If Santa brought you a pair of socks instead of that one piece of gear you actually wanted then you're in luck. Now is one of the best times to score a deal on some great gear, and REI is having a blowout sale today through January 1, 2018.
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Vasque Lost 40 Boots ($120)
Hitting the tundra this winter? Try the Lost 40. The weatherproof soft-shell upper surrounds heavy-duty insulation—seven millimeters of wool and 200-gram Thinsulate. There are two sections of lacing (one across the top of the foot, the other over the ankle), so you can easily dial in the fit.
Saucony Peregrine 6 Shoes ($90; 25 percent off)
As a lightweight technical trail shoe, it somehow marries a responsive, low-to-the-ground ride with a remarkably cushy feel—typically opposing characteristics. A flexible rock plate deflects hazards without stiffening the forefoot, and the new tread pattern—shark-tooth-like rows of densely packed lugs—is aggressive enough for loose terrain but not unwieldy on tarmac. At less than ten ounces, the Peregrine motors on flats and climbs.
REI Co-op Rain Jacket ($49; 30 percent off)
Weighing less than a pound and built with REI's time-tested 2.5-layer waterproof membrane, there’s no reason this jacket shouldn't be in your pack.
Helinox Mini Camp Chair ($49; 30 percent off)
The Helinox Camp Chair Mini may appear dollhouse-sized, but looks are deceiving. It holds up to 200 pounds but packs down to the size of a baguette for easy stowing. Bonus: It doubles as a backpacking chair. Now your kids will have no reason to steal your seat.
Marmot Kompressor Pack ($69)
If you’re running 50 miles in the middle of nowhere and aid stops are separated by hours instead of minutes, you’d better be hauling your own water. Shoulder the Kompressor Speed Pack and you’ll be carrying 2.5 liters of water in a slosh-free reservoir. The pack eschews unnecessary pockets and straps, simply sticking to what it does best: hauling water while staying snug to your body.
Patagonia Houdini Jacket ($69)
Pack this jacket every time the weather looks iffy—whether you're biking, paddling, hiking, or running. It stuffs into its chest pocket, balling down to about the size of an orange, and weighs under four ounces. Unfurled on a windy ridge in preparation for an afternoon shower, the 15-denier ripstop nylon (treated with a water-repellant coating) provided just enough protection without adding too much warmth.
Keen Uneek Slide Sandals ($90)
The Slide easily slips on and off for practice in the park or the mad dash when you’re late for class. And it looks good enough to wear the rest of the day.
Black Diamond Speed 30 Pack ($105; 30 percent off)
At slightly less than two pounds, this no-frills climbing bag doubles as an elegant overnighter. The micro-thin foam frame sheet and barely-there hip and shoulder straps skimp on padding, though multiple adjustment bands kept the load planted. This is a nice pick for ultralight types who move fast and like to keep their kit under 30 pounds.
REI Co-op Talusphere Jacket ($74; 50 percent off)
This 19-ounce, fully waterproof-breathable shell is built from a 2.5-layer stretch polyester fabric that’s great for mobility. It also has pit zips, massive chest pockets that sit above a hip belt, and a pocket big enough for an iPhone.
Atomic Vantage 90 CTI Skis ($300)
This ski feels silky and practically begs to contour the fall line—no excess muscle required. We credit the superb ride to Atomic’s Carbon Tank Mesh construction, an open-weave fiber that replaces much of the ski’s metal. We loved the 90 on- and off-trail, but it especially shone on smooth groomers.
Mountainsmith Tour Lumbar Pack ($35)
Perfect for day hikes, a lumbar pack provides a place to stash snacks, water, and an extra layer. Tuck away the waist belt and use the shoulder strap to convert it to a shoulder bag.
Oboz Bridger 10-Inch Insulated Waterproof Boot ($199)
Consider this boot if (a) you love to snowshoe and need 400-gram insulation for warmth and a heelpiece to keep straps in place, or (b) you work outside shoveling snow all winter. We challenge you to wear through its waterproof nubuck leather.
Rossignol Temptation 100 Skis ($375)
The Temptation effortlessly navigates the whole hill. Camber through 70 percent of the ski paired with wood and metal guts delivers a damp, stable ride. On corduroy, we drove it through full-throttle GS turns and easily shifted to short-radius arcs. Tip and tail rocker smooths turn transitions and works with the 100-millimeter waist to guarantee float even in boot-deep snow. And because honeycomb tips reduce swing weight, testers praised the Temptation’s maneuverability in bumps, narrow tree alleys, and broken chop.
Osprey Manta AG 36 Pack ($108)
With a cavernous main compartment, two exterior pockets, and a stuff pouch, the Manta can swallow enormous quantities of gear, ballooning outward for day trips or even spare overnighters. Osprey’s wraparound mesh back panel distributes weight evenly across the contours of your torso and hips “like a bear hug from behind,” as one tester put it.
Big Agnes Rattlesnake SL3 MtnGlow Tent ($240)
Boasting all the user-friendly features we look for in a lightweight backpacking tent—easy color-coded setup, roomy vestibules, and convenient storage pockets—the Rattlesnake won our 2015 Gear of the Year award.
Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Poles ($120)
A favorite of ultralight backpacks, the Carbon Z poles are lightweight and collapse quickly when it’s time to stow them in your pack.
Patagonia Downtown Loft Parka ($140)
Made of a buttery soft, durable, water-repellant satin polyester that feels so good against your skin you could wear it and nothing else. The 800-fill goose down, below-the-knee parka will insulate against even the bleakest Canadian cold front.
Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket ($111)
OR’s designers trimmed the fat from this waterproof shell by using moderately breathable 2.5-layer Pertex nylon and retaining a bare minimum of features (chest pocket, drawstring toggles). The result packs down to the size of a Clif Bar.
Arcade Guide Belt ($21)
This belt is plenty tough, but the technical webbing is engineered with stretch, which makes it damn comfortable too. It’s weatherproof, with reinforced stitching and a svelte alloy buckle.
Marmot Precip Anorak ($44)
The Precip is one of our all-time favorite rain jackets and we love the classic pullover design of the anorak version.
The North Face Ventrix Jacket ($140)
This midlayer has temperature-sensitive pores that expand when you’re running hot and constrict when you’re cool. It’s stuffed with the North Face’s proprietary synthetic insulation and has a flattering, athletic fit.