A person on a winter hike holding trekking poles

We’ve helped generations of people find the right gear for them since 1938. Now, we’re using our team’s hard-earned knowledge and expertise to recognize best-in-class gear at the co-op. 

Through the REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards, we honor the top-performing products in a set of rigorous field tests conducted by co-op staff and members. We also factor in how a product is made and its impact on the environment, along with REI member and customer feedback. Recipients include the equipment and apparel we’ve been recommending for years, along with the latest industry-busting products to hit shelves. 

Our awards program honors the top-performing gear and apparel from brands sold at the co-op based on field testing, REI expertise, co-op member and customer feedback, and sustainability attributes. Products recognized include both time-honored standouts and the latest innovations to hit shelves at REI.

REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards

Our awards program honors the top-performing gear and apparel from brands sold at the co-op based on field testing, REI expertise, co-op member and customer feedback, and sustainability attributes. Products recognized include both time-honored standouts and the latest innovations to hit shelves at REI.

Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Road-Running Shoes

A runner in full flight across a city bridge, wearing black Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 road running shoes.

These are the Goldilocks of road shoes: both stable and nimble. Rely on them for everything from easy runs to goal races.

It seems like every week a shiny new sneaker gets released. But by prioritizing versatility, Saucony came up with a second update to the beloved Endorphin Speed that offers relief from the churn. A nylon plate offers pop without the intensity of carbon while increased cushioning adds no extra weight—in fact, this version is lighter than the last.

NEMO Quasar 3D Insulated Air Sleeping Pad

A person lays out their blue NEMO Quasar 3D Insulated Air Sleeping Pad in the back of their vehicle.

Side sleepers rejoice: This 25-inch-wide, 3.5-inch-thick pad provides enough cushion to keep your shoulders and hips happy all night long.

The best sleeping pad is the one you don’t notice because you’re too busy catching zzz’s—that’s why testers love the NEMO Quasar 3D Insulated Air Sleeping Pad. A body-mapped depression in the pad’s center prevents wriggly sleepers from rolling off at night. Synthetic insulation ups the warmth, and a built-in pillow means you have one less thing to pack.

REI Co-op Wonderland 6 Tent

The Wonderland 6 Tent with its entryway open to an outdoor mat and camp chairs, and behind it, a cot and side table inside the tent.

No crouching or crowding required in this tent—the palatial shelter boasts 75 square feet of space and a 75-inch peak.

Go ahead, spread out. You have more than enough room in the Wonderland 6, which is larger than some brick-and-mortar bedrooms. A divider allows you to create two rooms for privacy or play. Max it out at six campers or leave space for a card table and seating.

Revelate Designs Mag-Tank Top Tube Bag

A bike bag sits on the top tube of the bike, ready to be accessed.

Access your snacks and other gear quickly without missing a pedal stroke with this slim, lightweight frame bag.

This bike frame bag from Revelate Designs shines when you need food and gear and you need it fast. All your goods are just a few inches and one magnetic buckle closure away.

REI Co-op Beyonder Saddlebag Panniers

A person buckles a bike bag pannier

Easy-to-use panniers that boost storage without adding too much bulk or breaking the bank.

The Beyonder Saddlebag Panniers strike a compelling balance between value, ease of use and durability. They're great for riders looking for a sleek storage system that's easy to remove from the bike.

All Award Winners

Awards Methodology

Gear is personal. No product here will be the perfect option for every person. But we believe the REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards celebrate the gear that’s the best for most folks. Here’s how we know. 

How are REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award recipients determined? We, the editorial team, take stock of all that’s available to you at the co-op. We consider the specific needs most people who use the product may have, narrow down the list and enter what’s left into an extensive test—which can last months or even a year, depending on the category—against as many as 20 other top picks. We do this all to see how these products perform where it matters most: outside. REI expert staff and co-op member-testers head into the field to evaluate everything from a product’s usability to its features, vetting all claims from the manufacturer. We also factor in sustainability attributes. At the end of the round-robin review period, we ask our testers to rate each product on a set of criteria. Then we average the scores and scrutinize the data, also considering what our members and customers are saying about these products when reviewing them on REI.com. You’ll find the highest-scoring equipment and apparel in our Gear Guides. We recognize the best of the best with an REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award. 

What products are considered? Within a particular gear category, we consider products available at REI. We don’t include items that the co-op does not stock.   

Who takes part in gear testing? REI staff and members test gear for both the REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards and our tested Gear Guides. These folks are chosen for several reasons, including their outdoor experience, knowledge of a product category and competitive landscape, and more. We aim to include testers of different skill levels and from across the country. We are committed to increasing diversity among our gear testers, including representation of BIPOC communities, women, LGBTQ+ people, different ages and people with disabilities.

When are award winners announced? Awards are given on a rolling basis throughout the year, and we’ll announce the awards on Expert Advice when there are new winners. We’d encourage you to come back seasonally to check out our latest award winners.  

Do awards carry over each year? If a brand releases an updated version of an award-winning product, its REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award carries over to the newest version of the product, unless we deem the updates significant enough to warrant its inclusion in another field test. If so, the new product will undergo extensive field testing to evaluate it.