We know a serious sale when we see one
REI’s Labor Day Sale is basically a Black Friday made specifically for gear lovers. Every year at the end of August, U.S. outdoor recreationists can nab deals on tons of great products, with gear like tents, jackets, sleeping bags, and headlamps often marked down 50 percent or more. Here are the tried-and-true items the editors in our office recommend you check out while the going’s good. The sale ends on September 3 so don't wait too long.
Manduka Yogitoes Yoga Mat Towel ($43; 25 percent off)
It's been hot in Santa Fe this summer and I've been sweating more than usual during yoga. I really need this mat towel to put on top of my mat to keep me from slipping and sliding during poses.
—Mary Turner, deputy editor
Black Diamond 9.9mm Non-Dry Rope (From $67; 25 percent off)
This non-dry treated dynamic rope is ideal for lapping routes in the gym and sunny days at the crag, and at just $67, it's genuinely a steal. If you're likely to get caught in the rain, or want a lighter option, BD's 9.4mm dry-treated rope is 30% off, and their 9.4mm non-dry is 40% off.
—Abigail Barronian, assistant editor
Darn Tough Vertex Ultra-Light No Show Socks ($13; 25 percent off)
I like my running socks super thin with just a hint of cushion, and these ankle-height ones from Darn Tough fit the bill. As a bonus, the company guarantees its socks for life, so when they get holes, I can send them in for a fresh pair!
—Ariella Gintzler, assistant editor
MSR Guardian Purifier ($260; 25 percent off)
If I were to buy one thing from the Labor Day sale, it'd be the MSR Guardian purifier. Yes, it's expensive, and a little bulky, but it's worth every penny and extra ounce if you ask me. I've wasted too much time with faulty pumps or filters that take forever when I'm thirsty or trying to get on the trail. The Guardian puts an end to all of that.
—Madeline Kelty, deputy photographer editor
Hart Health Day Hike First Aid Kit ($8; 40 percent off)
I am done cutting our adventures short as soon as my kid gashes herself on the trail and wails to go back to the car for treatment. Economic, lightweight, and tricked out with all the basics in plastic pockets and a zipper closure, I don't know why I didn't buy one of these kits for my pack before.
—Tasha Zemke, copy editor
Astral Loyak Water Shoe ($64; 25 percent off)
One of my favorite shoes for knocking around on or near the water, the Loyak has a full canvas upper that makes it just as good walking around town as well. And it's comfy; ample venting and drainage ports mean you never get waterlogged.
—Will Egensteiner, senior editor
Black Diamond Crag 40 Pack ($75; 25 percent off)
The best pack is one you don't have to fuss with. And after using the Crag 40 on and off for the past 10 months, I'm smitten with how decidedly low-maintenance it is. Drop your rack and other gear in the large main compartment, stash a phone and keys in the inner zip pocket, pull the drawcord tight to close the top, and go.
NEMO Tensor 20 Sleeping Pad ($112; 25 percent off)
I'm a side sleeper so I appreciate the Tensor's three inches of padding. The 20-denier outer fabric is pleasantly soft and quiet and at just 14 ounces, it's one of the lightest pads on the market.
—Ben Fox, affiliate reviews manager