Can you guess which very special American institution is turning 85 years old this year? No it’s not Joe Biden (he’s got a full entire Presidential term to go between him and hitting 85) and while Elvis would be 85 this year, he is of course sadly no longer with us.

In case you didn’t guess from the article title, it is REI who are turning 85 this May. Hard to believe it but the all American outdoor retailer and manufacturer was founded way back in 1935 but remains as vital as ever.

To celebrate, REI is throwing a huge anniversary sale in which thousands of items are reduced. Read on to find out more…

All About The REI Anniversary Sale

Rightio readers, the REI 2023 anniversary sale begins on May 19th and ends on May 29th. So, for 10 days they are slashing prices on thousands of items. This includes some serious savings on REI’s own brand Co-Op gear, as well as gear from some of the worlds absolute best outdoor and travel gear makers.

The sale is open to everybody and members of the public can show online at their own leisure and bag savings of up to 30%.

However, REI members can also look forward to a tasty little extra birthday treat – by using the coupon code ANNIV23 at checkout, members can also get 20% off ANY one full price item, and 20% off any REI Co-op full price item.

If you are not already an REI member, then hit the button below to sign up – the savings you will make in the May Anniversary sale will most probably cover the $30 cost of the lifetime membership fee.

Best Bargain Buys From The REI 2023 Anniversary Sale

There are 1000’s of items in the REI 85th anniversary sale. We cannot possibly even begin to list them all and implore you to shop the sale yourself.

However, these are my personal top picks for the best bargain buys from the sale.

REI Co-op Members Get 30% Off All REI Co-op Brand Gear, Clothing & Footwear (Excludes Bikes)

Ok so this is not one specific item so much as hundreds of different brilliant items. In case you are unaware of them, REI Co-op is REI’s own brand who manufacture high quality outdoor and travel gear, at incredible prices. While the gear is not Wallmart cheap, it is in our view the best budget gear on the market and now, with 30% off, represents even better value for money!

Granted, REI Co-op gear does not aspire to compete with high end brands like Arc’teryx but their wares are a fraction of the price. Some view REI Co-op as entry level gear but honestly, our team members still use REOI Co-op level sleeping bags and tents alongside high end gear from brands like MSR and Feathered Friends.

If you need a new rain jacket, sleeping pad or a new pair of boots, then be sure to check out the REI Co-op store to see if you can find what you need at the best price on the market.

REI Co-op Members Get 30% Off REI Co-op 650 Down 2.0 Jackets

Considering that we are just at the beginning of summer, I can completely understand it if you can hardly stand to even look at a winter jacket right now and just don’t feel that much like re-stocking your cold weather wardrobe. However, rest assured that winter will come again…

And when the winter does kick in you’re gonna need a good warm jacket, especially if you intend to spend time outside. The Co-Op 650 Down Jacket will keep your body warm on even the chilliest of days. 

Its recycled nylon shell is wind, rain, and snow resistant, and the 650 fill powder down packs in a strong warmth to weight ratio. Whilst this is not a jacket for extreme weather or for cold mountaineering, it makes a perfectly adequate companion for winter day hikes, camping trips, and Christmas city breaks. If you are a member and you buy it now, you  can take advantage of a whopping 30% discount.

There are several Down Jackets featured in the sale, but this one is our top pick.

REI Co-op Members Get 30% Off All REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jackets & Pants

REI Co-op Rainier Rain Jacket

Everybody needs a good rain jacket (I have several, to cope with all the different types of rain we get in the UK) and now you can pick up a damned good one for just $70. Let me tell you about it…

The Peak 2.5-layer recycled ripstop nylon shell shields wearers from light rain and wind while remaining breathable and dry. The sealed seams provide waterproof protection, and a durable water repellent (DWR) finish helps moisture bead up on the surface. 

The jacket is windproof up to 60 mph and features pit zips that allow you to release excess heat as the day warms up or your exertion level increases. The 3-piece hood has dual adjustments for a precise fit and stows away when not in use, using the hook-and-loop tab at the back to keep it in place as a collar. Finally, simply zip it closed to keep it compact and easy to carry.

40% Off All NEMO Disco Sleeping Bags

nemo disco 15

If you are a serious (or even a half serious?) camper, then you absolutely should invest in a high quality sleeping bag. Having the right sleeping bag can make or break a camping trip – not only can  it represent the difference between sleeping soundly and shivering or sweating all the long night, but having a packable, lightweight sleeping bag can vastly reduce your trail weight.

The NEMO Disco range is amongst some of the best bags that we have tried. The Disco range encompasses mens and womens versions and comes in a 15 degree version and a 30 degree version.

We have written a full and detailed NEMO Disco review which you can check out, or you can just get onto REI and grab yours, with 40% off before they sell out.

25% Off Osprey Aether & Ariel Packs

Osprey Aether Plus 60

Regular readers of The Broke Backpacker will probably know that we consider Osprey to be the very best backpack brand. Well we also consider the Aether and the Ariel to be their very best backpack out of the entirety of their vast, varied and highly impressive range.

Broke Backpacker founder Will and myself have both used the Aether for half a decade now, have carried the poor things halfway around the world and guess what? Both of our Aether packs are still pretty much as good as new.

The Aether and the Ariel are THE definitive backpacking backpacks and ideal for taking that dream trip around Southeast Asia or India. They are also ideal for backcountry or through hiking and the 65 and 70 litre versions are plenty big enough to fit both a tent and a sleeping bag.

