If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you know how expensive outdoor gear equipment can be, especially if you have a penchant for buying high-quality brands. Luckily for you, you can get used gear at a fraction of the price.
In addition to saving you a lot of money, buying gently used items contributes to reducing the amount of textile waste in the environment.
But the best thing is you don’t have to leave the comfort of your couch because there are tens of reputable online outdoor gear stores that can deliver right at your doorstep.
And yes, we know that buying used gear online can be a risky affair if you don’t know where to look. That’s why we have compiled this list of the best online stores for buying pre-owned outdoor gear.
Why Should You Consider Used Gear?
Buying pre-loved gear may not be the obvious choice for many because fit, function, and performance are still necessary for a perfect outdoor experience.
Undoubtedly, sometimes buying new gear is the best option. However, unless you’re buying something specific, there are also many benefits to buying second-hand. Here are a few of them:
It Saves You Money
Buying used outdoor gear will allow you to enjoy the outdoors without spending a fortune on gear such as hiking boots, camping tents, and fitness apparel. And although used, many of these items are usually in very good condition. Imagine buying new-like hiking boots at 50% less.
It is Better for the Environment
Buying second-hand is not only good for your pocket but also beneficial to the environment. When you buy pre-owned outdoor gear, you benefit the environment two-fold.
First, you reduce the number of pollutants that could have been released when making new gear. Secondly, you reduce the amount of garbage that could have piled up had the gear been disposed of.
Granted, some outdoor gear companies are implementing changes such as using organic, recycled materials, harnessing solar power, and consuming less water to protect the environment, but the benefits of buying used gear outweigh these by far.
You Can Experiment for Less
Buying used gear also gives you the advantage of experimenting without spending a fortune. The truth is that it can take a while to figure out what type of gear works best for you.
If you’re not ready to commit, buying second-hand is a good way to test the gear out without the pressure and expectations that come with trying to make the perfect purchase.
The Gear Has Already Been Broken in
In some instances, used gear is even better than new. If you buy gently used footwear such as winter boots, climbing shoes, running shoes, or hunting boots, the previous owner will already have softened them up for you.
They will therefore fit you better and save you the blisters that may come with wearing new ones.
You Can Test the Outdoor Scene
If you’re not sure if the outdoor activity you want to participate in will be a lifelong passion or not, buying new gear might not make sense. It would be better to start with pre-owned and switch to new gear later if necessary.
You can also buy used gear for kids when they beg for the equipment just because their friends have them. If they eventually outgrow the habit somewhere along the way, you will be glad you didn’t spend more.
10 Best Online Stores for Used Gear
Many businesses are hopping on the environmentally-conscious train, and outdoor gear manufacturers and retailers have not been left behind. Several online stores are now offering pre-owned outdoor gear alongside their new stuff.
However, we recognize that buying used gear online may be risky. That’s why we did a little digging of our own to compile this list of the 10 best online stores to stock up on used outdoor gear.
1. Switchback Gear Exchange
Switchback Gear Exchange is a company based in Grand Rapids, MI, that sells used bikes and bike accessories. If you’re a cyclist enthusiast, this is one of the best places to shop for pre-owned outdoor gear. They also have a wide selection of camping and hiking gear.
Apart from selling used gear, Switchback also sells new gear and rents them out. But their site could do with some sprucing up to better the shopping experience. For instance, some listed items might lack images. Nevertheless, you can be sure to get gear in great condition here.
2. REI Co-op Used Gear
After enjoying success with their in-store garage sales that featured returned items and deadstock, REI created an online version hoping to replicate the success. Needless to say, the venture was a success.
REI maintains high standards by cleaning and testing each piece of gear for quality and functionality before shipping.
Additionally, it offers gear from some of the top brands in the industry such as KEEN, Altra, Mountain Hardwear, and Patagonia. If you’re looking for high-quality gear for camping and hiking, cycling, or fitness, you are spoilt for choice.
3. Outdoors Geek
Outdoors Geek is the online version of a consignment shop based in Denver, Co, that specializes in renting out outdoor gear. Apart from providing rental services, the online shop also sells used outdoor gear that is added to the collection after being retired from the rental fleet. You can rest assured that their gear is always in top-notch condition.
But in case you have doubts, they also give you the option of renting out the gear first before committing, which is an offer you are unlikely to get anywhere else.
Outdoors features gear from well-known brands in the market. Although they don’t sell used clothing, you can still buy camping gear and backpacking equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, bike packs, backpacks, and sleeping pads.
