Now’s the best time to buy winter gear. The season might be winding down, but the savings are substantial. When I had to buy all my mountain climbing equipment as a budding mountain climber years ago, it was during the annual end-of-winter sales. Plan a few months ahead and you could save some serious money.
Updated February 25: REI’s winter clearance sale is over, but many items remain on sale, and Backcountry’s and Moosejaw’s winter clearance sales are still going. I’ve
crossed out some sold-out items, re-added some that have come back into stock, updated pricing, and added five new deals.
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Technical Gear Deals
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- REI Flash 18 Pack for $20 ($20 off): Taking a big, bloated pack on a day hike is unnecessary suffering. For a quick “get outside” bag, the Flash 18 is one of our favorites because it’s lightweight and cheap, but has enough room for a rain jacket, lunch, sunscreen, and water.
- Black Diamond Momentum Climbing Shoes for $70 ($25 off): These are a solid, non-aggressive climbing shoe good for novice climbers and those who, regardless of skill level, tackle certain types of smooth outdoor rock, such as granite slab. They’re some of the most comfortable sub-$100 climbing shoes I’ve worn. The women’s version is on sale for the same price.
- REI Co-Op Multi Towel Lite for $5 ($5 off): You should have a couple of pack towels when you’re backpacking. Condensation and mist collect on the fabric of your backpack as the weather changes. To keep it from soaking into your fabric and weighing you down, it’s helpful to have a small towel handy to periodically wipe it down.
- Mountain Hardwear Crag Wagon 35 for $142 ($78 off): If you do any outdoor climbing, you’ll need a pack big enough to haul everything. A regular, little ol’ daypack can work if you’re not carrying a full rack of gear, but it’s nicer to be able to put your helmet and climbing shoes inside instead of dangling them on the outside. This 35-liter pack will swallow all of it, and the front panel unzips to make loading and unloading easier than a top-opening pack.
- Black Diamond Camalot C4 Package #4-6 for $297 ($32 off): If you want to start climbing trad or need to update your rack, you’re going to need cams. BD’s Camalot C4 series are the standard many of us use by which to judge the competition because of their long, continued existence and ubiquity at any trad route. The new generation is 10 percent lighter than the outgoing C4 cams.
Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork Trekking Poles for $135 ($45 off): (Update: sold out) I’ve banged and abused carbon fiber Black Diamond trekking poles over some nasty trail rocks and they’ve held up well. The cork hand grips are cushiony and handle sweaty palms well. I’m not sure I’d want to go back to non-cork handles. Trekking poles are useful for stability and taking some of the strain off your legs and knees. Garmin Forerunner 735XT Run-Bundle for $240 ($160 off) :WIRED writer Adrienne So, who tests fitness trackers among other things, says this is a great deal. It includes an HRM-Run chest strap that measures your heart rate. The Forerunner 735XL has GPS, is water-resistant to 50 meters, and pairs with your Android or iOS smartphone. Toaks Titanium Folding Spork for $6 ($3 off) :If backpacking had a symbol, it’d be the titanium spork. Toaks is a solid manufacturer of titanium cookware. This folder weighs only 0.6 ounces and folds down nice and small in your pack.
Camp and Travel Deals