23 products with a cult following at REI
People will riot if these products are ever discontinued.
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No matter what kind of outdoor activities you’re into, REI is one of the best places to shop for gear. Whether you’re all about low-key hiking like me and my dog, or you're a more serious biker, skier, or fisher, REI has all the necessary equipment to take on your next great adventure.
Tons of other outdoorsy folks do their shopping at this store, and as such, certain products have gained somewhat of a cult following. These 23 products are absolute must-haves (if you believe the hundreds of happy reviewers, anyway), and we don't think you’ll regret adding them to your stash of equipment.
1. A YETI tumbler with 24k reviews
Pretty much anything YETI makes is immediately purchased by its die-hard fan base, and this stainless steel tumbler is no exception. The Rambler Tumbler can hold up to 20 fluid ounces, and it will keep hot drinks hot or cold drinks cold for hours. It’s available in a rainbow of colors, and its MagSlider lid includes magnets that make it smoother to open and close.
Plus, it has more than 24,000 reviews (not a typo) and an average rating of 4.8 stars (also not a typo), so you know it’s good.
2. A portable, smokeless fire pit with a near-perfect rating
Love cozying up around a warm fire at night, but hate smelling like smoke in the morning? Then the Solo Stove Bonfire Pit is just what you need.
This innovative portable fire pit has a unique design that delivers more complete combustion, resulting in a hotter fire with less smoke. Reviewers can’t say enough about this cool device, calling it a true five-star product.
3. Cozy, quick-drying travel towels
Instead of packing up your nice bathroom towels on your next camping trip, bring along the PackTowl Luxe Towels instead. There are four sizes and two colors to choose from, and the polyester-nylon fabric features a looped terry-knit construction so it feels just like your fluffy home linens. However, they dry 30 percent faster than cotton and take up less space in your bag. Win-win!
4. A comprehensive medical kit for hikers
Before heading out on any hiking adventures, you’ll want to pack a first-aid kit—better safe than sorry, right? This particular medical kit is designed especially for hikers, and it has enough supplies to care for two people for two days.
The contents of the Mountain Series Hiker Medical Kit include medications for allergic reactions, itches, pain, and fevers; antiseptic wipes and butterfly bandages; moleskin pieces to prevent and treat hot spots and blisters, and more. Plus, everything is sorted into injury-specific pockets for more efficient organization.
5. A lightweight chair that’s super comfortable
Whether you’re headed to your child’s soccer game or a secluded campsite, you’ll be glad to have this foldable chair with you. The Flexlite Chair has a lightweight aluminum frame, and it sets up and folds down quickly. Plus, it has a breathable mesh construction that will keep you cool on summer days.
6. Stylish, waterproof over-the-ankle boots for women
Ladies, we all know the struggle: On rainy days, you either have to wear unsightly practical shoes or risk getting your cute shoes soaking wet. However, with the Joan of Arctic Wedge II Chelsea Boots, you can be both practical and stylish! These wedge booties are totally chic and also totally waterproof, making them the ideal alternative to your clunky rainboots.
7. A portable two-person hammock to take anywhere
What’s more serene than lounging in a hammock during the summer, listening to the birds chirp around you? With the ENO DoubleNest Hammock, you can hang out just about anywhere!
The hammock is a breathable nylon fabric with lightweight carabiners that can be clipped to any solid anchor points. The hammock can support two people at once, and when you’re done, it folds down into the size of a grapefruit.
8. A sturdy water bottle for all-day adventures
The Hydro Flask Wide-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle isn’t just a favorite among REI shoppers—it also took home our award for the Best Water Bottle. We love that it’s portable, durable, and easy to use, and it keeps ice cold for more than a day. There are a rainbow of colors to choose from, and the 32-ounce capacity will keep you hydrated all day long.
9. A solar-powered lantern that charges your phone
This cool 2-in-1 solar-powered lantern is a must-have for camping trips. Not only will it light up your tent at night, but it can be used to charge up your phone or tablet, too! The lantern needs 12 to 14 hours of direct sunlight to recharge, and it can run for up to 50 hours on low when fully charged. Plus, you can flatten it down to easily store it in your pack when hiking.
10. A spacious North Face backpack for women
This backpack is a hit among college students, but it would also be a great accessory for hikers or travelers. The Borealis Pack from North Face has a large main compartment with a special laptop slot; a front compartment with lots of pockets; an external, fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses, phone or keys; as well as a water bottle holder. Reviewers say the backpack is extremely comfortable to wear, even when it’s full of belongings—it’s also pretty cute, which is always a good thing.
11. A super popular YETI cooler
Like we mentioned above, pretty much all YETI products have a cult following. The YETI Roadie 20 Cooler has thousands of glowing reviews thanks to its extra-thick walls and durable construction. This particular model can accommodate up to 12 cans (or long-neck bottles) and plenty of ice, and a lot of people call it the “best cooler ever” and a “perfect product.”
