REI Co-op announces the spring 2022 Editors’ Choice Awards

Accolades honor best-in-class gear at the co-op to help people get outside

Apr 30, 2022

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.

“Whether you’re gearing up for summer camping trips or hanging out in your backyard, our next round of award winners are ideal gear picks,” said Michelle Flandreau, managing editor at REI. “The latest Editors’ Choice recipients include cozy camp slippers, a do-it-all hammock and two fire pits that add instant ambiance to your campsite or patio.”

The REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards program is part of REI Co-op Studios. This hub produces films, podcasts and in-house editorial content published on Expert Advice and Uncommon Path. This spring’s recipients of REI Co-op Editors’ Choice Awards include:

  • Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp: This headlamp shines (for up to 200 hours, to be precise) with best-in-test versatility and intuitive controls that make it easy to get just the right glow. Features like waterproof casing, a lock function and most-recent brightness memory make this lamp dependable for a multi-day climbing trip or making late-night freeze-dried stroganoff. The Spot 400 has more lumens than its previous iteration, a previous Editors’ Choice winner, and now comes in a rechargeable version.
  • ENO DoubleNest Hammock: Spacious enough to share hang time with a friend, the DoubleNest scales up without sacrificing quality. The setup is easy, the soft fabric is ultrabreathable and the use cases are, by our testers’ estimates, limitless—from faux studio apartment couch to backpacking tent alternative.
  • FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Pop-up Fire Pit: this portable fire pit and grill option creates a crowd-pleasing fire ideal for whipping up a delicious meal. Packed, it is about the size of a camp chair, making it easy to stash for use at dispersed, undeveloped campsites without fire rings. The large fire pan lets multiple people gather around the flames to roast s’mores and facilitates an ideal asado-style cooking fire. 
  • Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit: Testers found this gleaming cylinder especially easy to light–the initial flames grow quickly, without any need to blow on them—and it was the coziest of the options that our testers tried, a perfect complement to your patio furniture.
  • Teva ReEmber Slip-Ons (Women’s, Men’s): The ReEmber excels at switching up its identity—from indoor to outdoor shoe, slipper to slip-on clog, warm-weather camp shoe to aprés-ski companion. Lightweight, stain-resistant, and comfy, our testers dubbed this the Eleventh Essential.

REI recognizes these products as top performers in a head-to-head round-robin test. Product reviews on REI.com 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 various climates, terrain and weather. They report back on their experiences with qualitative and quantitative data collected along the way.

Depending on the category, some tests can last months, or even up to a year, to see how the products perform through various seasons and scenarios. The top-scoring products are featured in 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.

Gear 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. A list of past award winners can be found here.

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 175 locations in 41 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, 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.