After 20 years of being in the outdoor gear industry, GEARTRADE is a force to reckon with when it comes to outdoor gear. It boasts of a wide catalog of products representing nearly every outdoor and adventure sports category from camping to hiking to fly fishing and more.
It has been hailed as the eBay of outdoor gear for adopting the peer-to-peer marketplace model that allows you to either bid or buy gear outright (if your price exceeds the starting bid).
If you do decide to buy, you will find that most of these listings feature brand name gear from industry giants such as Patagonia, Osprey, and Mountain Hardwear. You may also like some of the deals Gear Trade offers on new items.
5. Patagonia Worn Wear
Worn Wear was born out of a desire to protect the environment by extending the life of outdoor gear thus reducing the amount of carbon, water, and waste footprint.
The company, therefore, focuses on repairing and reselling used outdoor clothes and backpacks, which are under two main categories; Recrafted collection and Seconds collection.
The Recrafted collection includes garments made from used clothes, where different shades of old materials are deconstructed and repurposed to create new apparel, while the Seconds collection features used outdoor gear that Worn Wear repairs for reselling.
Patagonia also allows buyers to participate in their environmental protection efforts by offering a trade-in option where people can exchange the old Patagonia products for store credit or other used outdoor gear.
eBay may not be specially tailored for an outdoor enthusiast, but it’s one of the best places to shop for pre-owned outdoor gear. Being the first company to bring the garage sale concept into the online space, it revolutionized the way people sell used products, and it continues to tower over its competitors today for several reasons.
First, its advanced search and filter options make it very easy to find second-hand outdoor gear under the Outdoors Sports category. Secondly, with so many users on the platform, it easily has the largest selection of used outdoor gear on this list.
7. The North Face Renewed
The North Face Renewed might be an old company, but it only started to incorporate recycled fabrics into its collection and reselling used outdoor gear just recently, making it fairly new to the ethical outdoor gear scene.
Nonetheless, their pre-owned outdoor gear is always close to new because they inspect, thoroughly clean, repair, and test it before reselling. The only drawback is that the gear is limited to TNF-branded products. If you are a fan, you can enjoy deals on premium gear and apparel for men, women, and kids.
8. MEC Gear Swap
Mountain Equipment Co-op is the Canadian version of REI but with a twist in their resale program. Rather than acting as the middleman, MEC Gear has created a platform where buyers and sellers can interact directly much like GearTrade or eBay.
Essentially, anyone can post the item they want to get rid of on the site and wait for a buyer to express interest. Granted, the direct route is a risky since they cannot guarantee that the gear will be in good condition. However, MEC is willing to receive and act on complaints of that nature.
Also, it encourages its customers to utilize the services of a third-party escrow service to protect their gear and money.
Poshmark is a peer-to-peer online marketplace that includes a website and an app. Although it’s not dedicated to outdoor gear, it features a wide collection of ethical outdoor clothing brands such as La Sportive, Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, and Kuhl.
You can easily search for these and other brands through their easy-to-use search function or simply browse through your favorite brands to check for any deals. Poshmark comes with an inbuilt barter system that allows you to make lower offers to sellers who can also counteroffer. Additionally, sellers can also offer you a private discount.
10. Arc’teryx Rock Solid Used Gear
There is no doubt that Arc’teryx makes some of the best quality outdoor gear in the market. Its Gore-Tex jackets, for instance, have no equal when it comes to quality and weather control. Although they are ridiculously expensive when new, the pre-owned version is quite affordable.
And that’s what makes the Arc’teryx Used Gear such a good option. It enables you to buy quality products you would have otherwise not afforded and also enables you to protect the environment by reducing textile waste.
Arc’teryx also allows you to trade in products such as jackets, pants, shirts, skirts, and dresses for 20% of their manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
As millions of tons of textile materials continue to pile up in our cities, part of the answer lies in significantly reducing our consumption levels by fully utilizing the resources we already have before buying more. That’s why buying used outdoor gear is a great option not just for your pocket but also for the environment.
However, there are many online stores that specialize in partly used outdoor gear and apparel and it can be hard to know which to trust.
Luckily, our list contains the best online stores for outdoor gear. Whether you’re looking to replace your old and battered gear or looking for high-quality gear that you can’t afford at its standard price point, your needs are catered for.
Browse through their wide selection of products, which include camping and hiking gear, biking equipment, backpacks, clothing, shoes, and many more for deals. Some of the sites will also allow you to trade in your old gear either for store credit or for other pre-owned products.