Select Page

Celebrate America (or a day off work) by visiting its wild areas. Well, you deserve to relax however you feel, but we’re using a liberal definition of the Great Outdoors. It could be a remote campsite in that national park you’ve always wanted to see. Or it could be the backyard that you haven’t mowed in a month. However you define it, it’s a good time to buy outdoor gear now that REI’s Fourth of July Sale is live.

REI isn’t alone—Backcountry and Moosejaw have introduced their own Independence Day sales as well. If you spot something you like at Moosejaw but it isn’t on sale, use the code SPF20 at checkout to get 20 percent off one full-priced item. While you’re deal-hunting, be sure to check out Early Prime Day Deals coverage, as it includes discounts that aren’t exclusive to Prime subscribers!

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism. Learn more.

Best Outdoor Deals

REI Outward Lawn Chair

REI Co-Op Outward Lawn Chair

Photograph: REI

The Outward is, hands down, my favorite camp chair at the moment. It holds up to 250 pounds yet weighs a relatively light 7 pounds, 7 ounces due to the aluminum frame. Folding chairs can be finicky, and a lot of otherwise fine chairs have been ruined by flopping open while carrying them. I have no such complaints about the Outward, and it’s more comfortable than any other unpadded camp chair I’ve sat in.

You have to add it to your cart to see the sale price. MSR’s compact isobutane-propane canister stove revolutionized the market. It’s dead-nuts reliable, lightweight, and so compact it can fold up and be stored inside a typical cooking pot. For most situations, this is the best camp stove for backpacking.

There aren’t any climbing harnesses I’d call flashy except for Grivel’s Trend. Although there’s an inconspicuous black version, the other pattern options are for somebody who likes a bit of drama and all eyes on them in the climbing gym. With four gear loops, there’s room for enough carabiners on outdoor climbs too.

Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag

Marmot Always Summer Sleeping Bag

Photograph: REI

Marmot makes my favorite sleeping bags. Whether it’s for sleeping in subzero temperatures or just warding off a summer evening chill, its bags use quality zippers and fabrics, and they often include small zippered pockets for keeping a headlamp or phone handy during the night (as this bag does). The 650-goose-down-filled Always Summer, if you hadn’t guessed by the name, is rated to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, weighs about 28 ounces, and packs down to a svelte 4.7 liters, so it won’t bust your back or your pack while hiking.

It isn’t the lightest tent at 4 pounds, 14 ounces, but it’s still fairly lightweight for the price. You’d have to spend three to four times as much to get a solid ultralight tent. Tentmakers are always, let’s say, generous with their person-capacity ratings, so expect two people to fit snugly in the Trail Hut 2 without any packs or bulky gear inside. If you want more room (or more snuggle buddies), the Trail Hut 4 for $179 ($120 off) is the same tent, only larger. Both tents come with footprints, which are sheets of water-resistant fabric that attach to the bottom of your tent and help save your tent’s floor from abrasive wear and tear.

There’s an element of trust in flopping into a hammock. If it’s made of sketchy materials and breaks, it’ll dump you on the ground. The DoubleNest’s durable 70-denier nylon, robust stitching, and beefy suspension straps gave me all the confidence I needed to lounge around camp all weekend. The instructions for setting it up were shockingly good and easy to understand. It’ll hold up to 400 pounds, so grab a close friend and a couple of lemonades.

Coleman Cascade Camp Stove

Coleman Cascade

Photograph: Coleman

You have to add the stove to your cart to see the sale price. Nothing screams camp memories like a Coleman-green propane stove. With a steel cooktop and cast-iron cooking grates, it’ll last you years, if not decades. With three burners—most camp stoves have only two—you can cook up a pan of bacon, pancakes, and omelets at the same time to satisfy everybody in camp.  

You’ll need to add it to your cart to see the discounted price. We’re spoiled for choice with compact, powerful headlamps these days. Not that long ago, they were bulky and about as bright as a firefly in a glass bottle. It weighs only 2 ounces while throwing an impressive 225 lumens of light on its highest setting, so you’ll barely notice wearing the Sprint 225. It comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that recharges to full in about three hours, and on its low-light setting, it’ll last up to 20 hours on a charge.

BioLite FirePit

Biolite FirePit+

Photograph: REI

Forget building a bonfire out of wood or remembering to have lighter fluid on hand. The Biolite Firepit (7/10, WIRED Recommends) makes lighting a fire easy, with its concentrated and adjustable airflow. It has a rechargeable battery that can power the air jets for up to 26 hours, and it connects to your phone via Bluetooth so that you can tweak the airflow and how high the flames roar. At about 20 pounds, it’s light enough to move around (when it’s cooled down) or take with you camping.

Hear me out. Even when I hike in deserts and the American West’s wide ranges, I prefer long-sleeved shirts to protect my arms from sun damage. Only under the thick canopy of tropical jungles and East Coast forests do I wear Patagonia Short Sleeve Capilene T-Shirts. The thin polyester is silky smooth and pleasant to touch, and it dries quickly. Forget the cotton shirts that stay damp forever and rub welts into your skin. Switch to thin synthetic fabric. You’ll thank me after your next hike.