Everybody likes a good deal, everybody wants to save money. At the same time, we want our gear to perform stellarly, and this doesn’t always align well with our desire to pay less. However, you don’t always need to spend a small fortune to get a piece of high-quality equipment. Many an outdoor store offers good deals every now and then, and there is also the option of buying used gear. In this article, we’ll explore two major ways of getting your hands on affordable hiking and camping gear.
New vs Used Outdoor Gear
The two roads you can take when shopping for outdoor gear, branded New and Used respectively, will take you to different destinations. Sometimes they might intertwine, but those fortuitous paths are few and far between. In all other cases, the scenery of those roads will be quite different from one another. Here is how the experience of buying new gear differs from purchasing used equipment.
New gear typically comes with a higher price tag. This is because you’re paying for the latest models and untouched quality. Of course, a lot depends on the brand. A jacket from a premium-quality brand can fetch a good price even after having been used for some time. Nonetheless, you pay for the assurance that no one has ever used that piece of equipment if that is something that might bother you.
Used gear, on the other hand, is generally much cheaper than new gear. It’s actually one of its primary selling points and the whole reason why it actually gets sold. This is a great option for those looking to save money or for those who are just getting started and don’t want to invest heavily yet.
As a rule, if you are buying from a reliable seller, the quality of the new gear is impeccable. It should be unscathed and work perfectly. You can expect it to be reliable and durable and have many years of service life ahead of it.
With used gear, the quality can vary significantly. You might come across an item that has seen close to no use because somebody just stopped needing it. You might as well end up with an item that has been used excessively for years. It’s essential to carefully inspect used goods to ensure they are still in good condition and safe to use.
When buying new items, you have the whole Internet of models, sizes and colors to choose from. You are more likely than not to find the exact combination you need and can even afford to check several shops to find the best price.
The selection of used gear tends to be more limited. It is usually one particular item in one particular size – not too much variety there. While in both cases you choose from what is available, the selection of used gear is usually more meager.
All new items often come with a manufacturer’s warranty. With warranty support, you won’t need to worry about defects or faulty performance. If anything like that happens, you can simply return the item and get a new one or have your money returned.
With used gear, you are more often than not left without any sort of official support. Therefore, any repairs or issues that arise would typically need to be addressed using your own funds.
The production cycle of new products is quite complex and includes many steps. Each one of them inflicts damage to the environment, directly or indirectly. The materials need to be sourced, delivered and processed and the products need to be manufactured and then shipped once more. The carbon footprint of every product is not the same, but it’s there nonetheless. By buying new products you encourage manufacturers to produce more, and repeat the cycle once again.
Buying used gear, on the other hand, doesn’t entail inflicting any damage to the environment. Since you’re reusing items that have already been produced, you avoid participating in this whole emissions and resource depletion thing, associated with manufacturing new items.
All facts considered, the scales look balanced: neither of the options provided outweighs the other. Of course, some factors might seem more or less significant to you, then the outcome will be pretty obvious. Just keep in mind that good and bad purchases can happen regardless of which path you choose to follow
Best Places to Buy New Affordable Gear
If you decide to stick to the New Gear path, you’ll need to know how to hunt for discounts and special offers. A casual full-price purchase can hardly be called a good deal, so you’ll need a place frequented by sales and promotions. Whereas many online platforms have sales every once in a while, some are more well-known for having them than others.
Gritr Outdoors is a top choice for purchasing new outdoor gear at affordable prices, especially if you live in Texas Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. They offer a widest range of products from camping essentials and hiking equipment to fishing tackle and hunting accessories – all in addition to gear for winter sports and other outdoor activities. If you live in or near North Richland Hills, you can drop by their brick-and-mortar store for one-of-a-kind customer support.
Amazon abounds with sellers of all stripes, each trying to outcompete the others. It often spurs them to lower prices to beat the competition. With a wide variety of products and brands, you’re more than likely to find what you need. In addition to regular discounts, Prime members have access to special offers and the Prime Day sale is one of them.
The Clymb offers flash sales on outdoor gear, where you can find significant discounts even on new items. The store deals mostly in apparel and footwear for outdoor activities like cycling, hiking, running and winter sports.
Steep & Cheap
Steep & Cheap, powered by Backcountry, offers great discounts on outdoor gear and apparel. They feature a constantly changing selection of sales and deals.
REI Outlet offers discounted prices on overstocked or closeout gear from the main REI store. There you can find great deals on high-quality items.
Navigating the World of Used Gear
The path of Used Gear is a bit different. You don’t go to usual online stores, but rather to platforms that aggregate second-hand outdoor gear and resell it. Such platforms can either buy out used gear and sell it themselves or introduce you to a person selling an item. The former is a more reliable way as big platforms usually care about reputation, which is not always the case for individual sellers. Here’s the list of websites worth checking out:
Geartrade stands out as a leading platform for buying and selling used outdoor gear. It’s a user-friendly site that connects buyers and sellers all across the country. You can find a wide range of outdoor gear from clothing to equipment for various outdoor activities. The website is easy to navigate, and you can register to sell gear of your own.
eBay is another popular platform for purchasing used gear. The auction-style format provides ample opportunities to snag some great deals, but it’s important to check seller ratings and reviews before making a purchase.
REI Co-op Used Gear
REI’s used gear section offers preloved gear and clothing from top brands. They have a rigorous process for checking and grading used gear that they receive, and the standard of quality control is pretty high.
Patagonia Worn Wear
Patagonia’s Worn Wear program allows you to buy, sell or trade in used Patagonia gear. The brand is quite reputable, and since it oversees the work of the site personally, you can rest assured no fishy business is involved.
Finally, there is Reddit with its countless possibilities. Subreddits such as r/CampingGear9 often have threads where users sell or trade gear. Remember to follow each subreddit’s rules and use secure payment methods. But all contacts you’ll make will be personally yours and not overseen by the website.
As you can see, both ways have their pros and cons. Neither of them is superior to the other, as all arguments have different value for different people. Good deals can be found on both paths anyway, you just need to know where to look. The list of the websites we’ve provided is by no means exhaustive but is pretty sufficient to at least begin your search.
Published by HOLR Magazine.