12. A classic messenger bag you can take anywhere
While their bread and butter is sporting equipment, REI also has a lot of useful day-to-day products, like the Timbuk2 Classic Messenger Bag. This cross-body design would be a great everyday bag, as it has a variety of inner pockets for pens, phones and other small stuff. There’s even a designated spot for your water bottle.
The bag is also outfitted with a waterproof liner to protect your important files from inclement weather—because who among us hasn’t been caught in a downpour while commuting?
13. A portable mosquito repeller you can take anywhere
Mosquitos can be quite the nuisance in the summertime, but you can protect yourself from itchy bites with this portable mosquito repeller. There’s no sticky spray needed—just turn on the allethrin-based device, and it will create a 15-square-foot mosquito-free zone. It’s ideal for camping, cookouts, sporting events, and even just hanging out on your patio at night. Reviewers swear it actually works.
14. A quick-drying towel that doubles as a yoga mat
Is it a towel? Is it a yoga mat? Turns out, it’s both. The Nomadix PNW High Alpine Towel does double duty, serving as a quick-drying towel and also a nonslip yoga mat. The fabric is actually made from recycled plastic bottles, and it’s super absorbant and prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria. It also packs down into a small size, making it a super-portable option for camping trips and other excursions.
15. A breathable hat that provides UV protection
Every inch of this cool hat has been carefully designed for optimal performance. The fabric blocks 98 percent of UVA and UVB rays, and the stiff brim keeps the sun and rain off your face. The hat will float on water, the fabric wicks away sweat, and it has a mesh crown for increased breathability. There’s even a hidden pocket in the crown where you can stash money, your ID, or a house key.
Plus, the company provides a lifetime guarantee that the hats won’t wear out, shrink, or fall apart. And, of course, they look cool—very important.
16. A women’s down jacket for super-cold days
It’s been in the 20s all week in New England, so I could really use a jacket like this right now—the Arctic Down Parka II from North Face is the ultimate cold-weather coverup.
It’s both water- and wind-proof, and it’s filled with 550-fill-power goose down to keep you cozy warm. It has a removable hood lined with faux fur, and it comes down almost to your knees to keep your whole torso protected from the cold. Seriously, I may have to get one for myself.
17. A compressible pillow that’s perfect for camping
Carrying a full-size pillow through the woods to your campsite isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, which is why this compressible pillow is such a genius idea. The Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow packs down to ⅕ its normal size, and puffs back up instantly when you need to use it. It’s ideal for camping and even traveling, and there are several pillow sizes to choose from.
18. Stylish ‘water-ready’ women’s sandals
These sandals are made for adventurers. The Teva Original Universal Sandals feature cushy foam soles, as well as quick-drying polyester straps. This means you can wear them all day long, even getting them wet, without sacrificing comfort. Some reviewers have even worn them hiking and call them the “most comfortable shoes ever.”
19. Yet another cult-favorite Yeti mug
This stainless steel YETI mug is another favorite among REI shoppers. It holds 14 fluid ounces and will keep your drink warm for hours thanks to its double-wall vacuum-insulated construction. The Rambler Mug is incredibly durable, and of course, it comes in a wide range of pretty colors.
20. Everyone’s favorite comfy winter shoes
I grew up wearing UGGs and can confidently say they’re worth the hype. The interior of these shoes is cozy and warm, while the sheepskin exterior is water- and stain-resistant. This particular style comes up to mid-calf height and comes in three neutral colors. Overall, they’re the perfect shoes to slip on when you need to take the dog out or run to the mailbox during the winter.
21. Men’s zip-off pants for hiking
Hiking in the fall can be tricky, as it’s chilly in the morning but hot by the afternoon. That’s where the Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Pants come in! These men’s pants convert from full-length to shorts by simply zipping off the bottom. They’re made from ripstop nylon for durability and offer UPF 50 sun protection for your legs, too.
22. A warm ladies’ jacket for windy days
This stylish jacket stays warm even when wet, and it also compresses down into a compact form so it’s easy to pack. The ThermoBall Insulated Jacket has a water-repellent finish, and it’s specially designed to reduce the effects of wind chill. Reviewers say the jacket is lightweight and stylish, and many note it keeps them toasty warm, even on freezing cold days.
23. Shock-absorbing insoles for your longest treks
If your favorite shoes aren’t as supportive as they once were, you should outfit them with the Superfeet Green Support and Comfort Insoles. These highly rated insoles help to stabilize and support feet, and they offer the widest and deepest heel cups in Superfeet's line. Plus, they even have an organic coating that prevents bacteria from growing to help minimize smell.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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