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I've purchased most of my beginner backpacking gear from a used gear sale. The reasons people return things can be interesting or downright funny. Here are the big items I've purchased from an REI used gear sale:
Thermarest sleeping pad (reason returned: not long enough)
REI Halo +25 Sleeping bag (reason returned: too warm)
Extra jetboil cup (reason returned: didn't use enough)
Black Diamond poles (reason returned: customer found cumbersome)
Down booties (reason returned: not warm enough)
Patagonia puffy jacket (reason returned: down feathers coming out)
I've had zero issues with anything I've purchased and am happy to a) save money and b) pick up something I normally wouldn't at full price (down booties or the extra jetboil cup)
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