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REI Labor Day Sale: Staff Picks From GJ Editors

REI labor day sale gearjunkie editor picks
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REI’s Labor Day sale is here, and we want to help you navigate the sea of deals. Check out what our editors recommend adding to your gear closet. Sale prices are listed. Don’t dally — the sale only lasts through September 3.

Sean McCoy, Editor-In-Chief

Sean’s Pick – Altra Escalante Road Running Shoes: $65 (50% Off)

altra escalante

I’m a trail runner, but putting down big miles for ultramarathons also requires a lot of miles on pavement in training. In preparing for the Leadville 100 last month, I pounded a lot of miles in the Altra Escalante. I came to love this light, responsive shoe. The moderate cushioning and zero-drop platform work without pain, and the mesh upper provides comfortable support. These are one of my favorites from my road quiver, and at half-off, they are a steal!

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Sean’s Pick – Diamondback Release 4C Carbon 27.5 Bike: $2,805 (15% Off)

diamondback release

I threw a leg over the Diamondback Release 4C during a demo earlier this summer and was super impressed with the ride. It feels lighter than its 31 pounds, and the suspension impressed me with pedaling efficiency and small-bump compliance. Spec’d with a Fox Float 34 front fork and Shimano SLX, this build gives mountain bikers a ton of bang for their buck. And at 15 percent off, it’s even better.

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Nate Mitka, Associate Editor

Nate’s Pick – NEMO Hornet 2P Tent: $275 (25% Off)

Nemo Hornet 2p

NEMO has earned a lot of credibility in tent making, winning our Best In Show award this summer. The Hornet is one of the brand’s tried and true models, boasting easy setup and a scant weight of 2 pounds 5 ounces. For backpacking, this tent not only works well but is fun to use. We’ve used it backpacking for dozens of nights and have enjoyed the light weight, double doors, and attention to detail.

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Nate’s Pick – REI Co-op Magma 17 Sleeping Bag – Men’s & Women’s: $244 (30% Off)

REi magma sleeping bags

When it comes to sleeping bags, it’s hard to beat down. The Magma 17 has 850-fill power, an extremely high-level fill, for likely half the price of the competition’s bags. And if the bags are anything like REI’s Magma jackets, expect fabric that’s soft to the touch in a compressible package.

Julie Kailus, Fitness Editor

Julie’s Pick – Coleman Triton InstaStart 2-Burner Stove: $71 (25% Off)


This is a necessity right now as we plan for fall family camping excursions. This two-burner, high-performance stove is big enough for those pre-hike eggs and pancake breakfasts, but slim enough to keep packing under control. And for engineering-challenged people like me, the matchless autostart is a no-brainer. I can master a full spread before the kids even peep out of the tent.

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Julie’s Pick – KUHL Brooke Skinny Pants: $55 (30% Off)


It’s almost fall, and there’s nothing I like better than sliding into a pair of comfy pants after a hot summer in shorts and skirts. The modern cut and colors on these skinnies make them appropriate for work, while the stretch canvas (cotton with a little spandex) is in for out-of-office adventures. I’m picking the Brooke in a deep berry hue called Currant, but Sage and Carbon are also ideal for autumn.

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Jake Ferguson, Project Manager

Jake’s Pick – prAna Bridger Jeans: $66 (25% Off)

prana jeans

I wear these pants all the time for all kinds of activities. They are super stretchy and unbelievably comfortable. They are my go-to pants for travel, bouldering, hiking on trails, and daily wear. I have two pairs already and want another color so I can wear them even more.

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Jake’s Pick – NRS Ether HydroLock Dry Bag: $26 (25% Off)

NRS HydroLok drybag

My previous dry bag is getting worn out, and I need to replace it before water gets in and wrecks something. I need something small and easy to stash for fishing from the SUP, canoe, or kayak. The NRS Ether 5-liter bag is built to withstand immersion.

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Adam Ruggiero, News Editor

Adam’s Pick – Cannondale Cujo 2 27.5: $879 (20% Off)

Cannondale Bike

Get started mountain biking and bikepacking for under $1,000. This hardtail offers 120 mm of travel in the front to cushion rough terrain, a 1x drivetrain to simply tackle most journeys, and enough space to accommodate plus tires. And while it’s capable out of the box, you can outfit it with components and accessories to make it a beast for your specific adventures.

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Adam’s Pick – Thule AeroBlade Edge Roof Bar: $192 (20% Off)


If you’re loading up on gear, you’re going to need to haul it. Roof racks are the foundation of any vehicle carry system you’ll need, whether it’s watercraft, bikes, snow sports, or other gear storage. The Thule AeroBlade bars offer an all-in-one system that makes installation a little bit easier. But if these aren’t the ideal solution for you, REI has all Thule and Yakima racks, boxes, and accessories for 20 percent off during the sale.

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Stephen Regenold, Publisher

Stephen’s Pick – Light & Motion Urban 500 Front Bike Light: $37 (25% Off)

light and motion

Daylight is waning as summer ends, and soon bike lights will become a part of my daily gear routine again. The Light & Motion Urban 500 is a good deal for a solid beam. It mounts easily on your handlebars and shines its namesake 500 lumens, which is more than enough for commuting and urban rides.

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Stephen’s Pick – Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle: $34 (25% Off)

katadyn befree

Scoop water from a lake or stream, then drink straight from the bottle. That’s the premise of Katadyn’s BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle. This version holds 1 liter of water and includes the company’s trusted 0.1-micron filter to protect against protozoa, bacteria, and other nasty microscopic swimmers.

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Alex Kirk, Assistant Editor

Alex’s Pick – CamelBak Sequoia 18 Hydration Pack – Women’s: $93 (30% Off)

I need a new hydration pack for my Rocky Mountain hikes, and the Sequoia 18, made specifically to complement women’s curves, will suit me well. CamelBak has served my family well over the years, so I’m confident in my choice of this pack.

The Sequoia 18 has plenty of room to stow my Clif bars and apples. And it’ll hold 3 liters of water for my drink-like-a-fish tendencies. Its Red Dhalia/Stone Blue color scheme is easy on the eyes too.

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Alex’s Pick – REI Co-op Merino Midweight Base Layer Tights: $55 (30% Off)

I basically live in leggings whenever the heat won’t kill me. And I’m due for a new pair — or six. Considering merino’s magical properties, and with fall on its way, I’m grabbing myself some of these bad boys.

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Looking for more gear savings? Check out these 10 sales from Labor Day:


REI Labor Day Sale: Epic Deals on Outdoor Gear

Once a year, REI’s Labor Day Sale happens with huge discounts on high-quality gear. Snag these gear deals from August 27 to September 6. Read more…

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