REI Backpacker’s Holiday Gift Guide

This is a sponsored post brought to you by REI

If you’re perusing this site, chances are someone on your holiday list is thru-hiking, or you yourself are hitting a trail within the next year. This is your one-stop shop for the most useful items to buy a thru-hiker available at REI, in a variety of categories. Whether you’re looking for a big-ticket item or a few smaller pieces of gear, anything on this list will be gratefully appreciated and stashed in the pack.

Until 12/8, you can get a huge selection of gear up to 50% off.  You can also get an extra 25% off one item at the REI Outlet by using coupon code “CYBERDEAL19″.

Big Three

REI Quarter Dome 2
MSRP: $319

Each iteration of this classic shelter gets better than the last. This version extended the shoulder room with redesigned pole structure for increased space for the same weight.

Big Agnes Copper Spur 2
MSRP: $449

One of the most popular tents for long-distance hikers. This shelter has the most space out of any of the classic BA tents.

Big Agnes Tiger Wall 2
MSRP: $399

The newest model (not counting carbon versions) in the Big Agnes backpacking shelter lineup. Two entrances, 2.5 pounds, and a smart, semi-freestanding design that pitches quickly.

NEMO Hornet 2
MSRP: $369

This tent has a more narrow footprint than others on this list, which makes it easier to slide into tight campsites.

Osprey Aether AG
MSRP: $290

Built with Osprey’s proprietary AntiGravity suspension, this pack carries comfortably for hikers with higher base weights.

Osprey Eja
MSRP: $200

The woman’s version of the ever-popular Exos. This pack strikes a balance between weight savings and useful features. Updated in 2018 with women-specific shoulder straps and torso length.

REI Co-op Magma 15
MSRP: $369+

A 15-degree mummy bag for less than two pounds, stuffed with 850-fill certified down.

REI Co-op Trail Quilt
MSRP: $279+

Going for the lighter side? Opt for the quilt, rated to 30 degrees and coming in at 19 ounces.

NEMO Riff 15 
MSRP: $299+

This new bag from NEMO has an ergonomic shape and women-specific down distribution.

NEMO Switchback Sleeping Pad
MSRP: $29+

Avoid the at-camp inflation by slapping this bad boy down in your tent for approximately zero effort. Also works wonders as a sit pad during breaks.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XLite
MSRP: $199

The most popular inflatable sleeping pad for long-distance hikers. Ounce-counters can try out the 8-ounce UberLite, but we’re happy with this 12-ounce sleeping pad with a higher R-value.

Hiking Apparel

Arc’Teryx Rho Lightweight Beanie
MSRP: $35

Tuck it in your pack, forget it’s there until you’re happy for the lightweight warmth.

Original Buff
MSRP: $20

Pick your design and weight, never be sorry you have this along. The Buff works as a face mask, neck warmer, headband, sweat rag, and can be twisted into a hat.

Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew 
MSRP: $23

Darn Tough is a never-fail choice for hikers looking to get the maximum distance and blister-free reliability out of their socks.

Outdoor Research Helium 2
MSRP: $159

This raincoat weight 6.4 ounces and is currently on sale.

REI-Co-op Drypoint GTX
MSRP: $249

Breathable dual-layer GoreTex and a slim design make this upgraded rain coat worth the $$$.

REI Co-op Magma 850
MSRP: $219

Less than a pound, and filled with high-quality 850-fill down. This jacket is slim-cut and packs down small.

Patagonia Down Sweater
MSRP: $229

A classic, with great warmth-to-weight ratio and weighing just 12 ounces.

Smartwool 150 Quarter-Zip
MSRP: $85

Everyone needs a perfect base layer, and this quarter-zip comes pretty darn close. A neutral fit, tight weave, and natural anti-stink from the sustainably sourced merino.


MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
MSRP: $114

Buying everything in a convenient package makes things so much easier.

MSR Pocket Rocket 2
MSRP: $45

The classic go-to for reliable heat and fast boiling. Fuel not included.

JetBoil MiniMo System
MSRP: $145

A convenient all-in-one package with an insanely rapid boil time.

Sawyer Squeeze
MSRP: $35

Pretty much the uncontested thru-hiker fave for filters. This screws onto Smartwater bottles and as long as you take care of it and backflush occasionally, it won’t lose too much flow rate.

Katadyn BeFree
MSRP: $45

Really Sawyer’s only direct competition to the Squeeze.

The Deuce 2 Trowel
MSRP: $20

It’s not the sexiest, but neither is not burying your poop.

Swiss Army Classic Knife
MSRP: $16

All you need for cutting blocks of cheese and trimming your nails.

Petzl Actik Core Headlamp
MSRP: $70

Less than 3 ounces, rechargeable, and a powerful 450-lumen high beam.

Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
MSRP: $60

Waterproof, lightweight, and six lighting modes.

Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp
MSRP: $40

Simple, classic, and really all you need out there. This headlamp has a bright mode of 325 lumens and takes three AAA batteries.

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Poles 
MSRP: $130

You’ll be grateful to have poles. This pair has reliable flick-locks to avoid collapsing and are comfortable for all-day use.

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