is REI a good brand?

Is REI A Good Brand (And Lots Of Other Helpful REI Info!)

Yes, The outdoor retailer REI is generally considered a reputable and high-quality brand for outdoor and hiking gear. A 2022 survey found that in total, 9% of U.S. sports and outdoor shoppers regularly use and like the brand. 

The U.S. outdoor clothing giant has been growing year after year, claiming a record $3.9 Billion in sales in 2022. Something must be going right for REI but we wanted to look deeper into the company and their products. Hoping to get to the final answer and find out if REI is a good brand.

Stick on your hiking boots and let’s dive in!

The REI Brand

REI was founded in 1938 by Lloyd and Mary Anderson in Seattle, Washington. The couple’s primary goal was to provide quality climbing equipment to outdoor enthusiasts. The store initially operated out of their living room before growing into the well-known brand it is today.

The brand focuses on the community aspect of outdoor adventures and has a really cool slogan:

“Better Is Out There”

REI is well-known in the hiking and adventure world for:

The REI Consumer Cooperative

One of the unique aspects of REI is its cooperative business model. REI operates as a consumer cooperative, which means it is owned by its customers who become members upon making a one-time purchase of a lifetime membership.

By signing up to a lifetime membership, customers receive tons of benefits such as:

    • Membership Rewards: Members get 10% back annually on eligible purchases. (10% is typical but not guaranteed.)
    • 100% money-back guarantee: Members get one full year from the purchase date to return an item for replacement or refund.
    • Free U.S standard shipping 
    • Membership offers and coupons 
    • Buy and trade used gear 
    • Discounts on products, rentals, and experiences
    • REI Cooperative Action Fund Donation 
    • Member Events

Outdoor Gear and Equipment Retail

REI is your go-to place for all things outdoorsy! They’ve got you covered with a fantastic range of gear and equipment for activities like hiking, camping, climbing, cycling, paddling, and more.

You’ll find everything you need, from cool apparel and footwear to awesome tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and even outdoor gadgets like watches and stoves. They’ve got all the essentials to make your outdoor adventures a blast!

is REI a good brand?

REI Co-op Brand

REI has its own lineup of branded products called the REI Co-op brand.

Products are designed and developed in-house by the REI team and are all about quality, durability, and giving you the best bang for your buck.

Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship

REI is all about sustainability and taking care of our environment. They’re super committed to minimizing their impact on the planet.

They offer a wide range of eco-friendly products that are gentle on the planet. Plus, they’re always finding ways to reduce waste and support conservation initiatives.

REI doesn’t stop there though. They’re big fans of responsible outdoor practices and making sure we protect our outdoor spaces.

Outdoor Community and Education

REI fosters a sense of community among outdoor enthusiasts by organizing events, workshops, and classes. They provide resources and educational materials to help people learn and enhance their outdoor skills and knowledge. REI’s website and physical stores serve as platforms for sharing information and connecting with the outdoor community.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

REI is famous for going above and beyond to make sure their customers are happy. First off, their return policy is super generous, giving you peace of mind when you make a purchase.

But that’s not all. The staff at REI are really knowledgeable. Ready to share their expert advice and knowledge with you.

Customer support is a top priority for REI. They’re always there to help you out and make sure you have the best experience possible.

What Does REI Stand For?

REI stands for Recreational Equipment Inc.

REI Co-Op Products

Have you checked out REI’s own brand products? They’re pretty awesome!

REI Co-op has a great lineup of gear and apparel that’s designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts. Their range is full of budget-friendly options with really nice designs.

Along with the REI Co-op brand they also own Outdoor Afro Inc. + REI Co-op and Swiftland Running

Here are some of our fave things about REIs products:

Quality Gear

REI Co-op products are known for their quality. They’re made to withstand the rigors of the great outdoors and hold up to our adventures. Whether you need a sturdy tent, a durable backpack, or a reliable sleeping bag, REI Co-op has got you covered.

Affordable Options

One of the best things about REI Co-op products is that they offer good value for your money. They’re competitively priced, so you don’t have to break the bank to get reliable outdoor gear. It’s awesome to find quality gear at affordable prices, right?

Outdoor Apparel Galore

REI Co-op also has a killer selection of outdoor apparel. From hiking pants and moisture-wicking shirts to cozy jackets and waterproof rain gear, they’ve got everything to keep you comfortable and protected in any weather conditions. Plus, they offer a wide range of sizes, so you can find gear that fits you just right.

Sustainability Matters

REI Co-op is all about sustainability. They care about the environment and take steps to minimize their impact. Many of their products are made with eco-friendly materials, and they’re committed to responsible manufacturing practices. It’s great to support a brand that shares our love for the planet.

Tested and Approved

REI Co-op products go through rigorous testing to ensure their performance. They’re designed by outdoor experts who know what works in the field. So, when you’re rocking REI Co-op gear, you can have confidence that it’s been tested and approved by fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

Next time you’re in need of new gear or apparel, consider checking out REI Co-op’s own brand products. You’ll find quality gear at affordable prices, all while supporting a brand that cares about the environment. It’s a win-win for us outdoor lovers!

Where Are REI Co-op Products Made?

REI Co-op gear is sourced and manufactured from various locations around the world. As a retailer and brand, REI works with a wide range of suppliers and manufacturers to produce their products. The specific manufacturing locations can vary depending on the type of gear and the supplier involved. REI is committed to working with suppliers who share their values of quality, sustainability, and ethical manufacturing practices. They have established guidelines and standards for their suppliers to ensure fair labor practices, environmental responsibility, and product quality. However, since REI partners with multiple manufacturers, it’s challenging to provide a comprehensive list of specific countries or regions where all REI gear is made.

