Here is gear that Keltin purchased and tested out over the past couple of years both at home and on various trips. He has purchased a combination of both new and used gear from REI. All of these reviews are written by him.
- Smartwool Merino 250 Base Layer Crew Top: This is a fabulous base layer. It is warm, comfortable, wicks moisture away, but it is also useful as a regular long-sleeved shirt. Since we live in North Texas, the winters are generally not too cold. Therefore, my chances to wear it as intended are limited. But it’s great to go on its own.
- KUHL Stealth Shirt: This is a perfect summer type of shirt. It does everything that you expect a quality outdoor summer shirt to do: breathes, keeps you dry, and looks good. It has metal buttons, which, in general, is just fine for me. There are two things to note:
- It feels like the buttons are backward to me. They snap together so it really shouldn’t matter, but they feel backward.
- If your midsection has expanded slightly, like mine, the buttons can come undone easily while moving around.
- The North Face Class V Pull-On Shorts: I have two of these shorts, a light blue one, and a fun themed pair. They’re the same so what I say for one, I say for the other. Again, a great summer item. They’re lightweight, short (like really short) and they’re stylish. My alabaster thighs complement them perfectly and the deep mesh pockets can hold whatever you want to carry with you.
- Merino Wool Buff: This is, without question, the most versatile thing on this list. I use it all the time. When we traveled to the Pacific Northwest in fall 2020 and spring 2021, this was used as a makeshift face covering and this is just one of its many uses. It keeps the sweat down while hiking, running, or even mowing the lawn. I use the buff so often that I really should get another one. Highly recommend it.
Used Gear: I’ve purchased two pairs of cargo shorts (for fashion reasons, of course) and two hiking shirts from the used section on REI’s website. These items are either lightly used or haven’t been used at all. In fact, my favorite gear from REI is the four items mentioned here. If the item is used, that doesn’t magically make it bad. They’re still the same high-quality items that you’d buy new. One thing to look out for is that REI will alert you if an item is already in somebody’s cart and you can’t buy that item.
As I have said before, buying new gear every trip is not practical. As outdoor enthusiasts we must find good gear that will work for us long term so that we don’t have to buy new gear thus protecting our finances and more importantly the environment from excess trash. What is your favorite gear to use on the trail? Let me know in the comments. If you liked this post and want to see more along with getting a heads up about where we are headed to next, please consider supporting me on Patreon as it would allow me to bring you additional content both on my site and on my YouTube channel. You can check out my Patreon here. Remember to leave no trace and safe travels.
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