The 15 best things you can buy under $50 at REI

The 15 best things you can buy under $50 at REI

Courtney Campbell

Reviewed.com

Published 11:47 AM EDT Sep 10, 2019

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REI is a magical store filled with adventuring essentials that almost makes you want to quit your job and hike the Appalachian Trail (just me?). It’s also one of the few retailers that has everything you need for camping, hiking, running, yoga, and even your day to day life. The best part? You can get some high-quality products for under $50, meaning you don’t need to spend too much to start building your outdoorsy collection.

The outdoorsy lifestyle retailer also has an REI Co-op lifetime membership for just a one-time fee of $20, which gives you 10% back on eligible full-price purchases in an annual dividend you can use for future purchases at the store, meaning you can eventually save with these small purchases. You can also get member-only coupons and discounts and shop monthly in-store REI Garage Sales.

REI shoppers really know their gear and have extensively reviewed top products from water bottles that keeps drinks chill for hours to a belt that will hold everything on a long run. From highly popular products to items we’ve tested ourselves, we found the 15 best things you can get for under $50 at REI, so you can get your adventurer on without breaking the bank.

1. The best water bottle on the market

Average rating: 4.6 stars

Hydro Flasks are have earned a bit of a cult following and with good reason. We’ve even tested it ourselves and found that it was the best of the best. They come in fun colors and will keep your water cold for hours (literally), which is essential whether you’re on a long hike or out running errands. The Hydro Flask aced every test we threw at it, and we love that if something does go wrong, there’s a lifetime guarantee. Even better, it’s pretty affordable considering it’s designed to last a lifetime.

Get the Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle for $34.95

2. A blanket to keep dirt off your pants

Average rating: 4.3 stars

Whether you’re sitting on the beach or enjoying a picnic outside, a blanket is essential. If you need somewhere dry to sit on the fly, just carry around this Matador Pocket Blanket. It folds up to fit in the palm of your hand and is both water- and puncture-resistant. Since it’s so small, it’s easy to toss into a camping bag or fanny pack for festivals.

Get the Matador Pocket Blanket for $30

3. Hiking socks that won’t cause blisters

Average rating: 4.9 stars

There is nothing worse than getting a blister from poorly fitting shoes or socks, especially when you’re in the middle of a hike and still have several miles to go. Ouch! Prevent this pain in advance by investing in a quality pair of hiking socks. The ones from Darn Tough are quite popular amongst REI shoppers who claim they’re both comfortable and durable. Made of shrink-treated merino wool, they’re moisture wicking and provide support for even the toughest (and coldest) of hikes.

Get the Men’s Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks for $23
Get the Women’s Darn Tough Micro Crew Cushion Hiking Socks for $23
4. A belt that holds everything

Average rating: 4.7 stars

On a long run, you’re going to need your phone, your keys, credit cards, and energy chews—and those small short pockets won’t hold everything. Enter the FlipBelt. It’s like a fanny pack, but far sleeker, meaning you’ll have a discrete, non-bulky way to carry everything. It’s also great for keeping everything on your person while at the gym or while running errands.

Get the FlipBelt Classic Running Belt for $28.95

5. An inexpensive, yet durable duffle

Average rating: 4.5 stars

At just under $50, this REI duffle is the perfect size for a short camping trip or weekend excursion. Dubbed the “roadtripper,” it’s water-resistant, has size pockets for small miscellaneous items, and can be folded up when not in use, which makes it perfect to throw in your bag—just in case you get some extra belongings on your trip.

Get the REI Co-op Roadtripper Duffel for $49.95

6. Our favorite compact foam roller

Average rating: 4.7 stars

Whether you’ve just finished a 10-mile run or went to the gym for the first time in months, you’re probably dealing with all sorts of soreness. To ease your aching muscles, get a foam roller and actually use it. You can thank me later. The TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller is the best compact foam roller we’ve ever tested because it is durable, has varied rolling surface for different levels of massage, and is small enough to carry around wherever you’re training.