What´s The Difference Between Large Outdoor Brands And REI Products?

When it comes to outdoor gear, there’s a whole bunch of brands out there vying for your attention, most can even be found on the REI website or in their stores. But often REI´s own brand gear can stand out for both its design and price. What is the difference between the big brands and these products we hear you ask!


Theres some big players in the outdoor gear world, like The North Face, Patagonia, and Columbia. These brands have been in the game for a while and have earned a solid reputation for producing high-end gear.

They invest a ton in research, development, and testing to make sure their products can handle the rugged demands of the great outdoors. When you go for their gear, you can usually count on it being durable, reliable, and built to last.

Now, let’s talk about REI. They’re not just a regular retailer—they also sell their own branded products alongside those big outdoor brands we just mentioned.

REI is all about quality too. They have a strict product selection process and work closely with manufacturers to maintain high standards. Their products go through rigorous testing and feedback loops, just like those from the big brands.

While they may not have the same long-standing legacy, REI still delivers reliable and well-crafted gear that outdoor enthusiasts can trust.


Now, let’s talk about price. Large outdoor brands tend to have a wide range of products at various price points. You can find both high-end, top-of-the-line gear and more budget-friendly options. However, it’s worth noting that some of the premium offerings from these brands can come with a higher price tag. This is partly due to the brand name and reputation they have built over the years.

REI, on the other hand, strives to offer a balance between quality and affordability. They understand that outdoor gear can get expensive, and they aim to provide options that fit different budgets. Their in-house branded products often offer a good bang for your buck, providing solid quality at a more accessible price point.

They can do this as by selling in their own stores they save some money, avoiding high mark ups asked by retailers.

Ultimately, whether you go for a large outdoor brand or REI, both offer quality products. It comes down to personal preference, your specific needs, and, of course, your budget. So, if you’re on the hunt for outdoor gear, take the time to research and compare different options from both types of brands. That way, you can find the right gear that suits your adventures and your wallet. Happy exploring!


In terms of popularity, there is a notable difference between the large outdoor brands and REI.

The big outdoor brands have achieved widespread recognition and popularity over the years. Their logos are often seen on outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers all around the world. Their products are prominently featured in outdoor stores and online marketplaces, and they have a significant following of loyal customers who trust their brand name.

Many outdoor snobs would shudder at the thought of leaving the house in anything but label-brand attire, but are they missing out? 

REI may not be as widely known to the general public but it has a devoted following among outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate its commitment to quality and cooperative business model.

Being seen in REI gear may not have the same “cool points” as Hagloffs or Arc’teryx but it is still designed and tested to be used in some pretty harsh conditions.

REI Opening Hours

The Opening hours of REI stores can vary slightly from city to city but generally, every single REI store will be open from the hours of 10am and 8pm from Monday to Saturday and 10am to 7pm on Sundays.

This may differ for flagship stores which open earlier and close later but by following the rules above, you will always find the doors open to your local REI store.

The best time to visit a REI store is weekday mornings when stores are traditionally quieter as more people are working or ticking off their daily duties.

When Does REI Have Sales?

Typically, REI holds a minimum of four major sales annually, offering prime opportunities to secure the best bargains on some great gear!

These include:

      • The Member Sale in March, aligning with the distribution of your yearly dividends
      • The Anniversary Sale
      • The Memorial Day Sale in May
      • Labor Day Sale in September

Other times to get great deals from REI are at the end of winter and Summer seasons when unsold items from the seasons need to be sold quickly.

To know more about the best time to buy hiking gear, click here

REI Locations

Currently (updated 2023), REI boasts a workforce of over 16,000 personnel and maintains 181 establishments spanning 41 states and the District of Columbia.

The stores listed below, along with a great online store, offering home delivery and kerbside pick up means that it has never been easier to shop at REI.

Do you live near to one of these REI stores?

District of Columbia

Washington DC Flagship, DC


Gretna, NE

Rhode Island

Cranston, RI

5 everyday hats that are great fro hiking

Is REI A Good Brand?

Absolutely! When it comes to outdoor gear, REI is a standout choice.

Here’s why we think REI is awesome:

      • Quality Gear
      • Extensive Range
      • Expertise and Knowledge
      • Sustainability Commitment
      • Co-op Membership

If you’re in the market for hiking gear, REI has you covered. They offer a wide range of high-quality products designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts like us.

What’s great about REI is that they prioritize practicality and functionality in their gear. They understand the needs of hikers and outdoor adventurers and design products for such purposes. Plus, they’re always pushing the boundaries of innovation, constantly coming up with new and improved gear to make your adventures even better.

REI may not have the same brand recognition as some of the larger outdoor brands, but that doesn’t diminish the quality of their gear. In fact, their focus on function and fashion means you can trust that their products are built to perform in the great outdoors.

Beyond their gear, REI is a brand you can feel good about supporting. They have a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. They work towards reducing their environmental impact by using eco-friendly materials and responsible manufacturing methods. When you choose REI, you’re not only getting great gear, but you’re also supporting a brand that cares about the planet.

So, if you’re looking for reliable, high-quality outdoor gear backed by a brand that values sustainability and community, REI is definitely worth checking out. Get ready to gear up for your next adventure with confidence!

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