Fabric: 86% nylon/14% elastane

Bra support: Medium

Strap type: Racerback

Base layers, particularly bras, don’t get enough recognition. Maybe that’s because when you finally find the perfect one, you completely forget you’re wearing it. Enter the Barely Bra, which walks the line between everyday wear and sporty. It might even inspire you to say goodbye to clasps and underwire forever.

Take it from our customers: “I think I’ve found the perfect bra! The material is soft as silk; the padding gives just the right coverage and a pretty silhouette, and I feel well-supported without feeling constricted. I honestly didn't think I'd ever find a bra with the perfect mix of pretty, supportive, sexy and sporty—so happy I did! Thank you, Patagonia! I will be buying one in every color.” -beckyp

8. Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Gloves

Versions: Women’s, Men’s Pearl Izumi Elite Gel Gloves.

MSRP: $35

Fabric: Main: Polyester; Liner fabric: 60% nylon/40% polyurethane

Palm padding: Gel

Glove type: Fingerless

Once you start using cycling gloves, you don’t know how you lived without them. Gel cushioning underhand provides sweet relief from the pressure of handlebars, making longer rides way more comfortable. For warmer weather, the fingerless design and stretch mesh tops keep hands cooler. Plus, they elevate your high-five style, which is all that really matters.

Take it from our customers: “Purchased these for my husband, he has a long work commute and often travels by bike across the San Francisco Bay. He goes through many different weather elements on his daily commute with these gloves and I've watched them wear. A while back, he left them at home because they badly needed to be washed and I examined them. After two years with no major accidents, they were still nicely sewn and the pads were intact. He now has two pairs he alternates from and I have got the same version in women's for myself. They rule.” –Melbert408

9. REI Co-op Flexlite Chair

REI Co-op Flexlite Chair.

MSRP: $79.95

Seat height: 11 inches

Weight capacity: 250 lbs.

Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.

Nearly everyone has a luxury item they carry with them on adventures, whether it’s an extra bar of rich dark chocolate, a pillow or down booties. For many, that item is a camp chair, because sitting down in a comfy seat after a long day feels pretty darn good. The member-favorite Flexlite folds down into a stuff sack, sets up easily and is durable enough to be hauled along most anywhere. Pro tip: For winter use, throw on an insulated seat underquilt, sold separately or in a bundle.

Take it from our customers: “Knew I needed a small chair to take along on paddling trips. This chair is way more than you'd expect. It’s super strong and comfortable. Supported me and the lady on my lap at one point, as well and held up on a muddy gravel surface. My buddies all poked fun for bringing a chair along, but when they saw me pull this thing out, they all took it for a spin. Pretty sure I got REI a few more sales. Super light and compact. Low enough to the ground that you don't need a cup holder. Also, if you're a campfire guitar player, this chair is ideal, no armrests to get in the way. Can even lean back for a quick nap. I've done all of the above, and I'd definitely recommend this chair.” -justinclary

10. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Versions: Women’s, Men’s

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots.

MSRP: $130

Waterproof: Yes

Footwear height: Ankle

Outsole: Vibram TC5+ rubber

Ask 10 people about their favorite hiking boots and you’ll likely get 10 different answers. And yet, a number of our members (and staff!) reached a consensus on the Moab. Aside from the blister-free requirement, these boots delivered break-in free comfort and waterproof performance without causing sweaty feet. Everyone’s feet are unique, so we decided these boots deserved two customer reviews to showcase the miracle that is one pair of shoes making the multitudes happy.

Take it from our customers: “I did a crazy, stupid thing and bought a new pair just before a four-day backcountry trip in Utah [who DOES that?!?] But they were total champs! Not one hot spot or blister the entire time.” –dth2018

“Easy to wear right out of the box. ... Good traction on sandy trails and the treads do not pick up a lot of gravel so I don't really have to clean the shoe bottoms to go into the house. I do have hot, sweaty feet but these boots handle that well.” -Alan

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