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.

Teva ReEmber Slip-Ons

A camper wears the Teva ReEmber slip-ons at a campsite

With a quilted design and capable outsole, these slip-ons make a compelling case for bringing comfort wherever you go.

The ReEmber is more than just a camp shoe. The lightweight slip-on has a cozy microfiber lining and a durable ripstop upper. An EVA midsole provides support, and its robust rubber outsole can handle uneven terrain and even a bit of snow. This slipper will sneak into your everyday rotation—and your heart.

FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Pop-Up Fire Pit

Three people enjoying time by the fire at the beach at sunset.

Supremely packable, this fire pit and grill option creates a crowd-pleasing fire that’s ideal for whipping up a delicious meal.

The Pop-Up fire pit thrilled most testers, most of the time. Packed, it’s about the size of a camp chair, making it easy to stash in your vehicle for use at dispersed, undeveloped campsites without fire rings. The extra-large fire pan lets multiple people gather around the flames to roast s’mores and facilitates an ideal asado-style cooking fire.

ENO DoubleNest Hammock

Two people relax in an ENO Doublenest hammock

This portable hammock is suitable for any adventure, but you don’t have to sacrifice comfort—it’s big enough for two.

The DoubleNest is a do-it-all hammock with an easy-breezy setup and generous dimensions in a new soft, breathable fabric. Plus, it packs down to the size of a grapefruit. It’s no wonder our testers wanted to take it everywhere.

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

Three people sit around a fire pit set on a backyard deck

This attractive fire pit trades collapsibility and grill-ability for gorgeous looks and best-in-test warmth.

Beyond good looks, the Bonfire is a fantastic heater with double-wall construction that sucks in air from underneath to feed the fire. The coziest of all the options we tested, the Bonfire kept users comfortable on a chilly 40-degree summer evening. We think it’d be ideal for winter use, as well.

Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp

A hiker wears the Spot 400 headlamp

Burn time, brightness and comfort all come at a great price, making it the best all-around lamp for just about any activity.

The Spot 400 became a quick favorite among our crew of testers for its versatility and intuitive touches for precise adjustments. It's also reliable, with tough, waterproof housing and a lock feature so it doesn’t turn on while in your pack. The Spot 400-R is a rechargeable version that features an integrated battery and slightly longer run time.

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.