Staff Picks: The Gear We Want This Winter


With the holidays just around the corner, REI’s winter sale, which lasts until November 19, is the perfect time to stock up on budget-friendly gear for the adventurers in your life. Here’s what the editors at our Santa Fe headquarters are eyeing.

Looking for more sale coverage? Check out our favorite overall deals, these great deals under $30, the best fitness gear deals, and the best gear we've reviewed on sale now.

About Our Deals Coverage


We work with top retailers and brands to find the best deals on outdoor gear. Then our editors and writers carefully review the sales to select the products we’ve used and trust. When you click a Buy Now button in this story, it will take you to the brand whose sale we’re covering.

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Arc’teryx Beta SL Hybrid Jacket ($279; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy Arc’teryx)

If you play in the mountains, you need a good hard shell to ward off precipitation when the weather turns nasty. This is one of the best around, made from two kinds of lightweight Gore-Tex to maximize protection, breathability, and toughness. I’ve worn one for two seasons now and it’s hardly worse for the abuse. It has the slim Arc’teryx fit—and the Arc’teryx price tag, making now a good excuse to get one and save more than $100. —Axie Navas, executive editor

Buy Women’s Buy Men’s

Smartwool PhD Nordic Medium Socks ($15; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy SmartWool)

In the three years I’ve been learning to ski, I have been endlessly lectured on all the dumb gear philosophies I formed while growing up in the Southeast. One of those is that you should stuff the thickest possible socks into your ski boots—extra warmth! Nope. I go for Smartwool’s thin socks. They are somehow warmer and don’t make my feet go completely numb, which really helps with the learning-to-ski part. —Erin Berger, senior editor

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REI Co-op Silk Long Underwear Bottoms ($35; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy REI)

I’ve said it before and I’ll shamelessly say it again: If you’re a cold sleeper, you need silk long underwear in your winter arsenal. Silk is one of the warmest natural fabrics out there, and it’s extremely lightweight. Although they look delicate, I’ve thrown around this pair of long underwear for a couple years now and they’re surprisingly rugged. If you run cold, do yourself a favor and pick up a pair. —J.E.

Buy Women’s Buy Men’s

Copper Spur Hotel HV 2 Expedition Tent ($374; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy Big Agnes)

This tent is a backpacker’s dream, made with durable polyurethane-coated ripstop nylon fabric and reinforced seams that are tough as nails but light as a feather. The whole package weighs less than five pounds. —Ben Fox, affiliate reviews manager

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Pearl Izumi PRO Barrier WxB Shoe Cover ($41; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy REI)

Booties are dorky and take forever to put on, but they will change your life. Feet go cold first on the bike. Throw in slushy road conditions or rain and you’ll be begging for a set of shoe covers to keep things warm and dry. Pro tip: Buy them cheap. Though you shouldn’t, you’ll end up walking around and tearing them up. —B.F.

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Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket ($139; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy Patagonia)

I bought this jacket two years ago, and it has become one of the most versatile layers I own. —Molly Mirhashem, associate editor

Buy Women's Buy Men's

Smartwool Merino 250 Half-Zip Hoodie ($84; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy SmartWool)

If you’re wise, you’ll invest in a few of these hoodies. I bring mine as a warm layer when camping in summer and refuse to wear any other base layer during ski season. —Emily Reed, assistant reviews editor

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Pearl Izumi Elite Thermal Knee Warmer ($34; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy REI)

Most roadie rules suck, but the knee-warmer rule doesn’t. If it’s cold enough to wear arm warmers, wear your damn knee warmers to ride fast and comfortably. For the past ten years, I’ve worn the same set from Pearl Izumi, and I cannot recommend them highly enough for those with gorgeous, toned thighs but slender calves. —B.F.

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DryGuy Force Dry Boot and Glove Dryer ($37; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy REI)

When you’re getting into ski boots, there’s nothing worse than being greeted by cold, damp, smelly linings from the day before. The DryGuy’s design will dry your boots in about an hour. And if you forget it’s running, don’t worry—it’ll turn off automatically after three hours. —B.F.

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Smartwool PhD Running Ultra Light Micro Socks ($11; 30 percent off)

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(Courtesy SmartWool)

It may not be the most glamorous item on sale, but a good pair of socks is the unsung hero of running. Seeing as how I just wrapped up marathon training, pretty much every single sock in my drawer has bloodstains or holes. Time for a new pair (or three). —E.R.

Buy Women’s Buy Men’s

Pearl Izumi Men’s Pursuit Attack Bike Tights ($60; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy REI)

I’m a weather wimp, so I’m worried that my mountain biking might come to a screeching halt once colder temps arrive. With these tights, though, I may be able to eke out a few more weeks from the season. —B.F.

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Light and Motion Urban 700 Bike Light ($52; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy Light & Motion)

Don’t be fooled by the name. This light is for rippers. And now that daylight saving time has ended, you’re going to need a bomber light for shredding your local trails after work. —Nicholas Hunt, associate editor

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MSR WhisperLite International Backpacking Stove ($75; 25 percent off)

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(Courtesy MSR)

The redesign of this classic piece of kit is 10 percent lighter than its predecessor while keeping everything I love about the original: a bombproof design and the ability to burn practically any kind of fuel you can get your hands on. —N.H.

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Superfeet Blue Premium Insoles ($40; 20 percent off)

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(Courtesy Superfeet)

Unless your feet are perfect, you should not be walking without insoles. Every time I’ve gone without my Superfeet insoles, I’ve developed phantom back, knee, and foot pain. Choose the right level of support for your feet, but you likely won’t go wrong with the low-to-medium-volume blue premium model. —B.F.

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