Hiking boots wear out. Bindings break. You want the next best thing but know the suggested retail price is exactly that: a suggestion. Here are five of our favorite websites for finding gear at prices that won't burst your adventure fund.
Powered by online outdoor retail giant, Backcountry.com, Steep and Cheap highlights one great gear deal—typically at over half-off—until it’s sold out, then starts all over. If you don’t want to get caught obsessively hitting your refresh button, you can sign up for instant alerts that tell you when a new item is listed.
Recreational Equipment Inc.’s outlet site highlights gear deals in different categories, like the deal of the day or week, deals under $20, or savings on US-made gear. The “Deal of the Day” has its own RSS feed, so you can easily stay on top of what’s discounted now. Don’t want to buy a dud? Top-rated outlet gear is only a click away.
This site scours the web for deals from retailers like REI and backcountry.com so you don’t have to. Search hand-picked deals by activity, brand, retailer, type or eco-friendliness. Up top, see the day’s best deals. Scroll down for coupons you can enter at checkout to get discounts from gear and travel retailers.
Founded in 1986 in Reno, Nevada, this company has been selling discounted gear, furnishings and apparel for almost 25 years. Check out their clearance and bargain barn sections for discounts of up to 80 percent off. This site is currently offering 20 percent off purchases of $75 or more if you sign up for their DealFlyer email newsletter.
Founded in 1999 by climber Chris McNamara, SuperTopo.com was originally “designed to be a resource to help you plan a climbing itinerary, as well as get the best topos available for those climbs.” The site has since added a gear search that crawls stores big (REI) and small (Summit Hut) to generate a list of relevant gear that can be sorted by price and that highlights sale items. The gear finder is still working out a few kinks--sometimes gear that's sold out still shows up in the search.
For more on buying gear online, check out the Outside Guide to the Web.