25% Off All MSR Cookware & PocketRocket Stoves

MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove

When you’re backpacking on a budget or heading for an adventure in the back country having top quality and reliable cooking gear is super important if you want to eat, which honestly, you probably do want to do! For us here at TBB we’ve always trusted the MSR range as being some of the most reliable, easy to use and portable on the market.

They have an incredible range from the tiny and affordable PocketRocket 2 to products like the Reactor Stove System where you can cook up a storm for the whole crew. So you can take your pick and select the right cooker for your individual needs, all the while knowing it won’t let you down on the trails.

Not only that but MSR make a great range of compatible cookware making it easier to boil water for a cuppa or make a massive batch of stew in the stock pot. They also have a great range of packages where you can kit yourself out with your cooker, pots, pans, bowls and cutlery for a great price that will have you ready for your next adventure.

Want to know more? We’ve put together an in-depth review of the Pocket Rocket Stove

25% Off All Grayl Water Filter + Purifier Bottles & Cartridges

Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle

Another perfect accompaniment for any trip around the world is the Grayl GeoPress Water Filter and Purifier Bottle. Whether you’re planning on hiking trails on hot sunny days where clean water is hard to come by or you’re backpacking in a developing country and you’re keen to cut down on single use plastic. The Grayl water bottle with its in built filtration system means you can pull water from virtually any source and be confident in its safety. It’s a literal lifesaver for sure. 

This lightweight and easy to use bottle purifies water in just 8 second with virtually no set up needed. It protects you from not only viruses and bacteria but chemicals and heavy metals, making it one of the safest bottles on the market and one our team have trusted across almost every continent. 

If this particular model isn’t the one for your trip, then the even better news is that the REI 25% off deal covers a wider range of Grayl product. So if you need a smaller bottle for example, or one that is compatible with your stove, they’ve got you covered. They’ve even got a range of replaceable filters if you’re already a convert but you need a spring clean!

25% Off Osprey Nebula 32 Pack

Osprey Nebula 32 Pack

The Osprey Nebula 32 Pack is an ideal day pack for those looking for a one stop shop for all their travelling adventures. It’s a bag I’ve personally trusted for over 5 years for carrying everything from my camera and computer gear to hiking gear and even overnight trips. My bag is also still going strong after all that action, so I can attest to it’s durability and longevity. 

The real beauty of the Nebula is its superb system of organisational features, pockets and compression straps. This means it’s easy to keep things like a journal or travel pass to hand whilst also keeping your passport safety double zipped away. The large main section fits in a hell of a lot more than you might imagine and the laptop compartment on the back keeps your precious computer safe and tucked away.

Another feature that makes this bag perfect for trips to warm climates or sweaty hikes is the breathable back panel with its AirScape ridge foam and Atilon framesheet. Alongside the comfortable, padded and breathable shoulder straps, this bag makes it easy to stay fresh whilst carrying your gear. 

30% Off Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail-Running Shoes

Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail-Running Shoes

These Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail-Running Shoes are perfect for not only spending your weekends knee deep in mud on the hills, but they’re a great option if you’re looking for a travel shoe. When trying to keep things as light as possible I’ve always packed just one type of shoe alongside my flip flops – Trail runners! 

They are a great lightweight option that are both comfortable for long days on your feet exploring a city as well as being suitable for hiking with their gripy and durable construction. The great level of ventilation and breathability of the Saucony Peregrine 13 Trail-Running Shoes almost means they’re perfect for those backpacking jaunts through tropical climates. 

These trail shoes are also super durable with a lightweight protective film covering high-abrasion areas meaning they stand up to the rugged terrain on the trails. Their super bouncy soles also offer great traction and comfort whether you’re running, hiking or struggling up the slippery and steep cobbles of Lisbon! 

25% Off All Petzl Lighting

Best Overall Travel Headlamp

A headlamp is an essential bit of kit for any adventure both home, abroad, in the city or in the wide open country. They always come in super handy and can even be lifesavers. We never travel without one. We’ve used them for nighttime hikes, nipping to the toilet on the campsite, finding our bunk bed in a dorm, clambering back from a sunset spot, exploring caves and even lighting up our evening photography. You name it, a head lamp is always handy! 

Our favoured brand of headlamp has always been Petzl and we’ve trusted them for our adventures for years. The range of products on offer from REI offer something for every budget and every kind of trip. Whether you just need something to throw in your bag for occasional use or you want a top end head lamp with advanced features for multi-day hikes. They’ve got the right on for you. 

At the lower end of the scale you’ve got the Petzl Tikkina Headlamp at less than 30 bucks. It offers 300 lumens of light, a 65 meter beam distance and 3 brightness levels. It also features their innovative 50:50 brightness-to-burn-time ratio technology. 

At the top end the Petzl Swift RL Headlamp outputs an incredible 900 lumens and weights only 100g. The 150 meter beam distance also makes it perfect for mountaineering and caving. The 2 part construction of the head band also provides additional comfort and stability so you can run without worrying about it bouncing all over the place! 

Of course, there’s plenty in between too, so have a look and see which suits your needs best. 

Final Thoughts

To recap, the REI 85th Anniversary sale kicks off on Friday 19th May, and concludes on Monday 29th May. That means you have a 10 day window to fill your boots with savings of up to 40% on certain items.

And remember, REI members can take advantage of the member coupon code and take advantage of 2 further 20% discounts.

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!