In these times of stay-at-home orders and social distancing, it’s natural to feel a hankering for the great outdoors. Ironically the best place to shop for outdoor goods is indoors with a phone or computer. Why visit an outdoor clothing and equipment shop when you can find the same gear online at a fraction of the cost?
Outdoor gear websites are as numerous and diverse as national parks and forests. Before choosing an outdoor gear store, it’s helpful to think about what it is you need to buy. Looking for new hiking boots? Missing some important camping gear? Planning a specific activity, like fishing or kayaking? Your answers will inform which outdoor goods retailer is best for you.
We compiled this list of the best online outdoor stores to help narrow down your options. We deliberately chose outdoor websites that serve different purposes, e.g. best for outdoor clothing and footwear, best for discount camping gear, and best for used outdoor goods. We hope you find this guide beneficial and wish you all the best with your next outdoor adventure!
Recreational Equipment, Inc, or REI for short, is a pioneer in outdoor goods and equipment. Founded in Seattle in 1938, it now has 162 retail stores in 40 states and a website that ships all over the U.S. and internationally. REI has all the camping and hiking gear you could want, and also sells equipment for cycling, climbing, paddling, running, snow sports, travel, and yoga.
As a co-operative, REI is owned by its active members, defined as anyone who has paid a $20 lifetime membership fee and purchased $10 or more of merchandise in the previous calendar year. Membership privileges include a 10% cashback dividend, exclusive offers, access to in-store garage sales, and special pricing for outdoor adventures and events.
Backcountry is a specialty online retailer that sells every type of outdoor clothing and gear you could possibly need. Founded in Utah in 1996, it sells products from popular brands like North Face and Patagonia alongside its own line of affordable outdoor gear. In fact, it probably has the largest selection of outdoor products on the internet.
Over the years, Backcountry has built up a large and loyal following among outdoor adventurers. It offers regular promotions through the year, with discounts of up to 50% on gear and apparel. If you’re having trouble picking out the right product, then you can chat online at any time with one of Backcountry’s expert ‘gearheads’.
Moosejaw is another major online outdoor goods website, which is no surprise when you consider it’s owned by Walmart. It has 12 physical outlets outdoor gear stores (CO, IL, KS, MI, MO), but it’s online where Moosejaw really excels with a massive selection of products and incredible discounts.
Discounts are a feature of most outdoor websites, but Moosejaw takes it to another level. With its Moosejaw Rewards program, you earn 10% back in ‘MJ$’ (or 2.5% on discounted items) as soon as your order ships. And the best part is it doesn’t cost anything to become a member. Just opt-in to Moosejaw Rewards for free during checkout.
CampSaver by name, camp saver by nature. Most outdoor gear websites are good when it comes to discounts, but few are so singularly devoted to cheap camping gear. In fact, opening the CampSaver website actually feels like walking into a clearance outlet; there are items all over the place, most of them at discount.
When opening the CampSaver home page, look for the ‘Outlet’ and ‘Shed’ tabs at the top of the page. Outlet has thousands of products in last year’s outdoor clothing and equipment, all at a huge discount. Shed is a page for open-box, vendor samples, and demo products. These products are as good as new and are offered at a significant discount.
Sierra, formerly Sierra Trading Post, is a rival to CampSaver in the category of best website for clearance stock. While CampSaver is focused exclusively on outdoor gear, Sierra offers a mix of outdoor and casual gear. This makes it a good option for the casual outdoor enthusiast who likes having clothing they can wear when hiking.
Many of the Sierra price tags show clearance price vs the regular retail price at full-price department or specialty retailers. This is really useful for when you want to do a comparison shop but don’t want to have dozens of tabs open in your browser.
Geartrade does exactly what it says in the name, letting you trade for second-hand outdoor gear. Let’s face it, outdoor gear isn’t cheap, and for many people it’s the sort of product that gets used once and then gets stowed away to be forgotten in the corner of the garage. Thankfully, Geartrade provides a solution in the form of a secure online platform for people to buy and sell used outdoor equipment.
There are two ways to find used outdoor gear on Geartrade. One, just head to the Geartrade website and search by product or brand. Alternatively, subscribe to Geartrade’s RSS feeds to get daily listings delivered to your inbox. Choose the categories that interest you, from hiking to climbing to mountain biking and more.
Campmor is one of the smaller retailers on our list, earning its place because it specializes in a popular outdoor activity: car camping. Car camping is when you drive your car right up to a campsite, unload all your camping equipment, and set up for the night. Car camping doesn’t involve any hiking, which means you can pack as much gear as can fit in or on top of your car.
How good is Campmor’s car camping selection? Just check out its list of car racks and accessories. It has a wide range of car mounts, rear mounts, base racks, and luggage carriers. It also has special carriers for large types of equipment such as snowboards, paddle boards, and mountain bikes.
The House is relevant all year round, with a wide selection of items for summer and winter outdoor activities. In summer, it’s one of the best outdoor websites for water sports like windsurfing, paddle boarding, and wakeboarding. In winter, it’s the place to go for skiing and snowboarding equipment.
This is the first website to visit if you really want to stock up on snow or water equipment. For example, if you’re planning a snowboarding trip, The House has snowboard clothing, boots, bindings, goggles, helmets, and skates, plus countless accessories including boot bags and instructional videos.
Evo is an online outdoor store for Millennials and Gen Z, with a great selection of equipment for extreme sports. Its specialties include snow sports, water sports, and mountain biking. It always gets the newest gear in stock the moment it’s released.
This isn’t just a place to purchase equipment, it’s also a place to learn more about caring for your equipment. With the Evo Tech series, you get access to countless how-to videos on things like replacing internal bike cables or how to choose knee pads.
OutdoorPlay is another specialist outdoor website, in this case focusing on kayaking, stand-up and rafting gear. It really has all angles covered, from equipment (e.g. kayaks) to essential gear (e.g. paddles, lifejackets), outerwear (e.g. drysuits, wetsuits), footwear (e.g. neoprene booties), and accessories (e.g. pumps, throw ropes).
If you need help transporting your kayak or raft to your destination, OutdoorPlay has you covered. It has a wide selection of trailers, mounts, and storage racks for kayaks, rafts, and other outdoor equipment like snowboards and bikes.