Enjoying the Great Outdoors is an American pastime. Each year, nearly 45 million people hit over 135,000 miles of state and federal hiking trails to enjoy day hikes or backpacking excursions.
What We'll Cover
While outdoor recreation can be exciting, finding affordable hiking boots, clothing, backpacks, and accessories can be daunting.
Still, buying cheap hiking gear is easier than ever, thanks to businesses that leverage cooperative exchanges and sustainable practices to minimize hiking gear costs without sacrificing quality.
Take a look at the five best places to buy cheap hiking gear below.
REI is one of the highest quality retailers of backpacks, hiking clothes, and accessories in the country. The outlet offers both a deal-of-the-day and deep discounts on new arrivals, plus handpicked closeout specialty gear.
REI uses a consumer co-operative business model, so you get to purchase a lifetime membership for just $20.
Membership benefits include 10% back on all purchases, discounts on rental gear, and a 100% return guarantee. With over 10 different filter options, including a rating tab, the REI website makes it easy to find the high-quality items you're looking for.
You can also take advantage of the in-store Garage Sales at any of its nearly 170 U.S. locations.
If your dog loves to walk the trails with you, check out The 5 Best Dog Hiking Boots to find the finest REI discounted booty options for your best friend, such as Ruffwear's Grip Trex Dog Hiking Boots.
- 10% back on every purchase with a $20 lifetime membership
- 100% guaranteed returns and free shipping on orders of $50 or more
- Free in-store pickup
- Quality items for advanced hikers go fast, so it's easy to miss the great deals
Geartrade is a bit like the eBay of the hiking world. This outdoor equipment exchange allows individuals, small businesses, and manufacturers to list their gently used, refurbished, or repaired hiking gear and clothing.
The site allows you to check sellers' ratings, see average ship times, and even make an offer to counter the list price.
Top brands include Marmot, Patagonia, The North Face, and REI, with discounts of up to 95% off the purchase price.
You won't get detailed product descriptions or reviews about any of the items on Geartrade. However, you can ask sellers questions and view the condition, type, size, brand, and model of the product you're interested in. Also, the Geartrade blog provides great educational content for beginners looking for cheap hiking gear.
- Get gently-used and closeout hiking gear at phenomenally low prices
- Make sellers an offer that fits your budget
- Sell your own gear to make some extra cash for your next hiking adventure
- Shipping prices are decided by sellers (usually a flat rate that can add a chunk of change to your costs)
- Inaccurate seller claims
- Hard-core hikers may not find the quality gear they need
The team at The Clymb scouts the outdoor and active-lifestyle markets for last-minute deals and delivers them to you at 50-75% off retail prices.
To join, simply provide your email address and you're in. If you refer a friend, you each receive a $10 discount off your next purchase.
The brand selection is diverse. However, sale items move fast and most are sold out within 72 hours. You’ll be notified of current sales via email, and free shipping is available when you add any Clymb-branded merchandise to your shopping cart.
The clearance page also has deeper discounted items available, and there's even a carbon-neutral shipping option to help you reduce your environmental impact.
- Refer-a-friend $10 credit program
- Free and easy product returns on eligible items
- 50-75% off name brand hiking gear closeouts
- Flash sale items can run out in a few days – or even a few minutes during the holidays
- Selection is limited to the latest closeout purchases
Steep and Cheap
Powered by the outdoor enthusiasts over at Backcountry.com, Steep and Cheap offers a limited quantity of affordable name brand gear for folks on a serious budget.
While it's similar to The Clymb in that sales are fleeting, one key difference is that the team's “Gearheads” will price match identical items at any U.S.-based, non-auction retail store.
The website also lists current coupon codes and has exclusive email discount offers. One potential downside is that you'll have to dig through several bargain bins to find your perfect gear. However, the phenomenally low prices and diverse brand selection make it worth the effort.
- Price-matching of identical items found at any US
- based non-auction retail store
- Hundreds of brands to choose from
- Deep discounts on top brands such as Arc'teryx, Stoic, and more
- No free shipping
- Limited-time sales, so you have to act fast
- Lots of sifting through “bargain bins” and “current steals” inventory to find what you're looking for
For over 40 years Decathlon has delivered cheap hiking gear to its customers using a minimalist based business model that allows it to design, manufacture, and sell backpacks, hiking boots, and hydration reservoirs at ultra-budget-friendly prices.
Prices range from 30% to 50% off traditional new name brand hiking gear, and free shipping is available on orders over $30.
Another bonus is that the products typically come with many customer reviews, so you know ahead of time the pros and cons of buying. The site also offers 40 unique brands geared at all levels of hiking experience. There's even a money-saving refer-a-friend program that gives you both $10 in online or in-store credit.
- Free shipping on orders over $30
- Refer a friend and you each receive a $10 credit
- A wide selection of in-house brands designed for beginner, intermediate, and advanced hikers
- All the brands are in-house, so you won’t find famous makers like Patagonia or KÜHL
- In-store sale items can't be returned
Amazon is one of the world’s top online marketplaces. It shares market space with Alibaba and eBay. In 2019, the three retail giants captured 57% of the world’s online sales. Each month, more than 200 million customers shop at Amazon.
Thus, it’s no surprise that the platform offers a comprehensive range of hiking gear, clothing, and accessories. At Amazon, you’ll find products for every budget level. You’ll also be able to filter reviews based on star ratings. If name brands, daily deals, and next-day deliveries are important to you, there are filters for those, as well.
From trekking poles to survival kits, this retail giant offers you everything needed for a great time outdoors. If you have a Prime membership, you can save even more money and get exclusive deals for hiking gear and clothing.
And, for those who want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, Amazon offers “Frustration-Free Packaging.” This type of packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials and are easy to open.
- Diverse inventory choices, with many name brands available
- Good prices and product return policies
- Ease of ordering
- Free shipping for Amazon orders over $25
- Subscribe & Save option, with discounts up to 15% for automatic deliveries of hiking essentials
- Long wait times for phone customer service during peak hours
- Popular items may be out-of-stock or on back order
Like Amazon, Walmart offers a wide range of hiking gear and clothing. You’ll find everything from hiking backpacks to waterproof rain gear. Walmart also sells high-quality hiking boots, jackets, water bottles, and freeze-dried food.
At the Walmart website, you can filter for price, product availability, and special offers. A wide range of filters allows you to find the gear you need at the price you want.
Not sure which items you need for hiking the Appalachian trail in the middle of fall? If so, use the “Popular in Hiking Gear” filter, where you’ll find safety gear, backpacks, rain suits, and insulated pants.
Like Amazon, Walmart offers free, standard, and two-day delivery options.
- Diverse inventory choices
- Brand names
- Free pickup at store
- Ease of ordering
- Good return policies
- Poor quality items
- Some rollback and clearance items may not be available
Amplify Your Savings
At the Raise marketplace platform, you can purchase REI gift cards worth 5% more than their value. In addition, new Raise members receive an additional 10% off all discounted cards with the code FIRST.
There are also various discounts available at Offers.com for REI. In addition, The Clymb has discounts available at Coupons.com, including 25% off sitewide purchases with the code GEARUP.
In all, day hiking is expected to become the most popular outdoor recreational activity in the next 40 years. Thanks to these five fabulous online stores, you can minimize your costs on quality gear and set out on your next hiking adventure with confidence.