REI and Patagonia.
Two huge names in outdoor retail, both of whom offer high-quality gear that could last you a lifetime … or someone else’s.
Both companies recently launched wide-scale recycled gear initiatives: Patagonia’s Worn Wear and REI’s Used Gear, respectively.
Which one is for you? Let’s review.
The Worn Wear program, as we recently noted, was initially a brick-and-mortar initiative that just expanded to a dedicated online store. The company classifies its recycled products as Excellent (like new), Great (small signs of wear) or Good (some visible use scars), and prices them accordingly. It’s a good way for loyal Patagonia customers to get store credit for their old items as well as open up avenues for new shoppers to get substantial bang for fewer — as in, up to $100 off retail — bucks.
REI, meanwhile, just intro’d a beta version of Used Gear, an online-only store for “gently used gear” that gets inspected and approved before going back on sale. These are items that have been returned through the company’s returns policy, and unlike Patagonia, you’re getting a good deal of gear (stoves, watches, water bottles, etc.) from a variety of companies (Columbia, The North Face, and, yes, even Patagonia). However, these items come with no warranty — just a 30-day return policy — and discounts don’t seem to be as steep.
Obviously, with both programs, you’re limited to whatever random sizes are available and whatever defect or wear-and-tear you’re willing to live with. Still, high-quality outdoor gear isn’t cheap, and you’re probably getting a more trustworthy evaluation of the goods from these companies than you would through a random buyer on Craigslist or eBay.
And as an outdoorsy type, you’d prefer to recycle anyway.
Six items from the stores we dug:
Worn Wear Arbor Duffel 60L
At least $20 less than any new listing we saw, this water-repellent, recycled-polyester duffel is lightweight and features a padded base.
Worn Wear Classic Retro-X Vest
A windproof fleece/polyester layer that’ll wick away moisture and keep your hands warm. Going for $74-$149 new, this narwhal grey vest in “great condition” is $40.
The North Face Trevail Down Hoodie (REI)
A “like new”, colorfully sequoia red goose down jacket with a media-compatible pocket to manage your cord issues.
Olukai Hamakua Chukka Boots (REI)
Dark wood/toffee all-weather Chukkas with non-scuffing rubber and a removable footbed.
JetBoil Genesis Basecamp System Camp Stove (REI)
A folding, two-burner stove with a coated frying pan and 5L FluxPot, for almost $90 off retail.
Osprey Atmos AG 65 Pack (REI)
A hipbelt and upper/lower side compression straps distributes weight to the hips and reduces bulk. Features a dedicated sleeping bag compartment, hydration sleeve and ports, multiple side and quick-access pockets.