Get the TriggerPoint Performance Foam Roller for $34.95

7. Packing cubes for your next trip

Average rating: 4.8 stars

Packing is probably the toughest part of any trip. You have to figure out how to fit everything in a suitcase and but you end up just digging through everything once you reach your destination. Packing cubes help organize things, and this set from Eagle Creek is of the best ones we’ve ever tested. Although we found that the Eagle Creek cubes aren’t large enough to hold a dress shirt and pants, they work well for shirts and shorts and we did like the tough material they’re made of—which is ideal for rugged activities.

Get the Eagle Creek Original Pack-It Cube Set for $27.95

8. The classic Yeti tumbler

Average rating: 4.8 stars

Yeti’s tumbler is already hailed as an outdoorsman’s chalice and a great companion for hiking, fishing, or going to the beach. They keep your drinks cold (or hot) for hours on end, which makes them ideal for everything from coffee to a gin and tonic. When I tested it, I found that the Yeti lives up to its claims. Plus, with more than 20,000 reviews, this is one brand name product you want in your arsenal.

Get the Yeti Rambler Tumbler with MagSlider Lid, 30 oz. for $35

9. A multitool you’ll want to keep handy

Average rating: 5 stars

When you need a small tool but don’t want to buy an entire tool kit, multitools can be very helpful. REI shoppers love the Swiss Army Tinker, and we even named it the best multitool for everyday carry we’ve ever tested. Not only does this multitool look sleek, but we liked that it is lightweight, can fit in your pocket, and has every basic tool you could need like a screwdriver, can opener, and tweezers.

Get the Swiss Army Tinker for $22

10. A portable hammock for lounging around

Average rating: 4.7 stars

Portable hammocks are great for a place to sleep on a multi-day hike. You just need to find two places to tie it to—a.k.a anywhere outdoors. These ENO hammocks are quite popular because they’re easy to hang up and they simply fold back into a bag when you’re ready to pack up. They’re also great to bring to college as students can easily set it up on the quad.

Get the ENO SingleNest Hammock for $49.95

11. The best solution to chafing

Average rating: 5 stars

BodyGlide has become quite popular in the running community for preventing horrible chafing during a long run, but it pretty much works wherever skin rubs against skin. After I tried BodyGlide for myself while training for a half marathon, I found that it protects skin from irritation for hours and doesn’t leave a sticky or chalky feeling behind—unlike other anti-chafing products I’ve used before. Even better, you can get this solution to the dreaded “chub rub” for just $10.

Get the BodyGlide Original Anti-Chafe Balm for $10

12. A popular spork to eliminate some cutlery

Average rating: 4.6 stars

Sporks are the superior silverware. It combines two essential utensils in one, which is especially important when you’re trying to pack light for a camping trip or a long hike. Weighing less than half an ounce, this one by Sea to Summit is made of durable aluminum alloy. It’s also extra long, making it easy to reach into snack bags, and can be clipped onto a backpack.

Get the Sea to Summit Alpha Light Spork, Long for $9.95

13. The most popular sports bra at REI

Average rating: 4.1 stars

If you’re looking for a light sports bra for hiking, then this is the one for you. The Patagonia Barely Sports Bra has rave reviews on REI because it’s light and stretchy while still providing support. It also comes in five different color options, so you can match it with your favorite workout outfit.

Get the Patagonia Barely Sports Bra for $49

14. A headlamp for hiking and more

Average rating: 4.6 stars

This headlamp might be something you never knew you needed. It’s a hands-free way to cast light on whatever you’re doing without a flashlight, but it’s useful in ways other than nighttime camping or hiking. You can use it to illuminate your grill when cooking after dark, to go for a jog at night or when it’s still dark out before work, or to search around the dark corners of your basement while keeps your hands free to clear away cobwebs before they hit your face.

Get the Petzl Tikka Headlamp for $29.95

15. A game changing balm for climbers and skiers

Average rating: 4.8 stars

Scaling rocks or skiing in frigid temperatures can be rough and drying on your hands. But this lotion, which comes in a convenient tin, could be the solution. With ingredients like grapeseed oil, apricot kernel oil, and beeswax, it claims to soothe and protect dry skin. This balm is also great on everyday flaky skin during the winter months.

Get the climbOn! Lotion Bar for $10.95

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.


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