The Thru-Hiker’s Sustainable Shopping Gift Guide 2019

The following is a sponsored post brought to you by REI

Each year we see an increased focus on sustainability through material sourcing, streamlining the manufacturing process, and political stances from some of the biggest players in the outdoor industry.

REI has several programs aimed at increasing environmentally friendly practices. Their used gear shop, emphasis on partnering with sustainably focused vendors, use of recycled materials in their own products, and curated lists where you can search for sustainable gear are just a few ways REI is making it easier to shop sustainably. In 2018, REI invested over $8 million in more than 430 nonprofits, as well as worked to increase their offering of sustainable products.

Here’s how to shop more sustainably this season from brands and items you can feel good about wearing and using in the backcountry.

Shop Smarter for New Items

It’s no longer taboo for companies to make their political stances known. Shopping for items from these brands does a small part to support their message and ensures you’re buying from those with intentions of lessening their impact on the planet. Recycled materials, ethically sourced products, and shopping from companies that donate money and resources to environmental causes are all ways your outdoor gear dollars can benefit more than just yourself.

Cotopaxi Palmas Wind Shell
MSRP: $100 (currently on sale)

Comparable to the Patagonia Houdini, this ultralight wind shell is made with recycled polyester. Many color-block Cotopaxi items are made from recycled scraps of fabric, which keeps material out of the waste stream as well as creates one-of-a-kind designs.

Patagonia Down Sweater
MSRP: $229

Patagonia has long been a proponent of ethically sourced down, recycled materials, and being politically outspoken on environmental and social issues. This jacket is a classic choice for thru-hikers year after year.

REI Groundbreaker Insulated Jacket
MSRP: $79.99

This line from REI has been updated with additional recycled materials, including recycled lining and zipper pulls made from ocean plastic. Not the lightest jacket on the market, but a good one to keep on hand at an inexpensive price.

REI Magma 850 Down Hoodie
MSRP: $219

Insulated with 850-fill power, Bluesign-approved down, this jacket is reasonably priced and lightweight.

The North Face Summit L3 Down Hoodie
MSRP: $375

Responsibly sourced down, a longer hemline, and extra large pockets.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Shadow Insulated Hoodie
MSRP: $250

Made with recycled insulation and weighing 10.5 ounces, this jacket is made with synthetic insulation for worry-free warmth.

Icebreaker 260 Tech Base Layer Leggings
MSRP: $115

These leggings are made with wool certified with “Responsible Wool Standard,” which means it comes from farms with progressive land management and dedication to animal welfare.

REI COOLMAX EcoMade Liner Socks
MSRP: $7.95

For hikers who swear by sock liners, this pair is made from fabric from recycled PET polyester.

Sunski Topeka Polarized Sunglasses
MSRP: $68

Sunski uses recycled plastic for their frames and smart packaging that eliminates excess materials.

Icebreaker Quantum Gloves
MSRP: $45

Organically grown fibers, plus wool certified to the above-mentioned Responsible Wool Standard.

Original Buff
MSRP: $20

The thru-hikers’ favorite accessory is now partially made with fabric made from recycled plastic.

United By Blue Bandana
MSRP: $12

Not only is this bandana made from organically grown cotton, for every product sold, United By Blue removes a pound of trash from oceans and waterways.

Light My Fire Spork Original BIO
MSRP: $6.95

Don’t just use these on the trail, minimize your use of single-use plasticwear by taking these wherever you go. This set is made with bio-based plastics.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Half-Gallon Bag
MSRP: $19.95

Ditch the ziplocks. Yes, we said it. These durable, reusable bags come in a variety of sizes.

Bee’s Wrap Reusable Food Wraps
MSRP: $18

Next to go? Plastic wrap. This reusable wrap can be brought on your next outdoor adventure of any type.

Shop Used When Possible

REI’s used-gear program follows in the footsteps of Patagonia and The North Face. You can shop for used items in a variety of categories, with details about each item’s condition mentioned in the listing. The gear changes all the time based on what is being returned and processed, so keep tabs on the inventory and you can save substantial cash when gearing up for your next hike.



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