A Good Time to Buy Hiking and Backpacking Gear? Right Now

By Michael Lanza

If you’ve been thinking you need—or want—a new backpack, tent, boots, sleeping bag, rain shell, down jacket, or some other piece of hiking or backpacking gear or apparel, right now is one of the two or three best times of year to grab excellent deals. Most brick-and-mortar and online retailers are holding major sales, offering deeply discounted prices on new and recently new gear, and some of those sales end soon. If you want to save yourself serious cash (and who doesn’t?), read on for my recommendations for favorite models of packs, tents, jackets, and other gear, and links to the best sales taking place right now.

Online retail sites like moosejaw.com and backcountry.com are holding sales right now, and sales are truly the best times to buy from makers of high-quality specialty gear like ospreypacks.com, featheredfriends.com, patagonia.com, blackdiamondequipment.com, outdoorresearch.com, msrgear.com, seatosummitusa.com, hyperlitemountaingear.com, beyondclothing.com, sportiva.com, thermarest.com, and cotopaxi.com.

See all of my reviews of gear from Feathered Friends, Arc’teryx, Osprey Packs, Outdoor Research, Black Diamond, Patagonia, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, MSR, Sea to Summit, and Cotopaxi.

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket.
Testing Mammut Meron IN Hooded Down Jacket in the Wind River Range. Click photo to see “The 10 Best Down Jackets.”

Make smart, informed choices by starting with my expert gear reviews, which are based on my 25 years reviewing hiking and backpacking gear, previously as the lead gear reviewer for Backpacker magazine, and many years for this blog. You will find a categorized menu of all reviews at The Big Outside, as well as links to my gear-buying tips, at my Gear Reviews page.

Or click directly to some of these reviews at The Big Outside, where I review only the top-performing outdoor gear and apparel and offer expert buying tips:

The Best Backpacking Gear of the Year
The 10 Best Backpacking Packs
The 9 (Very) Best Backpacking Tents
The Best Ultralight Backpacks
The 5 Best Rain Jackets for Hiking and Backpacking
24 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories

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A backpacker hiking the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park.
Jeff Wilhelm hiking the Dawson Pass Trail in Glacier National Park. Click photo to see “America’s Top 10 Best Backpacking Trips.”

The 10 Best Down Jackets
The Best Trekking Poles
The 5 Best Headlamps
The 10 Best Hiking Daypacks
The Best Ultralight Hiking and Running Jackets
The Best Sun Shirts

By the way, you can support my work on this blog, at no cost to you, by making purchases through any of the above affiliate links or links at my blog to an online retailer. Thanks for doing that, I appreciate it.

Buy smartly. Read my “10 Tips For Spending Less on Hiking and Backpacking Gear
and “Why and When to Spend More on Hiking and Backpacking Gear.”


Granite Gear Perimeter 50 backpack
Testing the Granite Gear Perimeter 50 backpack in Yosemite. Click photo to see “The 10 Best Backpacking Packs.”

Make yourself into an expert gear buyer by reading my expert tips on choosing the right backpack, tent, boots, sleeping bag, and rain jacket, and these stories:

The Top 5 Ultralight Backpacking Tips
5 Things to Know Before Buying Backpacking Gear
How You Can Tell How Warm a Down Jacket Is
5 Smart Steps to Lighten Your Backpacking Gear

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See my Gear Reviews page at The Big Outside for categorized menus of all of my reviews and my expert buying tips.


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The 9 (Very) Best Backpacking Tents of 2021

The 10 Best Down Jackets of 2021


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