REI Co-op Editors' Choice Award Logo

REI Co-op announces the spring 2021 Editors’ Choice Awards

Accolade honors best-in-class gear at the co-op to help people get outside

Mar 9, 2021

REI announces new additions to its REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards, a designation honoring 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 are developed by the same in-house editorial team responsible for the co-op's rich content sites including Co-op Journal and Expert Advice, which help educate and inspire REI’s growing co-op community.

This spring’s recipients of REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards include:

  • Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier – This longtime REI customer favorite is comfortable for both adults and children, with plenty of storage for close-to-home trips.
  • La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots (Women'sMen’s) – Geared for hiking rough terrain, the Nucleo High II balances protection, support, and low weight for maximum performance.
  • Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots (Women'sMen’s) – The Renegade has supreme out-of-the-box comfort and enough support for heavy loads, making it a great choice for long-haul backpacking trips.    
  • Topo Athletic Trailventure Hiking Boots (Women’sMen's) – The sleek Trailventure has a nylon mesh upper for great breathability and a cushy, running shoe-like EVA midsole for moving quickly through the backcountry.

REI recognizes these products as top performers in a head-to-head round-robin test. Product reviews on and customer feedback, along with sustainability attributes, based on REI product impact standards, are also considered in the process. Testers include REI employees and co-op members from across the nation, who evaluate everything from a product’s usability to its features in a variety of climates, terrain, and weather. They report back on their experiences with qualitative and quantitative data collected along the way.

Some tests can last months, or even up to a year depending on the category, to see how the products perform through various seasons and scenarios.  The top-scoring products go into Gear Guides on Expert Advice, REI’s gear and expertise learning library. The best-of-the-best also receive an REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award.

Products considered must be sold at the co-op. There is no set timing or number of recipients that may receive this accolade. Products are continually tested and can be recognized with an REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Award designation anytime through the year.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 179 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.