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Used Gear Closet

As I continue to research and learn more about backpacking gear, I find myself always wanting a new tent, pack, and other accessories.   That being said, I've made some pretty big investments through several different iterations to get to where I am now on my current gear.  Although I am happy with my big 3 (Zpacks Arc Blast Backpack, Tarptent Moment DW tent, ENlightened Equipment Enigma Quilt), I can't help but wanting to experience different gear options....but, I don't want to make big time $$$ investments like I have in the past.

....Enter REI's Garage Sale.  This is a great opportunity that solves this desire, but it just doesn't happen on a high enough frequency for me to find that one golden nugget that I've been searching for.  Are there any other options out there that you fellow backpackers know of?  I believe the Outdoor Evolution has a used gear section in the online store, but it is currently empty (


Any help/advice would be awesome!

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.
4 Replies

@tadoerner This is a great topic, thanks for starting it!

Have you seen our Used Gear website? In addition to shopping for used gear, you can sign up to be on the waitlist for the Used Gear Trade in program. There is a lot of info in there that tells you how you can turn some of your gear into an REI gift card!

While I, too, love perusing an REI garage sale, I've now grown into somewhat of a collector of old and vintage outdoor equipment. I have found that pawn shops, particularly in Alaska, are gold mines of really cool vintage gear! Once I figure out where the box is I'll unpack some and show you some pics.

Hope this helps, thanks!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I've bought a few pair of shoes from REI's used gear site - it's a fabulous way to save some money, and keep used gear in circulation, especially when I know exactly what I want.

Here is an alternate:

Also, for new gear in talking with ZPACKS they have some exciting news for upgrades in 2021 and Katabatic gear is planning to build packs again as early as next spring.  In addition, I just got a lightheart gear Solong6 and LOVE the thing (See:

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@tadoerner, meh why not...

Everyone was a beginner once, except me, being born was my first summiting expedition (my mom would attest to the crampons. Sorry mom, OUCH!)

Anyway, we've all been there, even those of us lucky enough to have a mentor/s, at first, we have ALL been "gear heads" (often more interested in what we DON'T have). But eventually, you learn it's more about a few key pieces.

Used and old gear are fine, as long as it's safe to use and suits your needs. Personally, I can afford high-end stuff and have bought (and returned) a lot, but the question is does it do the job and does it suit you?

For example, I was recently shopping caraniners. I knew there were more recent designs, but I told the salesperson that while I like the fancy-shmancy magnetic and auto closures, and that I was sure they're safe to use, I've been using the ol' "screw-lock" 'bieners for so long that I would feel funny changing now (and there's NO way I would only buy a few!)

So go, buy a lot of gear you may use once or twice and never use again and ultimately give away, or buy someone else's stuff and find out why they sold it (then sell it at the next REI Garage Sale). WE all did it, now it's YOUR turn!  Seriously, you'll KNOW if you really "need" it because you won't be able to think of anything else 'til you have it!!

AND if you spent a lot of money, but you LOVE it, you won't be able to remember what you paid for it!!