My Favorite Clothing & Gear Staples from REI

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We love this REI sale each year – it’s one of the biggest and best for items we actually need and use very regularly. I love purchasing things we need anyway at a lower price!

Here are some of my favorites from the sale – I hope it helps you find some useful gift ideas for your family, too!

Wool Base Layers

Wool base layers are an absolute staple for our family. I love that they’re super versatile and can be used in multiple situations, such as for pajamas at home and when traveling, layering in cold weather, and for winter sports. Natural materials are the best for layering, and wool is amazing because it wicks moisture and is odor-resistant – which means they don’t need to be washed frequently and are especially great when traveling.

Though merino wool tends to be a bit pricier, they last a long time and we hand them down through multiple kids. And since it’s warm in cold weather and regulates temperature when warm outside, they’re great through multiple seasons. The cost per wear means these are a great investment choice for our family.

Since they cost a bit more, this sale is a really excellent time to buy them. They’re my number one recommendation to purchase during this REI sale!

Here are our favorite sets of base layers:

Merino Wool Socks

A few years ago, we switched over to almost all merino wool socks for the whole family and they’re the best. Soft, warm, comfy, last forever, and don’t hold older (really great for travel). Here are the ones we love:

  • Darn Tough – our first love! Lifetime warranty (on socks!), still a family business.
  • Smartwool – really fantastic socks that are SO warm. Several of my pairs have lasted over a decade. Best for really cold weather. Great sale on them!
  • REI Co-op merino socks – excellent socks at an excellent price

Rain Gear

Especially with moving to London, we’ve been using our rain outerwear a lot, even for day-to-day activities. Here are our favorites:

Winter Parka

This is an excellent time to get an expensive item like a big parka if you need one. I love this waterproof women’s parka and this one also has excellent reviews. Dan has this parka and really loves his, too.

We have a few different parkas for the kids. Our 6 year old and 13 year old each have a version of this coat and it’s really excellent – warm and great in all kinds of weather. And a couple of our kiddos have this REI Co-op parka – it’s an excellent value for a really great weather-resistant coat that was perfect for mild winters, but I’d get something warmer if you’ll regularly be in snow.

Mini Satellite Communication Device

We absolutely LOVE our Garmin inReach Mini and it’s saved us multiple times, from breaking down in the RV with no service in the middle of the Yukon to navigating trails without reception to making sure the weather was safe to proceed in an area.

This is a really excellent sale on a big ticket item that is really a must-have in terms of safety if you’re planning on hiking, road tripping, etc. It’s one of the best outdoors men’s gifts I’ve ever given Dan.

Keen Sandals

I’ve waxed poetic about these shoes many times – my kids wear them all summer long for pool, beach, travel, and everything else. They even wear them in cooler seasons with socks. They’re the only pair of shoes 3 of my kids took this past summer for 2 months of travel.

My younger kids all have this sandal and Dan has the men’s version – he really prefers them to open-toed Chacos. We’ve also had and loved the toddler sizes.

Hiking & Backpacking Backpacks

We super love the Tarn line of packs – they’re comfortable, well made, functional with lots of pockets, and an excellent price – especially with this sale. This is for sure the time to pick them up if you’re considering.

Here are the ones we love:

  • 12L – excellent little pack that my 6 year old uses for day hikes and my 3 year old uses for travel. We’re considering getting her one to use on hikes, too!
  • 18L – my kids 8 & up all use this pack on day hikes, and my 6 year old uses it for his travel backpack to carry his packing cube, activities, etc. I also have a smaller frame (I’m 5’4″ and comfortably carry it on hikes!
  • Women’s 25L – a wonderful pack that’s more roomy than the 18L
  • 40L – a really great backpacking pack that we use regularly for travel. My 3 older kids and I each carried one of these with all our stuff for a summer of travel and they were comfortable and durable. Excellent price!

Waterproof Backpack Cover

We love these covers – they’re stretchy, convenient, easy to attach on, and protect our stuff! I’m purchasing a couple extras so each kid can have one on their backpack when walking through rainy London – we get lots of sudden storms to and from school.

Hiking Poles

Lots of great deals on hiking poles, but we especially love this kids’ set. They work perfectly for me as an average-height adult, and are cheaper than adult poles. This is another great set if you’re a little taller.

Expandable Packing Cubes

I love this set because they’re expandable and have really durable zippers and mesh. I’m purchasing an extra set for us.

Quick Dry Towel

It’s really handy having a quick dry towel when traveling. Even if it’s a small one, it’s really useful if you go swimming, get wet, or anything else. These dry fast and don’t take much room. I love the cosy ribbing on them.

Sleeping Bag

We love these kids’ sleeping bags because they’re ultra warm. Tons of others are on great sale, as well.



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