Now, I am a big fan of REI. I keep recommending it to all my friends to the point that some of them have asked me if I secretly work for REI. I don't, but I really appreciate their company model, the membership benefits, the excellent return policy and the dividends you get. Of course, there are other sports stores that have less expensive products, but my philosophy lately has been that of purchasing 1 expensive but higher quality item that last me years, rather than something that breaks after a few uses and needs replacing. That said, most of the camping gear I've bought from REI over the years has also lasted me for years and expect will last for years to come.
I usually shop at REI one item at a time, when they have a big sale or a members-only 20% off one item of your choice.
The currently have a huge sale that ends on May 27 and you can get some really good deals just in time for the upcoming summer time camping season:
They have lots of great deals for kid/family items as well:
- Fitness Strollers: http://www.rei.com/category/4500003_Bike+Accessories/q/Sale+and+Clearance/b/BOB
- 26% off on the Osprey Child Carrier (for hiking with your kid) - http://www.rei.com/product/828439/osprey-poco-plus-child-carrier
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