Whether you're just getting into backpacking or looking to upgrade, REI's Labor Day sale is a solid place to start. Here are the eight deals our backpacking experts are most excited about.
Gregory Zulu and Jade Pack ($135; 25 percent off)
At just under four pounds, the Zulu isn’t the lightest pack on the market but the X-shaped aluminum frame and 3D molded shoulder and hip straps mean that it can comfortably carry just about as much gear as you can cram into its 55-liter body. For women, try the Jade which has a women's specific fit.
REI Co-op Quarter Dome ($244; 30 percent off)
At just three pounds five ounces, this two person tent has plenty of space to space to spread out and two vestibules for storing gear. The near vertical sidewalls provide more space for you and your partner to hang out inside.
NEMO Tensor Insulated Air Pad ($112; 34 percent off)
At a little over one pound, the Tensor is just about as light of a sleeping pad as you can get. It provides three-inches of comfort and features synthetic insulation inside for more protection from the cold.
NEMO Disco 30 Sleeping Bag ($194; 25 percent off)
The unique spoon shape of the Disco allows for extra space at the elbows and knees, giving you room to move while sleeping. Thermo Gills—two 1.5-foot-long long zippers on the top of the bag—let you regulate temperature for custom comfort.
Salomon X Ultra 2 Low Hiking Shoes ($90; 25 percent off)
Pro tip: Hiking in trail runners instead of hiking boots is the equivalent of shaving several pounds off your pack. Designed for fast hiking on technical terrain, the Salomon X Ultra 2 Low hiking shoes offer a trimmed down design with breathable mesh uppers and grippy Vibram soles.
SealLine Blocker 10-Liter Dry Sack ($14; 25 percent off)
Never rely on just a rain cover to keep the contents of your pack dry. Instead, store everything in these ultra-light, waterproof stuff sacks. Besides keeping everything dry, they’ll also ensure your pack stays organized.
MSR Guardian Water Purifier ($260; 25 percent off)
The MSR Guardian is one of our all-time favorite water filters but it comes with a hefty price tag of $350. It's a piece of gear that we rarely see go on sale and it's a perfect addition to any backpacking kit.
MSR Trail Mini Duo Cookset ($37; 25 percent off)
This system is perfect for two hikers who want to save space. The 1.2-liter pot boils enough water for 2 pouch meals and has room to nest an MSR PocketRocket 2 stove and eight-ounce fuel canister inside.
Darn Tough Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion Socks ($15; 25 percent off)
A good pair of socks is crucial for happy backpacking. These ones are made with naturally wicking and odor resistant merino wool and have extra padding in high impact areas like the shin and heel.